I have always liked Jeb Bush and I would be willing to bet a dollar or two that he would have been the one Republican, above all others, the Obama White House did not want to get the GOP presidential nomination. JB would beat Obama and I would have been willing to raise the stakes on that bet. But now, even if Mitt Romney suddenly decided he would rather fly to the moon than run for president, Jeb Bush would not get the nomination. He has committed the cardinal sin of speaking out loud about the current state of his party. And he said it in front of a room full of reporters. He went so far as to say that his dad and the GOP sainted Ronald Reagan would hardly fit in with today’s orthodoxy in the Grand Old Party. He questioned the party on its stances on immigration, deficit reduction and partisanship and working towards compromise on major issues our country faces. In other words, common sense. None of this seems radical to me but to the no-compromise conservative activists running the party these days it is political poison. JB was no sooner out the door of the Manhattan hotel where he gave the speech when Grover Norquist, the un-elected head of the party, starting taking pot shots at him. Norquist basically said JB has not run for office in ten years and therefore is out of touch. Ten years and already out of touch? Wow, what took so long?
Dick Lugar was dead meat in six years. If you want to pick the one issue that shows the difference from a commonsense stance of JB, and his brother George, and the hardliners of the of the 2012 republican party it is immigration reform. Both Bushes (and Dick Lugar) believe the system should be more humane for hard-working, law-abiding Hispanics. Jeb Bush should know, his wife is of Mexican heritage; he speaks fluent Spanish, follows the news of the community and even lives among many Hispanics. Meanwhile Mitt Romney claims the draconian law in Arizona might make a good model for the rest of the country. Now that is some kind of compassionate conservative. By the way, I don’t think for a minute Romney really believes that. And, if elected, he won’t propose it either. Never the darling of the Tea Party he just said it. Jeb Bush just said it too and he did so because that is what he truly believes. Good for him.
Before I take a short summer break, another note on a story I have commented on several times and still remains unresolved. I saw in the paper earlier this week that the head of the local FOP thinks it is time to move on now that the DA has decided not to bring charges regarding the taping of some calls to the South Bend police department.
NO, it is not time to “move on.” It is still time to find out what is on those tapes and who tipped off the feds in the first place and what was the motive. That case is not closed.