Ed Kilgore finds a Jeb! Bush comeback highly unlikely:

Yes, it’s always possible that Bush could benefit from Trump and Rubio and Cruz and Christie and Kasich all taking each other down several notches, but Jeb’s not a sure thing to beat Carly Fiorina with his current levels of popularity. The odds of him boosting his numbers by 600 percent or 700 percent (what he’d need to become genuinely competitive) as everyone else declines are not very good, and seem to become vanishingly small if you remember how Bush got into this situation in the first place. Jeb apparently calculated that a few positions that weren’t terribly popular with the GOP’s conservative base wouldn’t hurt him in a nomination contest, and might even give him some electability points. He picked the worst year in living memory to accentuate his independence on hot-button right-wing issues, and to make his success as governor of Florida some time ago his calling card, along with a last name that connotes “betrayal” to conservative activists. If he now executes a comeback, it will be in defiance of just about everything we’ve learned during the invisible primary.

Bush’s candidacy having failed as ferociously as it has cannot help but be immensely satisfying for those of us who have contested the media’s perpetual narrative that the Republican Party is finally coming to its senses, and is preparing itself to put the grown-up technocrati back in charge. The only explanation for Jeb!’s poor campaign is that the man deeply believed that this had happened, and would continue to happen, and the bulk of the party’s money also bought into this myth and saw Bush as the most obviously grown-up of the field. But there was never any particular reason to believe this narrative other than for self-serving image reasons on the part of Republicans: it has never been all that convincing, particularly as it was pushed in 2014 amidst the Republican establishment “grown-ups” embracing the likes of Joni Ernst, maintaining nominal control as they lost all power. The whole thing amounts to one of the biggest misreadings of the political terrain by the establishment of a political party arguably since the Whigs before the Civil War, and now the contest has veered wildly out of control, partly because Bush’s financial backers are stumbling all over the sunk cost fallacy. It’s all quite satisfying.

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