Jim Bowden: Not a Candidate for the Baby Kissers

Bacon’s Rebellion columnist Jim Bowden is engaged in an eleven-way race for the Republic nomination to fill the House of Representatives seat left vacant upon the passing of Jo Ann Davis. Bacon’s Rebellion does not endorse candidates for office, but it would be churlish of us not to highlight the high-profile political activities of our contributors.

Love him or hate him, Bowden is truly a policy wonk’s candidate for office. Check out his campaign website. It’s loaded with content, outlining Bowden’s take on just about every issue under the sun. No vapid photos of him kissing babies, reading to school children or walking old ladies across the street. Especially helpful are the short video clips highlighting his spin on hot button issues from taxes and healthcare to illegal Immigration and what he calls World War IV.

Clearly, Bowden, who defines himself as a defense, fiscal and social conservative, does not shy away from controversial positions. No namby-pamby middle-of-the-roadism here. After this week’s chastening of the GOP in the General Assembly elections, it will be interesting to see what kind of candidate the Republican party activists nominate in tomorrow’s convention to run against the Dems.

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24 responses to “Jim Bowden: Not a Candidate for the Baby Kissers”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    JAB has shaved the mustache?!

    I can understand the no endorsement policy, Jim. And it’s a good one. Having looked over JAB’s policy materials, one thing jumped right out — his term limit pledge.

    Now that really takes me back…


  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Elect Bowden and you put the republic in danger of turning the Constitution upside down.

    We’ll become a theocratic, gay, Yankee and immigrant-bashing, gun-wielding, hate-mongering, Born Again, Jesus Praising police state.

  3. Phil Chroniger Avatar
    Phil Chroniger

    For the love of Jesus Christ on a pogo stick, Anon 10:42…will you shut up? At least he’s a candidate with substance and no BS about him…I’d love to see the Dems counter with someone who is as honest about their stances on issues like Bowden is.

    I love these liberals who think that anyone with a little Christian faith is so horrible.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Right! No BS all the way to the concentration camps!

    Won’t shut up, no sir. You cannot end my First Amendment rights, no matter how much you love Jesus.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Is “content” now being defined as having each and every intolerant plank and xenophobic, homophobic wedge issue of GOP platforms past and present referenced in detail?

    If this is a face of the future of the party, no wonder the Virginia GOP is losing votes and minds at a rapid clip. I say Go Bowden Go!! Can’t happen faster enough, in my opinion.

    I mean, really — kissing right-wing think-tanks is preferable to kissing babies?

    I sure hope the other candidates in this race get a free PR pass from Bacon’s, like Bowden does in this second “non-endorsement.”

  6. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    …”Dems counter with someone who is as honest about their stances”

    no… and this is why the R’s are losing these days.

    They assume that that a right wing candidate has an equal chance at being elected because their stances are just as legitimate as the liberal stances.

    Let me explain. If you are an independent voter (not a hard right conservative) and you are looking at a candidate that is so far right that you cannot countenance him/her, then you vote AGAINST them by voting for the other guy/gal who may be not their cup of tea – but at least they can swallow them rather than the other frog.

    The conservative R’s seem to think that guys with their POV can win if only they get their message out.

    I would posit that.. the more they get their message out – the more votes they will lose – and I must not be wrong because some of the ones’s I’ve seen lately actually try to hide some of their more extreme ideas that they know are out of touch with mainstream voters.

    It used to be that a middle of the road fiscal conservative was a sure bet over a tax&spend liberal but when you replace that fiscal conservative with a rightie “values” person then the tables turn.

    The bottom line is that you cannot win with only your base.

    How are you going to win the folks in the middle? The only way I see this happening is if the Dems put up someone that is so bad.. that the middle voters just stay home and whoever gets out their base – wins – which sucks.

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    Phil Chroniger,
    Having a clear platform does not say much. Adolf Hitler had a very clear and honest platform, too.

    What matters is content. In Bowden’s case, his strident, hard-right, polarizing views far cloud over any reasonable ideas he might have on, say, veterans benefits.

    If he or Mr. Black, who is even worse, is nominated, the GOP will only sink further. People like you don’t seem to learn from reality — such as recent election results.

  8. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    this all boils down to whether you, as an aspiring leader want to govern .. or do you want to impose your own values on those you seek to represent?

    It’s just fine to have your own moral compass but if your moral compass is out of step with a majority people then why do you want to hold office in the first place? You’d be wasting everybody’s time.

    How can one reconcile being so different from almost all voters except your own base support such that how you’d govern .. ignores 2/3 of those you seek to represent?

    If the idea that you must “teach” constituents the error of their ways?

    If so..I’d recommend a churchly type employment…from which to convince sinners, because leading people in a Democracy is more than a simple matter of telling them how it’s going to be no matter how they feel about it.

    sometimes I wonder if the righties misunderstand what the word “representative” means…..

    It appears to me.. that the righties do not, in fact, believe in the basics of representative government.

  9. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Larry, Your last comment is so much blather. I’m not going to defend Bowden’s views on culture-war issues because I don’t share many of them. But what’s this about him “imposing his values” on anyone? Give me specifics on what values he would impose, and how, and then tell me how that’s different from how secularists would “impose” their values on him.

    As for someone’s earlier comments equating Bowden’s views with “theocracy” and “threatening the Constitution,” that’s ludicrous. Dialing back the morality clock to the 1950s is not my cup of tea, but it’s not exactly a return to the Spanish Inquisition either. It’s time for people to get a grip.

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Jim Bacon,
    Have you actually read Bowden’s campaign platform? You should before you run off defending him or giving him yet another round of positive exposure on your Web page.

  11. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Anonymous 4:59, No, I’ve only dipped my toe into his platform — enough to know that I agree with some stuff and disagree with other stuff. I’m not endorsing or defending Bowden, who is more far more conservative than I am on the social issues. What I’m doing is reacting to what comes across as be hysterical denunciations backed up with absolutely no specifics.

    Now, if you point out that planks A, B and C on his platform would undermine the Constitution, then you might have an argument. I might even agree with you. But there’s a wide, wide difference between disagreeing with someone vehemently across a wide range of policy issues, which you are of course entitled to do, and asserting that someone wants to undermine the Constitution and establish a theocracy, which is a very serious charge — comparable to the accusations hurled against leftists during the McCarthy era.

    So, please enlighten me. How, exactly, would Bowden’s platform undermine the Constitution?

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    Jim Bacon,
    You’ll get your A, B, C. But for starters, Bowden is a strident propagandist that the U.S. is a “Christian” nation and that the will of the “Christians” and their (his) sense of morality must prevail in every social and political undertaking. In fact, the Founding Fathers decreed that NO state religion should be allowed. Bowden makes for a little bit of room for Jews, but none for Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. If he were a Congressman, he would undoubtedly make “Christianity” (or his Born Again version of it), the test for morality and for legislation beyond the pale of reason. That would include ANY legislation including that affecting homosexuals and lesbians, women who want abortions within the strictures of Roe v. Wade, immigrants facing an increasingly murky set of federal rules and so on.

    The Consitution says explicitly that there should be no religious test. Bowden would demand one.

    With that as a primer, maybe you should go now and read his platform for yourself. Some of his ideas are good, such as disposing of the Ghost Fleet in the James River and help for veterans.

    But Bowden comes with a lot of arrogant, self-certain, dogmatic baggage which is exactly what this country does NOT need at this point.

  13. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re:imposing views

    reference: governing from the middle means subordinating your own personal views and values to the majority of whom you seek to represent.

    If your platform is hard right – what are prospective voters to think how you will govern?

    Why run on a hard right platform if you want to GOVERN when the majority of voter want governance from the middle?

    An honest straight-forward hard right platform is gonna get you 30% of the vote.

    Why run at all?

  14. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Anonymous 5:48, The last time I read it, the Constitution said, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That’s a far cry from your statement that “the Consitution says explicitly that there should be no religious test.”

    By your logic, we should throw out the 13th amendment abolishing slavery (the abolitionists were radical, wide-eyed Christians) and the 15th amendment protecting Americans from losing the right to vote on the basis of race, color or servitude (Martin Luther King was another religious fanatic who called upon the scriptures for inspiration).

    I don’t want to leap to conclusions, but I suspect you would like to privilege a moral system based upon secular humanism on the basis that it’s not a “religion.” But that is pure sophistry. Secular humanism is a moral system rooted in a cosmology that assumes the non-existence or moral irrelevance of a god. I could make the argument that *you* would like to expunge competing religions from the public sphere, leaving yours the only one standing. Secular theocracy, you might call it.

    I’m an atheist and a fervent believer in Darwinian evolution. I have a lot of qualms with Christianity-based moral systems. I think creationism is superstitious nonsense, and I regard intelligent design as philosophical hocus pocus. But that doesn’t mean I’ve buying into the hallucination that Bowden is a budding Savanarola!

  15. Anonymous Avatar

    Jim Bacon,
    You obviously have your own interpretation of the U.S. Contitution. That’s your privilege but it doesn’t make you right.

    James Atticus Bowden is welcome to whatever religion he wants. But he does not have the right to assume that he has the moral high ground and impose his views on others. If you read any of this writings or review his “God Vindicates” Website, you will see his diatribes. Even the name of his site is as loaded as a Colt 0.45. God vindicates Bowden? Hmmmm. Who says? Bowden?

    This is very important since we face some critical issues with the U.S. and its place in the world and it doesn’t all involve terrorism. Just as George W. Bush is viewed as cruel joke by many of the nations we must deal with in a positive way, Bowden in Congress would send an even worse message. You say you don’t care what foreigners think? Well, stay in your hole.

    You really need to assess your your vision of the U.S. is the correct and only one. Bowden really needs to reassess whether his version of strict Bible interpretation, personal savior, laladadada is the ONLY one before he’s put in a position of passing laws that people not of his persuasion have to live with.

  16. Anonymous Avatar

    I’ve come to have a certain level of respect for JAB after having tangled with him several times in the past few years about what I regard as his anti-Christian, left-wing liberal tendency to drag religion through the public square and his lack of reverence for the State and federal constitutions. Christians like me (there may not be too many of us) really fear our religion being sullied by politics and government. The mix usually leaves both the sacred and the secular far worse for the wear. JAB has been pretty outspoken about the “Christian Nation” line.

    I think he really thinks he’s a conservative, but he has espoused an aggressive theocratic streak, something that I regard as completely inconsistent with conservative devotion to the Constitution and the intent of the Founders. But I will say, however, that on several issues where we have had disagreements, over time he has been fair and open in engaging with me and has won some points and graciously conceded others. So, despite my suspicion that he belongs to a younger generation of confused, self-identified conservatives whose hearts are really hankering for a lot of social engineering by local state and federal governments, I think he would make a decent Congressman.

    The First is a very conservative (in the non-traditional, muddled, modern sense of the term) district and whoever gets the nomination for the Republicans should prevail easily. Of the known ideologues in the race, I have more faith that Mr. Bowden would be able to adjust to reality over time (military officers often have had the experience that denying reality for too long can get people killed)than a couple of the others. Perhaps it’s a sad commentary on where we are as a party these days, but the Rs in that district could do considerably worse than to nominate him. My sense over time is that he is an honest man of good character and varied life experience. That counts for something. I’ll have to keep working to get him sorted out on keeping the government out of the churches, and vice-versa.

  17. The last time I read it, the Constitution said, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That’s a far cry from your statement that “the Consitution says explicitly that there should be no religious test.”

    You might should read that constitution again, Jim. 🙂
    Article VI, Section 3 reads that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    It’s in the constitution, not the bill of rights, indicating that the founders believed it so important that they remembered to include it in the first place, rather than adding it in later. It’s one of the basic piers to which our republic is moored.

  18. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Waldo, Thanks for edifying me. I guess I don’t know the Constitution as well as I thought (and I never pretended to be a Constitutional scholar to begin with).

    Anonymous, if that’s the clause you were referring to, are you suggesting that Bowden would apply religious tests as a qualification for office or public trust? If so, do you have any grounds, other than a general loathing of conservative fundamentalists, to back such an assertion?

  19. Anonymous Avatar

    I’m pretty moderate on social issues and tend to stay away from debates on those types of issues. But I am troubled by what seems to be two double standards on the interrelationship between religion and politics.

    One is: many seem uncomfortable with candidates bringing their religious values into their campaign or campaigning from churches, temples, etc., unless the candidate is African American. Then it’s just fine. Why?

    Second, many people are uncomfortable with priests, ministers, rabbis, etc. interjecting themselves into political questions unless they are interjecting themselves into a more “liberal” position. For example, many do not believe that religious figures should talk about restrictive views on isues such as abortion, gay marriage, divorce, etc., but have no qualms about the very same people protesting restrictions against illegal immigration or an expansion of this or that social program. Why?

    Again, I don’t want to get into the merits of any specific social issue, since I’d have a hard time arguing either extreme. But I am troubled by double standards. A person’s stand on an issue should not determine whether she or he can legitimately raise a religious perspective in the political arena. That seems very inconsistent with the principles underlying this country.


  20. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    “never pretended to be a Constitutional scholar to begin with”

    “many people are uncomfortable with priests, ministers, rabbis, etc. interjecting themselves into political questions”

    Do you guys remember the issue with John F Kennedy and his Catholic faith and concerns about him having to decide some issues that may have violated beliefs of his faith?

    Basically being put into a position of potentially having to violate the tenets of his own faith.

    JFK went out of his way to overtly state that the oath of office would take precedence over his faith.

    The question is – if you have a candidate .. who talks about his faith IN THE CONTEXT of his campaign to aspire to elected office … AND he does not make an equivalent JFK-like statement – what are folks who are NOT OF HIS BELIEFS to think?

    The folks who don’t say straight up that their own faith will not supersede their elective duties are not engendering trust and confidence to reassure those who might have concerns.

    As a candidate you do have a choice to make a clear statement – or not.

    The R’s made a big deal about bobby jindal. I wonder how they’d feel if Mr. Jindal.. said that he was a Hindu and would conduct himself as a Hindu if elected…

    would we still “admire” him for his faith?

  21. NoVA Scout Avatar

    The 1325 anon post yesterday was from NoVA Scout. I was using a borrowed computer and didn’t realize that my handle wasn’t preserved for the post. Apologies to all who care about such things.

  22. Anonymous Avatar

    The difference with JFK is that JFK never introduced Catholicism into the presidential debate. He never said he would give his Catholic beliefs (to the small extent that they are any different than Protestant ones) precedence as he considered matters relating to U.S. office. Instead, he faced bigotry from Protestants, many of them fundamentalists, who ignorantly assumed he’d be taking all of his cues from the Vatican. That’s been part of the pervasive anti-Catholicism that has been an unfortunate part of the U.S. landscape since Colonial times.
    Bowden, on the other hand, wears his Christian faith on his sleeve. And this fervor is the proselytizing evangelical type that assumes that others must give in to his Born Again views. How different is that from a fundamentalist Muslim demanding that you switch or die as a infidel?
    With Bowden citing Jesus all the time (or, at least, his version of Jesus, there are many), you MUST question whether he will make decisions based on all of us from the narrow spectrum of his beliefs.
    I was brought up in the same general stripe of religion and I have my owns beliefs and thoughts about Jesus Christ and. I do very seriously resent someone such as Bowden telling me that his interpretation is the correct one.
    At the same time, I am not moocking his beliefs — he’s welcome to them — but I would not want someone as uncompromising in such a narrow spectrum making decisions for me.
    As for Jim Bacon, he’s missing the point. We’re not talking about opposition to fundamental conservative values, such as fiscal responsibility, limited government and low taxes — just opposition to moral fanatacism. If you want to see a decent conservative, look at Maggie Thatcher. She was unshaken in her views. And you can bet Maggie Thatcher didn’t give a damn if you believed her her version of Jesus or not.
    Anyway, it is all moot. It is Sunday morning. The First District GOP has spoken. It is bye, bye Bowden, bye, bye.

  23. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Just made a quick read of the comments. Love the vitriol when I get it.

    I may send Jim Bacon a thread to start which isn’t about me, but about the issues and persons who hold to those issues in Virginia politics. Or an inside baseball of the convention political theater.

    Several points are worth mentioning about yesterday’s convention.

    Moderate Candidate Rob Wittman made the speech about getting America back to Jesus Christ (by name), not me.

    Does it matter that Democrats, and a couple of very Liberal ones, came to the Republican convention as delegates for me – or would I have to have a certain number of them to qualify as a reasonable citizen? You see (for our gentle readers who lack such intuition to discern this themselves), no Liberal or Democrat who actually knows me, dislikes me.

    Obviously, many of them support me to the extent of going to a Republican Convention as delegates elected at Republican mass meetings.

    Also, for Waldo’s benefit… please note the absence of a religious test in the Constitution for Federal Office was intended to suppress the competition among the Protestant churches and Catholics (in MD) which had gone so badly in the 3-way English Civil War. Religious tests were present in all 13 states – until Virginia lead the way in getting rid of them.

    Of course, if you posted The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom on a school bulletin board – the ACLU would probably sue because the Act is too Christian – read it.

    Finally, I lost my first run for public office. The First District, RPV spoke – only. It’s bye, bye to the race for Dec 11th. I didn’t move out of the District or perish physically.

    Ask folks who were there what they thought of my speech.

    Best,as always…from Poquoson.

  24. Bowden i would guess that the democrats that came to vote for you would love to have you in the race thereby making sure the democrat would win on dec 11.

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