Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, brother of one president and son of another, is a moderate Republican turning red. He will deepen his hue when he gives a commencement address May 9 at Liberty University. (Liberty, in case you’ve forgotten, is Jerry Falwell’s school for the church-in-government crowd.)
Bush, a former Florida Secretary of Commerce (1997-98), was governor from 1999-2007, and was an architect and early advocate for the controversial Common Core academic standards for public schools; he has supported immigration reform and restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. He was also a proponent (unsuccessful) for issuing driver licenses to noncitizens working in Florida.
But never mind those credentials. The current Bush opposes gun control, is a convert (1995) to Catholicism and hates abortion. That’s all he should need for a rousing welcome at Liberty, a school founded by Falwell, the late father of the Moral Majority. The school is in a Virginia town named, interestingly, Lynchburg, as though it were a venue for Klan rallies.
The battle for the Republican presidential nomination begins with mining passions of the far-right, and that starts with serenading the church schools. Ted Cruz’s Liberty love song last month will be hard to beat. Here is a candidate who sings dogma with the dreamy charm of a carny moving new shells over his peas.
Hurry, hurry, hurry! Guns, Bibles and abortion. Win this game, win it all.