‘Elect Trump’: Jeb! swings on behalf of the status quo, and misses again

‘Elect Trump’: Jeb! swings on behalf of the status quo, and misses again

Time for another drive-by tagging of the zeitgeist.

Jeb!, once the dauphin of the GOP House of Presidency, has been suffering from low numbers of late.  In South Carolina a couple of days ago, he demonstrated why.

RCP has a transcript of the key passage (video below):

If this election is about how we’re going to fight to get nothing done, then I don’t want to have any part of it. I don’t want to be elected president to just sit around and see gridlock become so dominant that people are literally in decline in their lives.

That is not my motivation. I got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around and be miserable, listening to people demonize me and feeling compelled to demonize me.

That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that.

Jeb! just doesn’t get it.  (It didn’t help that he managed to look peevish in the bargain.)


Now, I may not say what you’re expecting here.  It’s not that Jeb! doesn’t get that it’s all about demonizing people.  It’s that he doesn’t get that it isn’t about demonizing people.  Demonizing people is not why voters have been flocking to Trump.  It’s certainly not why they’re flocking to Ben Carson.

The voters are apparently way smarter than Jeb!.  What kind of learning-challenged pol keeps reacting to Trump’s bait?  Trump is a natural-born bait machine.  He doesn’t even have to make an effort.  He wakes up in the morning pumping out bait, the way the rest of us pump out drool and eye crust.

Stop reacting to it, for crying out loud.  Instead of denouncing Trump’s incessant stream of bait, man up, speak for yourself, and say things that resonate with the voters.

But Jeb! can’t do that last thing either, because he thinks the problem in all our lives is “gridlock” (implicitly, the fabled “gridlock” of the Ellipse-to-Capitol-Hill precincts in Washington, D.C.).  That’s so off-base, it’s hard to know where to start.  I thank God for gridlock every day, if we’re talking about legislative gridlock in the federal government.  Things could be even worse than they are, and they would be, if not for gridlock.

There was a time, about four years ago, when we could say that the real problem with gridlock was that it kept liberty politicians from rolling back the size of the federal leviathan, and reining in Obama.  There’s a critical mass of Republicans – in the House, at least – that would (and does) vote with the liberty representatives to roll bad programs back.  Of course, the knowledge that Republicans and Democrats in the Senate will keep these efforts from going anywhere has bled off enthusiasm for them.  But the theory was there.

That was four years ago.  What the people have been learning in the years since is that the government was already so big and unrestrainable that things can just keep getting worse, really, really fast, and even Republicans will continue to think that the train wreck unfolding in front of us is a status quo that needs preserving.

That’s what Jeb! doesn’t get.  The status quo is the train wreck.  The status quo is what has given us rampant illegal migration and unprotected borders; bureaucratic assaults on individual conscience and belief; pervasive bias and corruption throughout every level and branch of government; life-altering overregulation; public schools that teach our children to misunderstand and hate everything that makes America good; and an economy in which half of the working-age people don’t do remunerative work, while the ones who do work are excoriated and hounded as unfairly “privileged.”  The last thing we need to do is kickstart the status quo.

This status quo has nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution, or the ordained framework of our government.  We don’t have to touch the Constitution, to roll back the status quo of wild, insane – vicious – overgovernment we’ve heaped on ourselves in the last 100 years.  It wouldn’t amount to tearing at the fabric of the Republic, to undertake that rollback.  There are people whose vision is too limited or fearful to see that.  But they’re simply wrong.  They need to be gently corrected, not given a veto over the lifesaving operation for the Republic.

The most interested and motivated voters want to find a way out of the train-wreck status quo.  That’s why they’re overlooking the snark of Donald Trump, and cheering for the uncompromising social conservatism and overt Christianity of Ben Carson, and for the willingness of Ted Cruz to challenge the status quo instead of genuflecting to it.

But Jeb! wants to preserve the very status quo that’s driving the country down.  Everything he does and says proclaims that – including his pointless, retro-PC focus on Trump’s bad-boy-ism.  The voters are smart enough to see that.  I don’t think Jeb! will ever be.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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