Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. (Rich Koele / Shutterstock)

While he’s busy trying to make America great again, at least in his own mind, GOP juggernaut Donald Trump could also be sinking Jeb Bush’s battleship.

If that sounds like the words of someone inclined to give Trump too much credit, allow The Guardian’s Trevor Timm to back up his theory:

There are many, many reasons to abhor Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, but there’s at least one reason to appreciate it, for now: his constant and merciless trolling of Jeb Bush that is currently tanking Bush’s shot at the presidency. In some sense, Trump is doing democracy a service by helping ensure we will not have to suffer the embarrassment of having a third Bush family member as president within two decades.

Trump’s penchant for insulting anyone in his path is now well-known (and often deplorable and sexist), though most candidates usually have to deliberately poke the bear for Trump to engage in his usual charade. But just about every day, Trump will go after Jeb unprompted – whether on Twitter or at campaign events or in interviews with journalists – with a voracity virtually never seen in primary politics. Oftentimes it’s substantive and other times it’s not, but it’s almost always delightful to watch.

[…] But it’s repetition of his now infamous and nebulous phrase – that Bush is a “low-energy guy” who could not handle the rigors of the presidency – that has become a daily occurrence and clearly gotten under Bush’s skin. Trump is constantly finding new ways to say it or sneaking it into statements, even those that aren’t targeted at Bush himself.

For a moment there, back in the old days of June 2015, it looked more like Trump could play the foil to Bush, allowing the latter candidate to come across as far less extreme and far more electable. But a couple of months and one signed loyalty pledge later, it seems Trump really could be playing to win.

That’s bad news for the latest Bush to make a bid for the White House, but at least Jeb can ask his dad how to handle the “low-energy,” ad hominem aspect of Trump’s smear campaign.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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