By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Nashville, Ind.
1. Channeling our President Reagan
Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: Fox News’  Laura Ingraham provided white nationalism’s “dog whistle,” or as CNN described it, “an airhorn, or perhaps a primal scream,” on her show this week. Ingraham said Wednesday night, "The America we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like." Whew.
Let’s go back to “Morning in America.” In President Reagan’s final address to the nation on Jan. 11, 1989, he told the story of “a big ship, a sailor and a refugee.” He described an U.S. Navy sailor finding “a leaky little boat” in the South China Sea with “refugees from Indo-China, trying to get to America.” When they came face to face, the refugee said, “Hello, American sailor. Hello freedom man.” In other parting remarks on Jan. 19, 1989, Reagan reminded us that the U.S. is the only nation where anyone of any nation, race, creed or color “can be an American.” Reagan summoned the “resurgence of national pride, a new patriotism, grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.” Don’t forget, folks, Reagan’s “shining city upon a hill,” which he described as "teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace. If there were walls, the walls had doors, open to anyone who had the heart and will to get here.”
2. Social conservative opposes hate crimes
Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana has lined up against hate crime legislation  sought by Gov. Eric Holcomb and will be drafted by Cicero Republican Rep. Tony Cook. “Indiana already has the ability to enhance the sentences for any victim for any crimes and judges have had that ability for years,” Clark told Indiana Public Media  of the pending legislation. “So, what the governor is wading into is really symbolism over substance. I think he needs to be careful because he’s not as popular as some of his media clips tell him.” A July Morning Consult Poll  showed Gov. Holcomb’s approval at 52% and his disapproval at 23%. Those are the best ratings for a governor in the Midwest. That survey was taken before Holcomb announced support for a hate crime law.
3. The Pelosi divide
Hoosier Republicans loathe Nancy Pelosi and raise her name constantly. Republican Senate nominee Mike Braun answered a Howey Politics Indiana question on tax reform by saying that Sen. Joe Donnelly’s “cohort, Nancy Pelosi, referred to it as crumbs.” NBC  reports that 42 Democratic House nominees have said they will not vote for Pelosi for leadership as well as nine incumbents. In the Indiana context, 2nd CD nominee Mel Hall said he won’t back Pelosi. “I do not currently support and will not support Nancy Pelosi for leadership in the next Congress,” Hall said in July. “Washington is broken – and career politicians in both parties are to blame. People are working hard in the 2nd District, but Congress isn’t working for them. And, in my experience on the farm, as a minister, and in business, when something isn’t working, you fix it.” And Ohio U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who keynoted the Indiana Democratic Convention dinner in June, is mulling another challenge to Pelosi. “I’ve not closed the door on it,” he told MSNBC.
4. Pence announces the U.S. Space Force
Vice President Mike Pence announced the creation of the sixth branch of the military, or the Space Force. In a speech on Thursday, Pence said, "It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space. And so we will. Just as we’ve done in ages past, the United States will meet the emerging threats on this new battlefield.”
5. Kernan urges vets to support Donnelly
Former Gov. Joe Kernan is urging Hoosier veterans to support Sen. Donnelly, writing in a South Bend Tribune op-ed, “As a Vietnam War veteran and prisoner of war, a former governor of Indiana and a longtime South Bend resident, I believe that we need to re-elect Joe Donnelly to the U.S. Senate.” Kernan writes, “Joe has been a tireless advocate for veterans and service members in the Senate. He works in a bipartisan and common-sense way to deliver real results for all Hoosiers. Look no further than the new St. Joseph County VA Health Clinic for proof of Joe’s tireless efforts to deliver for Hoosier veterans. Gone are the days when veterans living in South Bend, Elkhart and LaPorte had to travel to Fort Wayne, Chicago or Indianapolis for care from the VA.”
Have a great weekend, folks. It’s The Atomic!