Late in the campaign season, then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called for the passage of term limits in Congress as part of his “drain the swamp” effort. On Saturday, Jeb Bush said he agrees.
In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, the former Florida governor said that the GOP should use its rare advantage in both Congress and the White House in order to change the way the U.S. government works.
“Americans, by wide majorities, agree that Washington is broken, so let’s send power back to the people and back to the states,” Bush wrote. “Republicans should support convening a constitutional convention to pass term limits, a balanced-budget amendment and restrains on the Commerce Clause, which ahs given the federal government far more regulatory power than the Founders intended.”
At the same time, while he is supporting a proposal made by the President-elect, he was clear to point out that the reason for the proposal is not Donald Trump:
“But here’s something we shouldn’t forget: This election was more about voting against something than voting for something. Americans voted against the ‘establishment,’ against the country’s changing culture, against a dysfunctional Washington, against the privileged, against Hillary Clinton — and, yes, against Donald Trump.”
He said instead that the election of Donald Trump is a clear sign that Americans are unhappy with how the federal government operates. At the same time, he did acknowledge Hillary Clinton’s notable lead in the overall popular vote signals that the country is sharply divided.
He demanded that Republicans should better define their stance in opposition to an overbearing federal government. “The GOP has no excuse for failure,” Bush wrote.
“We are in charge of both the executive and legislative branches in Washington, and we dominate in the states like never before. We have the power to set the agenda, and we have the responsibility to govern, not merely on behalf of the voters who supported President-elect Trump, but for all Americans.”
While Bush’s comments are only logical in light of the significant majority position that the GOP finds itself, it is also politically, Bush’s attempt to put the Republicans — particularly those who did not back his more moderate and perhaps, realistic positions — feet to the fire, setting a bar for Republicans which he can later point to should the party continue to spiral into extremes and devotion to gridlock.
The former presidential candidate said that he wished for the President-elect’s success, but also that he is hoping for a proper and effective governance and politics.
“I will continue to pray for President-elect Trump and his family. I pray he governs inclusively, with humility and with purpose. I pray that he will be led by a deep love of this nation and each of its citizens, regardless of background or ZIP Code.
And I want him to know that I hope for his success. I hope that he broadens the GOP, works across the aisle and governs with pragmatism and compassion. There are many who did not vote for him who agree that what matters most now is that this nation unites and moves forward together. I will work to support those goals.”