GOP pundit John Feehery: Trump won’t last long after attacking a guy as popular as George W. Bush

posted at 2:41 pm on October 19, 2015 by Allahpundit

Via RCP. Why, yes, this is the same John Feehery known for columns like “Tea Party Must Be Crushed.”

It’s true, Dubya is well liked by most Republicans notwithstanding his having paved the way for eight years of Hopenchange. What I don’t understand is how Feehery gets from that Point A to Point B, i.e. that Republicans who like Bush are so fiercely protective of him even now that they’ll punish Trump for what is, after all, a fairly mundane buck-stops-here criticism of him for failing to prevent 9/11. It’s like a lefty pointing to high public support for certain gun-control measures and thinking that that means Congress should be able to pass those measures with little problem. Polls, be it on gun control or on George W. Bush’s favorable rating, may capture the general mood of public sentiment but they rarely capture the intensity of it. Most gun-control fans just don’t care much about this issue; I suspect most Dubya admirers outside of Jeb’s own (small) base of voters don’t care much about his legacy either. Feehery’s skepticism here reeks of the same thinking that pronounced Trump finished after he questioned McCain’s war heroism over the summer. Under normal rules of politics, that would probably be true. We haven’t been operating under normal rules since June. Besides, dumping on Bush is a shrewd way for Trump to brand himself as a “different kind of Republican” for the general election if he does manage to survive the primaries. There’s a reason Jeb hasn’t been eager to show off Dubya on the trail, no?

Until now, I mean.

bu

That’s from a new fundraising pitch on Jeb’s campaign page. I tend to treat each new mention of Dubya by Jeb as an acknowledgment of his weakness in the race: Ideally he’d be spending every waking hour building his own distinct brand, or at worst as someone who’d govern more like Bush 41 than Bush 43. But he’s polling so poorly that his best chance right now may be to hope that Feehery’s right, that there’s enough residual goodwill for Dubya among the primary electorate (and nostalgia for the last time Republicans held the White House) that 43 can be more of an asset for him than a liability. Easy prediction: If Jeb does rebound and reenters the top tier as the main threat to Trump, Dubya will suddenly become scarce again on the trail.

Go read Erick Erickson make the case for why Jeb, if he really wants to stop Trump, should consider dropping out sooner rather than later. He’s right that Bush’s candidacy gives Trump fans a convenient way to deflect any negativity about their hero, no matter how justified: The most common response on Twitter to criticism of Trump is “sorry, Jeb fan, but I’m not voting for another Bush.” Whether the critic supports Bush or not is irrelevant; it’s the dichotomy, that one is either pro-Trump or pro-Bush with no third option, that’s useful. Jeb getting out would complicate that. Erick’s right that someone else would simply be slotted into the “establishment ogre” role — “sorry, Rubio fan, but I’m not voting for a guy who’s pro-amnesty” — but that would have less bite against a candidate who, unlike Jeb, is personally appealing and lacks the same dynastic pedigree.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Trump is certainly getting under Jeb’s skin with these remarks about his brother, and yet he comes back for more! Jeb would have been smarter to say his brother isn’t running, but instead he wastes his energy trying to defend (and therefore equates himself with) George W Bush and all of his baggage. Not. Smart.

As for Erickson and his silly prognostications … how do you oppose someone better by getting out of the race? What he says about Jeb can be said of others too. Maybe what he meant was “we”, the GOPe, can better oppose Trump by Jeb getting out? OK, whatever, give it a try.

virgo on October 19, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Axe on October 19, 2015 at 5:23 PM

Axe…look at one of the articles on the right panel. You’ll get my drift.

arnold ziffel on October 19, 2015 at 5:33 PM

TAARP on October 19, 2015 at 4:21 PM

Lets see the actual figures:

Wounded Warriors revenue, what they brought in, just over 342 million…their overall expenses = just over 248 million…so they have a net charity of just 18%?

When you give to them, 18% goes back to charity, the rest to “expenses”…

Salvation army…14% expenses, 86% to back to charity…

See a difference?

One is a charity, the other a “business”.

right2bright on October 19, 2015 at 5:35 PM

Bush’s legacy was his war in the ME
while he ignored everything else;
illegal immigration, banking and
housing policies, spending taxpayer
money like a drunken sailor, etc.

His policies led to Obama; we
dislike Bush in hindsight and
don’t need hindsight to despise
Obama.

Amjean on October 19, 2015 at 5:36 PM

Trump should try something different, like talk policy…

Certain people are drawn to these reality type people, they live vicariously through them.

You can bet every black man said “I can be Obama”, and they live out their life like they are in charge.

So it is with reality stars like Trump, the Trumpettes all want to be like him talking tough, being tough saying “what’s on your mind”…yeah, but, when it gets down to policy….crickets…

right2bright on October 19, 2015 at 5:39 PM

Axe…look at one of the articles on the right panel. You’ll get my drift.

arnold ziffel on October 19, 2015 at 5:33 PM

O — Townhall, Benson? :)

If you mean that, I think I see . . .

Figures.

Axe on October 19, 2015 at 5:39 PM

Trump’s dead again.

— Allahpundit

fossten on October 19, 2015 at 5:42 PM

So it is with reality stars like Trump, the Trumpettes all want to be like him talking tough, being tough saying “what’s on your mind”…yeah, but, when it gets down to policy….crickets…

right2bright on October 19, 2015 at 5:39 PM

Trump’s policy details are on his website, chump.

fossten on October 19, 2015 at 5:43 PM

My thought is that Trump was just trying to counter Jeb’s statement that his brother “kept us safe” as he did after 9/11. Trump said “9/11 was on W’s watch”.

lewis1940 on October 19, 2015 at 5:59 PM

Trump’s policy details are on his website, chump.

fossten on October 19, 2015 at 5:43 PM

“Hey, where is Trump on policy?”

“Oh, that’s just one policy paper.”

“But that’s just two policy papers.”

“Well, that’s just three policy positions.”

“What? only four . . .”

And so it goes.

Lolo on October 19, 2015 at 6:05 PM

Lolo on October 19, 2015 at 6:05 PM

I know right? LOL

fossten on October 19, 2015 at 6:20 PM

Trump is smart to play the Dubya card. He’s solidifying and expanding his net his cred with the Low Info voters who are paying attention to him.

All the low info crowd know is “Dubya Bad” and “Dubya Uncool” (thanks MSM!)

He’s creating enough distance that the marginally engaged but potential general election low info voters see him as acceptable and motivating.

Jesse Ventura used this tactic in Minny.

It worked for him and can work for The Donald.

(BTW, The Donald is already “thinking past the sale” with the GOP and is laying the groundwork for crushing Hillary).

PS: I’m a Walker guy, now leaning Cruz.

Bruno Strozek on October 19, 2015 at 6:29 PM

My thought is that Trump was just trying to counter Jeb’s statement that his brother “kept us safe” as he did after 9/11. Trump said “9/11 was on W’s watch”.

lewis1940 on October 19, 2015 at 5:59 PM

That was exactly the context of the statement…but these Anti-Trump Thumpers will use absolutely anything to try to go after the guy.

Fortunately, many of us have become wise to the GOP’s “establishment’s game – and by establishment I mean career roast beef dinner style career GOP politicians and their big money donors that suck up our tax dollars as much or more than the Dem’s entitlement scams to buy votes.

All paid for by an ever dwindling number of hard working regular American taxpayers who get nothing but bills and IOU’s from either party.

celt on October 19, 2015 at 6:32 PM

So it is with reality stars like Trump, the Trumpettes all want to be like him talking tough, being tough saying “what’s on your mind”…yeah, but, when it gets down to policy….crickets…

right2bright on October 19, 2015 at 5:39 PM

Maybe he should advocate shooting down Russian planes after imposing a no-fly zone after Syria, which Putin won’t know about because nobody wants to talk to him. That’s the ticket.

Joseph K on October 19, 2015 at 6:33 PM

Trump was wrong to blame Bush for 9/11. Obama has been far more wrong in blaming every one of his failures on Bush for 7 years.

Either way, the LIVs mostly hate Bush, and the base, while chafing at the unfair treatment Bush has received over the years, were never his best friends anyway. Trump made his comments because he deemed them politically safe. He was probably right on that assessment.

Rusty Nail on October 19, 2015 at 7:12 PM

I still vividly remember the photo op with President Bush, Candidate Obama and Candidate McCain when Bush announced TARP. Smiles all ’round.

To hell with them all.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 19, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Jeb started it. He answered a Trump criticism of W by claiming he kept us safe. That’s when Trump corrected him. I’m glad he did. Sometimes these propagandists repeat something so many times, that average people need to be jarred back to reality.

cimbri on October 19, 2015 at 11:51 PM

…I suspect most Dubya admirers outside of Jeb’s own (small) base of voters don’t care much about his legacy either…

If there’s anything I wish GWB had done differently, it’s actually stand up for himself and not allow others to control his narrative and legacy. Jeb could alleviate that.

bmmg39 on October 20, 2015 at 7:23 AM

This is wishful thinking from the Establishment. While I don’t hate Bush, especially because he’s the cause of so much delicious froth on the left, he didn’t govern as a conservative and his legacy has been craptastic both domestically and abroad. Trump pointing out where he went wrong, even if it’s in true Trump showboat fashion, is good politics.

evergreen on October 20, 2015 at 7:25 AM

Comment pages: 1 2