Political dynasties are created one vote at a time

Bush dynasty

I have a confession to make. I am part of the problem. I have helped to create the next generation of a nepotistic political dynasty. I voted for George P. Bush.

Since there appears to be a Jeb Bush 2016 media boomlet going on, dynasticism is once again the flavor of the month. People often talk of political dynasties like the Bush, Clinton, and Kennedy families like they are imposed on the country from on high against the will of the people. As many problems as the democratic institutions of our republic have, we still elect our representatives by popular vote, whether they have a well known last name or not. And George P. Bush is the perfect example of that.

Generally opposed to political dynasties, I vowed to support whoever ran against Bush for the state office. Then I started researching the dozens of candidates on the ballot for various positions and found out that his opponent, David Watts, is a crazy person.

My opposition to xenophobia outweighs my opposition to nepotism, so I was forced to vote for George P. Bush. I could have abstained on that race, of course, but the result would have been the same. With my help, the youngest member of the Bush dynasty is now well on his way to the White House.

Does that sound presumptive? It’s not.

George P. Bush is the son of former Florida governor and presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, who is himself the brother of President George W Bush, both of whom are the son of President George H.W. Bush. George P. is currently running for Commissioner of the General Land Office in Texas.

This office is commonly used as a stepping stone to run for higher office in Texas and beyond. The current commissioner ran for lieutenant governor, but came in fourth in the Republican primary. The previous commissioner is the current lieutenant governor, who also ran for US Senate in 2012 but lost in that primary as well.

George P will undoubtedly run for governor, lieutenant governor (actually a more directly powerful position in the state government), or senator after he has been Land Commissioner for 4 or 8 years. And he will be Land Commissioner, of course. He won the Republican primary handily, and Texas hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994. It may do so one day, but that day will not fall in November 2014. And as we know, Texas governors have a habit of running for President, given the state’s prominent electoral and economic importance.

There is certainly a chance that George P. Bush’s bullet train to a presidential campaign. Current Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst thought he had a bullet train to the US Senate as a decade-long statewide office holder with establishment support. That is, until a younger, better spoken, well funded, more conservative, and, ironically, Latino Ted Cruz managed to survive the Republican primary to a runoff and get the wider attention he needed to win both that runoff and the general election.

The problem with the Dewhurst-Cruz scenario repeating itself against George P.Bush is that Bush would almost certainly be the Cruz, not the Dewhurst. Sure, he would be the establishment candidate in any contested primary, but Bush is also young, charismatic, well funded, and Latino (Jeb’s wife Columba is Mexican-American).

This is why primaries are so important, especially in deep red or deep blue states. The Republican primary for Texas Land Commissioner on March 4, 2014 was the first and quite possibly only obstacle between George P. Bush and a viable presidential campaign in 2024 or 2028. There are any number of scandals, failed agendas, market crashes, and other rising candidates that could cross his path over the next 10-14 years, but as it looks right now, it’s his for the taking. Sorry.


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