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Kephart: We Need a Third Party of Idealists, Not Ideologues

Sam Kephart has livened my blog up with his inside observations on SDGOP politics and his speculation about the China connection to the GOED/EB-5/NBP scandal. Now Kephart's so good, he can even make Gordon Howie's blog worth watching. In this morning's rollicking "Liberty Today" video, Kephart reaffirms a point he made here last September: he says a third party is the only way to reform politics.

Kephart tells Howie that both the Republican and Democratic parties are trapped in "insiderism" and a "lack of transparency." He says trying to bolt a few conservative reforms onto the GOP platform is like putting "chocolate icing on one of [Gordon's] cowpies... it's still a cowpie!" A third party, crafted de novo, is the only practical solution.

Barely clinging to control of the interview, Howie asks Kephart, "Are you gonna run?" Kephart pauses a little longer than his previous statements have led me to believe he would, then says "There'd have to be certain conditions in place... I don't see those conditions."

Kephart asserts that he could find support for a third party among "many people on the left side of the aisle who are good patriotic fiscal conservative Americans." This practical common-ground seeking is too much for Ed Randazzo, who goes from rolling his eyes to jumping into the frame from offstage to challenge Kephart.

There ensues an amusing battle of bleeped profanity (yes! Gordon! Go for ratings!) gracing a significant political divide: Randazzo holds that third parties simply undermine real Republicans, but Kephart says, "I don't want to run as a Republican."

Kephart recalls the guff he took from Republicans in 2006 for supporting exceptions to the abortion ban on that year's ballot. Referring to Kephart's purported allies on the left side of the aisle, Randazzo retorts, "You want me to take a fiscal conservative who wants to kill babies?" Kephart replies with eminent pragmatism that an abortion ban with rape, incest and health-of-the-mother exceptions would have passed and achieved 98.5% of what the abortion ban supporters wanted. "98 and a half percent to me is better than a hundred percent of nothing."

"God wants all," says Randazzo softly.

Kephart shoots back, "We don't even havee an argument there. I'm talking about practicalities. You can be an idealist or an ideologue... there's a distinction."

An idealist or an ideologue... indeed, that strikes me as a distinction worth discussing, for any serious politicians trying to get elected and solve real problems. Thank you, Sam, for prodiving Gordon Howie with some rare good television!


  1. interested party 2014.01.09

    Make it so, Sam.

  2. interested party 2014.01.09

    With more and more GOPers identifying as 'independents' Kephart's quixotica makes me giddy.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2014.01.09

    What are the conditions that Kephart needs to have in place in order to run?

    A third party would simply take on the same characteristics as the Republican and Democratic Party. Politics is about the quest for power and control, if you can't get it in your own party, form another. How well has that ever worked for any politician?

  4. Kurt Evans 2014.01.10

    >"Kephart replies with eminent pragmatism that an abortion ban with rape, incest and health-of-the-mother exceptions would have passed and achieved 98.5% of what the abortion ban supporters wanted."

    Nearly all of the people who told pollsters in 2006 that they'd have supported a ban with rape and incest exceptions were lying. I said so at the time, and the results in 2008 backed me up.

    Exceptions undermine the whole pro-life argument. Every pregnancy exacts a physical, mental and emotional toll. (Raising a two-year-old does too.) The government has no right to draw some arbitrary line at which the severity of that toll supposedly overrides a child's right to life.

    If advocates of the right to life in 2006 had said, "We oppose exceptions, and this is why," instead of making bogus claims that the 2006 law already included such exceptions, it could have passed despite everything Rounds and Thune had done to undermine it.

  5. Tara Volesky 2014.01.10

    Roger, you don't need to belong to a third party to run. You can run as an Independent. An Independent belongs to no party. Sam would make a great Independent. I would bet if he runs for anything he will run as an Independent.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.01.10

    Kurt, you can't dismiss polls as the results of lying, not without better evidence. 2006 and 2008 were different years. The 2006 campaign could well have influenced the 2008 campaign. Folks may have responded truthfully in 2006, but then were so tired of having the abortion debate take up their time that they voted against the 2008 ban.

    Didn't 2006 ban advocates say why they opposed exceptions? Didn't they say just what Randazzo did, "God wants all"?

    We through government have every right to draw lines balancing certain rights. We do it all the time. A child has rights, but a fertilized embryo does not. We have to draw a line somewhere in between. Otherwise, we end up with laws controlling our actions on behalf of all sorts of potential human beings.

  7. mike from iowa 2014.01.10

    Doesn't the "death penalty" undermine right to life? How is it anybody's business what a woman and her doctor decide is best for that woman? Are RTL rethugs more knowledgeable than trained physicians or are they mixing their religious dogma into their governmental obligations? Seems patently obvious if you believe abortion violates the one of the 10 commandments,and not everybody subscribes to them, the death penalty violates that same commandment.

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