Image: Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”
Austin and The Woodlands, May 31 – Republican Party of Texas Chair candidate Cindy Asche is having difficulty with Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, which says “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.” The first known report of Reagan referring to the concept of avoiding attacks against fellow Republicans when one runs for office ran in the Sacramento Bee on September 25, 1965, after Reagan had announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Governor of California.
When Governor Reagan ran for President in 1980, he suffered blistering attacks from another Republican candidate, former CIA Director George H.W. Bush, particularly during the New Jersey Presidential Primary Election campaign when Bush accused Reagan of espousing “voodoo economics.” Despite Bush running one of the nastiest campaigns attacking Reagan in American history, Reagan was able to eke a victory against Bush, 81% to 19%. Of course, Reagan won all of the New Jersey delegates to the Republican National Convention with that convincing win.
Reagan stuck to the his 11th Commandment throughout his career, even in the face of attacks from moderate Republicans who mounted vicious personal attacks against the former California Governor.
As a whole, modern Republican voters and activists don’t think particularly highly of political candidates who attack their opponents on a personal level during campaigns.
The race for the Republican Party of Texas Chair
Popular conservative incumbent James Dickey is running for re-election as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, an electoral contest that delegates to the State Republican Convention in San Antonio will decide on June 14 through 16, 2018. Before becoming the State Chairman, Dickey was the County Republican Chairman in Travis County. Dickey’s challenger is Cindy Asche, whose highest Republican Party position was her service as a Precinct Chair in Denton County.
Asche has clearly found the 11th Commandment very challenging. She has accused Dickey of business fraud involving some business transactions many years ago when Dickey was a hedge fund manager. When Asche spoke to the Woodlands Republican Women at their May 8, 2018, lunch meeting, which was a candidate forum for both candidates, Asche personally attacked Dickey by questioning the State Chairman’s support of President Donald Trump. Dickey explained that he was a committed Ted Cruz Delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention but that he also felt that the State Republican rules hold that convention delegates may decide the Presidential Nominee.
Dickey chose not to attack Asche. In fact, The Golden Hammer has asked several Republican activists who attended candidate forums between Dickey and Asche. Just as this newspaper directly observed on May 8 in The Woodlands, Dickey has never attacked Asche or even spoken about her during the campaign. Rather, the State Republican Chairman, Dickey, has chosen to follow the 11th Commandment strictly.
On May 23, 2018, the Harris County Republican Party hosted a forum for Asche and Dickey. During the event, Asche attacked Dickey’s business background. She began almost every answer to every question with a phrase in which Asche accused Dickey of lying, or at least not telling the truth.
When asked about the relationship between the Republican Party of Texas and the Texas Federation of Republican Women, Dickey explained the current circumstances. Asche then stood up and began her response, “Let me tell the truth about that story…”
Asche began almost every one of her answers in response to Dickey’s comments, “The truth about that is…”
The most blatant breach of Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment occurred during Asche’s discussion of the State Republican Executive Committee’s (“SREC”) vote to censure Texas House Speaker Joe Straus for his terribly liberal record on January 27, 2018. Dickey voted with the 70% majority on the SREC. Asche accused Dickey of lying when she said, “So the truth is…what you have just heard is an absolute fabrication…Mr. Dickey broke the tie to censure Joe Straus.”
Asche was more than a bit taken aback when the audience broke out into thunderous applause for Dickey, not for Asche, as a result of Dickey’s vote as State Republican Chairman against the Republican Platform scofflaw Straus.
Asche doesn’t seem capable of opening her mouth without speaking ill of a fellow Republican. Considering that she hopes to lead all Texas Republicans, her behavior seems more than a bit worrisome and more than a mere breach of Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment.