There are some excellent pieces on today’s site. My friend Doug Bandow has an eloquently written discourse on the role of faith in politics. But the must read of the day is my friend Jeff Lord’s wonderful tribute to Jack Kemp. I note only one… well, not exactly error, but a misimpression created. It was not just by 1980 that Kemp convinced Reagan of the value of tax cuts and supply-side economics; I have photocopies of old Human Events from the fall of 1976 — too late to be part of Reagan’s presidential nomination battle against Gerald Ford, but not too late for the fall election if it had been used — in which Reagan is cited as joining Kemp’s call for tax cuts to stimulate the economy. In short, Kemp was, if anythng, even further ahead of his time than Lord indicates, and Reagan did not take too much convincing before Kemp was able to enlist Reagan in the cause. So both men deserve even MORE credit than they have received!
That aside, Lord’s essay is wonderful stuff, beautifully written, rich in enlightening and entertaining detail. Jeff didn’t say it, but I will: Jack Kemp was the single most influential House member since James Madison was serving as Washington’s floor leader in the first two terms of Congress. Nobody else has so successfully used a base in the House to so effectively change the entire debate in Washington. Even Newt Gingrich, after Kemp left the House, was building on Kemp’s foundation; it was Kemp whose presence provided the heft for Gingrich, Walker, Lott and Lungren to make the Conservative Opportunity Society (the five were the original founders of the group) immediately more than just a meaningless rump caucus.
I join Jeff Lord and assuredly hundreds of thousands or evem millions of others in adding my prayers for Kemp’s recovery from whatever form of cancer it is that ails him.