One year ago, Jeb Bush was considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. Last night, he received only 3% of the votes in the Iowa Caucus. The obvious message is that the United States doesn't want another Bush presidency -Democrats don't want it, Independents don't want it, and even the Republican Party's own base doesn't want it. What may be less obvious is how Jeb Bush brought about the ascendency of Donald Trump as a front-runner.
There's a lot to be said about the echo chamber that dominates Washington, DC across party lines. (Great articles on this are here and here.) It is something that especially dominates the Republican Party elite, though, who were convinced they were going to defeat Obama in 2008 and 2012 when the rest of the country made clear they were going in another direction. Both times, Obama's greatest appeal factor was that he was not Bush. The Republican Party ignored this and lost presidential elections because of it. This time around, the Republican Party ignored it and is at risk of losing the party itself. (Some have said that a Trump nomination would change/compromise the ideology of the Republican Party - see this, this, and this. Republicans ought to be worried about a more fundamental problem - that a Trump nomination, or even his success to date, would change/compromise the viability of the Republican Party as a serious player in the future.)
Trump's unique role in the primary race was from the start and still is, the anti-Bush candidate. Consider this:
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