The hubbub about Kenney misses the point

I am a conservative.

I have always been a conservative. I led my high school’s pro-life group. As Spotsylvania GOP Chairman, I campaigned for (and eventually won) the county’s first property tax cut in 36 years. I want to roll back restrictions on gun rights and other bad regulations on the books. And I was the first candidate ever endorsed by the Fredericksburg Patriots TEA Party.

I fight for my principles every day, in big ways and small ways.

I also want to engage other groups to convince them to join forces to empower those same principles.

As Spotsylvania GOP Chair, one of my best working relationships was with the local NAACP. We sure didn’t agree on everything, but we agreed to work together where our principles allowed. This took the level of distrust down a notch and formed some good friendships. I was also a regular fixture at School Board meetings, talking with teachers and parents who didn’t necessarily agree with me but who were grateful a Republican Chairman was interested enough in schools to attend.

At heart, that’s what Shaun was doing last weekend.

Now, I don’t necessarily agree with his specific views on this issue (though notably he does NOT support amnesty, and nor do I). And I think SEIU is a repugnant, regressive organization- filming the conversation certainly casts doubt on their motives. But that is less relevant here than the fact that Shaun was willing to have a conversation with those on the other side.

I learned in leadership the value of dialogue. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we have to be enemies. I want the party to keep reaching out to convince folks about conservative ideals- so we can win elections and enact those ideals.

The late, great Baroness Margaret Thatcher once said “First, you win the argument. Then, you win the election.”

That convincing starts with a conversation. I also learned you can’t make everyone happy all the time- and learned it the hard way. And certainly all Republicans and conservatives don’t agree on all things. We value independent thinking- and EVERY faction of the party needs to have a seat at the table because of that.

But having a conversation with those you disagree with wins their respect. It’s a hard thing to do but there is certainly no harm in talking. We can be people of principle while not locking the doors.


7 thoughts on “The hubbub about Kenney misses the point

  1. There was nothing wrong with having a conversation but he didn’t really seem to challenge some of the ‘other’ sides own stereotypes about why people might be upset about some of the negative aspects of a immigration system collapsing.

    On that note – another case of visa fraud, planned terrorism and airplanes, toy airplanes. Attended school in Fairfax:,0,7451542.story#axzz2yVjY5gbG

  2. I don’t know of anyone who is upset about the meeting.. people are upset that he continually insults tea party conservatives and continues to spread a false stereotype that tea party people are radical racists who are against legal immigration. Kenney and his “friends” Brian Schoeneman and Tito Munoz are all over the web attacking tea party republicans. Their website Bearing Drift is relentless in the false narrative. When people who are supposed to be leading the party seem more interested in getting along with democrats than conservative republicans, more interested in getting “independents” to vote for them than their base, you have to expect push back. Shaun Kenney and company seem determine to alienate the tea party, conservatives and life long republicans. They’ve made it clear that they are building a new party & that “certain” people are simply not welcome.

  3. I could care less that he sat down and talked to an SEIU-backed astroturf grievance group. That meant nothing and will mean nothing–like GOP candidates addressing the NAACP. What is extremely troubling is the rhetoric he uses attacking people within his own party and the despicable way in which he questioned their motives–both during the meeting and in his previous blog posting. For that, he deserves all he is getting and more–frankly, he should be removed immediately from the position of Executive Director.

    It is one thing when hacks and intellectual lightweights like Kirwin and Schoenman attack what is ostensibly their own party. No one loses any sleep over it and it has become so rote and trite that it’s just boring at this point. Moreover, I doubt anyone would care what Shaun had to say if he was still simply a consultant and the owner of a lightly read, increasingly lightly regarded blog. It is when he became ED and then decided that his first act was to do this sort of idiotic kubuki dance with the SEIU and then doubled down on his eliminationist rhetoric and smearing of people who disagree with him that turned this into a full-blown dumpster fire that will only be extinguished when he steps down.

  4. I don’t believe a word you say. I’ve had an online conversation with Kenney. He is rude. He hated the rule of law resolution adopted by our county and took pot shots at those who supported it. The GOP made a terrible mistake putting him as head of the party….a huge mistake.

  5. Obama’s greatest feat was convincing the Koch brothers to fund the tea party. They are the best allies the democrats ever could have dreamed of.

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