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MARRIAGE MOVEMENT SUCCEEDS AT SOUTHERN GOP LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

 

 

 

David R. Usher
March 15, 2006
NewsWithViews.com

While Senator John McCain reels from an abysmal showing in the straw poll taken at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Marriage Movement leaders are celebrating a seminal victory.

Dr. Mark Klein, an affable retired 65-year-old doctor from California who has no political background but plenty of pro-marriage ideas, did astonishingly well. The wrestling match at the SRLC was surprisingly ungentlemanly for cohorts supposedly belonging to the same party.

Senator McCain (who apparently did not want Senator Frist to do well in his home state) had a large number of folks in official-looking red shirts handing out stickers encouraging everyone to write in President Bush in the presidential straw poll, to “support the troops.” When asked, one of the individuals handing out the stickers said he was working for McCain.

I bumped into the McCain entourage in the lobby of the Peabody. When asked about the strange campaign, one of his close aides said that McCain didn’t have anything to do with it, suggested that Mitt Romney was the culprit, and dove into the elevator as quickly as possible. Having had conversations with many Romney supporters, who appeared to be running a clean operation, this appears and incredible assertion. Case closed.

McCain would have done better if he simply asked delegates to vote for him. Moral: when on a crowded elevator, 'tis far better to ask for a piece of gum than to yank it out of somebody else’s mouth. In case McCain hasn’t noticed, the elections were over in 2004. President Bush will not be running for anything other than perhaps a tangy cheese enchilada platter in 2008.

While large elephants were battling at a very high level making the maximum amount of noise possible, Marriage Movement delegates from many father’s rights and pro-family groups, working on behalf of the Dr. Klein Exploratory Committee, were busily rounding up real write-in votes.

The Klein delegation (of which I am a member) was the largest at the conference. Delegates from many Midwest and southern states from organizations such as ACFC, Fathers 4 Justice, Men’s Custody Shelter Network, FACE, the ACFC Missouri Coalition, and many others attended. Krights Radio covered the event live.

The result: Dr. Klein took a 3% share in the straw poll, beating Governor George Pataki (2.7%), Condi Rice (2.2%), Sen. Sam Brownback (1.5%), Rudy Giuliani (1.1%), Newt Gingrich (0.9%), and Senator Chuck Hagel (0.2%).

A 3% share, garnered in just two short days of political existence, won’t take the presidential nomination. But it is already enough to decide who the winner will be in the next presidential race. In a day where divorce and anti-family government affects at least three out of four families negatively, it is clear that the marriage movement can and will constitute a very large block of votes spanning all conventional voting groups by 2008.

This is truly a seminal moment for fatherhood and the legitimate marriage movement. For the first time in our history, we have secured a seat in national politics.

The success was no accident: Many Republicans know that the party is in trouble, particularly on social policy, and are eager to hear from anyone who has sensible answers. Most Republicans are aware that social data has not improved since 1994. They know something must be done, but are not quite sure what that might be. Klein's legitimate marriage movement has the answers, developed over many years of study and research.

In 1996, I predicted that welfare reform would not improve anything. Renaming welfare, and instead calling it child support, is obviously not a substantive change that predicts improved marriage rates or lower divorce or “shacking up” rates. A decade later, families are still in deep trouble, and now Democrats are gearing up to blame all the related problems on Republicans. Republicans have two years to get in front of social issues, after which they will find Democrats asserting "moral superiority."

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The legitimate marriage movement is here to stay. Republicans I spoke with at the conference are most displeased that Congress failed to reign in federal programs that fund scurrilous abortion of the American family on a massive scale. They are quite aware that fresh blood is needed at the heart of conservative social policy.

The big question is this: Is the GOP ready to make the positive changes necessary to assure a decisive victory in 2008?

Reporting from the SRLC…..

© 2006 David Usher - All Rights Reserved

E-Mails are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale


David R. Usher is Legislative Analyst for the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Missouri Coalition And is a co-founder and past Secretary of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children

E-Mail: drusher@swbell.net


 

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This is truly a seminal moment for fatherhood and the legitimate marriage movement. For the first time in our history, we have secured a seat in national politics.