Long before he became a reality star or a father of 19, Jim Bob Duggar was a politician.
Those who know him best say JB is a firm believer that political power is the only real power, and he's long harbored dreams of once again run for office.
But it looks like Jim Bob has been forced to come to grips with his limitations in that respect.
After serving three years in the Arkansas House of Representatives, Jim Bob was trounced in the 2002 Republican primary election for the United States Senate, effectively ending his politicak career.
While he's far more famous these days, Jim Bob would be lucky to win an election as Tontitown's dog catcher in 2020.
Not only are the Duggars extremely unpopular with their neighbors, the past five years have seen the family mired in near-constant scandal.
The trouble began with the Josh Duggar sex scandals that shocked fans and threatened the family media empire back in 2015.
While the following years saw occasional lulls, the Duggars spent most of 2019 in damage control mode.
First, Josh Duggar's place of business was raided by Homeland Security agents as part of an investigation that remains ongoing.
Now, a feud between Jim Bob and Derick Dillard is confirming some of the most troubling allegations about the patriarch's shady business dealings and troubled relationships with his children.
To his credit, Jim Bob has seen the writing on the wall.
He still aspires to political power, but he understands the disaster that would ensue if he were to throw his hat in the ring a third time.
And so, he's adjusted his dream.
It seems Jim Bob now sees himself as a sort of far-right Joe Kennedy, attaining power by raising a generation of politicians.
First, the family announced that Jed Duggar would be running for the Arkansas House of Representatives.
Typically, Duggar children are not permitted to live on their own until they're married, but an exception was made for Jed.
Jim Bob conveniently owned a vacant property in the district where Jed is running, and he moved his son into the house just in time for the start of campaign season.
Many fans were shocked by the family's willingness to abandon their hitherto strictly enforced rules in favor of Jed's political career.
We imagine that those same folks will be stunned by news that Jim Bob seems to be grooming his daughters for life in the political arena.
Yes, Duggar girls are usually encouraged to eschew employment in favor of staying at home and raising children.
But it seems Jim Bob is hungrier for power than ever before, and if reaching the heights he envisions for himself means allowing his daughters to run for office, so be it.
This week, three of the younger Duggar girls were with Jim Bob at an anti-abortion rally in Arkansas.
The backlash from fans was swift and harsh:
“Who speaks for the abused children after they are born??? They don’t have a voice either,” offered one commenter.
“I feel so awful for the women who have to Walk past these disgusting protestors on their way to abortion clinics. They shouldn’t have to be attacked by such hatred,” another wrote.
“Have loved you all since day one but no longer….your ignorant judgment has lost you another fan," a third chimed in.
Those who know the Duggars best say Jim Bob is firmly in favor of limiting women's reproductive rights, but these days, he has a hidden agenda when it comes to wedge issues like abortion:
He wants to use political issues to distract from his family's scandals.
And he wants to ease his daughters' entries into the political world.
All in a day's work for Arkansas' most tireless schemer.