Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Party of Jeb Stands For What? ... by gimleteye


From his first day in office, Gov. Charlie Crist sought to put as much distance as possible between his political fortunes and those of his predecessor, The Bush-Who-Might-Have-Been-President-If-He-Hadn't-Lost-To-Lawton Chiles. One can't help but feeling Jeb's time has passed, but clearly, that is not shared by loyalists who ran the state of Florida for a decade.

In rushing to endorse Crist for US Senate, the Republican Party doesn't put the odds of a Bush revival with the general public at gambling odds. Rather, it hopes that Crist's easy going style will preserve at least one US Senate seat. Jeb is not ready to confront the party hierarchy head-on: he is endorsing Bill McCollum next week for governor, but apparently not yet Marco Rubio for Senate. Rubio, who is on Jeb's A Team, has generated the saccharine attention of the right-wing of the party, including the Washington Times.

Next week's Biltmore fundraiser for McCollum draws an interesting crowd of campaign contributors, including Al Cardenas, Bush loyalist and former state Republican Party chair, and Pepe Fanjul, royally steamed that Crist went off the reservation on the US Sugar deal. The Big Sugar apple cart is driven by behind-the-scenes pulleys and levers Jeb proved more than amenable to. (Jeb signed the "Everglades Whenever Act", Crist signed the "Growth Anywhere Act".)

But Sugar is a side-show to a former governor, Jeb!, asserting his authority against the New Dawn Side of the Republican Party. It is not exactly a collision of tectonic forces. Within the Party there is much bloviating about the nature of true conservatism. So far, it doesn't add up to much at all: just fragments of ideology blown apart by the worst economic crisis since the Depression. This disarray in the state and national economy is largely a result of what Republicans did while they were in power (see our archive, 'housing crash'). Jeb had the good fortune of being propelled by the housing asset bubble and construction boom that is over and not coming back any time soon.

I'm looking forward to learning what the Republican Party represents, because so far the narrow-cast, push and pull of internal party politics is a not-so-entertaining diversion.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the first name on the list of sponsors Bob Allen? Isn't he the former legislator who solicited a male cop in a park bathroom in Vero Beach?

Anonymous said...

Loser Event!

Geniusofdespair said...

I wanted to attend but couldn't read the address.

Anonymous said...

1200 Anastasia, Coral Gables, 33134. Please do attend. I look forward to your report!

Mensa said...

As far as I am concerned Jeb is just another W.

jmcclary said...

The world cannot afford another BUSH to further screw up whats left of world peace and it's economy.

Jill said...

One word:
Silverado.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I’m a registered Democrat – but you can’t just blame our current economic crisis on the Republican Party. What about Bill Clinton’s signing of The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 in his closing days of office? Like George Wallace said “ Ain’t but a dimes worth of difference” between the Republicans and Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I'm pretty sure the party of Jeb stand for "Just Evil, Baby!"

Anonymous said...

Readers know that I am critical, too, of Democrats and in particular the issue raised above during the Clinton Administration. (read our archive, 'housing crash'). The collapse of the Republican party should be answered by vigorous debate: unfortunately, what we are experiencing is a form of gridlock whose primary purpose seems to be stalling reform of any kind so that vested interests can climb on the lifeboats first.

Anonymous said...

Jeb spends too much time with lobbyists.