I will Believe it When I see it

Via WaPoJeb Bush previews 2016 run, promising ‘adult conversations’ on big issues.

I would adore such a conversation.  Alas, my experience with US campaigns makes we skeptical. 

(And that observation is not aimed at Bush, but is a general observation).

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. michael reynolds says:

    It’s going to be pretty hard having an adult conversation. But what an interesting thing to say. Politically he’s dismissing the Tea Party and suggesting he’s just going to talk past them to the remains of the old GOP and the country at large.

    And what will this conversation be about? Inequality, I imagine. Which will settle the question of whether the Tea Party or Occupy had the greater long-term effect. The TP message is clearly in decline while the Occupy message is so powerful that even people like Mitt Romney feel the need to address it.

    If I were a giddy optimist I’d take that as evidence that truth (there actually is a problem with inequality) wins out over nonsense (no, health insurance is not the precursor to Marxist Sharia.) And if I were a raving egomaniac (ahem) I’d point out that I predicted a long time ago that Occupy was having a very large impact on thinking in this country.

    What the hell would we do with ourselves if it turned out that facts trump ideology? What if an actual adult conversation breaks out?

  2. Trumwill says:

    Off topic, but I was wondering if you could recommend a good book (or some good books) on the general evolution of Spanish America towards independence. Simon Bolivar and South America, Mexico, etc.?

  3. Kyle Huckins says:

    GOP after dark.

  4. @Trumwill: What kind of thing are you looking for?

  5. Moosebreath says:

    I am skeptical. Even ignoring the Beavis and Butthead level jokes one can make about it, Presidential candidates who try to have adult conversations with the American public tend not to do well (Walter Mondale, Paul Tsongas and Ross Perot come to mind).

  6. CSK says:

    Bush is probably trying to distance himself from the Klown Kar Kandidates, notably Donald Trump, who announced yesterday he was interested in running, and Sarah Palin, who also announced yesterday she was interested in running, while allowing herself to be photographed brandishing a sign that read: “Fu*ck You, Michael Moore.”

  7. Trumwill says:

    A book that gives a broad overview of how Spain lost the Americas, piece by piece, over the 19th century. It’s one of those things that I can look up individually, but I kind of want something that connects them.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    You know the old saying: Write the book you want to read. Toni Morrison, I believe.

  9. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s been attributed to Carol Shields as well.

    I like Benjamin Disraeli’s take better: “When I want to read a novel, I write one.”

  10. Tyrell says:

    .”Adult conversation”: This means that what they say will be scripted and programmed.

  11. Slugger says:

    I am very tempted to dial 1-900-JEB-BUSH to get adult conversation.

  12. CSK says:


    Yeah, I was thinking that. Talk dirty to me, Jeb, baby.

  13. superdestroyer says:


    As has been pointed out many times, Donald Trump will never run because he will never want to fill out the financial disclosure documentation because he would show he is not as rich as claimed.

    However, as usual, the Republicans cannot find a way to deal with the grifters and the self-promoters while the Democrats deal with the problem of no one wanting to run and no one in the Democratic Party wanting to accept any responsibility for future actions.

  14. superdestroyer says:

    As was reported this week, Jeb Bush gave a speech where he once again repeated with mantra that the middle class whites that make up the Republican Party are too lazy to mow their lawn, too stupid for high tech work, too personally flawed to get married, and too selfish to have children. Jeb Bush justed added to list this week that middle class whites are too cheap and thrifty to purchase expensive cars with lots of extras using a loan with lousy terms. Thus, whites need to be replaced with immigrants from the third world who will replace middle class whites.

    It is hard to see Jeb Bush as talking like an adult when every speech he gives sounds like it is coming out of the mouth of a spoil little rich kid who had never really been around middle class whites in his entire life.

  15. CSK says:


    Oh, I know Trump has no intention of running. But he does have a new season of Celebrity Apprentice, or whatever, to hawk. And Palin has a show to promote, too, plus her subscription Internet channel. Huckabee has a book just out.

    ‘Tis the season for showboating.

  16. al-Ameda says:

    Hypothetically, Americans say that they want to have rational discussions about important issues, in practice, we want nothing like that at all.

    The last time Americans were asked to have an adult conversation about a very important issue – the Affordable Care Act – we failed miserably.

    About 5 years ago I went to a ‘Town Hall Meeting’ concerning the (then recently) proposed ACA and the 1st 45 minutes of the meeting were hijacked by consecutive middle-aged white male members of the public who stepped forward to berate the president, our senators, and legislative representatives as socialists, communists, idiots, and so forth. Basically, the proposed ACA was scarcely discussed at all. The rest of the meeting was rocky, and dominated by catcallis and shouting from angry opponents of ACA. It was 120 minutes of my life that would have been better spent having a hot cajun sausage and a cold beer with friends.

    I chalk that experience up to “Wisdom of The People.”

  17. superdestroyer says:


    you are reinforcing my point of view. When progressives state that conservatives need to reach out to blacks and Hispanics, appeal to them, and listen to them, I laugh. The vast majority of voters are beyond the reach of reasoning, logic, or any type of appeal. that is why politics in the future will be based on demographics.

  18. Barry says:

    @CSK: “Bush is probably trying to distance himself from the Klown Kar Kandidates”

    I’m sure that he’s *trying*……

  19. Grewgills says:


    When progressives state that conservatives need to reach out to blacks and Hispanics, appeal to them, and listen to them, I laugh. The vast majority of voters are beyond the reach of reasoning, logic, or any type of appeal.

    Is there anything in your head not tainted by racism and/or sexism? Anything at all?

  20. superdestroyer says:


    When did noticing that 95% of black automatically vote for any Democrat considering having a head full of racist thoughts? I thought progressives were the data-driven, reality-based types. I agree without that discussing issues has little effect on politics and that is why progressives are lying when they claim that Republicans would be better off appealing to black and Latinos while throwing whites under the bus.

  21. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @superdestroyer: @Grewgills: Shorter Superdestroyer: No.