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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Democrats should Follow Paul Hackett's Lead

The editor at Ohio 2nd has a collection of blogposts and news articles covering Thursday's congressional debate between former State Representative Tracy Flick Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Twp.) and Marine Reserve Major Paul Hackett (D-Indian Hill). This quote from Major Hackett's opening remarks caught my eye:
I'm for limited government, I'm for fiscal responsibility, I'm for a strong national defense, and I'm for fair trade. What do these concepts stand for? That means I don't need Washington to tell me how to live my personal life, or how to pray to my God. And I don't need Washington to dictate to my wife the decisions that she makes with her doctor, any more than I need Washington to tell me which guns I can keep in my gun safe.
(more debate quotes and analysis here)

This is almost exactly what Democrats should be saying. First, the Republicans have completely dropped the ball on fiscal responsibility and limited government. We Democrats should pick it up and run with it.

Second, we should abandon gun control, at least at the federal level. Abandoning gun control works to our advantage because pro-gun voters tend to be single-issue voters. A pro-choice stance on guns would make Democrats more electable not only in the south and west, but also in Michigan and Pennsylvania. We are, at least to a greater extent than the Republicans, the party of social tolerance and personal freedom. We should be more tolerant of gun owners.

I might have some differences with Major Hackett and most other Democrats over what "fair trade" means, but I think most of us can agree that government shouldn't subsidize the movement of jobs overseas.

It's almost impossible for a Democrat to win in the Second District, but by making a good showing (in the Second District, more than a third of the vote would be good for a Democrat) Major Hackett could position himself well for a future election.


Blogger Logan said...

I just wanted to let you know that I linked back to your blog article on Democratic Freedom. Thanks for the e-mail to the DFC list, I wouldn't have been alerted to the quote without you.

11:04 PM, July 10, 2005  
Blogger Audient said...

Someone should stand up for fiscal responsibility again. Why not the Dems? The Bush Administration and the Republicans in Congress sure don't!

I am not a fan of gun control either. While I don't own a gun myself -- I think it would be exciting to see Democrats even half as enthusiastic about the 2nd Amendment as they usually are about the 1st.

8:09 AM, July 11, 2005  
Blogger Jason Sonenshein said...

Logan, thanks for the link!

7:42 PM, July 11, 2005  
Blogger Mike Renzulli said...

I don't disagree with what you said in this post. If the Democrats abandon gun control it should not just be in the interests of getting elected, it should also be because it is in compliance with the bills of rights in the federal and state constitutions. A stricter constructionist stance would certainly differentiate Democrats from the Republicans since the G.O.P. favors gun laws too. They call them 'reasonable restrictions'.

12:39 AM, July 12, 2005  
Anonymous stu said...

Yes, I am a staunch conservative Republican, and a friend of Jason's, just so you know my bias.

Mike Renzulli is a voice of reason. Your party needs to stand for something aside of looking at the polls. Certainly politicians on both sides of the isle move with the breeze, but I think that the Republicans do a much better job of maintaining a consistent philosophy and staying on message.

Paul Hackett would stand a chance if he were running against a sleaze like Pat Dewine, but he's going to have a tough time in Clermont County et al against Jean Schmidt.

He should have a bright career ahead of him, provided the Dem leadership doesn't feel too threatened by his rugged charisma, military background, and Libertarian message.

1:55 PM, July 15, 2005  
Anonymous ben said...

I went to a fundraiser on Sat. at some friends' house for Hackett. I met him and thought he was pretty well-spoken, and mentioned some of these issues . Another Dem congressman (someone from up your way, Jason. But I don't recall his name) spoke too.

Interestingly, he more or less dodged a question about whether he was getting adequate support from the National Democratic party, which furthers my suspicion that their (our?) big picture game plan is… fuzzy… at best—which makes me wonder whether they would follow his lead, if they could.

4:50 PM, July 26, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, not quite--gun control is very popular (like most other liberal ideas), and shouldn't be abandoned at the federal level (some gun control laws, like the assault weapons ban, need to be federal to work). And gun control is not "intolerance" towards gun owners, any more than license plates are intolerant towards motorists. Also, we need to get past the idea that "limited government" is always a good thing in and of itself.

8:49 PM, June 28, 2006  
Anonymous Medical Blog said...

What do these concepts stand for? That means I don't need Washington to tell me how to live my personal life, or how to pray to my God.

6:49 AM, February 26, 2011  

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