Sunday, May 03, 2009

jack kemp

I can't imagine that I would have ever voted for Jack Kemp, who just died. His belief in supply-side economics - what George H. W. Bush correctly characterized as "voodoo economics" during the 1980 Republican Presidential primaries - was too much to take. His pushing for massive tax cuts in the early 1980s contributed to the huge Republican deficits left to Bill Clinton to sort out.

But Kemp didn't stick slavishly to the Reaganite Republican ideology. Though conservative, he supported civil rights, rights for illegal immigrants, and affirmative action.

Today I imagine that the Limbaughs and Boehners of the GOP would call Kemp a RINO (Republican in name only), like they did Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords. Those two both left the Republican Party. Kemp was already out of politics, but his empathy for those with left would be viewed suspiciously within the party today.



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