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The Bush family serves exactly one purpose in American politics: To turn otherwise unelectable Democrats into two-term presidents. Its unique variety of elitist moderation and out-of-touch cronyism so tarnishes the Republican brand during their presidencies that Leftists, sometimes running on an openly radical platform, can coast to election merely by invoking the Bush name.

Their Democratic successors, in turn, so ruin the country that the American people are willing to vote for anyone else, even another Bush.

That cycle came to a merciful end in 2016, when Jeb (or rather, “Jeb!”) Bush blew $150 million, only to win fewer delegates than Alan Keyes in 2000.

Irked by his rejection, Jeb re-emerged with an op-ed in last Friday's Washington Post titled, “Trump does not represent the future of the country – or the GOP.” The moderate laments that more strident conservatism has led to “the vanishing of any semblance of compromise or bipartisanship” and “the failure of elected leaders to break the gridlock in Washington.” He goes on to propose such visionary, cutting-edge reforms as a balanced budget amendment and a line-item veto.

However, Bush’s true intention is to play self-appointed town crier, alerting the people that Donald Trump is at least as bad as Barack Obama. While Bush has a few disparaging words for Obama's “divisive tactics,” the true problem is Republicans (like you-know-who) “trying to out-polarize the president.”

Jeb made the same case last December, telling NPR that “Donald Trump is in fact a creature of Barack Obama.”

Of course, this truncated history conveniently ignores the fact that Barack Obama is very much a creation of the Bush family. In fact, the Bushes created both Obama and Hillary Clinton with the same Beltway status quo mentality that Jeb now counsels the GOP to adopt anew.

In 1988, George H.W. Bush campaigned as the third term of Ronald Reagan but delivered the second term of Gerald Ford. The New England patrician perfectly personified the Republican Establishment of the Bob Michel era, which acquiesced to liberals' demands and consolidated their victories. He signed a cap-and-trade bill and a quota bill, in addition to breaking his “no new taxes” pledge – an act for which he is still being honored by the Kennedy clan.

When confronted by a reporter over violating his most conspicuous campaign promise, Bush-41 testily replied, “Read my hips” and jogged away.

Still, he managed to run the largest annual deficits in history up to that time.

Contrary to insider hatchet men, George Bush did not lose in 1992 because of Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan, or Ross Perot. He lost for the same reason Republicans usually lose elections: They deserve to.

Bush's record helped usher Bill, and Hillary Clinton into power. After eight years of considerable Clinton fatigue, George W. Bush took office.

No one could question Bush-43's devotion to our enlisted men, nor his dedication to keeping Americans safe. Contrary to the media caricature, he is an intelligent man with a good heart, which only confirms that even the best of the Bushes is potentially calamitous.

George W. Bush presided over an enormous expansion of federal spending, the nationalization of public education through Ted Kennedy's “No Child Left Behind” law, the Medicare Part D benefit, an unpopular war that turned out to have been launched on mistaken premises, multiple attempts at mass amnesty, an effort to appoint Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court for life, a $4 trillion increase in the national debt, a financial meltdown driven by Bush-favored “ownership society” policies that opened the housing market to subprime lenders, and a financial bailout graciously offered with no-strings-attached.

A healthy conservatism will embrace constitutionally limited government, free enterprise and the protection of our unalienable rights.

George W. Bush became so unpopular that Barack Obama was able to win by running against him …  twice. The last president to earn that distinction was Jimmy Carter.

Yet in the midst of the 2016 primaries, Jeb wrapped himself in his brother's mantle, telling MSNBC that his brother is “probably the most popular president amongst Republicans in this country.”

Note to Jeb: Google “Ronald Wilson Reagan.”

Now, after an electoral shellacking, Jeb is again promoting a GOP of compromise, comity and decorum. His vision is one in which Republicans happily agree to keep their politics between the 40 yard lines – whose limits are always demarcated by the other party – never straying far from where bipartisan consensus and the mainstream media tell them to go. As a result, both parties move inexorably leftward, one by inches, the other at a gallop.

The GOP of the future will not extol the bankrupt philosophy of warmed over liberalism or practice the political tactics that lost four of the last six presidential elections and stalemated the other two. It will not preserve the uninspired policies that have failed generations of Americans.

A healthy conservatism will embrace constitutionally limited government, free enterprise and the protection of our unalienable rights. Our Founding Fathers' vision is the only system that made America's freedom and prosperity the envy of, and a beacon to, the rest of the world  – and the only one that ever will. Foreclosing all avenues by which the federal government may redistribute wealth, rebuild foreign nations, and socially engineer society from the platoon to the preschool would be the best program for a Republican Party seeking to revitalize itself after too many seasons in the bush leagues.

At times like these, I've never wished more that Reagan had chosen Paul Laxalt as his vice president.

Ben Johnson is U.S. Bureau Chief of LifeSiteNews.com, the former Managing Editor of FrontPageMag.com (2003-2010), and was a CPAC 2016 panelist. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter @therightswriter.