Look out! Here comes Jeb Bush for President

"Bush III?" Haven't we had enough with Bush I and II? Not if those very same establishment Republicans who gave us Mitt "Flat Tire" Romney have their ways.

The Drudge Report headlines it today as "Bush III." As in Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and son and brother to George I and George II, respectively. Drudge's headline links to a short entry at National Review's "The Corner."

That would be quite a Trifecta, wouldn't it? Jeb Bush picking up where his pa and bro left off?

George H.W. Bush won the White House in 1988 on the wave created by President Reagan. With the help of the late Lee Atwater, Bush ran an aggressive campaign against the hapless Michael Dukakis. Winning handily, in forty-eight short months, the elder Bush triumphed in a quick war in Iraq, soared in popularity, and then managed to renege on his "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge at time when the economy was wobbly, no less.

The elder Bush went down to an ignominious defeat in 1992, garnering only 37% of the popular vote and opening up the White House to everyone's favorite scoundrel, Bill Clinton (only the second president in U.S. history to be impeached).

Then comes "W," riding out of the Lone Star State with that head-scratching twang. How come W had a Texas twang and his brothers didn't?

But more importantly, Karl Rove and W managed to take a lead into the closing weeks of the 2000 presidential campaign and fumble it (a D.U.I. on W's record left unrevealed was manna for Odd Al Gore and his sharks). W managed to get elected without the popular vote (the last time that happened: 1888), but only after weeks of wrangling over "hanging chads" on ballots in Florida was Bush declared the winner.

Thanks to Rove and W, the nation got generous doses of "Compassionate Conservatism," which was nothing more than regurgitated and repackaged liberalism. The Medicare prescription law being the biggest expansion of government since LBJ's Great Society rampage was the crowning jewel. W didn't even wield his veto pen to stop the binge spending by GOP majorities in Congress. Oops.

Rove's and W's compassionate faux conservatism was oh-so necessary to swell the Republican tent, or so Rove and his lackeys told us ad nauseam. Gotta have a "big" tent, intoned Rove. A big tent meant moving left, in Rovian dialect. It meant blurring differences with Democrats to co-opt their voters. That worked out just fine, didn't it?

So W leaves office on the heels of a major recession and Republicans nominate the establishment's John McCain Bush (McCain might as well have been a Bush). McCain was a real fighter, huh? McCain's loss gave the nation Mr. Obama, a quasi-demagogue with a reflex for statism. That's turning out well for the cause of liberty, isn't it?

Now the GOP suits want the 2016 presidential nomination to go to Jeb, the Younger Bush. But Jeb, well, how can we say this? Jeb's "grown" over the years -- moved toward the center as he's matured politically. It must be something genetic, this propensity toward the squishy... toward accommodating regent liberalism.

The good news is that 2016 is eons away in the nation's political universe. Much can and will happen before then. But one thing you've got to hand establishment Republicans: they pick their man and ride him either to electoral defeat or to failures in the Oval Office that lead to subsequent defeats.

As Jeffrey Lord wrote today at the American Spectator, those insiders that pushed Romney so relentlessly, that foisted McCain and Dole on the party, that further back gave the nation Wendell Willkie and Thomas Dewey, now want another Bush.

What GOP insiders need to grasp this time, though, is that if another lackluster establishment shill manages to win the GOP nomination, conservatives will say, "Bye-bye." And this time, it will be for keeps.Look O