The writing is on the wall for the Republican presidential hopefuls, and it isn’t good. McCain, Romney and Giuliani aren’t very popular with social conservatives, and since they’ve been an essential part of the GOP’s strategy since Nixon, conservative pundits are getting anxious about the current crop.

From Politico:

McCain is courting social and economic conservatives this year, but still faces grave doubts because of his past attacks on conservative religious leaders and his frequent willingness to make common cause with Democrats. Romney, who is positioning himself as the true conservative alternative, faces charges of opportunism because of his recent past as a social moderate. Giuliani’s potential candidacy would test whether a leader with liberal views on abortion and gay rights could prosper in a party whose activists are steadfastly opposed to both.

Some activists see all three men failing the test. “The party is headed for the wilderness,” complained conservative publicist Craig Shirley, author of a book on Ronald Reagan’s insurgent 1976 campaign. “In some ways it’s a victim of its own successes, but it’s also been co-opted by folks from the inside with less than pure intentions: People who’ve come to party for power, money, access, celebrity.”

I’m sorry, we are talking about politics here, right? Power, money, access and celebrity are part of the game, and always have been. Reagan was no different, so to suggest otherwise is silly.

And to that point, let’s not forget that Ronald seduced the religious right during his first campaign, but promptly dropped them after his 8 year stint began. Remember his lack of support to reassert religious prayer into schools and his appointment of O’Connor to the SCOTUS? I mean, why do you think Pat Roberston was so big in the ’88 primaries? The evangelicals were pissed off, and they were trying to field their own candidate.

Fortunately for the elder Bush, a bunch of TV evangelist scandals popped up and Robertson told enough fibs to hang himself. But what was poppy’s wild card? Why his son, George W. Bush, a born again who criss-crossed the country and brought the faithful back into the Republican fold. Is it any wonder that he was the heir apparent after Clinton’s sexual embarasment? I think not.

And as far as the candidate who seems to excite the base the most? Well, surprise, surprise…

The one candidate who does seem to be generating excitement among activists is also one who by all evidence will not run: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

In separate interviews, two prominent Republican strategists in Washington used almost identical language to lament that the incumbent president’s brother will spend 2008 on the sidelines.

“If his last name was ‘Smith’ instead of ‘Bush,’ Jeb would be the front-runner,” said one. “If he were ‘Jeb Smith’ instead of ‘Jeb Bush’ he’d probably be at the top of the pack right now,” said the other.

Ahh yes…the dynasty. Please, let’s have another Bush in the Oval Office. That’s exactly what we need. I mean, one HUGE reason why I’m not too keen on Hillary is when I imagine that this country could be run by a Clinton or a Bush for 28 years if HRC wins in 08 and serves two terms? Seems almost unAmerican, no?

Ultimately, I have to think that this confusion will be good for the GOP, and especially if they’re defeated in 2008. They’ve been floating by on a social conservative agenda for too long, and it’s time to regroup, rethink their values and engage voters in a different way.

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  • mommadona

    The citizens of the United States of America will NEVER trust another SON OF A BUSH AGAIN.

    Besides, Jeb’s up to his ass in shady real estate/drug cartel/private airport shenanigans that THIS blogger will be more than happy to put into the public scrutiny…..


  • You made no observation concerning Newt. If things stay as is, he will jump in. watch.

  • ME

    The republican’s stealth candidate this year is Huckabee…. watch out for him.

  • gerryf


    You sadly underestimate the voting public.

    I can recall thinking the same thing after the first Bush was defeated after one term, and their was just an inkling George W. would run for office.

    An average student at best, a substance abuser, a twice failed oil man, a suspected insider trader, a poor baseball team administrator, and an average governor–who would vote for this guy, I thought?

    Little did we know the twisted genius of Karl Rove and his cohorts, who somehow convinced a naive populace that he would make a good president.

    It should have never happened, but it did. By comparison, Jeb is prime Presidential material.

  • Kris Paulsen

    I’m afraid I have to echo your sentiment.

    I’ve stood by ever hopeful, waiting for the American people to wake up and smell the stench of scandal after endless scandal under the Bush Administration. But the man still has a following!

    I’m swimming in a sea of red, surrounded by cars with bumperstickers supporting Bush, and the truth of the matter is that many of the people who voted for him (even if they now disagree with at least some of his actions) still say he is a great president, and has done a good job in a tough situation. And this is true in many other red states as well.

    We as a nation are failing in our duty to demand more from the few that run this country. Every time we rest on our laurels, shrug our shoulders with indifference, or beg ignorance about a given situation, we turn our back on the very foundation of this country. Its not enough to show up and vote, because clearly, the game is rigged.

    It would take a miracle at this point, but I think the only way we’ll win back some semblance of our country’s greatness is to start calling a spade a spade, and start ousting those who put corporations ahead of citizens, and blend religion with governance.

    What ever happened to by the people and for the people?

  • Newt just wants a spot in the next administration. That’s what he’s saying he’ll run. He knows he has no chance to win, but he wants to have a position of power. And he very well may.

  • gerryf


    You sadly underestimate the voting public….oh, wait, I already went there.

    I echo Kris, who was echoing me, who was echoing….on and on, round and round it goes.

    I simply cannot comprehend why people act the way they do anymore. Party identification is so strong, so polarized that your guy can do no wrong, turning a blind eye to his or her failings.

    By most polls 70 percent–70 PERCENT–think Bush and his cronies are doing a poor job. What’s remarkable about this number is that 30 percent do not. 3 out of 10 people think he is doing a good job.

    Even in the most generous light, ignoring any notion of intentional deceit, this administration has been grossly incompetent since day one and has deliberately declared war on the vast majority of the citizenry. Even without Iraq the list of wrongs is mind-numbing. As I look back over the past six years, the only decision that was even remotely right was to go into Afghanistan…and he screwed that up.

    And it is not so good on the other side of the aisle, either. Just a simple example of the Dems support of a crook like John Murtha (hey, he called the War right, but how can anyone who saw the ABSCAM tapes consider him for a leadership position?!?). How can anyone vote for William Jefferson?

    The list goes on and on.

    People need to start demanding more from their candidates, but I doubt they ever will.

  • BenG

    Why, Why, Oh Why ? People follow their leaders blindly like they root for their home town teams. The Cubies haven’t won since the turn of which century? But next year is the year !
    You’re trying to be informed and rational about things, that’s why you search beyond the headlines and political speeches for information. Well, many of the people who back this present state of affairs believe that the theory of evolution is from the devil, that the earth was formed 4500 yrs ago in seven days as the bible tells them so. Yet you’re surprised that these same people stand fast in their moral supremacy and remain indignant against all they feel is wrong with the world – as the bible tells them so.
    I’m not anti-religious. I was raised a Roman Catholic, tought my kids to understand religion and go to church if they choose to, believe that there is something beyond what can be realized in this world, that there is a reason to be good. But for me it’s as plain as the nose on your face. It’s a religious war – my god’s better than your’s. We’ve got freedom, power of the people, civilized, modern. successful enterprise on our side. They’ve got oil. In the end, nothing matters, we’ll just nuke the hell out of em anyway. We win, our god has bigger bombs !

  • Gina

    And here is one of the people who you are talking about backing the president they vote for. While I admit that Bush did make some mistakes, I fully trust his judgement in Iraq. The problem with most people is that they can’t see the bigger picture. Iraq started this war if people care to remember 9/11. They came on our soil and attacked us. Bush stood up and did what he felt was best. Although some of what he is trying to do, i admit will not work, would you rather he just shrugged his shoulders, oh they attacked us, oh well, and not do anything at all about it?