(Photo: Paul Zoeller/Post & Courier)
"I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that."
-- Jeb Bush
Poor Jeb. He really thought this whole running-for-president thing was going to be a cakewalk. He figured that what with his dynastic last name and years of governmental experience he'd coast to the Republican nomination. The echoes of the conservative establishment's pleas for him to finally fulfill his destiny and take a shot at the White House were likely still bouncing around inside his head right up until the moment he declared his candidacy -- and immediately began a downward trajectory he can't pull out of.
Unfortunately, Jeb either didn't realize or simply ignored the last seven years of conservative politics in this country. He seemed to be hopelessly oblivious to the fact that experience and knowledge aren't things the base looks for anymore, and it's that frenzied, ignorant base that absolutely controls the Republican party now. Maybe pre-tea party freakout, Bush's name would've been enough to see him through, but these days it's that very legacy that will doom him to the crowd that's demanding to be represented by political know-nothings like Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
After weeks and months of getting battered with the reality he's tried to overlook, it appears as if Jeb is finally working his way through the Kubler Ross stages of grief in response to the tragic, prolonged death of his presidential hopes. And if today is any indication, he's firmly in the "anger" phase right now. The above quote comes to us from a campaign town hall in South Carolina today, where Jeb -- accompanied by none other than the guy who just got Hillary Clinton elected president, Trey Gowdy -- voiced his irritation with political gridlock and obstructionism. "If this election is about how we’re going to fight to get nothing done, then I don’t want any part of it," he said.
But that was just the warm-up for the moment when he really let his frustration show. This is a guy who's dedicated a good portion of his life to governing, whether you agree with his policies or not -- and he's currently cutting back his staff while being pounded into paste by an asshole reality TV star who insults him regularly just because it's fun and an apparently Xanaxed surgeon who can't stop saying things that are completely detached from reality. It's shocking it took this long for Jeb to publicly let the cracks show.