Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Jane always will be remembered as the nation's first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Jane blogs at JaneChastain.com. She is a pilot who lives on a private runway.More ↓Less ↑
You’ve heard the expression, “Nice guys finish last.” I never fully understood that phrase until I began watching the Republican Party. They are nice guys, but with no principles, at least none that they feel are important enough to defend. We saw that in the last Congress. We saw that in the campaign for the last election, and we saw it in their own election of officers in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Newt Gingrich decided to step aside nicely when it became apparent that his strategy had failed. Dick Armey decided he wanted to remain as majority leader. Members were much too nice to force him to step aside, but then they began to feel guilty about by-passing Jennifer Dunn, who gave up her post as vice-chair of their conference in order to challenge Armey. Dunn had been hand-picked by Gingrich for her leadership post, despite being a pro-abortion advocate in a pro-life party. It was part of Mr. Gingrich’s effort to show how nice and accommodating Republicans are to members who disagree with the majority.
After Dunn lost, Republicans in the House showed how nice they were by electing, not one, but two female pro-abortion advocates to their leadership team: Tillie Fowler from Florida was elected vice chair of the conference and Deborah Price of Ohio was re-elected secretary. The re-election of Price is at least understandable. She has a young child battling cancer so no one even wanted to challenge her for the post. They were all much too nice for that. However, Tillie Fowler’s election is more difficult to explain.
Fowler is much more at home with liberal feminists on the other side of the aisle than she is with most members of her own party. On the House National Security Committee, she was in lock-step with Democrat Jane Harman during the attempt to reinstate single-gender basic training in our military. In Fowler’s world view, men and women are interchangeable fungibles and our armed services a laboratory for social experimentation.
On Monday, a Dear Colleague letter arrived supporting Fowler for vice-chairman which was signed by National Security Committee Chairman Floyd Spence and his subcommittee chairmen Duncan Hunter, Joel Hefley, Bob Stump, James Hansen, Steve Buyer, Herb Bateman and Curt Weldon. All of these men claim to be pro-life. Why did they sign this letter of support? They were just too nice to say no.
To elevate Fowler, these men and many others passed over Sue Myrick of North Carolina and Anne Northup of Kentucky who had thrown their hats in the ring for the post. Myrick was a former mayor of Charlotte. Northup was state representative who won election to Congress in a Democratic district. Both are articulate, bright, capable women who share the views of most women in the party. They would have put a proper face on GOP women and would have represented us well in the media; but no, the majority of House Republicans chose to elevate two women who are social liberals instead.
On paper, over 80 percent of the Republican members of the House of Representatives say they believe in the sanctity of life of every human being, but as you can see, this paper isn’t worth much in a party afflicted with terminal niceness.