Skip to comments.Conservatives, Beware of Fred Thompson
Posted on 07/10/2007 9:06:01 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
He disappointed conservatives during his eight years in the Senate. Is there any reason to think this Washington insider and veteran trial lawyer would be any better as President?
The frustration of conservatives is understandable. Faced with the prospects of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney as the next Republican presidential candidate, many are pinning their hopes on former Senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee. Could this actor-politician be the new Ronald Reagan?
Mainstream media types assure us that he is. His record suggests otherwise.
This is the second time conservatives have pinned their hopes on Thompson. When he was first elected in the Republican sweep of 1994, he was seen then as the new Reagana charismatic movie star turned politician. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole quickly picked Thompson to give the five-minute GOP rebuttal to President Clintons economic address, and no less than The New York Times swooned with its headline the next morning, A Star Is Born.
He turned out to be a shooting stara dazzling flash in the sky, soon gone, not there dependably, night after night, like the Big Dipper. Or, as The Tennessean later put it, A year ago [Thompson] looked like a rising star. Today he looks more like a fading comet.
Especially to conservatives who have taken the time to examine his record.
Rumors circulated that Thompson was lazy, uninterested in the daily grind that comes with being a Senatorand one can understand that Capitol Hill is a lot more tedious and less glamorous than a Hollywood movie lot. More important were Thompsons failures of will and his lack of leadership on any legislation that would promote the conservative cause. Instead what little leadership we got from Thompson advanced the liberal Establishment agenda.
Failure of will: Charged with investigating the Clinton White Houses Asia fundraising scandal (Asiagate), Thompson managed to draw a tiny blood sample from Bill Clinton but little more. If hes that ineffectual against an easy target like Bill Clinton at the height of his parade of scandals, why should we expect Thompson to be any more effective against, say, the other partner in the Clintons 20-year plan to rule the nation?
On the wrong side of the fence: The McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, championed by Fred Thompson, is the only important piece of legislation where he played a major role. And that is not an accomplishment to be proud of as a conservative. In fact, now that hes running for President, Thompson is trying to flip-flop on this issue. Well, he can run, but he cant hide from his record.
Why McCain-Feingold is so importantand so bad
Never mind that it was patently unconstitutional, as the courts are starting to declare. McCain-Feingold was also, from the beginning, a sham and a lie.
Its stated purposeits claim to being a reformwas that it would take big money out of politics. Well, you can see how successful its been! The big corporate and union lobbies are more powerful than ever, and bored billionaires with nothing else to do are eyeing the Senate and the White House as the next trophies on their mantelpieces.
No, the real purpose of reform legislation like McCain-Feingold is to serve as incumbent-protection laws. Establishment politicians arent threatened by the K Street lobbyists: they feed off them. They are threatened by grassroots organizations that keep an eye on how they vote and pass that information on to their members.
From the National Rifle Association to the Sierra Club, from Right to Left, these groups call incumbents on the carpet. So the incumbents pass laws to restrict the activities of these groups.
McCain-Feingold, the most prominent recent addition to campaign regulations, does this by prohibiting these groups from broadcasting any issue ads that refer to specific candidates for federal office in the 30 days before a primary, or 60 days before a general election.
Why were those dates chosen? Because thats when people are most interested in the elections, according to Congressman Martin Meehan (D-MA), one of the laws most ardent supporters. In other words, McCain-Feingold and similar laws are intended to silence the voices of ordinary citizens who contribute to these organizations. And they are designed to do so at exactly the times when grassroots citizens can have the greatest impact.
The real purpose of McCain-Feingold-type laws is to silence your voice in the campaign process, by placing a gag on the organizations that represent you and your views. Such measures are the gravest threat to your free speech that exist today.
And who was the only other Republican Senator to join John McCain in pushing hard for this assault on your First Amendment free speech rights? Fred Thompson. Indeed, campaign finance reform was the only issue on which he seemed to show any passion.
Thompson was deeply involved in writing the law, lobbied for it among his fellow Republicans, and was even inclined to call it McCain-Feingold-Thompson. He and McCain were able to convince only five of their fellow Republicans in the Senatebut added to the Democrats, that was enough. You were essential to our success, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) told Thompson in a gushing thank-you note after passage of McCain-Feingold.
Fred Thompson viewed through the Goldwater Test and the Reagan Test for conservative leadership
The Goldwater Test: Senator Barry Goldwater became the first political spokesman for the conservative movement because, out of all the Republican politicians who claimed to be conservative in the 1950s, he and he alone was willing to confront the sitting Big Government Republican in the White House. President Eisenhowers policies were a dime store New Deal, he said on the floor of the Senate. He spoke truth to power.
Well, again we have a Big Government Republican in the White House, and now its no longer a dime store New Dealits a supersized Wal-Mart of a New Deal. The Republican welfare state is far worse than anything the Democrats achieved.
And what has been Fred Thompsons response these past seven years as the GOP massively expanded the federal government? If hes said anything to warn us about the direction of the Republican Party, hes said it so quietly that nobodynot just us, nobodyhas noticed. And by his silence he has become complicit.
Thompsons conservative leadership score on the Goldwater Test: F.
The Reagan Test: Throughout the 1960s and 70s Ronald Reagan walked with conservatives. He was at our conservative functions, and not just at the head tablehe mingled with us, listened to our concerns, and made it clear where he stood. Also, our conservative friends were all around him as he governed in California and then ran for Presidentpeople like Dick Allen, Ed Meese, Lyn Nofziger, Marty Anderson, Paul Laxalt, Judge Bill Clark and the list goes on.
Where are the long-time conservative activists today around Fred Thompson? Not campaign consultants who sell themselves to the highest bidder at campaign auctions. No, dedicated and recognized conservative thinkers and activists who will work only for truly conservative politicians.
Go ahead, try and name one. And if conservatives were not part of his inner circle before he started running for the presidency, we cannot expect him to have conservatives in his inner circle if he gets elected. And in politics, personnel is policy.
Thompsons conservative leadership score on the Reagan Test: F.
When we look at the two politicians who are closest to ThompsonHoward Baker and Lamar Alexanderwe can see very clearly why Fred will never be a conservative leader, much less a conservative hero.
Fred Thompson and Howard Baker are as intertwined as the two sides of a coin. Fred Thompson was Howard Bakers campaign manager in his successful reelection campaign in 1972, after which the two were good ole Tennessee buddies. Senator Baker invited Thompson to move up north and be minority (Republican) counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of Richard Nixon.
Thompson, it is said, was the person who got Senator Baker to ask a Nixon aide: What did the President know, and when did he know it? The reply led to the discovery of the Nixon tapes, and that led to Nixons resignation. Almost sounds like something scripted in Hollywood or on the set of Law and Order.
Thompson and Baker are still good ole buddies today, with Baker urging Thompson to make this run for the presidency and playing a key role in its unfolding. Officially or unofficially, we could expect Howard Baker to play a key role in a Thompson White House.
And who, you ask, is Howard Baker? You belie your age, of course, by asking that, but even old folks may be excused for a little fuzziness on this matter. Well, Howard Baker was one of the chain of leaders of the liberal (Big Government) wing of the Republican Party. The order of succession was Nelson Rockefeller-Howard Baker-George H. W. Bush-George W. Bush. Because he never got to the White House as its #1 or #2 occupant, Howard Baker has sort of faded into history, but he was important in his heydayand on the opposite side of the ideological fence from conservatives.
As Republican leader of the Senate, Howard Baker worked with President Carter to turn the Panama Canal over to the drug-running Panamanian dictatorship. He voted to spend taxpayers money for abortions. As a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, he said Reagans proposed tax cuts were a riverboat gamble. You get the picture. And this guy is still Fred Thompsons closest advisor.
As for Senator Lamar Alexander (whos up for reelection in 2008), hes cut from the same cloth as Baker and Thompsontalk conservative but act like a moderate (i.e., liberal); above all, avoid sharp ideological confrontation with the Democrats. The conservatism he exemplifies , wrote Jonathan Rauch in Reason magazine, is no longer a program. It is a style of talking.
Like Thompson, Lamar Alexander got his first job in Washington from Howard Baker; and when Thompson dropped out of the Senate in 2002 to return to lobbying, trial lawyering, and show biz, Alexander replaced him.
But you dont have to take my word for it, because Fred Thompson passes the Sally Quinn Test
Fred Thompson may get an F on the Goldwater Test and an F on the Reagan Test, but he gets an A on the Sally Quinn Test. And that tells us a lot.
Sally Quinn is a noted writer and the wife of Ben Bradlee, long-time editor of the Washington Post. You cant get more to the center of the Liberal Establishment in Washington than this power-couple. And on June 26, 2007, she penned a telling bombshell in the Post on Fred Thompson.
Vice President Dick Cheney is toxic and has the potential to drag down every member of the partyincluding the presidential nomineein next years elections, she advises, so the movers and shakers in the GOP must convince President Bush to force Cheney to resign.
Until recently, there hasnt been an acceptable alternative to Cheney , she admits. Now there is. (And by now you can guess who.)
Everybody loves Fred, gushes Sally. He has the healing qualities of Gerald Ford and the movie-star appeal of Ronald Reagan. He is relatively moderate on social issues. He has a reputation as a peacemaker and a compromiser. And he has a good sense of humor. He could be just the partner to bring out Bushs better nature
I had never known Sally Quinn to be so concerned before about the fortunes of the Republican Party, and I am shocked that she allows for even the possibility of a better nature in President Bush. Be that as it may, we can see whats going on here. She rightfully sees Fred Thompson as a marshmallowoops, I mean peacemaker and compromiser. As the sitting Vice President in 2008, he would have the inside track on getting the GOP nomination. And liberals could rest easy, knowing their power is safe whether the Democrat or the Marshmallow Republican wins in 2008.
Putting Thompsons 8 years in the Senate under a microscope
I have examined Fred Thompsons eight-year record as a Senator in detail, utilizing the vote ratings of the American Conservative Union (ACU) at www.acuratings.org. He emerges not as an out-and-out liberal, but not as a principled conservative either.
Fred Thompsons record may appear to be conservative, but only by comparison with Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney, and a Less-of-a-Big Government Republican is still a Big Government Republican. And given his lack of conservative leadership as a Senator, it would be a grave mistake to expect conservative leadership from him as President.
For six of his eight years as a Senator, Thompson ranked in the bottom half of Republican Senators in terms of his commitment to conservatism. What makes this more remarkable is that he served as a Senator from Tennessee, winning his two elections by hefty margins. He didnt have the excuse that his electorate was liberal, like the electorates of RINO Senators from Oregon, Maine, or Rhode Island. He had a safe seat with a conservative electorate. So when he voted liberal, we have to assume its because thats what he believed.
Conservatives who look to Thompson for salvation need to pause and consider his recorda record that includes these votes:
♦ FOR restricting the rights of grassroots organizations to communicate with the public. See ACUs vote 3, 1998.
♦ FOR allowing the IRS to require political and policy organizations to disclose their membershipa vote against the constitutional rights of free association and privacy. (The Clinton Administration used such IRS intimidation against conservative groups that opposed them.) See ACUs vote 11, 2000.
♦ AGAINST impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, specifically the reappointment and reauthorization of managers (drawn from the Republican membership of the House Judiciary Committee) to conduct the impeachment trial in the Senate. See ACUs vote 1, 1999.
♦ AGAINST an accelerated elimination of the marriage penalty. See ACUs vote 10, 2001.
♦ FOR handouts to politicians, specifically taxpayer funding of presidential campaigns. See ACUs vote 6, 1995.
♦ FOR handouts to politicians, specifically congressional perks such as postage and broadcast time funded by taxpayers. See ACUs vote 13, 1996.
♦ AGAINST restraints on federal spending, specifically the Phil Gramm (R-TX) amendment to limit non-defense discretionary spending to the fiscal 1997 levels requested by President Clinton. See ACUs vote 6, 1997.
♦ FOR affirmative action in federal contracts. See ACUs vote 9, 1995.
♦ FOR the Legal Services Corporation, the perennial liberal boondoggle that provides political activism disguised as legal services to Democratic constituencies. See ACUs vote 16, 1995, and vote 17, 1999.
♦ FOR an increase in the minimum wage, which, of course, increases unemployment among the young and poor. See ACUs vote 16, 1996.
♦ FOR President Clintons nomination of Dr. David Satcher as U.S. Surgeon General. Among other things, Satcher opposed a full ban on partial-birth abortion. See ACUs vote 1, 1998.
♦ FOR open-ended military commitments, specifically in regard to U.S. troops in Kosovo. See ACUs vote 8, 2000.
♦ FOR corporate welfare, specifically the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). See ACUs vote 23. 1999.
♦ AGAINST worker and shareholder rights, specifically the Hatch (R-UT) amendment to require unions and corporations to obtain permission from dues-paying members or shareholders before spending money on political activities. See ACUs votes 4 and 5, 2001.
♦ AGAINST property rights and FOR unlimited presidential power, specifically by allowing President Clinton to implement the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, which he established by executive order, without congressional approval. See ACUs vote 20, 1997.
♦ FOR restricting the First Amendment (free speech) rights of independent groups. See ACUs vote 23, 1997.
♦ FOR the trial lawyers lobby, and specifically against a bill that would put common-sense limitations on the medical malpractice suits that increase health costs for all of us. (Of course! Hes been a trial lawyer himself for some three decades.) See ACUs vote 18, 2002.
And, last but not least:
♦ FOR limitations on campaign freedom of speech, by limiting contributions to national political parties to $2,000 and limiting the rights of individuals and groups to participate in the political process in the two months before elections. See ACUs vote 7, 2002.
There you have it. The actor who talks like a tough conservative has, in his real political life, voted in all these ways to increase the power of the federal government, limit the rights of taxpayers and individual citizens, and shut grassroots activists out of the political process.
Ronald Reagan he is NOT!
Fred Thompson on abortion: pro-life, pro-choice, or both?
Theres a lot of confusion about where Fred Thompson stands on the abortion issue.
During his Senate years, the Memphis Commercial Appeal described him as basically pro-choice on abortion, The Tennessean described him as a pro-choice defender in a party with an anti-abortion tilt, and National Review deemed him to be pro-choice.
Yet his voting record as a Senator was solidly pro-life, earning him high marks on pro-life voting records and bottom-of-the-barrel ratings from abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. Leaders of social conservative groups like the Family Research Council, Christian Coalition, Concerned Women for America, and the Eagle Forum have had praise for his social-issues record.
How can this be? How can the conservative National Review and Tennessees leading newspapers describe him as pro-choice when his voting record is the opposite? The confusion results largely because Thompson takesto use one of Washingtons favorite wordsa nuanced position on abortion, and then sometimes compounds the confusion with conflicting statements. In addition, his role as a Washington Insidera Washington lobbyistraises disturbing questions that have not been answered satisfactorily by Thompson.
The federalism issue
One of Fred Thompsons deepest held political convictions is his belief in federalismthat the federal government should stick to the powers granted it in the Constitution, leaving everything else to the states or the people. Thats great--if he actually voted as a federalist on the host of issues ranging from presidential power to education. The one area where he does take a pretty consistent federalist position, however, is on the abortion question.
Ive always thought that Roe v. Wade was a wrong decision, Thompson says, and that they usurped what had been the law in this country for 200 years, that it was a matter that should go back to the states. When you get back to the states, I think the states should have some leeway.
Because he believes abortion essentially should be a state matter, not a federal matter, Thompson has voted repeatedly against federal funding of abortion in Department of Defense facilities and says he opposes public financing of abortions for low-income Medicaid recipients. The same federalist reasoning, however, is presumably what also leads him to oppose (in a Christian Coalition questionnaire) a constitutional amendment protecting the sanctity of human life as well as federal legislation protecting the sanctity of human life. I say presumably because Fred Thompson himself has never really explained his seemingly conflicted statements and positions on abortion in a comprehensive and logical way.
The conception issue
Thompson is not against abortion per se, since he says he doesnt know whether life begins at conception. At least that was the position he took before he started running for President.
Im not willing to support laws that prohibit early term abortions, he told the Conservative Spectator, a Tennessee newspaper, in 1994. It comes down to whether life begins at conception. I dont know in my own mind if that is the case so I dont feel the law ought to impose that standard on other people. The ultimate decision on abortion should be left with the woman and not the government, he told another newspaper. And in his Christian Coalition questionnaire, he penciled in: I do not believe abortion should be criminalized. This matter will be won in the hearts and souls of the American people.
Note that when he explained why he opposes Roe v. Wade on federalism grounds, he ended up saying: When you get back to the states, I think the states should have some leeway. Leeway obviously is code for the states should allow some abortions.
Thompson has, however, voted consistently against partial birth abortion. Theres no doubt that life has started in those late-term situations.
Fred Thompson the conservative politician vs. Fred Thompson the pro-abortion lobbyist
New information uncovered by the Los Angeles Times indicates that Thompson has lobbied on behalf of an abortion rights organization.
The official minutes of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) document that the group hired Thompson in 1991 to try to influence the George H. W. Bush Administration to loosen the restrictions that prevented federal funding from going to clinics that engage in abortion counseling.
Thompsons support for federal funding of abortion is vividly recalled by the President of the NFPRHA, Judy DeSarno; the Director of Government Relations, Sarah Szanton; and a member of the Board of Directors, Susan Cohen.
To be fair, Bushs Chief of Staff, John Sununu, has denied ever talking to Thompson about abortion. That may mean that Thompson either spoke to other officials in the White House or took the NFPRHAs money and did nothing for them.
Either way, that kind of behavior is inconsistent with principled conservatism.
What would he do about abortion as President?
He would personally rejoice if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, at least according to some of his statements on abortion. For the sake of argument, let us grant him that sentiment. But if vacancies occur in the court during his presidency, would he have the fortitude to nominate and fight for judges who share his federalist sentiments and on that basis vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? And would he do so particularly if he faced a Democratic Senate and House of Representatives, as seems likely?
Nothing in his past suggests that he would fight. The Nelson Rockefeller/Howard Baker/Poppy Bush wing of the party, of which Thompson is an integral part by virtue of the umbilical cord between Thompson and Baker, has always believed in accommodation rather than confrontation. You accommodate the Democrats, as Thompson himself did in his Asiagate investigation, and you can bet your entire rainy-day fund that the Democrats wont accommodate a Supreme Court nominee who might overturn Roe v. Wade. Accommodation on this issue is a one-way street. Any accommodation would be done by President Thompson.
As far as other abortion-related politicking is concerned, there is nothing to suggest that abortion is a key issue anywhere near the top of Fred Thompsons to do list. We need to concentrate on what brings us together and not what divides us, was Senator Thompson excuse, as told to The Tennessean. And later, when a pro-abortion group needed a Republican Insider to represent its views at the White House, we now knowfrom the minutes of the groups meetingswho they turned to: Washington lobbyist Fred Thompson.
In short, a President Thompson would give pro-life conservatives some supportive rhetoric but little action. So what else is new?
The bottom line
Fred Thompson showed no conservative leadership in his eight years as Senator.
Fred Thompson was a key architect of one of the worst pieces of legislation in recent yearsthe speech-muzzling McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
Fred Thompson cast votes in the Senate that increased the power of the federal government, limited the rights of taxpayers and individual citizens, and sought to shut grassroots activists out of the political process.
Fred Thompson fails the Goldwater Test with a grade of F: He did not speak out against the Republican Big Government rampage of the past seven years.
Fred Thompson fails the Reagan Test with a grade of F: He has never walked with us or surrounded himself with conservatives or fought our fights.
Fred Thompson has instead been a protégé of one of the icons of liberal Republicanism, Howard Baker, who continues to be his key advisor.
Fred Thompson plays a tough guy in the movies and on television, but in real life he is a marshmallow who would pose no threat to the Big Government Establishment that continues to dominate Washington.
Fred Thompson is, in fact, a Washington insider and part of that Big Government Establishment through his eight years as a go-along Senator and even more years as a trial lawyer and Washington lobbyist.
Fred Thompson is not the conservative leader we need.
For the past year, I have been preaching to conservatives that we should not align ourselves with those who have fatal flaws from a conservative perspective. The imminent entrance of Fred Thompson in the race doesnt change a thing, for the reasons I have demonstrated here.
Conservatives, lets keep our powder dry. The GOP has taken us for granted in supporting their political agenda. Conservatives should make candidates come to us, and lets make them prove that they are worthy of our support.
I realize that I will most likely get the living crap kicked outta me for even POSTING this but, in the interests of providing another point-of-view on an emerging candidate, I feel honesty -- and prudence -- requires a close examination of voting patterns and records so, as in the Who song of years ago, "We Won't be Fooled Again."
Viguerie has proven himself to be an accurate and competent researcher and purveyor of factual information in the past. I have no reason to believe he is treating Fred Thompson any differently.
Must hurry now and don my ASBESTOS UNDIES nnd NOMEX suit in anticipation of the impending 2000 degree flames heading my way.
We don’t shoot the messenger......now as for the author of the article, he’s fair game.
Better Fred than dead.
I take it this guy thinks only hardliners and Reagan worshipers vote.
Go for it.
Please post ANY — and I do mean ANY — inaccuracies or falsehoods you find in any of this piece.
"I am warning you Conservatives! BEWARE this Fred Thompson fellow. He is pro-Gun Contr....errr....Hey, watch out! Thompsen is pro-Aborti......errr....ahhhhh. Listen to me - I am warning you! This guy is pro-Homosexual Marriag....errrr....ummmmmm."
I realize that I will most likely get the living crap kicked outta me for even POSTING this
Who the hell are you to spead rumors?
This article is a plant by the democrat underground.
Why spread this Sh#@!
take it down.
I realize that I will most likely get the living crap kicked outta me for even POSTING this
Who the hell are you to spead rumors?
This article is a plant by the democrat underground.
Why spread this Sh#@!
take it down.
Kinda thin stuff, don’cha think?
BTW—Fred’s backtracked on most of the bad stuff, like McCain/Feingold.
That’s all ya got?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - (Wikipedia)
Viguerie founded Conservative Digest magazine in 1975 and served as its publisher for ten years. Opposing President Gerald Ford’s election, Viguerie in 1976 unsuccessfully sought the presidential nomination of the American Independent Party (that had been formed eight years earlier by George Wallace). 
In 1977 he worked on a project to raise money for Sun Myung Moon’s Children’s Relief Fund, which reportedly only received 6.3% of the $1,508,256 raised. $920,000 went to Viguerie according to New York State charity auditors.
Viguerie sought the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1985, but did not receive the nomination at the GOP state convention.
Asked by Campaigns and Elections in May 2000 what his immediate goals were Viguerie answered “To use the Internet to involve Americans in the political process, to help conservatives gain an advantage over the left. To fight against government’s use of power, to fight for individual rights and responsibilities, and to fight to extend the blessings of liberty throughout the world.”
Writing in The Nation, David Corn noted that Viguerie “raised money for Judicial Watch” and is associated with Larry Klayman, conservative lawyer and activist and Republican candidate for the US Senate from Florida in 2004.
Viguerie has long been associated with conservative activist Howard Phillips through creation of the Moral Majority in 1979.
Let the rebuttal’s begin...as a former E.TN conservative, the mentorship of RINO’s like Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander does make my skin crawl!
Be sure to let us all know what YOUR research in the Congressional Record indicates are Fred’s actual votes on these issues.
Or is your position, my mind’s made up so how DARE you confuse me with FACTS.
That’s SUPPOSED to be how the dims operate: On emotion.
I hear what you're saying. Just what the world needs, another "pragmatic moderate conservative".
As the Rudybots like to remind us, No candidate is perfect. Fred Thompson is a friend of John McInsane, and supported him on a lot of issues. That can lead a person in a lot of wrong directions.
That said, he ain’t Rudy Guiliani or John McInsane, and I’m willing to support him in the General. (I’ll be votin’ for Duncan Hunter in the Primary, most likely.)
First off, his votes are NOT that inconsistent with the image he has right now as a ‘08 contender. As we’ve said before, many of Fred’s votes were based in either a Federalist, “should-the-government-get-involved” point of view, or on Fred’s vast understanding of law. Also, as with any politician, some of his votes were probably because something in the bill wasn’t right.
Let’s be fair to him, and let him address them. I think that’s the standard we hold Rudy McRomney to.
Secondly, like it or not, the idea of Republican Conservatism, from what the vast unwashed public believes, is a major negative right now. I see Fred Thompson as the ONLY candidate/potential candidate who is communicating conservative ideas in a way that is appealing to the masses.
Third, out of the entire field, he’s by far the most conservative, ELECTABLE guy out there.
Any of these arguments made against Thompson apply WORSE for Giuliani.
McCain? He’s nuts and fading fast.
Romney? Well, Mitt’s my second-choice guy, but honestly, the man is a bit too slick for me, seemed undedicated to his job as governor, and I think the Mormon thing is more of an issue (not for me, but for some) than we care to admit. In and of itself, it’s overcome-able, but he has a lot of what appear to be flip-flops. Too many and too recent of a conversion, whereas Fred has not really “changed” on anything, rather, he has reasons for doing what he did then and now. To be fair, I’m sure Romney did as well, and that’s why he’s my second-in-line guy, but I really just don’t trust him, he seems too “slick” if that makes any sense.
Nobody else in the field is honestly worth discussing, whether we like to hear it or not. Discussing Hunter or Tancredo is like discussing what you’d do if you won the lottery: It’s a lot of fun fantasizing, but it’s just not going to happen.
Are you so sure? I’ve heard some of these things from people who are conservatives and who like Fred. Plus, Fred himself has said that he did not show the leadership he should have on some of these occasions. I didn’t read the whole thing and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were things I’d take issue with. Plus, I think that you could take the best leader in the world, peruse his or her record and come up with a list that makes that person look terrible. But that wouldn’t make the list untrue. Republicans should vote carefully and should not bury their necks in the sand. Nor should they believe everything they read. Use caution and pray for wisdom.
Two problems with this article.
First is, it’s simply overstated and cherry-picked. Thompson scores solidly conservative across, or overwhelming agreed-in-votes with the positions taken by, a broad array of righty lobbies (Natl Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Govt Waste, Heritage, American Enterprise Institute, American Conservative Union, several pro-life organizations).
Second is more relative: Whom ELSE are we to choose? Not Rudy, surely. Duncan Hunter probably cannot win. So that leaves Romney ... who may be just fine, mind you, but just imagine how Viguerie would savage ROMNEY if he thinks Fred! is so terrible.
Mainstream media types assure us that he is [the next Ronald Reagan].
Which MSM type assures us of this. They are attacking FT with the same charges this guy repeats.
I say beware of conservatives that attack other conservatives who use liberal talking points in their attacks against other conservatives.
Thompson may just as well be another GWB instead of another Reagan. (Let’s face it - there will never be another Reagan, so stop looking for another).
GWB acted like a conservative on taxes,in his response to terrorism, Soc.Sec. reform, on the issues of abortion and EMBRYONIC stem-cell research, the UN, healthcare reform.
GWB acted like like a liberal on Medicare, the border, education, and federal spending.
That’s what Thompson will be, I believe, another GWB.
I dont think I want Queen Hillary, so I’ll vote Thompson.
But then again, when compared to,,,
a pro-authoritarian, pro-bullying govt, pro-intrusive govt, pro-more controlling 'Big Brother' type of govt,,,,,,
and a pro-abortion, pro-amnesty, pro-litigation, gun-grabbing, gay rights crusading, arrogant, narcissistic New York LIBERAL lawyer like JulieAnnie,,,,
whose personal life is an absolute TRAIN WRECK (almost making Bill Clinton look like a decent family man and loving husband--if that is even possible),,,,
Since Goldwater, all prez elections have come down to who you gonna vote AGAINST!
< /s >
Where does one start with these bald-faced lies?
Federalism- official position 2002 Federalism
The Framers of the Constitution envisioned a federal government of limited and defined powers, with most governmental activity taking place at the state and local levels. This fundamental principle of "federalism," embodied in the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, has been circumvented in recent decades as the federal government has infringed on state sovereignty and concentrated more power in Washington. Senator Thompson has been working to reverse this trend and to return power to states and communities. He has been an independent voice for a smaller federal government, and has cast his vote against measures to federalize what should be state and local issues.
There is renewed interest in the relationship between the federal government, states and localities as Congress seeks to improve the effectiveness of federal programs and determine which programs are best administered at the state or local levels. The federal presence in state and local government is large, witnessed by the fact that federal grants comprise 23 percent of total state spending. However, many things required by the federal government are never paid for by the federal government. Senator Thompson is concerned with the imposition of unfunded federal mandates on state and local governments, which force our nation's governor's, mayors, and other state and local elected officials to raise taxes or cut services in order to pay for them.
The Tenth Amendment was designed to protect states from Washington's big government tendencies ? but this pillar of our Democracy was attacked by the Clinton Administration. In 1998, President Clinton tried to overturn the long-standing Reagan executive order on federalism with a new order that justified federal intervention in state and local affairs. Senator Thompson offered an amendment on the Senate floor, which passed unanimously, calling on the President to revoke his executive order. The new executive order was suspended shortly thereafter.
In June of 1999, Senator Thompson introduced the Federalism Accountability Act of 1999 (S. 1214). The bill was approved by a bi-partisan vote of 12-2 by the Governmental Affairs Committee in August of that year, but did not pass the Senate prior to the end of the 106th Congress. The Federal Accountability Act would have required the report accompanying any public bill or joint resolution from a Senate and House committee or conference report to contain an explicit statement on the extent to which the bill or resolution preempts state or local government law and the reasons for this preemption. The Act would also have established a rule of construction providing that courts would not construe a statute or regulation to preempt state or local law unless the statute or regulation explicitly stated that such preemption was intended or unless there was a direct conflict with state law.
That is as conservative a legislative proposal I have seen over the last decade.
Fred lost me when he started hiring Bush’s old cronies.
Might as well deal with all of this now. Is it true? Isn’t it true? Does it matter if it’s true? Is it in context, or not? [”It”=any of the statements in the article.]
A genuine quest for the truth is good. I just cannot stand hit-pieces that some around here post, followed by a smarmy “Oh, I could vote for Fred. He’s my #2 choice.”
Rumors circulated that Thompson was lazy, uninterested in the daily grind that comes with being a Senator
This is pure emotion, an unverified charge that has no place in a serious article.
That’s fine. If that’s all that turned you off, you never were in Fred’s corner anyway. No loss.
I have that very problem with Dinesh D'Souza.
“Once the mob found out Fred was not the “perfect Messiah”, they cried out “Crucify him!”
Good point. Tells a lot about the author’s point of view as he wrote. Something to keep in mind.
“whom else are we to choose” Its shameful that the gop puts us in this position.
Who knows? There was a time when many thought Gerald Ford was more electable than Ronald Reagan. I'd certainly favor Thompson over any of the Dems, but right now I'm more in favor of supporting the candidate who is the most robust supporter of strong conservatism and then letting the general election take care of itself.
Anyone give any background about conservative HQ?
All my 2008 campaign contributions are going directly to Fred.
Not one penny to the RNC.
Anyone who thinks Thomspson is a movement conservative is going to be disappointed.
I think most of us understand that he is a moderate conservative ... which puts him to the left of Hunter, Tancredo, and company ... but to the right of Rudy, McCain, and Romney. And probably somewhat to the right of Dubya.
The calculation that many conservatives are making is that a likable, electable nominee who is 80% conservative ... but has a penchant for communicating common sense conservatism to Joe Citizen ... is better than a 100% guy who who demonstrates little or no appeal to non-ideological voters and centrists.
Gee, lemme guess. You like L. Ron?
Once the mob found out Fred was not the perfect Messiah, they cried out Crucify him!
TRANSLATION: Fred can beat Hillary and her flying monkeys with both hands tied behind his back.
When I found out he was CFR, that did it for me. All we need is another globalist like Bush in office. Their goal is a one world order, and that means we lose our sovereignty. NO THANKS!
Vote for Duncan Hunter. A true conservative!
Problem is, when it comes to serious folks who know how to run a campaign, the pickings are pretty darned slim. I’m not going to fault the guy for hiring a couple of people who worked for Bush at one time—campaign directors, etc., are a revolving door.
OK, let's look at Fred's position regarding the Second Amendment:
Fred Thompson on Gun Control
Allowing concealed carry could have limited VA Tech massacre. (Apr 2007)
Voted NO on background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
Voted NO on more penalties for gun & drug violations. (May 1999)
Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks. (Jul 1998)
No flames from me. I think there are some important questions that need to be adressed.
Anybody can belong to CFR. Some companies enroll all their employees. You may be a member and not even know it.
Thank you for posting this interesting and useful article. I am not so sure about Viguerie’s character, but he is certainly a studied conservative ideologue and he has provided a lot of important information here.
Be warned: I am armed and have this deeply honed instinct to shoot back.
Be prepared to seek cover.
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