Jeb Bush's campaign is imploding. The cash has dried up, and Jeb! can no longer contain his annoyance that gold toilet aficionado Donald Trump is the ringmaster of the grotesque shitshow that is the Republican primary:
The former Florida governor and younger brother of President George W. Bush seemed frustrated with the political stand-offs that have come to characterize the American government, and the mud slinging of the current election season."Okay!" said the Republican base.
"If this election is about how we're going to fight to get nothing done, then… I don't want any part of it," Bush reportedly said. "I don't want to be elected president to sit around and see gridlock just become so dominant that people literally are in decline in their lives."
He then took a swing at his GOP rival, Donald Trump.
"I've got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them," he said. "That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that."
Naturally, this is being widely framed as Bush losing his cool that Trump is taking potshots at him, but of course it's not just that Trump is taking potshots at him, but taking them from the pole position. Bush is pissed that he's losing, certainly, but I wager he's even more pissed that he's losing to Donald Trump.
Pissed about losing to Trump for a bunch of different reasons, not least of which is that Trump's popularity with the Republican base, specifically because he's running a nakedly racist and overtly misogynist campaign, smashes to smithereens the protective veneer in which blueblood elites like Bush encase themselves to maintain a ludicrous denial about how despicable their base really is.
Bush, like many national politicians in the GOP who act in service to corporations, is primarily interested in social conservatism only insofar as it is useful as wedge issues. They aren't true believers; they don't care about kissing boys and they want their "mothers, wives, and daughters" to have access to abortion and equal pay; and they know damn well that Corporate America doesn't really want meaningful immigration reform that would stop them from exploiting undocumented workers.
To them, it's all just talk to get the base in the boonies to the voting booths.
And they fastidiously maintain an illusion that it doesn't really mean anything to the hoi polloi, either. At least not so much that they're actually hateful shitlords who actively want people they view as Other to be harmed.
They maintain the illusion that their party might be something other than what it is by lying to themselves and ignoring all evidence to the contrary; and they maintain it by being so insulated from ordinary USians on a daily basis, sometimes for literally decades, that they aren't forced to face the grim reality of how ignorant and cruel their base truly is.
Which is why you see John McCain acting surprised when people start shouting about how President Obama is a Muslim terrorist at his campaign rallies, or why you see Chris Christie acting surprised when people call him a traitor for being pleasant to President Obama for three whole seconds, and why Jeb! is so shocked that Donald Trump is leading, not in spite of his bigotry but because of it.
Over and over, members of the Republican elite express shock at the true nature of their party, as if they didn't cultivate it to be precisely so, and Jeb Bush's mystified temper tantrums about Donald Trump are just the latest iteration in this same tired tale.
But Bush has no one but himself to blame. He's played as major a role in nurturing this hideous dynamic as any of the other clowns in his party running for the presidency, and the evidence of the seething resentment and hateful scapegoating they've wrought is there, as plain as day, all over the country.
It's no one's fault but his own if he has chosen to ignore it, because it was too ugly at which to gaze.