Jeb (oh, I am sorry, he wants to be referred to as "Jeb!" complete with exclamation point) is trying desperately to locate himself on the scale somewhere near the "severely conservative" Mitt Romney (whom everyone knew was just a flimflam man trying to get elected -- witness his 1st and 3rd debate with Obama where he basically espoused Democratic Party policies and often would just say "I agree with the President.")
But the bigger concern that I have with this story is the statement that a recent poll found that 73% of people who identify as conservative have a favorable view of George W. Bush!!!
In my lifetime, George W. Bush is the worst President, probably 10% worse than Jimmy Carter, who was second worst by a mile. GWB did almost nothing well and almost everything extremely poorly. Keeping us safe? More dead of terrorism in the U.S. than any President.
Foreign policy? Spent a trillion dollars on unnecessary Iraq War despite warnings that the war would destabilize the region (which it did).
Economics - led us into a stock market collapse and almost a second Great Depression. This is true even though he took a balanced budget from Clinton and immediately ballooned it by huge tax cuts coupled with spending on programs like the military, wars and Medicare Part D,
Foreign relations - everyone hated us.
Rule of Law -- no respect for the rule of law, set up torture sites, tortured, set up Guantanamo Bay detention area.
The guy was the absolute worst President of at least the past 70 years, and probably back to Harding (1920). Clearly among the 10 worst Presidents in U.S. history, and battling hard for the bottom 5. (I would imagine that guys like Zachary Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan, Harding, were worse, but I don't think you could locate 6 other guys who even are arguable worse. Maybe Coolidge, maybe Hoover, maybe Andrew Johnson. But I would not put those guys below GWB - I think he is probably 5th worst.
But honest to God, if conservative Republicans are so stupid that they cannot concede that GWB was a terrible President (and only 27% of them appear to have seriously qualms about him) then where does that leave us as a country? We have basically reached a point where people live in their own private reality as defined by whether they watch Fox News or not.
As a Democrat, I recognize that Jimmy Carter was an awful President (great guy, smart guy, has done very well later in life, but an awful President). I also recognize that Reagan was a good President and Nixon, while a criminal, did a good job in most of his Presidential duties. It really , really bothers me that 73% of conservatives feel GWB was a good President. It is as if 73% of Vikings fans felt Spergon Wynn was a good quarterback or if 73% of Bears fans felt having Jimmy Clausen as a backup was good insurance in case Cutler got injured. I mean, that would be a form of mental illness.
But anyway -- I am glad that Jeb! Bush is now able to identify that his brother sucked. Sadly, it appears that he is fighting uphill against a GOP primary voter who saw absolutely nothing wrong with GWB's performance and who will probably be a little hurt that Jeb! is going after him.