Jack Kemp – 1935-2009 ~ dnd


Tributes have been pouring in for Jack Kemp.  All deserved.  In an ironic sense, Jack Kemp’s ideals set the stage for the Democratic resurgence.

Kemp was an eternal optimist.  He was a “yes we can” kind of a guy, not a “party of no” kind of guy.

Kemp was a fiscal conservative and socially liberal.

Kemp believed in a big tent, not a narrow-minded purist ideology.

Kemp believed in immigrants rights.

Kemp, like his running mate Bob Dole, believed in bipartisanship.  He had opponents, but no enemies.

Kemp believed in empowering all.

Kemp was post-racial.

Kemp was a “bleeding heart” conservative.

Kemp could be a pain in the ass, for both parties, because of his boundless energy to explore and debate new ideas.  And he had plenty of ideas.


He was, in essence, what the new Democratic party has become.  Not policy-wise, not with respect to economic philosophy, but with a profound belief, respect and understanding of the American people.

Thanks Jack.  We’ll miss you.



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50 responses to “Jack Kemp – 1935-2009 ~ dnd

  1. dog's eye view

    Good column, dnd.

    Kemp was a decent and humane man. Bring back courtesy and respect for your political opponents.

    Kemp’s letter to his grandchildren, after Obama’s election.


  2. dnd I’m not sure it’s really accurate to call Kemp a “social liberal”. Though certainly more enlightened regarding race issues than his repug brethren his stand on rights for gay people was anything but.

  3. Nice eulogy, dnd. He’d be proud of your sentiments about him.

  4. dnd

    There are a lot of areas I disagreed with Kemp. He was a supply-sider, an economic idea I’ll never understand. He worked with Newt on the “Contract on America.” But hey, nobody’s perfect.

    And Brian, I’m sure he showered with a few gay AFL players 😉

  5. For those of you that didn’t happen to catch Hardball yesterday:

    Mike Pence Descends Into Gibberish After Evolution Questions From Chris Matthews (VIDEO)


  6. DNC Web Ad: GOP Survivor

  7. Nannymm

    That Pence interview was pathetic. Do repugs have no courage? They are terrified of saying anything that will upset their base.

  8. dog's eye view

    on the DOJustice torture memo considerations: I think this is going to take a long time to play out, and there is no statute of limitations on war crimes.

    Yoo, Bybee and Bradbury should be disbarred; very likely some others as well. Follow the chain up the executive ladder and through other agencies.

    More information will seep out. There are allegedly more photos of Abu Ghraib style cruelty — apparently there’s a decapitated cat’s head stuck atop a bottle in the mix.

    This will not be swept under the rug.

  9. I’m sure he showered with lots of people, that does not a social liberal make!

  10. dog's eye view

    didn’t watch the Pence interview; not much time.

    It’s sad that Republicans can’t say “I believe in evolution, but I will protect your right of speech and belief” to their constituents and leave it there.

    Do you think the GOP will eventually (who knows when, and not soon, please) get it together and become a mainstream party again?

    Or will we see the development of a third or fourth party? A place for people with book learning (not solely the Good Book) who are not for whatever reason affiliated with the Democrats?

  11. If you see the development of a viable third party that can only lead to the final nail in the GOP coffin. The history of third parties in this country is rather dismal.

  12. dog's eye view

    On Kemp: it’s apparent from the obits that working and traveling with black athletes — and seeing how they were treated (a colleague’s dad had terrible seats; his own family got 50-yard line) — appalled him.

    He was sincere in his beliefs on race relations.

    Bob Herbert had a NYTimes column on Kemp yesterday; you might also enjoy the readers’ comments.


    “[Kemp] had two very big ideas for his party. One was terrific, spot on. The other couldn’t have been more boneheaded. The G.O.P. being the G.O.P. rejected the good idea and went hog wild for the boneheaded one.

    Kemp’s good idea was that the Republicans should vastly expand their tent, get past their narrow-mindedness and begin actively seeking the support of blacks and other ethnic minorities. …”

    Jack Kemp’s Futile Quest

  13. dog's eye view

    Yes, I am thinking that a third party might supplant the GOP as well.

    It’s too odd and cynical a mix. Not enough corporate kleptocrats who want to be married to creationists and reactionaries.

  14. dog's eye view

    Off topic: Valiant dogs in the news. Hope Hoagie recovers.

    LATimes: Dog intervenes between man and mountain lion

    A dog that a Wildomar man once saved from being put to sleep threw himself between his master and a marauding mountain lion at Lake Elsinore on Tuesday.

    The dog — a mixed breed named Hoagie — and the mountain lion fought a ferocious battle at one of the lake’s campgrounds that saved the man’s life and nearly killed the dog, who was rushed into four hours of surgery, according to authorities.


  15. BTW dnd, I don’t think being “post racial” is the goal, I think being “post-racist” is.

  16. Nannymm

    That’s why dogs are our best friends.

  17. trout boy-Horsedooty

    I am always sorry when someone passes. I never thought much about Jack Kemp other than I knew he was on the other side of most issues. Like I said, I am sorry he passed but I won’t miss him.

  18. Nannymm

    It’s going to be a very long time before repugs are post-racist Brian. Their racism and stupidity are their primary unifying factors at present.

  19. I wish that article had said how the dog is doing now. Poor puppy!

  20. Nannymm

    Well said, Doots. I feel bad for his family and am sorry he had to suffer. But there is nothing there for me to miss.

  21. dog's eye view

    But there should be, nanny. Kemp was multifaceted. As are most people (but not all).

  22. Re: the development and evolution of a viable third party in the US, I’ve been ruminating about this idea for about a month now. I believe, in a counter intuitive moment, that it will be the Democratic Party that will split up and will be the centerist party to a Republican Party on the far right and a Socialist Democratic Party on the left. Yes, I said it was counter intuitive. But, think about it for a minute. Blue-Dog Democrats, the Clintonians of the Centerist Democrats, and the “lefties” of the Democratic Party and you’ve got all the ingredients for splintering in several directions. The Republicans have already identified their 20-25% of the electorate and mostly are located in the south and mid-west from Nebraska to Oklahoma. East coast Democrats and Western Democrats don’t see eye to eye on immigration or free trade. Water issues, likewise, separate Democrats east and west. So, if the Republicans, albeit with smaller numbers, have solidified, who is left to splinter? Democrats!

  23. dog's eye view

    agree with you, eprof. Have wondered about the Democratic coalition myself.

    Although you usually get more done as a member of one of the two major parties, and the Dems seem more willing to tolerate and work with their outliers.

  24. Democrats are used to disagreeing with each other, nothing new there.

  25. Nannymm

    It’s what we do best. 😀

  26. Nannymm

    But there should be, nanny.

    I don’t think so, dog’s eye. I didn’t agree with him on anything. So as I said, nothing for me to miss. If you feel differently, fine. We are each entitled to our feelings. No “shoulds” about it!

  27. dog's eye view

    that’s fine.

  28. Maine just legalized same sex marriage!

  29. nannymm

    Gay marriage approved in Maine!

  30. nannymm

    I think the insurance companies are running scared. Why else would they be offering concessions?

    Health Insurers Agree to End Higher Premiums for Women

  31. dog's eye view

    Hearing the news on Maine: first thought: excellent.

    Second, in keeping with our discussion on schism:

    there are many people who feel deeply disturbed by same sex marriage. They tend to be older and more traditionally religious. And presumably vote more than the usual American. (Maybe so, maybe not.)

    Maybe the Sarah Palins of the world position themselves exactly where they are, in hopes of picking up that base in a world with 2 or more parties in the near future.

    The Evan Meacham approach.

    The two more moderate candidates split the vote, and the crazier candidate (we can say “ideological candidate”, to be nice) comes up the middle and ekes out a win.

    Method to the madness. It’s not positioning for the current 2-party system. It’s thinking way ahead.

    Probably too much credit for Governor Moose, but …

  32. BevnTempe

    Off topic, although already mentioned:
    Hooray for Maine! “Maine Governor John Baldacci signed Wednesday into law a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state. The move makes Maine the fifth state to allow gay marriage.”


    Are people getting worried that it’s beginning to spreading like Swine Flu? Will it become a pandemic? Is there a vaccine to prevent the spread?

    It’s time people realized that this change is coming and it should be accepted that ALL people should be treated equal.

  33. dnd

    Kemp was willing to work with and negotiate with the other side of the aisle. The current crop of Republicans, Boehner, Cantor, etc., seem to think that’s heretical. No ideas. No cooperation. Just endless criticism.

    That’s why I’ll miss Kemp.

  34. Things are definitely speeding up Bev, it’s quite amazing to me how the last election has opened up the liberal flood gates!

  35. dnd

    Oh, and that Bob Herbert column on Kemp was great (even if he didn’t get the supply-side stuff exactly right).

  36. dnd


    That’s a very interesting idea. I’d thought the Republicans would go the way of the Whigs, since they seem to be fracturing in the same way. But your idea makes a lot of sense. Those “Reagan Democrats” are increasingly getting fed up with the direction the Republican party is going, as are a lot of Republicans and independents.

    With the far right having a lot of money and power, per Brian’s post yesterday, this doesn’t leave a lot of room for moderates.

  37. dnd


    Wow! Should be a lot of wedding parties headed to Maine this June.

    Wonder if Bar and George will rent out their compound in Kennybunkport to handle the influx of weddings 😉

  38. nannymm

    Hmm.. Bar Harbor would make a lovely wedding destination. The rocky coastline would make a beautiful backdrop. The outdoorsy types could tie the knot at the summit of Cadillac Mountain. As for the honeymoon, there are many lovely places to stay and lots of things to do. The Lighthouse cruises are quite romantic!

  39. nannymm

    Bev, lets hope this is spreading faster than swine flu. It’s definitely long over due.
    As for those who who are uncomfortable with gay marriage, I have the perfect solution for them. Stick with “opposite” marriage.

  40. nannymm

    Frank Luntz is at it again. helping the repugs to “frame” the issue of healthcare reform. That’s all it’s about for them: “framing” it so they can defeat it like they did in the 90’s. It’s time for us to push back and not let them get away with this bull crap!

    Dr. Frank Luntz, a top Republican consultant on the language of politics, is warning the GOP that the American people want health-care reform and that lawmakers need to try to avoid directly opposing President Barack Obama.

    “You simply MUST be vocally and passionately on the side of REFORM,” Luntz advises in a confidential 26-page report obtained from Capitol Hill Republicans. “The status quo is no longer acceptable. If the dynamic becomes ‘President Obama is on the side of reform and Republicans are against it,’ then the battle is lost and every word in this document is useless.

  41. Specter Will Be Junior Democrat on Committees


    tee hee!

  42. dnd

    Finally got around to watching the Tweety/Pence exchange.

    As to the “scientific method” I doubt neither Tweety nor Pence knows what it is. But that’s neither here nor there. What amazes me is that in some scientific areas, like evolution or climate change, lay people have no shortage of opinions. Yet they have no opinion about quantum tunneling, something that impacts their everyday lives through computer technology and most of their consumer electronics.

    Go figure 😉

  43. Be honest who else is enjoying watching Arlen squirm a bit?

  44. dnd


    That Frank Luntz was priceless. Every point except #10 was either contradictory, misrepresentation, or fear mongering.

    For example one argument against full health insurance means we’ll have rationed health care and everyone will have to queue up, and you’ll probably croak waiting for the mediocre health care you’d be lucky to receive. Assuming this is true, which it ain’t, Luntz goes on to say that Republicans have to admit we have a healthcare crisis that needs to be fixed. Well, which is it?

    Luntz is a great propagandist, but deep thinking does not appeal to his client base.

  45. dnd

    I’m not happy to see Specter squirm. It’s turning out to be a lose-lose proposition. Specter and Kennedy are two of the strongest proponents for health care and health research in the Senate. I’d hate to see them screw this up.

  46. dnd

    I was however happy to see Pence squirm on Hardball yesterday.

    I’m just a bad person 😉

  47. Considering Specter’s remark about a public plan for the health care plan I can’t agree with you about Specter’s commitment to universal health care dnd.

  48. dnd

    Stephanie Miller was flirting with Lt. Gen. Russell Honore this morning:


    He was my pick to head up DHS, though I think Janet Nepolitano is doing a great job.

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