Matthews on Jeb Bush’s ‘powerful indictment of today’s Republican Party’


Let me finish tonight with the powerful indictment of today’s Republican party by Jeb Bush.

The former Florida governor is a conviction politician, a true conservative. I’ve followed him over the years and seen his opposition to affirmative action, his support for school vouchers. He takes education seriously, doesn’t pretend to have views on every subject under the sun. He speaks when he knows what he’s talking about. I respect that without always agreeing with him.

Jeb said the Republican Party has gotten so rigid that it’s lost its bearings. It’s so crankly and orthodox that it won’t make deals, that its people come to Washington to say “no” — that and only that. They don’t want to negotiate, don’t want to find common ground. All they want to do is spend their time looking around, making sure their own troops stay in line. No deals, no breaking from the pack — just sit there and wait out the Democrats, hoping they’ll lose election after election until the Tea Party types can take over and rule the country.

Good example? The former Florida governor says he would take that 10-for-one deal that all the Republican presidential candidates turned down. If he could get the Democrats to cut programs by 10 times the level of a tax increase, he’d agree to the tax increase. 

Why would he? Because he has a brain. He knows that the only way Democrats will go along with a historic spending cut is that they get a raise to revenues, especially from the higher income brackets. He knows that without a deal there’s no way there will be a cut in government spending; the long-term debt will just keep on growing; the country will just continue to worry about it  — as it should.

It’s not just the moderates who are coming to the belief the party has gone too far right, it’s the mainstream conservatives. Mitt Romney would be saying the same thing about the far-right, especially the tax man Grover Nordquist, if he were not so beholden to them to win this election.