Thad Cochran Is No Reagan Conservative


It remains fashionable these days for Republicans to cloak themselves in the legacy of Ronald Reagan, especially those who served in Washington during the 1980s.  Thad Cochran and his supporters have already tried to remind the people of Mississippi of his steadfast conservatism.  But don’t be fooled.  Thad Cochran was no soldier in Reagan’s army.

Let us begin our story in Kansas City, at the Republican National Convention in July 1976, the nation’s 200th birthday.  Ronald Reagan, the former two-term governor of California, decided to challenge the unpopular President, Gerald Ford, who had angered a good many citizens by pardoning Richard Nixon before any charges had ever been brought in the Watergate case.  His foreign policy was also a disaster, allowing South Vietnam to fall to the North without any response and signing the Helsinki Accords, essentially handing the Soviets control of Eastern Europe. Continue reading

The Tea Party and True Conservatism


There is a battle raging within the GOP for the heart and soul of the party.  It is not about personality or for control of the machine.  It’s about ideology, principles, and the direction of the country.  It has been ongoing for years and will not abate until one side is totally defeated.

The two opposing sides – the establishment, elite, Rockefeller wing and the resurgent Tea Party – claim to be conservatives and represent true conservative ideology.  But both cannot be right.  The only way to see who best represents the truth is to determine what conservatism really is. Continue reading

Ranking President Kennedy


Was JFK a great President?  As the nation marked the 50th anniversary of Jack Kennedy’s tragic assassination, new polling shows that many Americans consider him to be among our very best, ranking higher than any President in the last half century according to the latest Gallup survey.  Two years ago, he rated fourth all time, ahead of such Presidents as Washington and Jefferson.  But is this accurate?

As a historian, it makes little sense to rank a President who served just over one thousand days in office, rather than a full term or even two.  It’s very difficult to judge his more limited accomplishments and what effect they had on the nation and even the world. Continue reading

The Constitution and the Income Tax


Americans love anniversaries and this year marks some pretty remarkable ones, most notably the sesquicentennial of the battle of Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg, two events that dealt a crippling blow to the Confederacy in the summer of 1863, and the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.  But 2013 also marks the centennial of another crucial event, the enactment of the infamous income tax.

Pushed by Liberals for decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the income tax was supposed to be the “great leveling,” a policy that would correct the long-festering problem of wealth inequality.  However, there was one problem – the Constitution specifically prohibited the government from taxing the American people directly. Continue reading

Are we keeping our republic?


Emerging from deliberations during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman what kind of government the delegates had crafted for the new country.  “A republic,” he told her with a warning, “if you can keep it.”  Doctor Franklin’s message has become eerily prophetic, as our republic, once the envy of the world, is in tatters.  And whom can we blame?  To quote Ross Perot, “Go look in the mirror.”

A Republic is the hardest form of government to maintain because it requires a wise and virtuous citizenry, one that is also highly educated and vigilant, and views the government with suspicion, ever mindful and jealous of its liberty.  It is laughable to think that description can, in any way, define the state of our people today. Continue reading

It’s Time for “Rocking, Socking” Politics


Recent political events, particularly with the Senate immigration bill, have only confirmed to me that its long past time we quit playing games and started fighting back against the Left.  Richard Nixon coined the phrase in the 1952 presidential race as Ike’s running mate, telling the party it was time for a “rocking, socking campaign.”  Nixon has always been known as a fighter in politics.  He fought his opponents and fought them hard.  By doing so, he was successful in almost all of his races.

He smashed Jerry Voorhis in his 1946 campaign for Congress and, even though he faced a woman in his 1950 race for the US Senate, he never took his foot off the gas to expose Helen Gahagan Douglas for being a communist sympathizer. “She’s pink right down to her underwear,” Nixon thundered on the stump.  And, truth is, she was, which is why John F. Kennedy secretly donated money to Nixon’s campaign, rather than support his fellow Democrat.

Yet Nixon’s one major slipup was in the 1960 presidential election, when he took the advice of a weak-kneed consultant and backed off Kennedy in their famous televised debates, so as not to seem like a bully.  It cost him the presidency that year, just as it did for Mitt Romney last November.  They played it safe, as did McCain in 2008, and all three met the same fate. Continue reading