Bob Burnett’s HuffPo column on Jeb Bush contains an outline of how Democrats will be attacking the former Florida governor if becomes the GOP nominee.
Burnett’s assumption is that just as brother George attempted to hide behind the “compassionate conservative” banner, Jeb will try and fail. Why? Because like his brother, Jeb Bush “is a staunch conservative. He’s not any more compassionate than Dubya was.”
Burnett faults Bush for supporting Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, trying to protect Terry Schiavo, opposing Obamacare, passing tax cuts as governor, advocating charter schools, and, in short, being the friend of big business and the enemy of the working class. Jeb Bush, therefore is “a typical right-wing Republican.”
Well, not exactly, because as Burnett himself notes, Bush’s positions on immigration and global climate change are the opposite of what the so-called “right wing” advocates. And Burnett ignores Bush’s unflinching support for “Common Core” which has severely weakened his appeal among the conservative base.
Burnett’s column does not support either its conclusion or its premise, which, not surprisingly, are the same — that Jeb Bush will not get away with portraying himself as a compassionate conservative.
It would have been much wiser, and insightful, for Burnett to have discussed how Bush’s compassionate conservatism has become a stumbling block in 2016 after being an effective bridge for his brother in 2000.
Deal W. Hudson is publisher and editor of The Christian Review, president of the Morley Institute for Church and Culture, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.