Fresh from presenting a “liberty medal” to Hillary Clinton on the anniversary of the Benghazi massacre, GOP establishment pillar Jeb Bush dropped in on ABC News over the weekend to bash Ted Cruz and the conservative campaign to stop Obamacare. (Memo to self: Maybe if conservatives called it the campaign to “abort” Obamacare, Beltway Republicans would be less confrontational.)
As if the last 40 years of American history, including the presidential administrations of his father and brother, had never happened, Bush urged that Republicans must:
[W]ith civility, have a dialogue about the bigger, more pressing issues, and try to find common ground. Rather than use each instance of a possible crisis to win a political point. We need to start solving problems….
Does it get any more vapid? Were there two more civil gentlemen on the planet than Presidents Bush 41 and 43? They were none the less savaged by the Left and its media. In opposing socialized medicine (as in other things) Ronald Reagan, too, was a model of civility, as is Sen. Cruz; yet for both rabid attacks were, and have been, the order of the day – coming from both the Left and the Republican establishment.
The press fawns over Democrats who demagogue conservatives as “terrorists” and “hostage-takers,” and over Beltway Republicans who deride conservatives as “wacko-birds” and “tea party hobbits.” Obviously, political strife in modern America has nothing to do with a lack of civility. It owes, instead, to the lack of common ground – not the inability to explore common ground but the non-existence of common ground.
We are not arguing here about the speed-limit on interstate highways or whether the ashy storm-petrel bird rates Endangered Species Act protection. With Obamacare, statists are trying, as President Obama has put it, to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Conservatives, by contrast, want to conserve the United States as constitutionally founded, which means preserving the individual and economic liberties that statists are effacing. There is no meaningful common ground between these polar opposites.
The statist side is enthusiastically championed by Democrats, and the conservative side by Republicans, albeit more reluctantly. Like the Democratic party, the GOP is run by Washington-oriented politicians and, thus, is more enamored of Washington-centered fiats than is the conservative base whose support Republicans need in order to be politically viable. In the vogue of establishment Republicans, Jeb Bush ostensibly directs his “Can’t we all just get along?” preachments at the Republican-Democrat divide. Clearly, though, as an all-but-formally-announced contender for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nod, he is more vexed by the widening disconnect between Republicans and conservatives.