Atrios often links to other bloggers with words like "this is something I have been meaning to write"... Well, here's something I have been meaning to write about, but I think Atrios' summary is quite brilliant:
There will come a moment - fairly soon - when Bush will cease to be the standard bearer of the Republican party. Various competing factions will be going for the presidential nomination and while Bush's implicit or explicit endorsement might be helpful in the primaries I highly doubt that Bush will be a big help to whoever his potential successor is in the general election campaign.The comments over at Atrios seem to be focussing on that last Jeb Bush issue, but I think the idea of a Bush-hostile GOP successor to the throne (literally, nowadays) is far more interesting. Several Republicans are already testing out the viability of open Bush-whacking as a campaign tool for 2006, and maybe even a launch platform for a bid in '08.
The fascinating thing will be watching how the Republican Party unwinds itself from the George Bush personality cult it's become. The truth is, no matter what they pretend to think, they don't really like him. While the obedience and deference to Bush has far exceeded that which Reagan got during his time in office, it's impossible to imagine that Bush will replace Reagan as the patron saint of the party.
So we'll be watching Republicans as they slowly abandon their hero at which point he'll basically be forgotten.
One thing would disrupt this storyline - Jeb.
That could involve a lot of dirty laundry being thrown out of the bleachers by nasty, ambitious little GOP bottom-feeders who feel they can topple some GOP big-wigs and rise to the top smelling like the bees knees (how many clichéd metaphors can I fit in one sentence).