Tom Tancredo, on the far-right fringe of Republican politics, says that if Jeb Bush wins the Republican nomination for president it will be the death knell for the GOP. Yes, this is a repeat from John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.
Jeb Bush leads all other Republicans in early polls for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Without question, Bush is the anointed front-runner, and without question, the Republican establishment is ecstatic.
The Republican Party should be happy about the prospect of Jeb Bush as its 2016 presidential candidate only if it has a death wish. Bush 41and Bush 43 dug a hole the party could not climb out of, so Bush 45 aims to fill it with the broken promises of the Republican platform: The Party of Lincoln, RIP.
Historical blindness. The Republican party hasn’t been the “party of Lincoln” in a very, very long time.
That same statement could have been made — indeed, was made — about both McCain and Romney. It’s the same line the far right always peddles.
The problem for Bush is both obvious and insurmountable: His support among rank and file Republicans is a mile wide and a half inch deep. Bush’s high standing in the polls is based solely on name ID, not his popularity as a leader on key issues. In fact, he is on the wrong side of several critical issues, and the more he is forced to talk about issues of real concern to real people, the more his star will lose its luster.
Yet, when all is said and done, the only real advantage Bush has heading to 2016 is division among conservatives. While Bush cannot win a head-to-head contest with a conservative like Ted Cruz, if conservatives split their support among a half-dozen or more candidates – as happened in 2012 – Bush could conceivably squeak through as Romney 2.0.
That would be a tragedy of historic proportions because it would mean four more years of Democratic control of the White House and the end of the Republican Party.