Gregg Invents His Own Pence
In the other night's debate John Gregg invited a Mike Pence I never met but one who Gregg would rather run against.
1) Gregg: Pence the non-legislator, didn't pass any bills
As I mentioned on the Charly Butcher Show on WOWO, there are 435 congressmen in Washington, not 100 representatives like in Indiana. Therefore, you do thinks in packs not as individuals if you desire to be effective. The standard story is that House Members are like a lot of little tugboats towing an aircraft carrier, known in Washington as a senator.
There are multiple divisions of labor. Each Member does a little of all, but eventually is pushed into specialization or irrelevance. I started as a floor activist and did more media, then moved to subcommittee and committee details. Mike did committee work but quickly emerged in two ways: as a Republican spokesman (he was our best) and into various leadership posts.
Mike's first leadership post was as head of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative Republicans dedicated to pushing the Republican leadership in a conservative direction (under John Shadegg and Mike it became the majority of the Republican Members of Congress). Different members would introduce different bills and amendments. Mike as the leader would divide up legislation often drafted by his staff so each member could lead in some area. It wasn't about him taking credit.
John Boehner then chose Mike, with great approval from the Republicans in the House, to be House Conference Chairman. That meant that Mike's job was to run conference meetings, prepare and distribute support arguments/quotes/charts to back up the Republican positions on amendments and bills, and to present those arguments in public. Conference is a critical position. John Boehner and J.C. Watts were among those who held the position while I was a congressman. Once again, the point of the conference chairman is NOT to get individual attention for legislation to help pass other people's legislation.
So who do you think is more important legislatively? The guy who touts one or two "accomplishments" or the one who moves many amendments and bills to success? Ridiculous point by Gregg, just absurd.
2) Gregg: Pence as the Tea Party Governor
As Gregg knows, since he and Mike once did a radio show together, Mike was a conservative leader long before the creation of the Tea Party. Mike obviously agrees with the Tea Party on many goals but his conservatism long pre-dated their creation as did Republican Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock's conservatism. Ridiculous point by Gregg.
3) Gregg: Pence as "Reverend" Pence
Mike takes his faith seriously, so seriously in fact that he believes that his Christian worldview isn't limited just to sitting in church on Sunday. He believes that moral principles aren't just personal. That said, Gregg has been going around in speeches and in the debate sounding as if a) Mike has changed and b) Mike can't separate being a Governor but being head of a board of elders (state from church, in other words).
Argument one: Mitch Daniels declared a truce on social issues. Hmm. Planned parenthood has been cut off, faith-based ideas advanced, choices in schools advanced, etc. Social issue conservatives like myself like that truce.
Argument two: That is all Mike Pence cares about. Excuse me? Are we talking about the Mike Pence running for Governor? Mike was a leader in Indiana conservative organizations that stressed economic issues for many years. In Congress even I at times felt he focused too much on budget issues, not realizing as social conservatives we needed to make some trades. Mike is a balanced conservative, including foreign policy, and his leadership at the Republican Study Committee and as head of the Republican Conference.
I wish he had run for President but, like Mitch Daniels, we are fortunate that he chose to seek to be Governor of our state.