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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Retort on Torts

On April 20, Ramesh Ponnuru penned an article called “Thompson’s Tort Trouble.” While he referenced my conservative voting record he took issue with two instances when I voted against “tort reform.” He noted my stand on federalist grounds but thinks I must have a mistaken view of Federalism and that conservatives may want to ask me a few hard questions.

This hardly constitutes the stuff of a major dispute, but I would submit that the problem is not so much my mistaken view of Federalism as much as it is his lack of commitment to the principle. This presents conservatives with an opportunity to have a much needed discussion.

Fred Thompson

In all, I think he acquits himself well here. While I would still prefer a true Libertarian, like Ron Paul, in the White House, Thompson, as a strong Federalist, is not a bad second choice. He can talk the talk, we shall see if he can walk the walk.


Anonymous Ramesh Ponnuru said...

Senator Thompson has another essay on federalism, this time at Townhall. There he explains some of the goods that federalism serves. It allows states to be "laboratories for democracy" and to reflect their citizens' distinctive views. All true.

But sometimes federal action is required to make it possible for states to attain those goods. When big-city mayors, including Rudy Giuliani, sued gunmakers for, well, selling guns, Congress responded by passing a law blocking those lawsuits. Senator Thompson voted with the majority, and he was right to do so. Tennessee law can't reflect the values of its people if its laws are effectively being set by New York City's gaming of the legal system. Federal action was required to stop that from happening. Thompson saw that then; I just wish he saw that the gun case was the tip of an iceberg.

Incidentally, in case anyone is wondering, I'm still favorably disposed to a Thompson candidacy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 1:10:00 PM  

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