Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush Shows What the GOP Primary Could Be. Donald Trump Shows What It Is.

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The Republican presidential primary race has turned into a clown show dominated by its biggest clown, Donald Trump. Trump has, at least for the moment, turned the primary into a reality-TV-style performance art project, aired in endless cable news segments, in which he says stupid, awful, outrageous, verifiably false things—and then, maddeningly, is rewarded for it.

Media coverage has helped make Trump the top clown, but the public is lapping it up too. As FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver reports, Trump, despite low odds of winning the nomination, has received vastly more media attention and public interest—judged by Google searches—than any other candidate in the GOP field.

Trump may be awful, but his particular brand of awfulness is apparently in high demand amongst potential GOP ballot-casters: He's currently leading, by a growing margin, the latest national poll is leading the GOP field amongst registered Republican voters. At least for the moment, Trump is the candidate that Republicans want, running the campaign Republicans want to see run.

This is what the GOP primary looks like right now. It's a rather depressing state of affairs. But it's not what the Republican primary has to look like.

In an alternate universe primary, Trump's blowhard campaign would already have been roundly dismissed by both voters and the media. And the week's political discussion would have been driven not by the latest Trump outrages, but by Jeb Bush's big speech on government reform yesterday.

I've been critical of Bush so far, and I remain more than a little skeptical about his candidacy (it's hard to trust any candidate to full invested in the NSA's probably illegal phone records surveillance programs). But yesterday's speech, delivered in Tallahassee, Florida, was surprisingly strong. What made the speech work, and what makes it notable in the midst of Trump-mania, was that it focused on major substantive political and policy questions: How should government employees be managed? And how should government spending be kept under control?

The speech implicitly suggested that these are the two biggest challenges facing government reformers, and also that they are closely connected—indeed, that they are ultimately the same project.

"The next president has got to confront the spending culture of Washington," Bush declared in the speech.

And he proposed four ways to do so: A balanced budget amendment (which "must be a tool to limit government, not raise taxes"), line-item veto authority for the president (which would allow the executive to selectively "eliminate wasteful spending"), overhauling the procurement process for government contractors to make it more competitive and less expensive (currently Pentagon purchasing rules are so onerous that "only a handful of giant defense companies can compete for big contracts"), and, finally, ending the assumption of ever-increasing spending inherent in baseline budgeting (which Bush called "a rigged system, designed to increase spending no matter what.").      

In the speech, Bush directly connected the federal government's autopilot spending with its autopilot hiring practices. "Too much in the federal government runs on…People are hired, promoted, and given pay increases often without regard to performance." And with two million people on the payroll, that gets expensive quickly. Government employment policies, in other words, aren't just about management. They're also about spending.

So Bush called for a federal hiring freeze, and a shrinking of the federal workforce through attrition. About 10 percent of the government workforce is set to retire in the next five years; for every three workers that leave, Bush would only replace one, with a handful of exceptions. The result, he said, would be a federal workforce that's 10 percent smaller.

Bush also called for a system of performance rewards that allow good employees to be paid more—and at the same time make it easier to fire the bad ones. "The time it takes to remove an unproductive employee should be measured in weeks rather than years."

Finally, Bush called for new limits on the revolving door—by expanding the official definition of lobbying and setting a strict six-year cooling off period before elected officials and White House staff can work as lobbyists. But he also acknowledged that spending and lobbying are connected too: "Restrain federal spending and bureaucratic meddling," he said, "and we'll disrupt the culture that thrives on big government."

Bush didn't mention Hillary Clinton in his address, but the speech's big idea stands in direct contrast to her recent remarks attacking sharing economy services and proposing stricter labor and employment regulations.

Hillary Clinton's message, essentially, is that government should be in charge of fixing the economy, which is another way of saying that government should be in charge of managing the economy.

Bush's message, on the other hand, was that government's priority should be fixing, and managing, itself. 

Bush may not be the best messenger for these sorts of reforms; government spending rose significantly in Florida while he was governor (it dropped as a percentage of the state's economy, but mostly as a result of the state's mid-00s real estate boom). His brother's administration was responsible for a massive increase in government spending and debt. And Bush's proposals could go further, and be even more specific and detailed. 

Even still, Bush's speech hit on essential questions about the role and size of government. These are questions that deserve to be aired and discussed far more than they are now. Right now, though, they're being drowned out by the din of the Donald Trump circus show.

Bush's speech, then, stands in contrast not only to Hillary Clinton's campaign, but to the ugly inanity of what is now the Trump-led GOP primary. What his speech shows us what the primary race could look like—if enough Republican voters were interested. What the polls tell us is that, at least for the moment, too few of them are. 

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  1. A Bush running as a spending cutter, and as a “reformer with results”.

    Weird, that sounds oddly familiar, like I’ve heard it somewhere before.

    1. Doin’ a heckuva job there, Mike M.

      1. You’re a great Almanian.

        1. You can vote for Almanian, waffles, he’s running for president again.

          1. Thank you, Charles. Yes:

            Vote for Almanian – 2016
            I Probably Won’t Make It Any Worse

            I also accept no donations. Because I’m spending zero dollars campaigning. It’s a futile gesture, like the parade shenanigans at the end of “Animal House”.

            But voting’s free, so….VOTE FOR ME!

            1. lol you guys are too much.

            2. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.
              NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.
              NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

              I have donated enough. Don’t bother me again.

    2. Peter doesn’t get it.
      The voters, who support Trump, believe he will do as he says.
      With JEB, not so much.

    3. The biggest trouble with what Trump is that you have no idea whether he actually means what he’s saying or not – or whether he’ll remember he said any of it, after he’s elected.

      Oh wait.

      That’s Bush.

      And Trump.

      And Bush.

  2. TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP
    Booooooooooooooooooosh!

    What I got from the article.

    1. Where would democracy be without voters demanding rewards for embracing stupid, awful, outrageous, verifiably false things?

  3. Both Trump and Bush will be toxic in the general election, and rightfully so. And anybody who believes a word that Jeb says about cutting government spending is insane.

    1. Nobody believes a word he says.

      1. His donors certainly don’t.

      2. I expect Reason believes his “welcome the third world” ideas, which is probably enough to cancel their previous hostility to the very name “Bush”.

        Those borders won’t de jure open themselves, you know

      3. If he says those same words in Spanish, a lot of voters would believe him and vote for him.

        1. Well he dose claim to be Hispanic. So it would make sense for him to do that.

  4. “Media coverage has helped make Trump the top clown, but the public is lapping it up too. As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver reports, Trump, despite low odds of winning the nomination, has received vastly more media attention and public interest?judged by Google searches?than any other candidate in the GOP field.”

    Good thing Reason didn’t get on that bandwagon, that would have been simply silly.

    On the other hand, I myself am sitting here commenting about how Trump gets too much attention.

    How meta.

    1. Looks like you’ve been

      [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

      Trumped

    2. The magazine that ran like six Trump articles a day for weeks now says that. Wow. Just Wow.

    3. Shitty Attention Whore Candidate: PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEEE!!!!
      Reason: OK! *Stacks articles about how idiotic Trump is for days*

      *A week later*

      Reason: Yeah, so what’s with all this massive media attention towards a loser candidate like Trump?

      Honestly, if Reason just admitted that they piled on the Trump articles to get some clicks I’d be fine with that. It’s better than disingenuous bullshit like that.

      1. “Honestly, if Reason just admitted that they piled on the Trump articles to get some clicks I’d be fine with that. It’s better than disingenuous bullshit like that.”

        Reason staffers like to pretend they’re high brow. It’s how you get invited to the cool parties. And pounding on the crazy Republican won’t get you off the party list. Of course, if they were to pound on the wacky, you don’t need 23 brands of deodorant, Bernie Sanders to the same degree they pounded on Trump, they’d be off the party circuit immediately.

        It’s almost like they have a sub-conscious bias they aren’t even aware of?

  5. The GOP is due for an Obama-quality messiah. But who could it be?

    1. Hitler?

    2. David Caruso?

      1. Sam Axe

        1. Only if he gets Chuck Finley as a running mate.

          1. Good call. Finley can be from any state he needs.

      1. +1, The Evil Dead TV series

        1. *Checks boom stick *

          I’m in.

  6. Could it be that public reaction, to the extent it’s not simply following the media, could be out of serious disillusionment with the political process? Just spitballing here.

    1. Perhaps. I think a lot of it has to do with the Trump going on offense*. In a cold, hard review of his positions, a lot of people may not like his stance, but many GOP voters are tired of mild-mannered candidates like Romney.

      *Not an endorsement of Trump or any of his positions.

      1. There is a whole lot of that going on. That is why I think Fiorina has a better chance than people think. She has balls and isn’t an assclown like Trump.

      2. I also don’t think most people are flyspecking his every utterance on a search for racism, sexism, speciesism, genderism, or whatever other BadThink is on the list today.

        They’re getting a much more impressionistic view of him, I think. And the impression that “Hey, here’s a candidate who thinks we let too many fucking criminals over the border and don’t do jack about it” is not exactly a fringe position.

  7. Right now, though, they’re being drowned out by the din of the Donald Trump circus show.

    That is because the media is covering Trump and nothing else. How is that the GOP’s fault? We could just as easily be having the Bernie Sanders show. He is every bit as crazy as Trump. The only reason we are not is because the media are Democratic operatives and are not covering Sanders but are covering Trump.

    I don’t understand how the GOP is somehow at fault for the media being a bunch of hacks will do or say anything to drag Hillary’s sorry ass into the White House.

    1. I like how the media drums up an issue or person and then takes an above-it-all tut-tutting attitude about how the benighted public is getting distracted from the real issues.

      This was a while ago, but Michael Kinsley compared journalists questioning Presidential candidates and regular citizens doing so. Journalists asked horse-race questions like “do you think Senator Claghorn will throw his support to you?” while citizens asked substantive questions like “I have to pay through the nose to comply with all these regulations, can any of you do anything about it?”

      1. In fairness, journalists are stupid and don’t know much. So asking real questions is hard for them but asking horse race questions is easy. Asking those doesn’t requires knowing much.

        This has become the new heads I win tails you lose game the media plays with the Republicans.

        Step 1. Find a Republican Candidate who is saying things that are out of the mainstream or if possible offensive.

        Step 2. Cover that candidate nonstop to the exclusion of all other issues and candidates.

        Step 3. Lambast the Republicans for not being serious and spending all of their time and energy talking about the clown show candidate identified in step 1.

        1. Step 2a: imply that the candidate is representative of the Republican Party as a whole.

        2. In fairness, journalists are stupid and don’t know much.

          Does the job select vs. intelligence & ignorance? Or does something about that kind of work disconnect you from the facts & dull your mind?

    2. “That is because the media is covering Trump and nothing else. How is that the GOP’s fault?”

      It’s their fault in the sense that the GOP base has launched him to the top of the polls even after all the things he’s said, which provides more and more fuel for the media machine to cover him. If Trump had stayed below 5% in the polls, he’d be getting a lot less coverage. The guy who just recently shot to the top of the GOP nomination polls is going to get a lot of attention, especially when 1) it’s in the wake of very controversial statements he’s made and 2) it’s coming from a guy who’s well-known by the general public outside of politics.

      The fact is that Trump is, from a business POV, a goldmine for the media. People don’t care nearly as much about Sanders. How many people who don’t follow politics fairly closely know who Sanders is compared to the number who know who Trump is? The media is for the most part in the bag for Clinton, but anyone running a media business covering politics who decided not to cover Trump in recent weeks is a fucking moron who should be fired for costing his or her company a lot of money. People tune into the circus, the media wouldn’t give a shit about Trump if people didn’t care what he has to say (and that includes both his detractors and the increasingly large number of Republicans supporting him).

      1. If Trump had stayed below 5% in the polls, he’d be getting a lot less coverage.

        Maybe but I doubt it. And Bernie Sanders is just as popular with the Democrat base as Trump is. Yet, he doesn’t get anything like the attention Trump does.

        The fact is that Trump is, from a business POV, a goldmine for the media.

        Not necessarily. Is there any evidence that news magazine and newspaper readership is up since this started? Or that Cable news ratings are up? I don’t know but I haven’t seen any. You say this is a gold mine but I don’t see where it is. What I see is a bunch of self reinforcing coverage where the media decides something and covers it to death. That doesn’t mean anyone else thought it was a big deal or that doing so increased ratings or made money. It just means the media decided to move in a heard. That is it.

        1. “Maybe but I doubt it. And Bernie Sanders is just as popular with the Democrat base as Trump is. Yet, he doesn’t get anything like the attention Trump does.”

          Sanders is still far behind another candidate in the primary. Trump is leading the polls. Also, Sanders has stupid positions well outside the mainstream of American politics, but he hasn’t (at least recently) said anything as outlandishly offensive as Trump has about Mexican immigrants or POWs. Furthermore, Trump is a well-known figure famous in the general public for being a celebrity businessman. Almost nobody who doesn’t follow politics knows who Sanders is.

          “Not necessarily. Is there any evidence that news magazine and newspaper readership is up since this started? Or that Cable news ratings are up? I don’t know but I haven’t seen any. You say this is a gold mine but I don’t see where it is. What I see is a bunch of self reinforcing coverage where the media decides something and covers it to death. That doesn’t mean anyone else thought it was a big deal or that doing so increased ratings or made money. It just means the media decided to move in a heard. That is it.”

          (response in next comment)

        2. Media companies are still businesses at the end of the day. If the media is moving in a herd, there’s likely good financial reason to do so. The media was talking about the presidential race before Trump, Trump has just gotten a disproportionate share of the coverage since he announced. And since that time, far more people in the general public have started talking about the race. The Latino community mobilized against him. Many Republicans have lined up behind him. He gets far more eyes and ears than Bush, Clinton, Sanders, or anyone else, at least at the moment, get. It’s not as if Trump articles, around the Web, don’t get plenty of comments on them. There is a lot of grassroots interest. The media is not magic – their ability to generate interest in something is always going to be limited. There is always a dependency on consumer interest in what they’re talking about. The media can’t make anyone support Donald Trump, and the fact that Trump has risen to the top of the polls despite the controversy is newsworthy (and given that coverage of him has been overwhelmingly negative, it seems odd to suggest that the increase in support is just from the media talking about him, and not from his words actually resonating with voters).

          1. Media companies are still businesses at the end of the day. I

            And every single one of their news divisions loses money. Sorry but these people consistently choose losing money over pushing interesting stories that would sell but harm the Democratic cause. They are ignoring Sanders, even though he is just as interesting a story as Trump because covering him embarrasses the Democrats and hurts Hillary.

            And the media coverage and the prog hate mob has a whole lot to do with Trump’s popularly. Remember, the GOP base hates the media and the prog mob. Nothing will make you popular with them quicker than having the media go after you and telling them to fuck off.

            Trump is not entirely a media creation. The GOP certainly has themselves to blame for being so dishonest about immigration. But that doesn’t justify ignoring every other candidate and just covering Trump. The media is doing that they know it hurts Republicans. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t cover him.

            So, it is pretty rich of Suderman to blame Republicans for Trump getting all of the coverage. He only gets the coverage because he hurts them.

            1. “And every single one of their news divisions loses money. Sorry but these people consistently choose losing money over pushing interesting stories that would sell but harm the Democratic cause.”

              There’s a lot of reasons why news profitability is bad beyond, “They support Democrats!” Apolitical traditional media isn’t exactly doing great either in many areas, and a lot of the most popular “alternative media” sources are left-leaning Internet blogs or people like Jon Stewart and John Oliver. What interesting stories are they not pushing that would sell more than Trump? Sanders? That may be just as interesting to you or me, but it simply does not have the same appeal to the general public. I’ve given multiple reasons already explaining why that is.

              “And the media coverage and the prog hate mob has a whole lot to do with Trump’s popularly. Remember, the GOP base hates the media and the prog mob. Nothing will make you popular with them quicker than having the media go after you and telling them to fuck off.”

              That’s an indictment of the GOP base for being unthinking reflexive morons. I’m not sure how this in any way makes them look better.

            2. “Trump is not entirely a media creation. The GOP certainly has themselves to blame for being so dishonest about immigration. But that doesn’t justify ignoring every other candidate and just covering Trump. The media is doing that they know it hurts Republicans. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t cover him.

              So, it is pretty rich of Suderman to blame Republicans for Trump getting all of the coverage. He only gets the coverage because he hurts them.”

              If he’s hurting Republicans (which I agree he is), then he shouldn’t be getting skyrocketing support from Republicans. The fact that he is looks bad on the GOP, not the media. As much as Republicans like to blame the media and Democrats for everything bad that happens to them and all of their public image problems, they have no one to blame but themselves for this.

              1. As much as Republicans like to blame the media and Democrats for everything bad that happens to them and all of their public image problems, they have no one to blame but themselves for this.

                They no one but themselves to blame for Trump getting support. But just because he is getting support doesn’t mean that the media has to just cover him. Again, Sanders is popular too and he doesn’t get this much coverage.

                The media is covering Trump at the exclusion of all others because that is what hurts them. If covering Trump didn’t hurt Republicans, the media would be covering him some but not at the exclusion of everyone else.

                I don’t see how you can blame that on the GOP. Again, why isn’t Sanders a story? I don’t care how much support he gets he will never get covered like Trump because doing so would hurt Hillary.

                1. “They no one but themselves to blame for Trump getting support. But just because he is getting support doesn’t mean that the media has to just cover him.”

                  Of course they don’t have to. That doesn’t mean it’s not wise to tap into the public interest amid controversy. Sanders may be popular, but this is simply zero evidence to suggest people care about him as much as they care about Trump, or that they would given equal media coverage. I think you really underestimate the grassroots backlash against Trump. He pissed off the vast majority of the Latino community in the US. That’s over 50 million people. A lot of people I know who don’t give a shit about politics followed the Trump story because they took his comments a personal insult. And that’s not even accounting for all the other people who took exception to it, or the millions who agree and support what he said and have been launching him in the polls in recent weeks.

                  I also don’t get the comparison to Sanders in another sense. Trump has been getting a lot of negative coverage. Sanders will also get a lot of negative coverage if he ever emerges as a serious threat to Hillary. Until then, there’s not much reason from a political or business POV for the MSM to give him much coverage, particularly when the Trump clown show has the whole nation’s attention, to an extent rarely seen this early in a presidential race.

            3. Media companies are still businesses

              And, when it comes to news, at least, really shitty businesses. Look at how they completely ignored (at best) a huge chunk of the market, and just gave it to Fox.

      2. I’ve been dismissing all the figures because of how far in advance of the election they are, but the sheer magnitude of Trump’s plurality is starting to impress me. If he’s maintaining it a week from now, that may be enough to get a bandwagon rolling.

  8. GO, TEAM RED, GO!

    //Buttplug

  9. It seems these charges were

    [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

    Trumped up.

    1. It looks like you’re driving this meme

      [puts on sunglasses]

      into the ground.

      1. Also, fried chicken

        1. LOL at Eddie re: driving anything into the ground.

          1. If Reason gets to deplore media coverage of Trump, I get to deplore driving things into the ground, so there.

            1. Could be worse, could be raining you could have typed “At the end of the day…”

              1. At the end of the day

                [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

                I don’t need to wear these…

              2. With a link to Tag Team.

  10. I blame Bush. And the Koch brothers.

    1. ^^^THIS

  11. Too many writers here at “Reason” are morphing into Democrats-lite. I know next to nothing about Trump and rather than do substantive articles on his positions, his experiences, and what his ideas may accomplish – all I hear from the likes of Welch and Suderman is that he’s a clown or an idiot.
    Guys – this is the Democrat discourse playbook : Deny, Declare, Distract and Disparage.
    That’s all your doing here. Grow the fuck up and start acting like presenters of fact, not bias, and providing readers with unbiased information that will allow us to make our own judgements. Otherwise guys, fuck off.
    I’m sick of pundits processing my information for me and Reason Online has become just another shitstain like MSNBC. Just cause you get on some TV doesn’t make you special celebrities.

    1. I would agree, except for the fact that Trump is indeed a clown. His positions are whatever distracts the media from Hillary, his experiences include donating to Hillary’s campaign, and the only thing he plans on accomplishing is fucking up the Republican primary in such a way as to ensure Hillary wins. He’s a Democrat. A plant. A clown. A monkey wrench. And he’s doing a bang-up job.

      1. Yes he is a clown. And I don’t blame them for calling him out for being such. I do not, however, see why doing that required so much effort. Wouldn’t one or two articles have been sufficient?

        1. Don’t ask me. I’m not the editor.

        2. C’mon…..it’s summer…..we’re in the doldrums until college football starts!

      2. He’s all of that and more. I do have to admit though, it’s kinda fun watching him troll the mainstream neocons.

      3. You may well be correct. And I apologize to the commentariat offended by my tone (ironically), but I want to know why Trump is a clown – not just the standard support for Clinton or being quasi-liberal. I learn more from commenters then the writers here. And I would respectfully disagree that Trump has somehow turned the “republican” party into a clown show. Photos of Walker filling a colossal RV (What a common man!) or him tweeting about hot ham and buns after church? This has nothing to do with anything in my life. And Bush is just another phony populist who – once again – says all the things the media research requires him to say – “I’m going to change the culture of Wasington D.C.”. Give me a break. They’re all phonies and will not do anything significant to reduce the actual size of government or the entitlement system.
        Sorry, but after 8 years of the collective Obama-cluster, I’d rather have a “clown” like Trump than another in a string of pseudo government reformers.
        And people can’t be living their lives in fear of eating Hillary’s shit. It may happen, it may not.

        1. The stories have included plenty of direct quotes from The Donald, which should make his status as a clown very apparent.

          “Sorry, but after 8 years of the collective Obama-cluster, I’d rather have a “clown” like Trump than another in a string of pseudo government reformers.”

          You may have missed it, but Trump is running as a government reformer. He’s just advocating terrible reforms.

          1. See really all you’re doing is passing off more processed crap. My basic gripe was that too many people want to pass off their personal judgments as facts. I did not miss it – that he is running as a government reformer – but you seem to have missed the “pseudo” part – conveniently? I am highly confident that NO ONE in the establishment GOP has any idea what reform looks like. Will Trump be a reformer? Probably not, but he’s a better shot than Clinton or most of the politicians running.
            Secondly, if you refer to his direct quotes about immigration and McCain being a douche for expecting a life-time benefit from his “hero card” then, yeah, I heard them and have a very different opinion of them then you seem to have.
            I’d like to hear the media ask him about his policy plans, question his plans and then I can judge whether a Trump presidency will be more likely to change the culture of Washington parasitism then the establishment GOP who clearly are not reformers, and Hillary who is a freaking communist control freak.

            1. and. . .

              I’ll give you an example. He says he’s going to make Mexico pay for the border fence. He is roundly mocked and called a clown for that as if it would be absolutely inconceivable that he could get Mexico to “pay” for it. And the pundits, rather than actually ASK HIM prefer to espouse their own asinine conclusions instead.
              “Mr. Trump, you said you would get Mexico to pay for the fence. How would you accomplish this?” – journalist.
              “I would impose tariffs and fees on Mexican goods coming into the country.” Or whatever. Libertarians will reel from that, but it is in fact a way to get Mexico to pay for it. There are ways to get them to pay for it. But why pursue it?

            2. “Will Trump be a reformer? Probably not, but he’s a better shot than Clinton or most of the politicians running.”

              No he isn’t. You’re buying Trump’s crap hook, line, and sinker. He is a weasel who cares only about himself, he has no interest in going after cronyism, parasitism, or big government.

              “Secondly, if you refer to his direct quotes about immigration and McCain being a douche for expecting a life-time benefit from his “hero card” then, yeah, I heard them and have a very different opinion of them then you seem to have.”

              And I don’t care if you have a different opinion, I heard them and I think he’s a clown. I couldn’t care less whether or not you think that’s unfair or unobjective. I thought he was a clown before he even announced. It’s Donald Fucking Trump, the guy has made his public reputation by being a clown.

    2. Yeah. There are real criticisms to make about Trump. They never make them and just resort to snark. The reason I think is that to make them requires taking Trump seriously and examining what he has to say. Doing that requires admitting that he might have a point about sanctuary cities and immigration or at the very least admitting that there might be costs to open borders. And admitting that there are any drawbacks or even rational reasons beyond racism and pure selfishness to object to open borders is just not something that is done at Reason.

      1. How do we have open borders? Do you even know what the words mean that you are using? How can we have both an open borders problem and an illegal immigration problem simultaneously? That doesn’t make any fucking sense!

        Trump is a clown for reasons numbering far more than his nonfactual and racist approach to immigration.

        1. Tony derp de derp. Derp de derpity derpy derp. Until one day, the derpa derpa derpaderp. Derp de derp da teedily dumb. From the creators of Der, and Tum Ta Tittaly Tum Ta Too, Tony is Da Derp Dee Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb. Rated PG-13.

        2. Shut Up Tony. Go back and talk about the joys killing babies on the Planned Parenthood thread. The adults are talking here.

          We don’t have to have full open borders to experience the problems associated with immigration and for that to be evidence of the problems and downsides to open borders. You really have what can fairly be described as animal level reasoning skills. It is just fucking appalling how simple minded you are.

          1. Like I’ve said before, he’s not a human being. He’s a human animal. Human beings have the capacity for thought-driven responses, while human animals are only capable of emotional reactions.

            1. Unlike John who thinks open borders is something that’s real and also so is illegal immigration, and that both are bad for reasons that he’s never been able to defend with facts.

              1. Unlike John who thinks open borders is something that’s real

                Um, no, he doesn’t. You’re just too stupid to understand what he wrote. You see words, but you don’t know how they fit together and what else outside the sentence that they reference. You’re just too stupid. Sorry. Nothing can be done. Stupid can’t be fixed. Just accept it that when you don’t understand what people say and write, that you never will. It’s not worth explaining. You simply lack the cognitive ability to comprehend. It’s not your fault. It’s the fault of your parents. They should never have reproduced. But you should already know this from the fact that they only took care of you because the government told them to. In a just world they would have let you die as an infant and spared you the shame of being so stupid. Except you’re probably too stupid to know shame, or know that you’re stupid.

        3. I believe John is contrasting Trump with Reason’s support for open borders. The fact that I have to point that out shows just how retarded you are.

          1. Yeah Sarcasmic, that is exactly what is going on. And Tony isn’t trolling here. He is actually this stupid.

        4. Hey, Tony, you’re hooked into the lefty media machine much more than most of us care to be. What sort of spin is the Iranian nuclear deal getting? As far as I can tell, the administration has walked back every single assurance to the international community and given Iran carte blanche to continue its operations hidden in plain view to everyone, now with the sanction of the United States. Is this touted as a victory for Obama or is it being tactfully ignored?

  12. I’m voting for Paul, even if he goes nuts and starts posting photos of his penis to make Nikki happy. He’s the Obi-Wan Kenobi of this election.

    1. He’ll be killed off in the first forty-five minutes of the film?

      1. And go off and rule the universe from beyond the grave!

          1. How Lo Pan doesn’t have a hit late-night talk show is beyond me.

            1. Which Lo Pan? Little ol’ basket case on wheels, or the ten-foot-tall roadblock?

            2. You know what old Jack Burton always says at a time like this?

                1. Damned your quick fingers.

              1. Who?

                1. Jack Burton! ME!

              2. Sooner or later I rub everybody the wrong way.

    2. That wizard’s just a crazy old fool.

    3. if he does that, it will be Nikki’s fault. damn if she isn’t the worst.

  13. It’s refreshing to hear specifics in a campaign speech, and these seem like good proposals at face value. But you can’t really address the budget without addressing entitlements.

    1. The problem is Jeb is such a crapweasel that you can’t trust him. It is nice that he can give a good speech, but that doesn’t mean much unless you can trust that he means it.

      1. Weird how a generally popular governor of a big state keeps shooting himself in the foot. He had a hard slog just with that name, but he’s not appealing to anyone except the money people, which isn’t enough. He and Clinton should come into personal contact so that they will bond and great a single political force, Cluntish.

        1. He is out of touch and doesn’t understand how much the country and the GOP in particular has changed in the last 8 years.

          1. I guess, though he was better on most issues when he was governor. I really don’t get what happened to him.

            1. I think it is his wife. He strikes me as the kind of guy who is totally hen pecked. I bet his wife is pulling him left.

  14. by expanding the official definition of lobbying

    Which will do nothing. Lobbyists will just lobby in ways that aren’t covered by the expanding definition.

    If you want to limit lobbying, stop making it so damn profitable to lobby.

    1. Bingo. And there is nothing wrong with lobbying per say. Lobbying is nothing but people petitioning the Congress to get them to understand and protect their interests. That is how a Republic is supposed to work.

      We only hate lobbying because our government is so out of control that lobbying results in all kinds of harms. The problem is the government not that people and orgainizations have a right to petition it.

      1. I don’t mind lobbyists. I mind that it’s worth the time and money to lobby in the first place.

  15. At least for the moment, Trump is the candidate that Republicans want, running the campaign Republicans want to see run.

    Yeah, all 24% of them. Or to put it another way, Trump is the candidate 76% of Republicans don’t want to see run.

    1. 24% is a big number for a primary this early in the race. Trump is really the only candidate who has made a major move in the polls thus far. Previously, Bush had been the leader by small to moderate margins, with a host of other contenders bunched behind him in relatively static fashion.

      1. That’s only because a lot of the candidates behind Trump are similar and are appealing to the same people. Once the field narrows support will consolidate with the remaining candidates other than Trump while he will still only maintain his 20% or so, if that.

        1. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Trump has a shot at the nomination and you give one good reason why. But 24% is still a very significant chunk of the party. I doubt he’ll maintain that, but if he did, it would be more than any candidate besides McCain or Romney got in 2008 or 2012, respectively.

          1. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Trump has a shot at the nomination and you give one good reason why. But 24% is still a very significant chunk of the party.

            So a guy you admit has no shot at the nomination and only has 24% support should be covered exclusively at the expense of the people who do have a shot? And the fact that the media is doing that is the GOP’s fault? Bullshit.

            1. Well, whether or not I think Donald Trump is a serious contender doesn’t matter one bit. And while we’re at it, I don’t think anyone besides Hillary is a serious contender on the Democratic side so if we’re basing media coverage strictly on odds likely to win then the media should be focusing virtually entirely on her, Bush, Walker, and maybe Rubio. And if the media was still focusing on Bush and Walker, people would trash them for insisting Trump has no chance while beating them in the polls.

              “only has 24% support should be covered exclusively at the expense of the people who do have a shot?”

              What do you mean by “should?” If I’m running a media business, absolutely yes, because that’s what’s getting people’s attention right now. And 24% in a primary, this early in the race especially, is not some small number. That number would have given him 2nd place in 2008 or 2012. That nearly a quarter of Republican voters are willing to support this guy after everything he’s done and said (and I’m talking about all his pre-campaign baggage too, not just recent comments) speaks volumes about the party. That’s not some small fringe sliver. And if you read news sites, there are still plenty of articles about other candidates. People just don’t care as much, so Trump gets disproportionate coverage.

              1. Again, you assume this makes money and there is no evidence of that.

          2. Yeah, he is actually appealing to a significant sector of the Republican base, in spite of (because of?) his clown act.

            1. I think it’s definitely because of. Absent saying what he’s said about immigration, and to a lesser extent foreign trade, Trump has little to no appeal. He has very few small government/free market credentials, he has virtually zero appeal from a religious social conservative POV, and he has no foreign policy or military experience.

          3. It means that if he can pick up just about 1/3 of the support of the other candidates for the nomination as they drop out, he’s got a majority.

  16. Bush has it all backward. None of his goals can work until you curtail government power. Power leads to the need for employees, spending, lobbying, etc.

    In addition, the balanced budget amendment and line item veto amendment are silly 1990s rehash. They will never happen. And even if they did happen, who could enforce them? Who has standing and will the Supreme Court do anything? No.

    I do a fair amount of gov’t procurement work and I can tell you that no matter what rules you put into place, the procurement people will figure a way to hand out contracts to whom they want. The only way to fix it is to reduce the scope of what needs to be procured. The people in the gov’t are lazy morons and the vendors do all of their work for them.

    I would much rather have Trump. Have him tell the gov’t union employees that “You’re Fired.” Even as a useless gesture, it would be damn entertaining. And, frankly, that’s about the most you can expect in terms of benefits out of Washington.

    1. You got it. Bush’s problem is that he lives inside the system and always has. So he thinks the way to reform the system is to change the way it works and doesn’t understand that the system itself is the problem.

  17. It is truly amazing to me that in 2015, in a country of ~315 million people, that the “leading”(in terms of establishment types) candidates for POTUS from the two major parties are named Bush and Clinton. Are you fucking kidding me?

    1. That reflects the emptiness of our political system more than anything. The major parties haven’t stood for anything substantial in ages; they regularly sell out their supposedly core constituencies. It doesn’t matter who leads team red or team blue. It’ll be more of the same.

  18. For some reason, I was listening to CNN this morning. The panel of expert political analysts was tut-tutting about how Trump demeans the noble calling of national politics.
    Fuck that.
    TRUMP ’16- The President America Deserves.

    1. He’s just more overtly clownish than the other scumbags running. What’s really pathetic is not understanding that the difference between him and the “serious” candidates is almost total illusion.

      1. Or maybe people do understand the difference, look where the “serious” candidates have gotten us over the last 20 years.

  19. even if he goes nuts and starts posting photos of his penis to make Nikki happy.
    .
    I’ll vote for anybody who promises to install a brass pole in the Oval Office and devote his Presidency to masturbating to an unending parade of stripper/hookers.
    How could it be worse than the sixteen preceding years?

    1. didn’t we already have that during the Clinton Presidency? It wasn’t great but it wasn’t this bad. So yeah, why not?

  20. “The overspending, the overreaching, the arrogance, and the sheer incompetence in that city ? these problems have been with us so long that they are sometimes accepted as facts of life. But a president should never accept them, and I will not. We need a president willing to challenge the whole culture in our nation’s capital ? and I mean to do it!”

    In principle I agree with Bush, but the problem is that virtually every GOP candidate says the exact same thing, along with half the democrats. But when brass tacks are discussed it usually goes kind of like an OWS speech.

    “We need to quit being told anyone is too big to fail”

    Yeah

    “We need to stop politicians getting cozy with Washington”

    Fuck yeah

    “And that’s why we need more government power and regulators”

    WTF?

    The problem is nobody believes Jeb. I think the distinguishing characteristic between a libertarianish candidate and any other isn’t that they think the Government is fucked, it’s that they’ve concluded that no top men can ever unfuck it.

    1. Even when a Republican tries to do something about spending, the media goes insane and calls them evil nihilists who want to destroy the world and the Republican backs down. No Republican, no matter how sincere their commitment to cutting spending is ever going to do so unless they have enough balls to stand up and tell the media to fuck off.

      What evidence is there that Jeb, even if he does mean this, has such balls? I sure don’t see any.

        1. The only Republican candidates that I see that seem to have actual balls are Cruz, Paul, Walker and Fiorina. Cruz and Paul have basically made themselves pariahs among all the right people. Walker stood up to an outright fascist mob in Wisconsin and Fiorina seems to be the only one of the lot who is unafraid to tell the truth about Hillary.

          1. Fiorina seems to be the only one of the lot who is unafraid to tell the truth about Hillary.

            Because she has vagina immunity to shield against the SEXIST!!11!!!! charge.

  21. So this means what? That we have another politician who will say whatever he thinks we want to hear in order to be elected? “…government spending rose significantly in Florida while he was governor….” This is what we can expect as president? Although I believe a governor is a better choice than a senator, since a governor has actually run something, we need to compare what is said with proof of what has been done.

  22. The GOP has only itself to blame for Trump. They were given majorities based on what they campaigned on, and delivered none of it.
    Trump is the political effect of the physics axiom that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    1. Trump’s popularity is totally the result of immigration and his being willing to be blunt. No one knows anything about him other than what he has said about immigration and the fact that he is willing to say it in blunt terms. That is it. The fact that he supports single payer health care, has been a big Hillary supporter at various times is never mentioned.

      He is a one trick pony. But, he is only getting somewhere because the GOP refuses to be honest about immigration.

      1. I wonder what he would’ve said if he’d been seeking the Democrats’ nomination. What subject would he have picked?

    2. Yup, they’ve weaseled out of so many campaign promises that a large part of their base is willing to vote for him just because he sounds like he means it.

    3. In their defense their majorities weren’t actually the result of more people voting for them.

  23. I’m against the line item veto. It can be too easily abused. It can be great if it’s used to end a prevent a government program from coming into being but it can just as easily be used to, say, prevent marijuana from being removed from Schedule 1 even if there’s a solid majority in favor.

  24. Fuck me in the ear. You guys are seriously so invested in the Trump pants-shitting you’re endorsing a Jeb fucking Bush speech? I almost hope Trump wins the nom, if not the election, just to watch the Reason staff’s head explode.

    1. Only if he named Sarah Palin as his running mate. If you are going to dream PM, dream big.

        1. Even better.

        2. And i want the Duck Dynasty guy to be press secretary.

          1. And Rowdy Roddy Piper as SoS.

    2. He’s pro-open borders, specifically when it comes to flooding the country with Mexicans. Reason is the same. So of course they like him.

      Never mind Bush wants to put them (and their families) all on welfare, except the 5% who work minimum wages jobs of course…

  25. Wow, look at the %age of Republicans who said they “would support” Hillary if she were the nominee!

    More evidence, I’d say, that people assume the Clinton in the White House who’d actually be calling the shots would be Bill, who lots of Republicans think was fairly good. Come on, how else would you explain support for a candidate who’d make as bad a president as Hillary? It’s like saying you’d support Charles Manson for POTUS, if you consider only the candidate personally, rather than taking the spouse into acc’t.

  26. Once the also-rans, like Christie, Jindal, and Perry, start dropping out, their supporters will start moving to the serious candidates. And once those serious candidates start lapping Trump in support, his supporters will start moving away too. I expect that he’ll be done after the first few primaries at the latest.

    As to Bush’s proposals, they are interesting, but I also don’t trust him. Nor do I think that reform of government employment practices is something that can be accomplished without Democratic support, and the Democrats have no incentive to participate in that project because it’s not an issue that is likely to stir much voter interest. Voters are talking about elected and appointed officials when they complain about DC, not the bureaucracy.

  27. A “Clown Show”?
    Not unlike many Libertarian Party conclaves I’ve attended.

  28. If Republican politics can’t promote thoughtful debate about the size and scope of government, liberty, personal responsibility, and sound economic theory, it may as well be a clown show.

  29. Great stuff, totally agree with all of it. Can we trust him to do it? His family’s record isn’t so hot on that score.

  30. No, they both show what the GOP is and the GOP is huge pile of shit, just like the Democrats. Is Reason really seriously going to treat the Presidential race like it actually matters who the candidates are or share in the pretense that any one of them is any better than any of the others?

  31. Ah yes the essential questions. Like will this essential program essentially be gutted by essential legislation?

    Yes. – Bush doesn’t mean it.

  32. Gives speech against lobbying, underwritten by lobbyists.

    Used name and political connections to get rich off foreign investors.

    No thank you.

  33. If you check the head to head polling data on Realclearpolitics you’ll see that one candidate stands out by losing to Hillary by almost twice as much as any other candidate. Ben Carson? No. Mike Huckabee? No. Rand Paul? No.

    Donald Trump loses by 17% against Hillary. Rand Paul does the best losing by only 5%. JEB is down by 6%.

    Someone in Trump’s camp floated the idea that if Trump doesn’t get the Republican nomination then he’ll run as a third party candidate. That’s clearly blackmail but it shows that the only rational explanation for Trump running is to guarantee Hillary wins the White House. Running as a Republican she wins, running on a third party she wins.

    Trump is silent on every issue except building a wall so high that space station crews will be able to slap down Mexicans trying climbing over it. No one is asking him about anything else and in particular why it is that Hillary does the best against him.

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