The Republican Party has changed since George W. Bush's presidency -- it is more conservative. Indeed, many conservatives blamed Bush for the party's woes because he was insufficiently Republican (of course, these complaints only started in 2006 with electoral defeats, there was a deafening silence before then). This johnny-come-lately criticism is debatable; Bush, in the context of his two-terms did not govern like a squish or a RINO. The criticism is more a sign of the rightward lurch of the political party than Bush's policies.
Now the latest of the Bush Family political dynasty -- George P. Bush, son of Jeb, nephew of Bush II and grandson to Bush I -- is making his first foray into the family business. George P., as he has already come to be known, is running for Texas Land Commissioner, which is actually a powerful state office, and, you may recall, somewhat reminiscent of Governor Perry's path to the governorship (he was the Texas Agricultural Commissioner). The current land commissioner is running for Lieutenant Governor; you can bet George P. has higher office aspirations as well.
But George P. is not an establishment Republican like father, uncle and granddad. First, he wants to defund/repeal Obamacare: "It's a monstrosity of a law," he said. "In terms of defunding it, that would be one way to reduce and mitigate the impact it's going to have on practicing physicians and hospitals here in Texas."
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Moreover, George P. cites Newt Gingrich as having had a strong influence on his political worldview and that he's "a 'movement conservative' more in line with the tea party."
Some aren't buying it. One North Texas tea party activist told the AP: "A Bush can't be a true conservative."
This is silly, and it is not as if a tea party activist is going to pull the lever for a democrat or stay home -- tea partiers are the most politically active of Republicans. Moreover, Democrats have not won a statewide office in Texas in almost two decades.
Anyways, George P. is simply showing by his words and actions that he is a smart politician. He recognizes that the political ground, at least in Texas, has shifted away from "compassionate conservatism" to a more austere form of conservatism. And recognizing the stances he needs to take to win, he has done that. George P. will win this race easily. The Bush political dynasty continues.