Jeb hearts Bill
It might not be the White House, but former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will follow in his father’s footsteps as head of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
The younger Bush on Thursday was named the next chairman of the Philadelphia museum, a job former President George H.W. Bush held from 2007-2008. Another former president, Bill Clinton, has held the post the last four years.
He said he hopes to fill “a critical void in our country” as he carries out the center’s mission of improving civic education and engagement. And he joked that he was honored to follow Clinton as chairman because the Democrat and sometime Bush family rival has become like “a brother from another mother.”
“He has developed a relationship with my dad that is very moving,” Jeb Bush said. “These guys have become really close.”
“A brother from another mother?” Really? As the saying goes, “Get a room already.”
This kind of schmoozing really raises my hackles. While I don’t expect the political sides to be at each others throats at all times, this kind of oozing adoration makes me wonder where allegiances actually lie with Jeb Bush. Does he really feel a familial bond with Bill Clinton here and the negative rhetoric he spouts off about Democrat policies are just for show, or is it the other way around with him truly embracing conservative ideas and just making nice with Clinton for the occasion?
If the answer is the later, then I guess I can cut him some slack for trying to be friendly and just roll my eyes at the extent of his proclaimed affection.
If the answer is the former, I gotta admit I think I’ll be more than a little irritated, especially if Jeb is going to be the one GOP leadership tries to foist upon us for the 2016 race. If you care to read on, I’ll tell you why.
The last two years of American politics have been more than ugly. In this last presidential election, Mitt Romney was accused of somehow playing a part in a woman’s death, cheating on his taxes for over a decade or more, and secretly hiding money in offshore accounts just to name a few of the baseless memes that were thrown around.
But it wasn’t just Mr. Romney who took the assault from the left. Many of us self-proclaimed conservatives linked into social media took a lot of heat and vitriol for our positions even as we supported (and voted for) a nominee who cut against the grain of one our more dearly held beliefs (hello mandatory insurance coverage). The wounds sustained from the attacks of this last election have hardly begun to heal just one short month after the election. It is perplexing how Jeb Bush can push all that negativity aside so easily and warmly embrace Bill Clinton, who worked tirelessly to re-elect the a president whose campaign and party gleefully inflicted that damage.
Is that just “politics as usual” to Mr. Bush? Because if it is, a lot of us fighting the fight and who are being adversely affected by President Obama’s policies can’t just brush it off as easily as Mr. Bush seems able to do.