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Jeb Bush Ready to Go “Nuclear” Over Obamacare

Jeb Bush Ready to Go “Nuclear” Over Obamacare

Senate politics turn into presidential talking points

This week’s SCOTUS opinions have sent American political discourse through all areas of policy, off the pavement, and into the weeds. What’s next in the fight to repeal Obamacare? Does the gay marriage ruling mean that my pastor will have to perform same sex ceremonies? They’re good questions (and fair questions), and we’re right to float them.

Gay marriage dominated the end of the week, but the Obamacare debate is still at the forefront of discussion; namely, how we can expect to dismantle this monster of a health care law given this week’s latest Supreme wrinkle?

Jeb Bush has an idea—and it may put him at odds with other members of the Republican Party.

Bush appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show this week and fielded a controversial question: if elected President, would he support using the “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster if it meant the end of Obamacare? At first, Bush seemed to want to focus on a policy solution that could unite Republicans, but when pressed, said he would consider using the controversial tactic.

Via Bloomberg:

Hewitt pressed Bush, pointing out that Republicans are unlikely to get 60 Senate to defeat a filibuster if Democrats stick together and block efforts to repeal Obamacare, as they have done for years. “At that point,” Hewitt said, “would you at least be open to making the argument that on this issue, before it gets its tentacles too deep, that we break the filibuster and ram through a repeal and replacement?”

Bush responded that he was open to it.

“I’d have to see—if the repeal is what I’m going to advocate, then I might consider that,” he said, adding that if the replacement includes high-deductible, low-premium catastrophic coverage and helps the middle class, “then I would certainly consider that.”

But this isn’t just about hypothetical Senate politics—there’s a presidential element here too:

Cruz hasn’t been shy about his position on the nuclear option. In an interview with Hewitt posted earlier this month, the presidential hopeful rejected the tactic of reviving the nuclear option, even as a last resort:

No, I would not [support using the nuclear option], and indeed of the 54 Republicans we have, I am not aware of any who support ending the legislative filibuster. And the reason is in the long term, the legislative filibuster serves conservative purposes. It slows down the legislative process. Now that can be frustrating when we want to do good things. But far more often than not, when Congress is moving quickly, it is moving quickly to attack our liberty, to strip away our rights, to expand government. And the legislative filibuster has prevented a great deal of mischief. And so in the long term interest of the liberty of the citizenry, and also slowing down the growth of government, I think we should preserve the legislative filibuster, but we need to beat Democrats and make the case on the merits that we’ve got to fund our vital national security needs.

Senator vs. Governor. The man who has legislated or the man who has governed—whose narrative will win the day?

Hewitt might have a point here. All things considered, I think I’m with Cruz when it comes to the nuclear option; the Congress was not designed to be a greasy skid, and we shouldn’t treat it as a non-stop chute from the committee room to the Oval Office. That being said, I think there’s a strong political argument for what Jeb Bush is doing here.

Right now, Republicans—especially conservative Republicans—are worried. Maybe scared. We see the Supreme Court tilting in a direction that philosophy and tradition tell us the Court should not tilt; we see an Executive that is out of control; we see a society that embraces the easy media narrative and falls victim to the trappings of progressive messaging. Is there a way through the wilderness?

An instant, short-term solution is awfully tempting, especially when you consider the amount of time the right has spent shouting into the void that is (/was) the Obama White House and Harry Reid’s Senate. If we’re presented with the opportunity to repeal and/or replace Obamacare, how could we possibly justify not seizing it?

Political discourse does not play well with the long game, and Jeb Bush may have just found a golden opportunity to gain favor with a growing and skeptical conservative voter base.


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“I’d have to see—if the repeal is what I’m going to advocate, then I might consider that,”

Answers don’t get more noncommittal than this. It sounds like something he would abandon the moment he got the nomination.

I’m skeptical Jeb wants repeal (“if the repeal is what I’m going to advocate” IF?), much less be willing to employ the nuclear option to do it.

If Jeb Bush swore on a stack of Bibles that he was going to repeal ObamaCare… I would not believe it.

The best time for a repeal has passed. How many insurance companies are ready for yet another re-tool? The Healthcare sector is in complete disorder and the Professional Politicians (who already have a Platinum Coated Health Plan) want to put the unwashed, unmonied mob into even more disruption?

What are you clowns thinking? Single Payer?

If Bush had responded “No,” I would think that there is a chance he would. The response he gave confirms in my mind that he would not.
This is a good topic. The liberals were willing to use the nuclear option just to get some other flaming liberals onto an important appellate court. But the Republicans won’t do that to get rid of obamacare if they win the presidency and keep the senate and house?
Maybe Cruz is right in the long run, but he assumes there will be a meaningful America going forward. I am not so sure. Moreover, why should we believe the liberals won’t use the nuclear option whenever they feel it is convenient? If Cruz wins the presidency and sticks to his position of not using it to get rid of obamacare, the liberals will have confirmed that they can use it without fear of any payback.

“Right now, Republicans—especially conservative Republicans—are worried. Maybe scared. We see…”

Oh, please. Please stop pretending that you have even the slightest clue about how conservatives think.

As for Jeb Bush convincingly courting conservatives? Umm, no. Most conservatives easily recognize political whoring and don’t particularly like it. But you can continue to hope, sweetie. Bless your heart.

What’s sadder is Hugh Hewitt trying to beef up Jeb’s conservative bonafides.

Hewitt had to practically pry an answer out of Jeb, begging him to show some fight, and the best Hewitt got was “I might consider that”

Then Hewitt tweets, “Bush is to the right of Ted Cruz on Obamacare!”

What chumps do they take us for?

LukeHandCool | June 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm

There is a typo in the headline of this post. I think you meant it to read:

“Jeb Bush Ready to Go ‘Nucular’ Over Obamacare.”

Subotai Bahadur | June 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm

There is a technical term for what Jeb! and Hewitt did.

It is called lying.

Last year Jeb! resigned from all of his corporate board positions in preparation for his campaign.

One of the board memberships was with the Tenet Corporation, where he was the highest paid board member and actually made more than the CEO.

What does the Tenet Corporation do?

They set up and run Obamacare exchanges.

Add to that the facts that he has openly expressed hatred of conservatives, and he is the anointed candidate of the party that spent all campaign in 2014 promising to fight the Left, Obama, and Obamacare and became a wing of the Democrats the day after the election; and anyone who believes he would oppose Obamacare probably also believes that we still have a rule of law in this country after the Obamacare decision.

Is it still reasonable to call it the “nuclear option” when we’re living in the post-nuclear-fallout apocalypse from its use by the other side?

Henry Hawkins | June 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm

“Political discourse does not play well with the long game, and Jeb Bush may have just found a golden opportunity to gain favor with a growing and skeptical conservative voter base.”


Another paid campaign ad for arch-conservative Jeb Bush.

beware of charging RINOs!

why would anyone over the age of 3 or with an IQ larger than their hat size believe anything this DIABLO says?

Right. Until he’s in office, then stabs us in the back like that scumbag John Boehner.

Do you have to utilize the “nuclear option” in order to repeal ObamaCare?
Have Hugh Hewitt and company forgotten that ObamaCare was passed using Reconciliation? Why do you need the “nuclear option” when Reconciliation is a much effective option?

I have always thought that Hewitt was much smarter than to embrace the “nuclear option”. Jeb! is showing that he is not a serious candidate. Hewitt threw him a hanging curve and Jeb! took a mighty swing and missed. Yet, Hewitt thinks Jeb! hit a homer. Open your eyes, Hugh.

Jeb is a dickless wonder.He doesnt go nuclear, he puts people in a comfy chair and hits them with soft cushions. I would not pee on him if he was on fire.

A_Nonny_Mouse | June 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm


Who’s going to believe *JEB* *BUSH* … also known as,
Mr. “I love our illegal Mexicans and can’t wait to make them all legal, because ‘Act-of-Looove’ ! ”

Also known as Mr. “I *LOVE* Common Core, and please don’t notice I’m heavily invested in Pearson which handles the reams upon reams of testing they do…”

Also known as Mr. “I want to be the THIRD guy named BUSH to be President, because Our Family Is So Special – We Deserve To Be The Routinely-Elected Kings Of America”.

Feh. Just made myself sick.

Sammy Finkelman | June 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Jeb Bush needs the nuclear option, anyway, to get immigration reform, which is probably even more important to him than repealing Obamacare.