Bill Bryant, host of “Kentucky Newsmakers” on WKYT-TV in Lexington, Ky., mentioned our own John Y. Brown, IV on his political news segment yesterday. Bryant referenced the “Why We Lost” piece JYB4 penned this week.
Take a look:
WKYT 27 NEWSFIRST
I was as disappointed as any other Republican with last Tuesday’s election results. President Obama defeated Governor Romney soundly in the Electoral College while also defeating him, albeit by a lesser margin, in the national popular vote. Republicans also lost seats in both chambers of Congress.
This was a pivotal election. On Tuesday, we learned that the large expansion of the federal government that took place in President Obama’s first term will likely continue without a Republican president or more conservative House or Senate to intervene. Whether Republicans like it or not, Obamacare is here to stay. The same is true of Dodd-Frank Act and many other expansions of federal power that took place under this President.
Likewise, whoever was elected president in 2012 was destined to play a major role in the budgetary reforms that are needed to bring our country to long term financial solvency and short term fiscal sanity. With President Obama, we can expect to see heavier tax hikes and military cuts and much smaller domestic spending cuts than we would have under a President Romney. Entitlement reform will be hard to achieve in any meaningful way with a President who is already on the record as opposing raising the retirement age, cutting benefits (even for the wealthy), or having any sort of market based changes within the various systems.
The easy impulse is to find blame (the devastating storms, the power of incumbency, an Obama friendly media, etc.) that will relieve us from the harder (but also more rewarding) task of asking ourselves honestly where our party came up short.
What was it that made swing voters break towards President Obama instead of Governor Romney in the final days of the campaign?
Most commentators tell us that it was because Republicans came off as too extreme on social policy like immigration, abortion and other hot button social issues. These extreme positions, the argument goes, caused republicans to lose critical support from minorities, women and youth. I believe there is more than a grain of truth to what those commentators are telling us.
Most minorities don’t support Republicans because of issues like immigration but more because they are drawn to the populist economic message that Democratic Presidents typically promote. These segments of voters generally support higher taxes (on the “rich”) and more public services.
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Last night, at the annual GOP Lincoln Day statewide dinner, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer — a rising star himself — welcomed Brown to the party from the dais, sparking a long and warm ovation.
And Sunday morning, Johnny appeared in the pages of the Courier Journal (Louisville) with the King himself — the longtime leader of Kentucky Republicans, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell.
Johnny’s father — and forgive us, we have already forgotten his name — was said to be kvelling, although he wasn’t sure what the Yiddish term meant.
John Y. Brown Sr., my great-grandfather, was an avid supporter of FDR’s New Deal while serving a term in the US House of Representatives and was a champion of various liberal causes in Kentucky’s state House for several decades.
John Y. Brown Jr., my grandfather, served one term as a Democratic governor of the Commonwealth and was the national chairman for the Democratic Telethons of the early 1970s.
My father, John Y. Brown III, was a two term Democratic Secretary of State and delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1996.
Being the fourth John Y. Brown, most people would expect that I would follow the tradition and become a Democrat. However, when I turn 18 later this month, I plan on registering with the Republican Party. It has been a decision that I have thought out fully and feel good about—even if it appears to break with a family political tradition.
As my political philosophy developed over the years, it became clearer and clearer that I was drifting rightward. My father would tell me that he believed the temperament we’re born with influences our political philosophy—as much as our ideas and beliefs. My personal political journey has confirmed this in many ways. Every time I heard about an issue where there was major disagreement between the political parties, I found myself siding with the Republicans over the Democrats. Eventually, I stopped resisting this and embraced my inclination toward a conservative political philosophy.
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