When Jeb Bush swerved into the Iowa Ag Summit over the week end he tweaked his brand from “common sense conservative” to “reform-minded conservative.” That should tell you how difficult it is these days to be a simple take-it-or leave-it conservative, particularly for the rabid Hawkeye Ag crowd. I’m not sure what the difference is in the current Project Runway for a dozen or so aspiring GOP primary contenders but that’s how Bush’s strategists, gluttons for theoretical politics, now want to cast his alleged good works for the benefit of the voters.

But when the time arrived to face the heartland’s inquisitors, Jeb rose not as a standard reform-minded critic of the Obama Administration but as as a bloody advocate of the Tea Party playbook, labeling Obamacare as a “monstrosity”. He then went on to define the Affordable Care Act as a job-killer, investment destroyer and fatal burden on the economy. (Come back, Jeb, wherever you are!)

So here is where we meet him as the reformer: He asserted the whole mess should be turned over a “market-oriented approach”. How Republicans do love the word “market”. It is a an umbrella word that could mean trickle down, or privatize, but for some reason we never get to that point in defining “market oriented.”

To those gurus who say that Jeb is really a middle- of- the- roader fashioned from the family dynasty who would never do anything silly, as did his brother who led the invasion of Iraq. Not good enough. The usual sappy melodrama of politics is much too mild to grab attention from today’s pathological contestants in what has become a swarming game of “Twelve for the Money”.

Money? The Economist noted that the Koch brothers, who need no further introduction, haver pledged upward of $900 million to buy their preferred candidates outright. Add Sheldon Adelson’s many millions and we’re talking some real money here, folks.

Writing of the Roman Republic, Historian Hendrik Willem Van Loon observed in his History of Mankind:

“It became a land of rich people ruled by rich people for the benefit of rich people. As such it was doomed to disastrous failure…”

We may not be there yet , but…

 

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