In a recent piece for American Thinker, author Michael Sheppard asked: “Bush/Palin 2016: the GOP’s Only Chance?” Now, Sheppard is a bright fellow; and I’m sure he’ll find a way to endure the slings and arrows of my outrageous critique when I say: Not just “no,” but hell no. And my response to Sheppard’s question is particularly negative, especially considering the Bush to whom he’s referring is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
While President George W. Bush (whose approval ratings are now better than those boasted by President Barack Obama) might compare as favorably with Obama as a bacon cheeseburger does with one of those faux-meat patties vegans pretend to enjoy, there’s no question that he was a far sight from Presidential prime rib. Under Bush, we endured No Child Left Behind, “too big to fail,” the Iraq war and a host of other enormously expensive programs that served to expand the Federal waistline like the buffet at Paula Deen’s restaurants. Given Obama’s ongoing demonstration of even more grotesque governmental gluttony, I feel quite comfortable saying a return to Bush would be better than a continuation of Obama — but not by much. I suspect I can make no such statement in reference to his younger brother.
Thus, let’s call the potential candidacy of Jeb Bush what it is: a giant leap backward. It’s not just that he represents the nanny-state expansions of the past couple of decades, which have created few worthwhile benefits while exacting a heavy toll of side effects. As a Nation, we are more divided by race, class and pure partisanship than we ever have been before. As they have demonstrated innumerable times, the Democrats are not disturbed by such societal fault lines. In fact, they revel in them, encourage them and exploit them whenever possible. Thus, it falls to the Republicans to rectify the statist excesses of the past few years. That suggests — nay, requires — an abandonment of the mistakes of the past. At the very least, it’s hard to rally behind a guy who can’t even earn the endorsement of his own mother.
In 2008, the GOP offered a candidate whose moderate stances would presumably boost his electability. Within weeks, conservative disappointment in Senator John McCain had grown loud enough to instill panic in the Republican ranks. Without acknowledging the fact that they were repudiating their own strategy, they welded the much more conservative Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, to the Arizona Senator.
But it wasn’t enough. Palin spent most of the 2008 election battling a Democratic Party that relates to independent women with all the warmth and gender-sensitivity of the Taliban. Any cache Palin might have delivered to the ticket was negated by the constant stream of anti-woman invective the left deployed against her and failed to compensate for the weakness of her would-be boss.
As much as I might recognize Palin’s potential positives as a member of a party’s Presidential ticket, I can’t help but notice the dreadfully shallow learning curve necessary to intentionally repeat the 2008 defeat. Jeb Bush is certainly not a bad person; but he’s struck from the same mold that produced not only McCain/Palin 2008, but Romney/Ryan 2012. The latter pair came up short against a scandal-plagued, grossly incompetent Obama Administration that has propped itself up with lapdog media and a quasi-official war on the Bill of Rights.
If the Republicans choose to proffer yet another candidate based on some misguided concept of electability, then they deserve to lose. Likewise, should they try to mitigate their candidate’s massive shortcomings with a transparent stunt like attaching a more conservative running mate to their man’s side, then they deserve to lose big.
And if that doesn’t convince them to choose the political path less taken, then perhaps this will: Clinton/Obama 2016. That’s: Hillary Clinton/Michelle Obama 2016.