But what seems clear is this: The difference in base popularity between the two Bushes has little to do with conservative philosophy, and much more to do with style and their respective situations. George W. got away with his apostasy because he had a Texas swagger and twang, no real conservative opponents, and a much less emboldened base. Jeb, the more cosmopolitan of the two, doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt in part because he seems, as one Twitter interlocutor noted, like an “intaleckshuall.”

He can’t go back in time. But if only Jeb could affect a Southern accent, slap backs, and assign nicknames — that, my friends, would be smart strategery.