Jeb Bush Channels Michael Dukakis

1988: “Michael Dukakis counters Republican ‘ideology’ with Democratic ‘competence.'”

Washington Post today: “Jeb Bush previews 2016 run, promising ‘adult conversations’ on big issues

Bush was sharply critical of Washington — not only of President Obama but also of the Republican-controlled Congress — saying there were too many “academic and political hacks” with “hard-core ideology” who are running the country without making progress.

“They’re basically Maytag repairmen,” he said. “Nothing gets done.” Bush added, “It is time to challenge every aspect of how government works — how it taxes, how it regulates, how it spends — to open up economic opportunity for all.”

I actually rather like Bush’s idea. I think the Republican president elected in 2016 should appoint him chairman of a blue ribbon commission, i.e., one filled with both academic and political hacks, to issue a report with recommendations in two years.

Not only are there a dwindling number of voters who have a clue what Bush meant by his reference to “the Maytag repairmen,” but he even mangled the reference. As the TV ad made clear, those guys (another thing about the ad that’s dated) got nothing done because Maytags never needed repair and so there was nothing to do. Quite unlike our government today.

I would question the wisdom of Bush’s attacking Republicans in Congress, but others have already commented on the oddity of his deciding to wage his version of a general election campaign before winning his party’s nomination, a nomination that will be decided in good part by many voters who rather like their Republican representatives in Congress.

Say What?