George P. Bush learns the GOP's Trump lesson the hard way
George P. Bush. Illustrated | AP Images, iStock
In the end there was nothing for George P. Bush.
Bush - the son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush and now a candidate for Texas attorney general - worked hard to get Donald Trump's support for his race against incumbent Ken Paxton. He did so despite his family, which also includes former President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and his father despise Trump and his influence over the party they once dominated. He did so despite the fact that Trump insulted his own mother on Twitter in 2015. And he did so by selling merch to reinforce the fact that Trump played him off against his family. All in all, it was a naked amoral feat: if you are selling off your loved ones in the pursuit of power, why in the world should voters trust your integrity in office?
It did not work. Trump supported Paxton on Monday night.
"Ken has my full and complete approval for another term as Attorney General of Texas," the former president said in a statement. "He's a real Texan who keeps Texas safe - and never lets you down!"
What happened to Bush is a microcosm of the Republican Party's mistakes during the Trump era. GOP leaders prostrated themselves to a cruel and rude man in hopes of coming to power only to come out with diminished dignity and power. The more the party has tied to Trump's grievances and lies over the years, the more it has lost voter confidence - surrendering the House of Representatives in 2018, then the Senate and the White House in 2020. Bush isn't even the only Republican to give up family loyalty to the former president: Trump insults Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wife and accuses his father of being involved in JFK's assassination, but Cruz remains adamantly loyal. It's both threatening and pathetic.
But Republicans continue to follow Trump's example. What have they achieved besides feeding his ego? "I can tell you the president is enjoying the prospect of knowing how much it is killing Jeb that his son has to bend his knee and kiss the ring," a source told Politico in May. "Who's your daddy? Trump loves this." George P. Bush learned the hard way that if you throw yourself at Trump's feet, you lose more than you win. We're still waiting for the Republican Party to do the same.
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In this article:
George P. Bush
American politician, former Florida governor
George W. Bush
43rd President of the United States
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