Presidential Campaign

With Cameron victory, Bush and Clinton will advance

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With the dramatic and unexpected victory for British Prime Minister David Cameron, a warning should be sent to candidates here in America with Tea Party chops, particularly Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) who leads polls for the New Hampshire primary: The establishment is rising and advancing. Those brawling UKIPs (the U.K. Independence Party), which grabbed a lion’s share of press calling for a retreat from the EU, only one. Labour took 230 and establishment Conservatives took the day with 326, almost a slam dunk. This is good news for former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) and Hillary Clinton, the establishment standard-bearers right and left, and for Bush in particular.

For as it goes in Britain, so it goes and will go in the United States. Granted, Cameron showed a master’s touch in leading all of Europe and most of the world to China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank just one month before the election, and found some very good luck with the well-timed birth of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, princess of Cambridge, just days before.

{mosads}Nevertheless, Britain’s politics today match up closely with America’s: The challenge to the establishment parties from the Scottish separatists and UKIP’s Nigel Farage, who resigned directly after his party’s results, rose to relevance in British politics and throughout Europe following the states’ rights Tea Party initiatives in America, begun when 30-some states, following New Hampshire, brought a nationwide challenge to ObamaCare in February 2009.

But today, Britain turns back to stock.

And Bush begins to get it as he ignores the punditry, as he did yesterday when he told a group of Manhattan financiers that James Baker, longtime family confidant and secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush — who inexplicably spoke to a very liberal American Jewish lobby group not long ago — did not have his support. Jeb Bush said instead that he leans on his brother for insights when it comes to Israel and the Middle East.

The popular phrase in Britain today is the World War II-era phrase “Keep calm and carry on.” For Bush it should be: “Don’t look back. Not now, not ever.” And having cast himself in alignment with J Street, egregious to many Israeli Jews, Baker should no longer be involved in the Bush network’s discussion.

Prediction: Walker’s support will wane in New Hampshire. Bush’s will rise. And for now, it might be said that the Tea Party’s influence in America is defunct. But that does not mean that it had no purpose and has no purpose. It means that the more rational and structural establishment types (Bush, 2008 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and I would include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry [R]) have some very good raw material to work with over the next decade and beyond, and the Tea Party anthems — states’ rights, sound money, constitutional government — can now begin to work their way into the establishment; in time, to rebuild the institutions of government.

The call of most establishment conservatives for “small government,” for example, can begin to be looked at with suspicion. Don’t they really mean “thin” government? Reducing the parts of the fast federal enterprise they dislike so to recreate their own Megatron?

Conservatives should instead refer to the 10th Amendment as Perry and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) do when they talk of small government. We already have small governments; they are called “states.” Both establishment parties today are Hamiltonian in nature, featuring centralized planning in Washington and a centralized world capital in New York. The Jeffersonian approach is the real small-government approach. It can cure the situation with the 10th Amendment.

The Tea Party — including the wisdom of former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) — has advanced the discussion on these issues and brought them mainstream. A restored establishment on Jeffersonian principles can institutionalize them.

Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at

Tags 2016 British election 2016 presidential campaign 2016 presidential election Bush family Conservative Party David Cameron George H.W. Bush George W. Bush Hillary Clinton James Baker Jeb Bush Labor Party Labour Party Scott Walker Scottish National Party U.K. Independence Party UKIP
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