Jeb Bush must speak truth to GOP voters

Of course, that could have been because expectations were so low.

You remember “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” When George W. Bush was president, it afflicted liberals who thought the chief executive couldn’t do anything right. Now that Jeb might run for president in 2016, the condition vexes conservatives who believe that when it comes to choosing the GOP nominee, the former Florida governor is all wrong.

During Bush’s speech, a few dozen supporters of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — wearing red T-shirts with the words “Stand With Rand” — walked out and later blasted Bush as insufficiently conservative.

But what should really count for a lot is that Bush is sufficiently competent. He’s the grownup in a roomful of extremists who — as they compare union members to ISIS (Scott Walker) or vow to abolish the IRS (Ted Cruz) or bash the media (Chris Christie) — seem most interested in applause lines.

Bush is a serious person with a serious shot at the presidency, something that you just can’t say about all Republicans who appear to be running.

Voters in both parties have plenty of candidates telling them what they want to hear just to get their support. What they need are more candidates who tell them what they need to hear: the truth. That won’t make the candidates popular. But it does make them credible.

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