Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jeb Bush's Right Angle

URBANDALE, Iowa -- It's about time we tossed out the conventional wisdom on Jeb Bush.

This is for you, the Tea Party-aligned Republican who views the former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate as a centrist squish. And it's for you, the independent-minded Democrat who might see Bush as an unthreatening moderate.

Jeb Bush leans much further to the right than either of you thinks.

Dig deeper than his embrace of Common Core education standards or his open mind on immigration. Unwrap the pretty packaging of the compassionate conservatism he has recycled from his older brother's White House run 15 years ago.

You'll find a Republican who used his power in a politically important state to fight access to abortion, to push merit pay for teachers and to end affirmative action. You probably remember him tangling with the courts to keep Terri Schiavo alive, but do you remember how he urged a court to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a mentally disabled woman?

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Additional reading

Terri Schiavo and the brink of constitutional crisis

That time he sought a guardian for the fetus of a disabled rape victim

A privatizing, charter-school founding 'Veto' Corleone

Tea Party suspicions will present a 2016 challenge