It’s very hard for us to say anything nice about Jeb Bush. Before Donald Trump came along and destroyed his chances, Bush was our #1 target to make sure the Republican Establishment didn’t get its way with another milquetoast moderate candidate. However, we have to give him kudos for a couple of things he said during his one-on-one debate with Donald Trump at Tuesday’s CNN Debate.
No, it wasn’t the insults such as wondering whether Trump got his policy ideas from Saturday morning or Sunday morning shows. Between insults, he pointed out two important aspects of Trump’s plans for the Presidency.
First, he noted that to beat the Islamic State would require cooperation with Muslim countries. Bush did a terrible job of fleshing that point out, but we’ll give him an assist. Right now, the Kurdish Peshmerga and other Muslim are fighting the Islamic State for their own sovereignty and survival. In order for the United States to directly or indirectly assist will require the type of diplomatic relations that aren’t normally granted to a country that is barring members of the majority religion from entering the country.
Trump’s plans, while righteous in some regards, would effectively eliminate the ability of the United States to work with Kurdish forces, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Syria in defeating the Islamic State. Right now, most of the countries in the region are following President Obama’s lead by doing very little to stop them. Under Trump, it could be even worse because we would be forced to commit a lot of troops while getting push back from Muslim countries that will inherently not like Trump. He will become either the lesser or greater of two evils and depending on the political atmosphere at the time of the new President’s inauguration, he could make stopping the Islamic State all but impossible.
This is all speculative. There is no way to know exactly how the Muslim countries will react to Trump. What’s not speculative is the point that Bush made about Trump’s temperament.
“Look, the simple fact is, if you think this is tough you’re not being treated fairly, imagine what it’s going to be like dealing with Putin or dealing with President Xi, or dealing with the Islamic terrorism that exists,” Bush said. “This is a tough business, to run for president. … You’re never going to be president of the United States by insulting your way to the presidency.”
Trump has demonstrated time and time again that when situations, organizations, or individuals pose any sort of threat or insult, he hits them back harder. That doesn’t work for the President of the United States. Ronald Reagan was famously able to work with people who disagreed with him as did Bill Clinton. Trump may not be able to handle working with people who insult him and if his history is any indicator, his ego may supersede progress.
By no means do I believe that Jeb Bush moved up as a result of the comments, but when he tells the truth the way he did, it should be noted, even if only for a fleeting moment before his campaign comes crashing down around him.