Monday, January 31, 2011

I Like Mike; Why I Am Supporting Pence for Governor in 2012

I have a confession: I like Mike. Rep. Mike Pence that is.

It is looking more and more like Republican Congressman Mike Pence will be running for Governor in 2012. He will be difficult to beat.

Mike Pence and I have a lot in common. Pence and I both grew up in Southeast Indiana, Pence in Columbus, while I hail from farmland a few miles from the "big city" of Madison. Pence and I both came from working class families. Both of our parents were Democrats and both of us were converted to Republicanism because of the influence of Ronald Reagan.

Our paths first crossed at Hanover College, where I entered as a Freshman in 1979 when Pence was a Junior. Where I really got to know Mike Pence though was at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. When I arrived there in 1984, I began writing conservative political columns for the law school newspaper, the Dictum. Pence, who was a year ahead of me, and I were of like mind on the issues and talked about politics. The next year, I became editor, while Mike Pence sketched cartoons for the paper. Pence is quite the artist and his cartoons reflected his good nature and biting wit.

Pence and I first clashed politically in 1986 over a law school election. I was running for President of the Student Bar Association, a position elected by the entire law school student body. It was a highly-contested election. Unlike the other candidates, I had been sharply critical of the performance of the outgoing President, who also happened to be a good friend of Pence's. Before the election, Pence drew a cartoon of me, mocking me as being power hungry. I don't know if Pence did it thinking I, as editor, wouldn't publish it, or whether he thought I would, and it would hurt my chances at the polls. I recognized it though as a miscalculation. I published the cartoon and raked in the sympathy while Pence faced a backlash for taking the shot at me. I won the election. I think it might have been Pence's first political mistake. He would go on to make others when he first ran for Congress against incumbent Rep. Phil Sharp.

I have to admire though the career path Mike Pence has taken. Some people mock him for allegedly "far-right" views, but Mike Pence has a core set of beliefs and he stands by them through thick and thin. He is also always pleasant and cordial to those who disagree with him, an approach that more conservatives should adopt. People respect Pence's intellectual honesty and graciousness, even if they don't always agree with him on the issues. In a state that produced Senator Evan Bayh, whose political views seem to depend on which way the wind is blowing that particular day, Pence is refreshing.

But what I admire most about Pence is his willingness to stand up to the leadership of the Republican Party when those leaders have strayed from the conservative philosophy on which they were elected. Indianapolis is renown for producing Republican politicians who are followers and are fearful of challenging the leadership of the party when they raise taxes or spend money recklessly like liberal Democrats. What I'm trying to do locally, chiefly through this blog, is something Pence has succeeded on doing at a national level. Even though he reached a leadership position, Pence has still stayed true to his political views, not becoming corrupted by the power of being an "insider."

Finally, I end by making a comparison between Rep. Mike Pence and Gov. Mitch Daniels. While he wisely ruled out running for national office, Pence understands the political equation that Republicans only can win national elections when find a way to put together fiscal and social conservatives in a winning coalition. Social issues are a net winner for Republicans, though WHICH social issues are always up for debate. The minute Gov. Daniels asked for a "truce" on social issues, his chances of putting together that winning conservative coalition to win the Presidency, or even getting the Republican nomination for that matter, were gone.

I wish Mike Pence the best of luck as he inches closer to running for Governor of Indiana.



I like Pence too. I am hoping he runs.

Nicolas Martin said...

Pence is no Ron Paul. He has voted to increase the cost of government during his time in congress, and has never led the fight to downsize government or enforce fidelity to the constitution.

As with most Republicans, Pence thumbs his nose at the requirement that congress declare war -- giving the executive lethal power that the founders fervently hoped to thwart. Pence also supports myriad other affronts to the constitution, which have congress exercising unenumerated powers, including drug prohibition, a gay marriage ban, and farm subsidies, he’s a political prostitute who will vote for whatever gets him reelected, and the constitution be damned. He’s no friend of liberty or small government. Again, as with Reagan and Republicans in general, it is rhetoric vs reality.

Here is an example of Pence transferring wealth from some taxpayers to others:

Nicolas Martin said...

Here’s another example of Pence in the role of political prostitute. Support for “alternative fuels” (a euphemism for agriwelfare), is a perfect litmus test of the sincerity of self-proclcaimed fiscal conservative. Pence fails the test, as he happily announces.


I’m not alone in noting Pence’s hypocrisy:

Some on right questioning candidates’ ethanol support

Unfortunately, Mr. Ogden is one whose fidelity to the Republican Party is greater that to principles of limited government.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Actually there is no national gay marriage ban. The Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by Clinton in the year 1996,was based on an explicit provision in the U.S. Consitution...namely the sentence after the Full Faith and Credit Clause (the requirement that states recognized and give effect to the laws and judicial proceedings of other states) that Congress shall enforce the FF&C by appropriate legislation. Congress in the DMA said they won't make states comply witht he FF&C when it comes to gay marriage. I think that interpretion subverts what the Founders intended when they said Congress shall enforce through appropriate legislation.

I would point out that Pence didn't get to Congress until 2000 while DMA was passed in 1996. He may have spoken out for it. I think you're right though that Federalism should make this a state issue. I don't like the way Congress subverted the FF&C with the DMA.

I too think ethanoyl is a big mistake. It's probably a big issue though in his district.

Nicolas Martin said...

No, there isn’t a federal gay marriage ban, but Pence supports one, which was my point. He would defile the constitution with such a prohibition while preaching that states should be more autonomous from Washington.

He’s an intolerant Pecksniff who deviates not a speck from the meddlesome moral schemes of the religious right. Not that that bothers you: he’s your intolerant Pecksniff. But at least let’s dispense with the pretension that you hold vouchsafe some libertarians values when your preferred candidate is a model anti-libertarian. Or is this a bad case of cognitive dissonance?

Nicolas Martin said...

Enough Republicans have voted “nay” to block reauthorization (and expansion) of the Patriot Act for now. Mike Pence was not among those defenders of rights.