Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Egg on Jeb Bush's Face

I mean in general there's egg on his face as despite all the money his Super PAC raised, it's bought him 4% in the polls. You can argue that ever since his brother got there first, there's been egg on his face.

Here's more egg for Jeb:

"Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush stood in the home of a Dallas fundraiser in mid-November and confidently declared: "Come December 15, [Donald] Trump will be in decline."

"Today is Dec. 15, and unless you count two recent polls that showed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) leading in Iowa, Trump still tops the GOP presidential campaign field. In fact, by several measures he's surging — there's no sign of decline."

Actually, it's worse than that. Yesterday a poll showed Trump at 41 percent nationally with Cruz second at 15 percent.

An outlier?

"The New York businessman earned 38 percent support in a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday. That's an increase for Trump from previous Post-ABC polls, his highest mark in the survey's history and more than double the support of his nearest opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Trump now has a better than 2-to-1 lead over Cruz, who is at 15 percent, a doubling of his support since last month. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson are tied for third with 12 percent."

"Bush, meanwhile, sits in fourth place, with 5 percent."

"If this keeps up the base is really going to think Trump can take this nomination and send the GOP a real message."

"Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is assuring us there won't be a brokered convention. He knows something no one else does."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell downplayed the possibility of a brokered Republican convention on Tuesday but did not dismiss it entirely."

"It hasn’t happened in a very long time and I think it’s highly unlikely to happen,” McConnell said at a POLITICO Playbook breakfast Tuesday. “It’s an interesting thing to discuss but highly unlikely.”

"McConnell’s comments came after a Washington Post report last week about a meeting of Republican officials he attended recently where the possibility of a brokered convention was discussed. McConnell said the regular meeting is dubbed “Off The Record” and that he was “appalled” about leaks from the gathering."

“I don’t have any interest in quoting myself or others” from the meeting, he said. As for a brokered convention, “I don’t have any worries about it. … Handicapping every possible outcome is not something I spend my time doing."
So why were you discussing it at your Off the Record meeting-that turned out not to be so off the record?

Because something hasn't happened in awhile doesn't mean it can't happen now. And it's not that long ago-in 1976 Reagan forced a brokered convention with President Ford-which didn't exactly give him the best chance of winning the general.

All I can say is Mitch and friends better not have any plans to cheat Trump out of the nomination. Pat Buchanan is warning the Establishment. It's actually a pretty good piece as it goes back to the history of 1964 where at one point Pat's man-Richard Nixon-was asked to be part of a plan to keep Goldwater off the ballot.
Meanwhile Paul Ryan declares the GOP needs a Ronald Reagan not a Barry Goldwater. 
"Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans need a legislative agenda next year to help spur a 1980-style election in which the GOP runs on ideas and doesn't get dragged into the politics of fear."

"Ryan has consistently said House Republicans will lead by offering their own vision for the country even before the GOP has its presidential nominee."

"Some on the other side of the aisle would love to see if they can bait us into a 1964 election where we lose big," Ryan said at a POLITICO Playbook breakfast. "I think we can, should and must have a 1980 election where we win big and win with a mandate."

"Ronald Reagan won in 1980 with a commanding majority; in 1964, Lyndon Johnson trounced Republican Barry Goldwater."
I think Ryan's framing underscores the whole problem for the GOP. They think it's always 1980. Every election is 1980. But what was so different between Goldwater and Reagan? I'd argue that Goldwater didn't lose 1964-the man did, but the ideas triumphed and that wave eventually put Reagan in the White House.

Goldwater was about a rout of the Eastern Establishment. His loss set the table for Reagan in 1980 just as McGovern's loss set the table for the later triumphs of Clinton and Obama. 
It's not clear how Ryan proposes to turn this election into 1980 rather than 1964. I do think that like 1964 this is going to be a significant realignment election for the GOP. Simply invoking 1980 won't avoid that.

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