The Return of Cincinnatus

Life is but for Faith, Family, and Freedom

Archive for the category “Republican Party”

Identity Politics (and why we should reject them no matter where they come from)

On May 16th, Matt Lewis asked “Is Sarah Palin Biased Towards Female Candidates?” His general premise was that something didn’t quite feel right about Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Deb Fischer in Nebraska. He remembered the Carly Fiorina endorsement as an example. BUT while I have had the same general sense, especially based on my talks with friends in South Carolina who were miffed at her endorsement of Nikki Hailey, I wanted to explore the hard facts for myself.

Like clockwork, SP apologists always point out that SP endorses males too. But the question isn’t just whether she endorses men (in 2010 she endorsed more men than women), the question is whether she endorses women over men. OR as was my initial thought, maybe the women just so happen to be the TP favorites or the most conservative. So, here is my analysis of her 2010 endorsements:

In 2010, SP endorsed 64 candidates. She endorsed 27 women and 37 men. To do a thorough analysis, I divided all her endorsements into two categories: 1.) Contested Primaries and 2.) Either non-contested primaries OR general election endorsements (These really don’t provide us much information because they are essentially endorsements that ALL GOPers would make)

Of the 27 women she endorsed, 13 were in contested primaries. Of those contested races, all 13 endorsements were over male challengers (not so surprising as a woman v. woman primary would be rare in the GOP).

Of the 37 men she endorsed, 17 were in contested primaries. Of those contested races, 3 endorsements were over female challengers.

So, there were 16 contested primaries in which there was a male and female candidate to choose from in which SP made an endorsement, here are the gender/ideological differences.

13:3 Female to Male

9:7 Establishment v. TP

8:8 Conservative v. “Moderate”

This means that in contested primary races where there was a choice between gender, ideology, or anti-establishment sentiment, a candidate’s gender was a better predictor of who would receive Sarah Palin’s endorsement. This includes real head-scrachers like Kelly Ayotte, Nikki Hailey, and Carly.

WHY THIS MATTERS:

Identity politics is wrong…and progressive to its core. It says that a woman can’t represent men and that men can’t represent women. It also rears its ugly head with regards to race and religion. In fact, identity politics is the gateway drug to all “well-intentioned” government programs. As conservatives, we should rail against identity politics and when national figures, who the liberal media lumps us in with, embraces it. We have a duty to call them out! It isn’t sexist to ask what the reasons are for someone’s endorsement. And when the endorser describes her reasons as the candidate, “unique blend of steel magnolia and mama grizzly.” We should ask what that means and why in God’s name that has anything to do with what kind of Governor, Senator, or Rep they will be? If I endorsed someone and mentioned as my primary reasons that the guy was black and a father…wouldn’t I be questioned by my conservative cohorts? Yes. As I should be.

While there is a general debate over the cache of endorsements…(do they matter?) what cannot be left untilled is WHY we endorse…and if someone endorses mostly based on gender or race or religion…it is laziness, it is progressive, and it is antitheses to our movement as conservatives. I just wish more of conservative cohorts would call it instead of just whispering in the halls of power.

In Memory of Jack Kemp

I have always held Mr. Kemp in high honor. Below, I am attaching a piece by someone who knew him better than I:

Jack French Kemp, Jr  (1935-2009)

My first involvement with politics was on the steering committee for Mr. Kemp’s 1988 presidential campaign.  This country would have been so much better off had he won that contest.

I admired Jack greatly and feel so sad at his passing.  He was a true patriot; he left a safe congressional seat to run for president because he believed in his ideas and felt they could make his country, which he loved, much better.  Personally, he was engaging, a great football fan but most importantly, a wonderful father, husband and friend to many. 

As for his politics, Jack had a positive vision.  He didn’t view government as a way to pick winners or losers; he decried the politics of envy.  He truly believed in an economy that lifted all boats, particularly for those who were born without much of a boat but who desired a share of the American Dream.  He strongly believed that the American economy is not a zero sum game – just because someone got rich doesn’t mean they took it from someone else.  He constantly preached that our economy is based upon the idea that investment is essential to lifting the poor out of poverty.

“What is most important is to give a hand up, not a handout”  This was one of his favorite expressions.  Also, “give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach him to fish and he will eat for his whole life” – these also were some of his favorite expressions and he used them often in his speeches.

Several campaign pros have told me that Jack’s problem was that instead of raising money by making calls begging donors for cash, he would rather jet off and give a speech to an African American group or LaRaza. 

That, to me, was a badge of honor for Jack.  He absolutely believed in his ideas and felt that they could move people to his side; that’s why so many black and hispanic leaders will talk about him so positively.  It’s also a reason I respected him so much.

He absolutely believed that if the Republican Party was going to be successful, it would have to reach out to all people; it couldn’t just preach to the choir – it had to try to convince people that its ideas had currency and effectiveness. 

This is even more important today, where his beloved party is out of favor at the moment.  It is going through a soul searching, trying to decide whether to move toward the middle and become Democrat lite, favoring government influence or whether it will go back to its founding ideas in the worth of the individual and the power of individual entrepeneurship and private investment and free markets.

Jack’s push for tax cuts were all about the latter – he embraced and expanded upon supply side economics, which holds that incenting private investment by reducing tax rates would key economic growth and further investment which would create jobs, feed innovation and lift our standard of living.

How wonderful that Jack was able to see his ideas at least partially implemented by Ronald Reagan, which touched off an investment and technological boom that has transformed the world.  He was sad that the first President Bush derailed the Reagan revolution by agreeing to tax increases.  He was more sad that his Republican party during the late 90’s and second Bush administration went even further to the side of empowering and expanding government, although the Bush tax cuts were certainly a way station that keyed what economic growth we could muster after 9/11.

Jack was also misunderstood on immigration.  Many of my fellow conservatives were dismayed that he took the side of more immigration but that was a key element to his ideas.  He wasn’t afraid of competition; he believed, as in football, that competition made all perform better.  The US needs to welcome those from around the world who believe in free markets and competition.  He often spoke of the Russian cabdriver or Asian dry cleaners who worked hard and competed for their share of the American Dream – these were essential to the continued growth of America; not something to be feared.

Rest in Peace, Jack.  You deserved better than the country gave but you lived a wonderful life and I am proud to have known you and been inspired by you.  Condolences to your lovely and loving family.  We will all miss you.

 John Cox

The Opposition Surprise?

A couple of days ago, after being heavily courted by the Obama whitehouse, Republicans pitched a shut out in the vote for the new bailout. A bailout that they were constantly being told by the MSM would be “risky” to oppose. Amazingly, not ONE voted for it. At first glance, especially considering the last 8 years, this was a shocker to the blogger community.

However, I think that it is important to recognize that one of the positives of the last two cycles is the amount of squishy moderates who lost on our side. Would it be nice to have them and have a majority, undoubtedly, but having a consolidated minority dedicated to Republican principles is refreshing. These squishy moderates were especially disappointing, because we were told that while they were socially moderate at best they were rock solid on fiscal conservatism, however in truth they were squishy all the way around.

Congratulations to the Minority leader for actually leading. The backbone is about 6 years too late. It is too bad that it took a sweep of liberal leaders to affect this mindset. Now a word of caution. Don’t get squishy now. When you voted NO, america cheered. They might be cautious, but like the child who knows that the parent who takes away the cake is doing it for their own good, America to understands the ramifications of this delectible piece of cake.

It is also important to note that the opposition did NOT simply oppose. Unlike the predecessors in the Democratic minority, it is hard to call this group of patriots a party of NO. They offered a delightful alternative to the measure. A measured response. Telling america that this is what would be passed if you allow us to lead, as opposed to waiting for a change mandate when America won’t care about the details. Brilliant, good work, keep it up. The grassroots is watching, you may just pull us off the bench!

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