Although we have indicated our tentative support for Jeb Bush to be the Republican nominee, it is still early days: Bush has yet to articulate his position on several major issues and the dynamics of the primary campaign, including the debates among the candidates – sometimes entertaining and sometimes dismaying – lie well down the road. We are in agreement with Bush on the two issues with which he has been most clearly identified and most sharply criticized from the right – immigration reform and Common Core. More generally, we have favored Bush for reasons suggested in a March 30 New York Times analysis, “Jeb Bush and Scott Walker Point G.O.P. To Contrary Paths.” A principal point was Bush’s distaste for paralyzing polarization: […]
Two years ago, Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana notably, and wisely, observed that Republicans had to “stop being the Stupid Party.” Since then Republicans have reminded themselves of Jindal’s advice from time to time, but more often have chosen to forget or ignore it. Recent days are replete with examples. […]
The beginning of 2015 has seen not only a blizzard on the East Coast but a blizzard of activity among potential Republican candidates for 2016. Some observers have seemed as unenthusiastic about the political blizzards as most snow bound residents were for the natural variety: “Oh, no. Do we really need this much, this soon?” The PBS NewsHour has identified no less than 17 individuals who have indicated that they’re “interested” or “actively exploring” a presidential bid. In alphabetical order: John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker. Just this morning the NewsHour list had one addition and one subtraction. Mitt Romney announced that he had abandoned any plan to run, while Senator Lindsey Graham took the initial step of forming a PAC. Other prominent figures who have made no announcement but are thought to be waiting in the wings include Governors Bobby Jindal and Mike Pence.
There has been considerable movement afoot in the world of marijuana in the past year. In November, voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia passed referenda authorizing and regulating the sale and use of marijuana. They joined Colorado and Washington State, which had previously adopted such laws. In Florida, a referendum authorizing the use of medical marijuana drew the support of a majority of voters but failed to gain the required approval of 60%. In June, however, the Florida legislature, had passed a narrower law authorizing only a specific, non-euphoric, form of medical marijuana, known as Charlotte’s Web. A total of 22 states have now adopted laws authorizing some form of medical marijuana. […]
Actually, the unveiling of Jeb Bush has only just begun. Speculation about Bush’s possible candidacy reached something of a mini-crescendo when he announced before Christmas that he would be “actively exploring” a run for the Presidency. That did not come as a great surprise—Candy Crowley on CNN remarked that it was what she had thought he was doing all along over the past many months. Nevertheless, the making of a formal statement made it seem unlikely that Bush would decide that the whole thing was not a good idea. […]
Airstrikes in Syria
We felt, as we suspect most Americans did, a surge of satisfaction at President Obama’s decision to take strong military action against an organization as manifestly evil and dangerous as ISIS. As The Wall Street Journal put it, “The initial bombing raids on Islamic State targets in Syria Monday night mark a welcome offensive that takes the war to the terrorists who beheaded two Americans and threaten U.S. interests in the Middle East and security at home.” The New York Times, on the other hand, saw it as a “bad decision,”criticizing the President for proceeding “without allowing the public debate that needs to take place before this nation enters another costly and potentially lengthy conflict in the Middle East.