Jeb Bush Beats the Drum for Inclusion and Acceptance at CPAC
Wasn't Jeb Bush supposed to be the conservative Bush? Perhaps the former Sunshine State guv is still more to the right than his ex-prez dad and ex-prez bro, George H.W. and George W. Yet... yet... As reported by the Washington Times today, here's the big take-away from Jeb's speech to CPACers this past week:
"I am here to tell you that there is no 'us' and 'them," Mr. Bush said, in a thinly veiled jab at the "47" percent comments that GOP nominee Mitt Romney made on the 2012 campaign trail. "We need to be the party of inclusion and acceptance."
Thanks much, Jebster. We need yet another Republican stalwart lecturing us inbred, three-eyed conservative yokels about the need for "inclusion and acceptance" in the GOP. Yes, siree, them Hills have eyes, and us DNA-flawed flyover country conservatives want to keep them Hispanics, black folk, and Asian people out of our hills. And if these strangers dare trod on our precious soil, why, we'll plum BBQ and eat 'em!
Jeb, just what do you mean by "inclusion and acceptance?" In fairness, perhaps you laid that out after your speech. But if it means the same thing Karl Rove (the Architect of Establishment GOP Failure) and the other real inbred in DC's GOP consultant class mean, then you're talking about the party's conservative base being more elastic in terms of principles. You're talking about kinda bending on social issues and being more open to immigration reform (which is code for "What the hell, let the illegals - excuse me, the undocumented - stay and make them insta-citizens").
Allowing for gay marriage, gay adoption... toning it down on abortion? Reference God and faith less so as not to offend the growing numbers of "secular" (godless) young voters?
Nuts to all that.
Now, if you mean putting more resources behind better outreach to segments of the Hispanic, black, and Asian communities where conservative principles and messaging will resonate, then we can have - what do they say these days? - a dialogue. But if all you're serving up is that GOP Big Tent pabulum that's got heaping portions of leftism mixed in it - no, no, siree. Dialogue ended.
In fact, Jeb, the GOP needs to tear a page out of Pope Francis' book: Unyielding on the tenets of Catholicism but more than willing to initiate a new evangelicalism - a genuine outreach to share the practices and worth of principled faith. We know: For the jaded, principle isn't what politics is about; it's about winning, so administer a little flame to the plastic GOP and twist and stretch it to fit the sensibilities and worldview of today's voters, who are more in line with Democrats - Democrats, who are just going a tad far in their policies and need the kindly, skillful, moderating hand of the Republican elite. Let's have a tidier statism, shall we?
Fads and trends, they come and go faster than Super Bowl commercials. Principles - well, principles, if grounded in reality, if consistent with human nature, and if time-tested as successful, they endure. That sounds cockeyed by contemporary standards, eh? So be it.
Believe it or not, rock-solid principles will outlive Karl Rove, the grievously-erring and grasping left, confused voters, hip twenty- and thirty-somethings, disengaged low-information voters, eccentric mayors, and the bizarre, nihilistic artsy-fartsies. But, gosh, if principles and conservatives get in the way of winning elections... you know what Karl would say about that, right?
By the way, Romney's remark about the "47 percent" was impolitic but said at a private fundraiser, not in open forum. What ol' "Two-left-feet" Mitt didn't count on was someone capturing his off-the-cuff remark on a handheld and broadcasting it to the world. Mitt's sin was being a step or two behind the times - technologically-speaking.
Inclusion and acceptance - you betcha, Jebster. The real question: Are those cohorts that are worth courting willing to accept us three-eyed conservatives who ain't selling our principles down the river - no-way, no-how - not for the fool's gold of short term electoral gain (if that)?
For the nation's sake, let's hope so.