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Jeb: Who You Walk With Tells Us Where You Stand On The Social Issues

Jeb Bush Speaking

Those trying to figure out where the candidates stand on what have come to be called “the social issues” or what we prefer to call the traditional values agenda will likely not get a whole lot of help from Thursday’s Fox News Republican presidential debate.

Fox, chockfull as it is with alumni of the previous Bush administrations, has never been strong on the traditional values agenda – despite News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch’s occasional comments to the effect that the family consisting of a father, mother and children is fundamental to our civilization.

So, traditional values voters will likely have to look beyond Thursday’s Fox News debate for information on where the Republican candidates for president stand on their issues.

Our first test of whether a candidate can be counted on to stand for the traditional values agenda is their record, followed by who they walk with – that is who is in their “kitchen cabinet” and on their campaign team and staff.

In this regard Donald Trump’s ideas are somewhat obscure – his campaign has no identified policy director or internal think tank. Although he has said he opposes same-sex marriage, at various times he has voiced support of single-payer health care, a 14.25 percent wealth tax, and an assault weapons ban — all positions that he has reversed. And prior to 2010 most of his political donations went to liberal Democrats, all of whom are antagonistic to the traditional values agenda.

But if Trump’s ideas on the traditional values agenda are at best muddled and who he walks with is obscure, the other leading candidate – Jeb Bush – is much easier to assess.

As our friends at noted, back in 1994 Bush penned an opinion editorial in which he claimed that advancing “anti-discrimination protections” for homosexuals was tantamount to elevating sodomy. According to Buzzfeed, the Bush team “has since sought to distance him from that piece, with a spokeswoman telling BuzzFeed that it ‘does not reflect Gov. Bush’s views now.'”

That was then and this is now. In terms of where things presently stand, like a man trying to navigate a high-wire, Bush, yet again, seems to have a problem advancing a clear message on an issue.

When recently asked if Bush supported a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, Bush spokesperson Kristy Campbell stated that Bush “does not believe amending the Constitution is the right course.”

The very next day, Bush made a rather weak attempt to walk the statement back: “I think we ought to focus, just as I said, on trying to forge consensus so we can move forward, and added what may be the most damning statement to conservative voters; “The courts have decided.”

He also said in language strangely reminiscent of Justice Kennedy’s outrageous Supreme Court opinion mandating same-sex marriage in all 50 states that we should all respect other “people’s commitments to long-term loving relationships.”

More evidence on Bush’s evolving stance exists. According to a recent media account, some in Bush’s inner circle are already leaking to the media that Bush’s personal beliefs now contradict his on-the-record statements from years past.

And as far as who Jeb Bush walks with, well as we explained in our articles “Jeb Bush’s Bizarre Group Therapy Campaign” and “Jeb Bush, John Boehner And The Anti-Reagan Republican Establishment” no Republican candidate for President has a staff less friendly to the traditional values agenda than does Jeb Bush.

One of Bush’s top campaign aides, David Kochel of Iowa, had this to say about standing for traditional social mores and cultural values, “Frankly,” Kochel said on an Iowa television program, "the culture wars are kind of over, and Republicans largely lost."

This kind of thinking should not really surprise conservative observers, given, as McKay Coppins reported for BuzzFeed and our friend W. James Antle III dissected at some length in an article for The Week, “When Bush officially launches his presidential bid later this year, he will likely do so with a campaign manager who has urged the Republican Party to adopt a pro-gay agenda; a chief strategist who signed a Supreme Court amicus brief arguing for marriage equality in California; a longtime adviser who once encouraged her minister to stick to his guns in preaching equality for same-sex couples; and a communications director who is openly gay.”

Ronald Reagan gained the Republican nomination for president, and eventually won the White House in 1980, by welding together all of the grassroots discontents with the Washington and Republican establishments and building what became known as the “three-legged stool” of the Reagan coalition; anti-communist national defense conservatives, fiscal conservatives and social conservatives.

The new Republican majority in Congress was forged by adding the limited government constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party movement to that three-legged stool, to make what should have been a solid and stable platform from which Republicans could govern for generations to come.

You probably won’t see it Thursday night, because the traditional values agenda is unlikely to get much airtime during the debate, but of all the Republican campaigns, the Jeb Bush campaign seems framed to alienate social conservatives, tear apart the Reagan coalition and reduce the Republican Party to the same permanent minority status it held for most of the 50 years between the New Deal and 1980.

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Who You Walk With - Jeb

My heart broke when Laura Bush, Jeb's sister-in-law came out in support of homosexual marriage. I thought she was a good Christian and when she said she supported it, I was stunned. So, Jeb walks with Laura, and as my mother used to say, "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are". I will NEVER vote for Jeb for more than just that reason.

mealy mouthed "republicans"

I heartily agree that "who you walk with" defines who you are. The mealy mouthed fake conservative establishment "republicans" who lie on their oath of office, fail to hold constitutional values, or live up to the Republican (large "R") plank, walk with the disingenuous socialist/Marxist left.