Jeb Bush can be beaten

Although he’s his own man, Jeb’s best path to the nomination is the one his brother followed in 2000. Consolidate enough conservative support to prevent the emergence a viable challenger from the right. That probably requires winning Iowa. Then position yourself to the right of the strongest candidate remaining — McCain in Dubya’s case, possibly Christie in Jeb’s.

Failing that, Jeb has to hope that someone who lacks money and organization (say Carson or Rick Santorum) captures Iowans’ imaginations and someone like Walker, Paul or Marco Rubio does not. Or hope that conservatives fragment, with Huckabee taking evangelicals, Paul winning libertarians, Walker or Ted Cruz getting their share of tea party support.

There are three steps to disrupting the coronation. Don’t be intimidated by Bush’s money; win the informal conservative primary before the actual Republican primaries; get Bush one-on-one.

Yes, all three steps are much easier said than done. But consider the stakes.