- “I think a woman should have a right to choose.”
- “I believe in gun control.”
- “I believe homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else.”
- “I believe in affirmative action. If a woman or a black person takes the place of a white male in a law school entering class, we’re better off.”
- “I would love to persuade you that trickle-down economics was a farce or that Ronald Reagan was incapable of understanding complex policy arguments.”
OK, time’s up.
Bob Kerrey? Nope.
Ernie Chambers? No sir.
Maxine Moul? No mam.
Well, maybe all of them did write those things at some point, but we’re looking at a specific article.
Would you believe Attorney General Jon Bruning?
Ding ding ding!
Well, he didn’t write them as AG. He wrote them back as a second-year law student at the University of Nebraska in an Op-Ed for the November 13, 1992 edition of the Daily Nebraskan.
This article has been rumored for some time, and it was recently sent to Leavenworth Street by a few different people. If it had been brought out in previous Bruning campaigns, we hadn’t seen it.
Now Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has taken the lead in changing major campaign positions. He went from strongly Pro-Choice while running for Senate against Ted Kennedy in 1994 to strongly Pro-Life while running for President. And many believe he is suffering the consequences for flipping on these positions. But it’s tough to compare someone running for Senate and a second year law student. Bruning never ran for office as a liberal and he has certainly brandished his conservative credentials in the Legislature and as AG.
Now, one could probably come to different positions on abortion, gun control, homosexuality and affirmative action over a span of 15 years (though we’ll let someone else give his positions as a state Senator just three or four years after this article).
But we gotta say…the knocks on President Reagan? “Incapable of understanding complex policy arguments”? We haven’t heard Bruning’s position on Reagan these days, but we’re not sure how you can change your position on that. Would be curious to see where he stands now.
So what to make of the manifesto by a 23 year-old liberal law student who uses the school paper to specifically call out “Conservatives”? Well it’s certainly alarming to read the liberal positions of one of Nebraska’s leading conservatives just fifteen years ago. Should he have to stick to these views throughout his whole career? We’d say probably not.
So while some would see this as the “Gotcha” for Bruning, he no doubt knew this would be coming out sooner than later, and he now has ample time to explain how his positions have evolved (assuming they have).
Nebraska campaign season start early enough for ya?