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@MJosephSheppard → If Jeb Runs And Loses What Then?

07 May 2015 @ 18:43


What happens if Jeb Bush loses to Hillary Clinton is a perfectly rational question to consider at this point, if the GOP primary season plays out like it did in 2012 with a mass of no-hopers splitting the conservative vote.

The only difference this time might be that there are also a number of Establishment candidates to split the centrist vote but, as with Romney and his finances in 2012, Bush’s huge financial resources plus media backing, would take care of that. Further, I have little doubt that a number of the challengers to Bush are just in it for book sales, profile lifting for a television career, and a fond hope they might be picked for VP (see Fiorina, Carly).

Thus if Bush is the nominee he either beats Hillary or he loses. If he wins then the GOP Establishment is firmly in the saddle for at least another eight years. But what happens if he loses? The answer to that question includes a scenario where the GOP implodes, explodes, fractures or vanishes depending on how things work out.

If beggars belief that the rank and file conservatives base, who may have held their collective noses and voted for what they perceive as a RINO for the third time in a row, would trot to the pols similarly encumbered for a fourth time in 2020. I have no doubt at all that on election right, if the win goes to Hillary, the recriminations on the right will be vocal, loud and will be a flood tide in volume-and that would be just the start.

If after a third loss the GOP’s executive doesn’t resign en-mass, if there is not a clear indication that the party expects the 2020 nominee to be a genuine representative of the conservative base, then the options are clear.

The base can mount a similar grass roots campaign to Goldwater’s (and McGovern’s on the the left) and utterly root out the Establishment from executive offices across the country to such a level that the party machinery will be in the base’s hands and they can determine the rules for the 2020 primaries.

If such a reaction comes to pass and the current Establishment team structure ( or their designated successors) stays in charge then the party itself would be in grave danger of fracturing completely and permanently. If the base does not see a genuine conservative available to lead a presidential run who has a chance getting the nomination, and they face the prospect of either holding their noses yet again, then there is every possibility they will decamp and create a new conservative party.

This party fracturing is hardly novel and of course has happened throughout American history. The Whigs in 1856, the Democratic party splitting into a northern Douglasite wing and a southern Breckinridge wing and of course Teddy Roosevelt and his Progressive party.

For conservatives the Bush candidacy poses a number of challenges then. Do they stay at home as in 2012 which might ensure Hillary wins but the end result of which would be the eventual takeover of the GOP by the base? Do they hold their noses and vote for Bush and risk having at least another eight years of Establishment policies and be seen as ‘useful idiots’ to be brought to the polls once every four years and then ignored.

It may well be that a substantial enough portion of the base sees no difference between Hillary and Jeb and either votes for Hillary, or stays at home, using either mechanism depending on the state they live in, with the aim of cleaning house or knocking it down and building a more comfortable one.

A Bush primary win has every chance of being a severely Pyrrhic victory in that case

Mr. Sheppard is the proprietor of the blogs Point Of View and Palin4President 2016. He also writes occasionally for American Thinker and is a man of refined taste. Follow him on Twitter: @MJosephSheppard.

  1. 07 May 2015 @ 21:07 21:07

    You’re assuming the Republican base is as far to the right as yourself ideology, which is not the case. The moderates, which makes up the majority of the party will not revolt and move and force the establishment out. The only way the party can change is through elections and that takes time. Many in the party feel it’s the far right, or the Tea Party is responsible for the party split. If anything, you’ll see those elected officials from the far right be the ones who will suffer the most. Take a look at the polls that have been done lately and you’ll see how far down the Tea Party has fallen, and you hardly even hear anything from them anymore. The people are tired of the bickering and the do nothing Congress and their inability to get anything done. Also, look how well the far right candidates are doing in the polls. Ted Cruz is down considerable from where he started with Walker taking the lead, at least for now. Cruz represents what is wrong in Congress. Cruz has shut down the government, tried to keep bills from coming up for a vote, and has done whatever he can to get the attention of the voters. Almost from the start after being elected he went out and started giving speeches hoping he could get the voters attention. Is it any wonder why he has one of the highest absences in the Senate missing votes,and has only attended about a third of his committee meetings.

    No, what you’ll see is business as usual with the Republican leaders starting to do what they were elected for in the first place. They too have seen the poll low favorability ratings and know why they’re rating are so low and what they have to start doing in Congress, particularly in the House.

    • 08 May 2015 @ 19:18 19:18

      What people are tired of is promises made and broken by the same “leaders” you refer to.

      I for one would welcome a new party, it’s clear the republicans will never represent liberty or me.

  2. 07 May 2015 @ 22:43 22:43

    Thanks for the heads up MJ on your new article. Although, I don’t agree with your premises I have to agree it’s thought provoking. I differ with you that the electorate (rank and file conservatives base) is static, out of touch. That they will followed in their same foot steps as they did in 2008 and 2012. That’s not the case this time, thanks to a couple of special people that have taken time to educated the conservative base about how Rino elites operate within the GOP. I have to credit Sarah Palin and Mark Levin for doing just that.

    The other point that will make a difference this time is, the field of candidates. “If the base does not see a genuine conservative available to lead a presidential run who has a chance getting the nomination” The field has a mix of Rino’s, mushy conservatives and a few constitutional conservatives to pick from. In 2008 and again 2012 all there was to pick from was Rino’s and mushy conservatives. Jeb Bush, the likes of him, and all their monies will not get them nominated, cause thanks to Sarah and Mark we are on to them!!!!!

  3. theebl permalink
    07 May 2015 @ 23:09 23:09

    Jeb won’t win. I see no momentum. None. Not even the Establishment are that into Jeb. Way less than they were into Mitt.

    If he does win…you better keep the razors locked up.

  4. shotgunner permalink
    08 May 2015 @ 06:54 06:54

    I offer the perspective of a former republican who is now an independent conservative. If the election is between Jeb and Hillary, I will definitely vote third party or sit this one out. More and more I have come to believe that there exists little difference between our two major political parties. Both are enablers of big government and both no longer adhere to the Constitution.

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