By Elaine Magliaro
Last week, Mike Spindell wrote a posted titled Jeb Bush Is Not Who You Might Think He Is. Mike said that one of the political traits of the Bush family is presenting its members as “folksy” and as moderate conservatives. He added, “The reality though is that this clan is far more ultra-conservative and rapaciously vicious, than is thought by many.”
Adam C. Smith, Political Editor for the Tampa Bay Times appears to have a similar opinion about Jeb Bush’s political leanings being much farther to the right than many people think. In early December, Smith wrote a piece for the paper titled Jeb Bush, a moderate squish? Florida knows different. Smith said that radio host Mark Levin dismissed Florida’s former governor as “a very good moderate Democrat…” Smith added that the “specious perception of Bush outside of Florida reflects both a fundamental misunderstanding of the man, probably due to assumptions based on the presidential records of his father and brother, and also how far rightward the Republican Party has shifted since Bush left the Governor’s Mansion in 2007.”
Smith brought up examples of Bush’s less than moderate actions while he served as governor of Florida that some members of the media and the population may have forgotten–or have chosen to ignore.
The governor who treated trial lawyers and teachers union leaders as enemies of the state? Who stripped job protections from civil servants? Who slashed taxes? Whose passion for privatization included enacting the nation’s first statewide private school voucher program and extended to privatizing health care for the poor, prisons and child protection services?
This “very good moderate Democrat” defied court after court to try to force the reinsertion of feeding tubes for brain-damaged Terri Schiavo and consistently backed more restrictions on abortions and fewer on gun ownership. He fought for reduced entitlement spending and, deriding nanny-state impulses, repealed the helmet law for motorcyclists in Florida and vetoed a GOP-backed bill requiring booster seats for kids in cars.
Smith continued by saying that Jeb Bush was not only “a successful Republican governor politically…”–he was also a “conservative activist governor who relished pushing the envelope on policy.” Smith added that while “Conservative activists elsewhere may revile the Bush name…,” Bush is like a Milton Friedman or Barry Goldwater in terms of promoting conservatism “in America’s biggest battleground state…”
Despite all this, Smith said that Jeb Bush may still be perceived as “too moderate to win over today’s GOP primary voters.” He thinks that is because of Bush’s positions “on immigration reform and education that are toxic in a Republican primary.”
Scott Maxwell (Orlando Sentinel) also scoffs at the idea of Jeb Bush being a middle-of-the-roader in an article he wrote for the paper titled Jeb Bush a ‘moderate’? Don’t be silly. Maxwell said that Jeb really wants to be president–but noted that pundits fear that’s he isn’t conservative enough. They think “he’s too moderate.”
That fear is about as legitimate as me fearing my abs are too ripped.
Jeb Bush is a union-busting, school-voucher-promoting, tax-cutting, gun-loving, Terri Schiavo-interfering, hard-core conservative.
What makes Bush different from a lot of the other candidates is that he’s also sane.
And somehow, in our increasingly extreme society, sane is now mistaken for moderate.
Especially when it comes to Republican presidential campaigns.
Maxwell said that Jeb Bush is not “conservative in the libertarian get-government-out-of-your-life kinda way.” He said that Bush, instead, is “conservative in the I-want-government-to-impose-my-values kinda way.” He noted that as the governor of Florida Bush “was pro-guns and anti-unions…pushed tax cuts for investors and opposed equal rights for gays…expanded school vouchers and hatched ‘devious plans’ to fight voters’ calls for smaller class sizes.” Maxwell added that Bush also “embraces the death penalty, opposes choice for women and fought embryonic stem-cell research.”
Maxwell warns readers not to “let anyone con you into thinking Jeb Bush isn’t conservative.” He is just saner and appears more reasonable than some of the other Republicans–including Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum–who ran for president in 2012.
Adam C. Smith: Jeb Bush, a moderate squish? Florida knows different (Tampa Bay Times)
Jeb Bush is Not Who You Might Think He is (Flowers for Socrates)
Jeb Bush a ‘moderate’? Don’t be silly (Orlando Sentinel)
Jeb Bush for President???: Looking Back at the Terri Schiavo Case (Flowers for Socrates)