It’s More Than A Name

It’s More Than A Name

The Briefing, Vol. III, Issue 20

To: Our readers
From: David Freddoso

This week:

  • Trouble for Jeb;
  • Trouble for Hillary;
  • Why Christie won’t catch on.

Happy Independence Day! America’s Founding Fathers (many of them, at least) signed the Declaration of Independence 239 years ago last Saturday. They put their lives on the line for an idea that was imperfectly executed, but beautiful in its simplicity. Divided government, the divine rights of sovereign peoples, and the right to revolution — these were quite extraordinary ideas in their day. One could say they remain controversial today, but much less than they were then.

Americans should never take the freedoms they enjoy today for granted. Liberty is always just one generation away from extinction.

President 2016

Jeb Bush: Jeb Bush released an admirably detailed account of his personal finances last week. There’s nothing like three decades’ worth of tax returns to settle whatever lingering doubts there might have been regarding his being another Mitt Romney.

But those tax returns, and the net worth that Bush has accumulated since leaving office, nonetheless should cause some concern for those who wish to see him nominated. After all, many of the people who would be happy to see Jeb as president are currently hurling accusations at the Clintons that will be uncomfortable now that we know Jeb’s record contains some of the same problems.

Here’s an important parallel: The clearest rap against Bush so far has been his family name. The continuation of a dynasty is extremely unattractive to many voters. But of course, with Hillary Clinton in the race on the Democratic side, a slightly different consideration comes into play: Any Republican advantage based on voters’ desire to avoid a Clinton dynasty is simply canceled out if Jeb becomes the Republican nominee  and becomes the heir apparent to a Bush dynasty.

As of last week, the same can now be said of Jeb’s riches, a significant amount of which (roughly $10 million) comes from speaking fees and consulting gigs of the same sort as those for which Bill Clinton has rightfully taken so much flak from the right.

Sure, it isn’t fatal for Bush, and no one has turned up evidence that he was hired to speak by people with pressing interests before the Bush administration. (But who knows?) But whether they do or not, there is no question that Jeb monetized his government service in much the same way Bill and Hillary have. The fact that their arrangements might have been more obviously corrupt than his is a detail that will likely be lost on many general election voters. An equivalence will be drawn, and any GOP advantage canceled out once again.

From an ideological perspective, Jeb probably deserves better treatment than he has gotten so far from conservatives. But assuming they want to nominate a winner, his financial disclosure is a new and additional problem that cannot be dismissed lightly.

Ruling class is as ruling class does — and Republican primary voters will have to think carefully before selecting someone who belongs to it as much as any Clinton ever has.

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton doesn’t understand how a fax machine works, and she has some weird advice CIB042715-Clintonabout wearing socks to bed. Okay, fine — but the emails the State Department released last week reveal much more than that. The more important story is that Sid Blumenthal had much more access to the top echelon of the State Department than anyone realized — most of all anyone in Obama’s White House, which had specifically forbidden him from being hired to her official staff.

Blumenthal, recall, tried to sell journalists during the 1990s on the idea that Monica Lewisnky had been a stalker-slash-blackmailer who victimized the poor, innocent President Clinton. Having been blocked from a job at State by former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, he instead spent his days on the payroll of two Clinton-friendly organizations (one was the Clintons’ foundation, the other Media Matters) and supplying Clinton with information (mostly unreliable) about multiple countries — not just Libya, where he had financial interests, but also Afghanistan, Britain, Italy, and a number of others.

It’s all rather embarrassing for her, because she encouraged this sort of “intelligence” reporting, which evokes something from one of Evelyn Waugh’s comic novels about African affairs.

Meanwhile, the bigger Clinton shoe had dropped earlier: She withheld some work emails from the State Department, and actually edited others she turned in, based on the evidence now available. This would be a career-ender for anyone not named Clinton.

But her name is Clinton, and for the moment, she’s all the Democrats have to work with. That alone covers a multitude of sins.

Chris ChristieOnce among the frontrunners, Christie finds himself at the back of the pack now that he’s CIB041515-Christieannounced. One doesn’t have to look that far back to remember the days when Chris Christie videos were a staple form of entertainment that conservatives loved. But he staked out a more moderate path and won a resounding re-election victory in part by sanding down his more conservative edges. That isn’t working in his favor now.

Christie may well be a victim of his George Washington Bridge scandal (even if it had little to do with him), as the conventional wisdom goes. But what’s hurting him more is that there are so many well-qualified Republicans in the running, and nearly all of them are to his right.

Christie is miles and miles ahead of the moderate alternatives of years past when it comes to conservative credentials. He isn’t even the most liberal candidate in this race — it seems that distinction is more likely to go to John Kasich, Ohio’s Republican governor, who has harangued conservatives with arguments that Jesus’ teachings would require Medicaid expansion. (Christie also expanded Medicaid in his state, but his argument was a lot less moralistic — he saw it as free money from other states’ taxpayers.)

But there simply isn’t demand for a more moderate candidate at this point — most GOP voters are satisfied with a choice between Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. A few other names (say, Ben Carson or — shudder — Donald Trump) may bump up into the top tier, but they will all be conservative (or in Trump’s case, self-styled conservative) names.



  1. No Bush or Clinton, This country definitely needs an infusion of new blood that is not anemic like the two of them!!!

  2. Absolutely no more Bush’s or Clinton’s. I do however disagree with the author’s premise that the illustration of his fortune and how it was accumulated is the significant downside of his voluntary release of 30+ years of tax returns.

    To me this illustrates that he is not playing by the same rules (lies deceits, cover-ups and obfuscation) as the liberal socialists that have taken over our country–one cannot win if not playing the same game…

    • But the gentlemanly approach won’t work. The left doesn’t care how deceitful the Clinton’s are. They know it and vote for them anyway. We need a fighter who can articulate conservative principles. And Boehner and McConnell need to go.

    • Wait for the froth to burst and both sides have declared for a nominee, then start your campaign to defeat the Democratic Party would be inheritor of office. Hitlery Clinton is already being cast as a foregone conclusion, or maybe that is a Democratic Party Delusion, she intends to ride her sharpened broomstick into the White now Rainbow House. If you fools allow that to happen, you will get what you are asking for, and deserve, – in spades.

    • ***
      HI PE–They forgot Ben Carson and Governor Sarah Palin also! Not many actual Conservatives in the political woods.

  3. ***
    I’m not satisfied! I’m RINO’d / CINO’d / Assistant Dumbocr*p’d out already. All the GOP Elites can serve up is candidates whose only problem with Comrade Obama (PBUH!) and His regime–is that they aren’t in charge instead! Boo-Hoo Bonehead and Post Turtle McConnell are poster boys for this worthless RINO Clown Posse.
    There are probably only a few dozen actual Conservatives in Congress–out of 535 of them. Most don’t work for the American People–they are there to get rich on our backs. The only actual Conservatives I see in the race at present are Senator Ted Cruz and Surgeon Ben Carson.
    Begone, Losers! We’ve been to this sorry rodeo too many times already. NO SALE! It’s Article V States Amendment Convention now. Time to remove these D.C. Beltway Cesspool parasites from the body politic. Ditto for term limits for SCOTUS.

    • I agree with Cruz and Carson – I would also suggest Carly Fiorina as a Conservative and I believe the one that will take out Hitlery. It is strange that even this article suggests that Jeb Bush is one of the front runners. I have seen many Conservative site polls and he is way down – Christy Crisco is at the bottom. Cruz is always up there along with Walker and Rubio – yet both Walker and Rubio have flip flopped on issues – mainly amnesty. My vote still goes for Cruz.

      • ***
        HI AL–I’m not sure about Fiorina. She does fight. However, there are a lot of questions on what happened when she took over at HP. Their stock shot up bigtime when she got the boot there.
        As a Conservative Christian–I won’t vote for any candidate who is O.K. with Abortion. (aka “Choice!)

        • I have listened to her speak (on TV and video) several times. She answers all the questions without hesitation and has good solutions. She was on Hannity for an hour last week and certainly held her own. I don’t believe Carly would make it now to the presidency – or even believes she will. I think she is aiming for either VP or a place in the cabinet.

  4. Donald says the way it is, straight talk. He is not beholding to anyone. He has courage to stand for what he believes and he says so. Go Mr. Trump, go. America needs you.

    • He certainly has the backbone DRSLEUTH to get the job done & set the WH on its toes. He is not afraid to tell it like it is.

    • I like his willingness to say what he thinks. I don’t think he’ll be president, but his lack of PC is a needed commodity these days.

  5. Just so you know, I am voting against the next Democratic nominee for President. Period. No excuses. No laments.

    • It is the GOP establishment (RINOS, moderates and Boehner and McConnell in Repub disguise because they really are Demo communists and hate to lose out on more money to enrich themselves).

    • May as well run Ross Perot again – that was the doozie that gave us Bubba Cinton Mk.1 if I rightly recall.

  6. Jeb is definitely the black ram of the family. He has the same attitudes that BOZO has. He is definitely a closet DEM. Libturd. He is a do nothing idiot.

  7. Nicely put, he is like an ice cube in hell. No chance at all and his issues ARE NOT OUR ISSUES but they need to be repealed, ignored, and never again allowed by Boehner nor McConnell or any EO.

  8. Cruz — almost unbeatable in a debate. And a serious candidate. I like Walker too — softspoken but a spine of steel. Rand Paul too — he’s not afraid to voice an opinion. And while he’s not as willing to go to war, I have heard him say numerous times that in defense of this country he will.

  9. Bush is not in this to win. His job is to destroy the conservative movement. They will force Bush as the nominee and then when he gets his clock cleaned they will be able to say that conservatives are vastly outnumbered knowing that conservatives DID NOT vote BECAUSE of Bush. Wake up America and get ready for war.

    • Jeb also was a signer to the PNAC document that was the blueprint for a staged war in Iraq. Jeb, like his dumbass brother Dubya is a closet liberal. He will move to the center if forced to. Sorry Jeb, no oligarchy wanted!

    • Good point, the present day Republican Congressmen under Boehner have already shown that there is no opposition to the Marxist-Islamist in the Rainbow House.

  10. The common herd mentality: ( A Democratic )

    What could be more degrading and insulting to our being than to imagine that we are free and never inquire? Yet we have allowed government mysticism to create an illusion of freedom that we have accepted as the real thing.

    The agenda of government morality is to erase man as a rational individual, transfer his psyche into the programmed crowd with prescribed thinking of the herd mentality and “correct” behavior (or correct his behavior), then program his mind so that any influence outside of government morality is hostile environment. (Donald Trump) “a example”

    The common herd mentality is a product of government force, though it is contrary to man’s nature, his personal desire to acquire wealth and security, and his requirements for happiness.

  11. No BUSH’S and NO CLINTON’S. CRUZ and TRUMP are the ones telling truth and want to save the country. Either get on board or get the hell out of way of people that want freedom.

  12. Both names are anathema to thinking people, but Clinton is undoubtedly the most evil of any choice as she has no concept of either legality or morality whatsoever. Obama started the “End of the U.S.A.” Clinton will add the finishing touches to destroy any remnant of decency remaining in the Government of this formerly great country.

  13. “Ruling class is as ruling class does — and
    Republican primary voters will have to think carefully before selecting
    someone who belongs to it as much as any Clinton ever has.”

    Nuff said.

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