Skip to comments.Wrong Way Jon
Posted on 12/24/2010 1:00:50 PM PST by Maelstorm
In his younger days, before he was Nebraskas Attorney General, Jon Bruning was nicknamed Wrong Way Jon after a disastrous move in a basketball game. It is a moniker thats grown to apply to more than Brunings skills on the court. It also reflects a drastic change in his political beliefs from his college years. Thats right, Jon Bruning used to be a liberal.
If you only know the Jon Bruning of 2010, wed like to introduce you to the Jon Bruning of 1992 -- an eager young law student with his own column in the Daily Nebraskan. Bruning used this pulpit to argue his beliefs and challenge conservative ideology of the day.
We managed to dig up 11 pieces written by Bruning for the DN in the fall of 1992 -- when the Cold War was comfortably over, and Bill Clinton ousted the first Bush. Brunings articles ring of an eager idealism that we feel he has lost in the New Millennium.
Most telling is Brunings article from Nov. 13. Conservatives, come out of the closet is a laundry list of the young Brunings political positions. He believes women should have control of their own bodies, the NRA goes too far defending guns, social safety nets are worthy investments, gays should have rights -- specifically serving in the military, affirmative action engenders diversity and Ronald Reagan was incapable of understanding complex policy arguments. Profane the name of Reagan? Conservative blasphemy!
Throughout the semester, Bruning shows his ideology. He supports a government-sponsored basic health care plan for all Americans (Oct. 30), protecting all forms of free speech (Sept. 9), increasing the gas tax to reduce emissions (Oct. 9) and First Lady Hillary Clinton (Nov. 6). He even goes to a U2 concert in Ames, IA (Sept. 18).
Where does Bruning stand now? Well, we can just look at his exploratory committees website for that info. He thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned, touts his lifelong membership in the NRA, criticizes the health reform law and praises his Medicaid Fraud Unit. (Were all for reducing fraud, but this seems to be symptomatic of Brunings new distaste for social programs.)
What happened to the happy-go-lucky law student who concluded that women have a right to control their own bodies, condemned the NRA for defending hand guns in the name of hunters, suggested a basic government-sponsored health care plan and supported social programs that lifted the poor out of poverty? What could have driven such a vocal progressive to swing so far to the right on the political spectrum?
We wish we had the answers. Bruning himself has never spoken openly on the topic. Thats what disturbs us most -- we have no concrete cause for Brunings dramatic change. We are left to speculate, and our suppositions unnerve us.
Do people change their ideology over time? Absolutely. But its only been 18 years since Bruning wrote for the DN. Hes not some former flower child whos integrated into the corporate ladder for the last 30 years. He was an intelligent and ambitious law student who eventually chose to run for elected office.
Perhaps a tragedy caused Bruning to abandon his progressive ideology and run to the extremes of conservatism. Or worse, Brunings an opportunist who changed his public face to win elected office. Its possible that he saw no future in the Left, so he abandoned his political principles for power.
Brunings 92 nickname Wrong Way Jon no longer refers to his basketball skills but, rather, his political career. He has not been candid about his personal narrative which we find disturbing. If hes serious about running for Senate in 2012 (cmon, you know he is), Brunings got some splainin to do. And well keep bringing up his personal record until he does.
I am certainly glad that people are not looking up some of the stupid things I said or did when I was in college. You may also want to look at what he has actually done after he left college. Remember that Ronald Magnus was once a Demoncrat.
That said, I am not sure that Ben Nelson is as much as of a certain loser as some on this website say. He has a LOT of money and connections. Whoever runs against him should run all out all the time.
JMHO, 18 years in the workforce is enough to turn a starry-eyed liberal into a staunch conservative.
I speak from experience.
Is this another homo story????
Sounds like this Nelson fellow got educated somewhere over the last 18 years.
> Sounds like this Nelson fellow got educated somewhere over the last 18 years.
Well, he started out as the son of a middle class family, worked for others until he was first elected, traded one office for another and is now a millionaire. How did that happen? He got educated all right.
“What could have driven such a vocal progressive to swing so far to the right on the political spectrum? “
He grew up.