I’m Glad I Sent a Text Last Night

SMS Text might have been Chip Gerdes’s art form. Text chats with Chip, usually late at night, were always lively, argumentative, funny, irreverent, and delightful.

Chip and I texted back and forth until midnight last night. During that chat, I made a commitment to take a trip to Quincy and see him. We both looked forward to it.

Our reunion was delayed.

The first time I met Chip was in front of Rep. Russ Carnahan’s office on Manchester and Brentwood in August 2009. We were holding a Tea Party protest against Obamacare, and Chip led a large contingent of Quincy (Illinois) Tea Partiers to support the cause.

That’s what Chip did: support the cause.

At the I’d never seen a photo of Chip, but I recognized him immediately. Ball cap, sunglasses, flip-flops and a handful of T.E.A. Special Forces t-shirts.  He tossed me one, along with a big, boyish grin. We shook hands and hugged.

Over the next three and a half years, Chip became great friends with many St. Louisans in the fight for freedom. He helped create Tea Party stars from behind the scenes. He recognized voices that would resonate, and he got them a stage. Then it was up to them.

Chip was a remarkable, gracious host, a charming and entertaining guest, and a true hero in the fight for liberty, freedom, and good government.

Chip Gerdes passed away last night. He leaves a widow and daughter and a massive family of freedom activists. We miss him. We love him.

Eternal rest grant to Chip, Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.

What others are saying:

The Gateway Pundit

Dana Loesch

How 2012 Might Have Been

Republican Presidential Primaries

The Republican Primary season was already well underway. Before a single caucus or vote, though, we pretty much knew that Mitt Romney would win the nomination. He had the entire Republican establishment behind him, including true conservatives who wanted a “safe” candidate.

We know how that worked out.


What might have been had a strong conservative emerged in 2011? What if someone without baggage had prepared years in advance for a run against the weakened, staggering Obama? Truthfully, no Republican candidate met those two simple requirements: acceptable and prepared. Not even the “safe” Romney.

For 2016, we don’t need a middle of the road gay Hispanic Millennial candidate. We need a conservative who can win. That doesn’t mean anyone with a perfect ACU or Heritage score; it means someone with a great record on freedom and fiscal responsibility and government restraint who can charm the (iron) pants of Rachel Maddow and win roof-raising ovations from the America Legion and CPAC.  A candidate who low-information voters feel they know personally, and a candidate who can raise $2 billion without promising anyone anything except to be the best damn leader America can ask for. In short, we need conservatives who people genuinely like:

The Gallup organization has examined the public perception of American presidential candidates since 1960, focusing on the impact of issues, party affiliation, and likeability. From these factors, only likeability has consistently predicted the winning candidate [emphasis added'].

Wiseman, Richard (2009-12-15). 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot (Borzoi Books) (p. 51). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Had such a candidate emerged in 2012, it would have been a very good year.


Raise your hand if you remember that brutally hot day in June when over-eager tweeters jubilantly declared the Supreme Court found Obamacare unconstitutional? As soon as I saw the first such tweet, I though, “better hold on.” 

Imagine if John Roberts didn’t need so badly to be invited to the A-List parties in Washington and New York. Imagine if he’d put the country and his oath of office ahead of his social life.

America might never recover from the damage to liberty done by Obama, the Democrats, and Chief Justice Roberts. And I really mourn for that party that never was.

Odds are that Obama and a Democrat Senate will get to fill two vacancies on the Supreme Court before January 20, 2017. That’s how monumental the 2012 election was.

The Tea Party

The tea party had a very rough year. While it’s easy to blame outside forces, let’s not. Let’s look internally.

I know this won’t be popular with some of you, but I have to be honest here. We lost our focus on three core principles of the movement’s founding: Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and federalism. Instead, we let the media, the left, and the religious right take us into territory where the tea prty didn’t belong.  There are plenty of organizations whose primary mission involves social issues. Many of us tea partiers belong to such groups. Fewer grassroots groups focus on preserving idea that governments are formed and animated by the consent of those they govern.

Beyond social issues, too often we gave into the temptation to speak our minds, to get immediate emotional gratification, without thinking about the long term. Too often, me included, we chose to show how smart and how right we were, instead of winning first, then turning our right thinking into right policy.

That lack of discipline cost us dearly. Not only is the tea party movement in danger, but the whole American Experiment is in trouble.

And, while I don’t think rallies will help advance our cause, not having rallies sure as hell didn’t win, either. I think I was wrong about that, and I’ll look at fixing it in 2013.

If tea partiers don’t commit to winning, though, instead of just being right, there’s really not much point in continuing. Had we focused maniacally on winning throughout 2011 and 2012, our memories of 2012 would be a lot brighter, and our hopes for 2013 more possible.

The Republican Party

The tea party’s 2012 was a Super Bowl victory compared to the Republican Party’s epic collapse. Lacking leaders, mission, purpose, goals, strategy, character, and charm, the GOP might not be national party come 2016. The Republican Party tries to win elections using Richard Viguerie’s brilliant direct mail method—send to a list, send again only to those who respond, repeat until you have a short list of people who donate every time you mail them. That’s a genius system for raising money, but it’s a death-trap for elections. The GOP has perfected the art of getting 100% turnout from a shrinking base of aging voters, and it shows no signs of willingness to change.

With establishment squishes running the party from top to bottom, I expect Obama to get just about anything he wants for the next four years. Because the establishment fears the tea party far more than it fears Democrats, getting their attention will be difficult. The Party neither wants nor accepts grassroots support, and I have a hard time asking myself and others to help them, anyway. If there was every a time in which a new party could seize power, it’s right now.

Bill Hennessy

Everything that went wrong in 2012 you can blame on me. I did not have a very good year. I am sorry. I will try to do better in 2013. If I cannot, I will say “thank you” and move onto to something else. I’m not big into losing on principle when I know we can win on principles, as well.

I won’t make a lot of promises, but I will try to get better about one thing: speaking up when I see our movement going astray.  For the past two years, I bit my tongue. A lot. I was afraid that speaking my mind might create fissures we didn’t need.

Well, the fissures came anyway, and we got our asses kicked all over the country.

So I’ll say things that some people won’t like. I hope you will, too. But I’ll also do things that I have less faith in than others. And I’ll be thrilled to be proven wrong.

That’s all for 2012. Tune in tomorrow—it’s a brand new year.

Changes at Hennessy's View

Looks different, doesn't it? After hosting my own web sites forever, I'm trying to simplify my server admin life. I'm moving Hennessy's View to another service from my own servers.

The difference you should see is the theme.  (I'm tired of the minimalism.) Also, some archives from before 2010 might be missing for a while. They'll catch up soon enough.


**UPDATE** In addition to the changes above, a couple of comments posted during the upgrade have been lost.  I apologize for that.  If your comment is missing, please repeat it.  Otherwise, I'll try to recover them tonight.

Call Me “Apologist”

The Washington Post’s headline writer made a common mistake on Sunday. Apologist-Romney

He confused “one who apologizes” with “apologist.”

An easy mistake, no doubt, for most of us. Professional headline writers should know better. So should Glenn Kessler, the author of the WP story.

The claim that Obama is an apologist for the nation began to take shape shortly after he became president.

An apologist is “one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something.”

Britannica.com describes an apologist as:

any of the Christian writers, primarily in the 2nd century, who attempted to provide a defense of Christianity and criticisms of Greco-Roman culture.

Romney does not accuse Obama of being an apologist for the United States; he accuses the president, accurately, of apologizing for the United States.

To anyone who knows the meaning of the words, Kessler’s story reads like a farce.  Kessler attempts to demonstrate that Obama does not apologize the U.S., but, in fact, he defends his country.  But Kessler uses the wrong words.

Making Kessler’s sin even more egregious, he writes at the Post’s fact checker—a fact checker who failed to look up the meaning of “apologist,” the central word of his story.

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of precise words. Lord knows I’m as guilty of letting my precision wane as is Kessler or anyone else.

Still, I will accept the title of “American Apologist” proudly.  And, while I disagree with Kessler’s intended meaning, I do agree with the literal assertion of his story: Barack Obama is no apologist for the United States.

Guess Who the Puritans Are?

Some center-right people take their ball and go home. Guess who? puritanical

Since the 2010 election, we’ve heard from the Establishment (GOP, MSM, DNC) that Tea Partiers are too puritanical.

The elitist theory holds that Tea Partiers demand doctrinaire allegiance to some engraved-granite list of principles.  Stray from that list, and the Tea Party will hunt you down like a dog in the street and beat you with a Wiffle Ball bat until you pee blood for a week.

Guess what, though. It’s not the Tea Partiers who defect when their candidates lose.

A recent Rasmussen poll (subscription may be required) found that Establishment Republicans are far more likely to vote Democrat, third party, or not at all if their favored candidate loses a primary.

Interestingly, those outside the Tea Party are more committed to finding a candidate who shares their views--67% of Tea Party members take that approach compared to 75% of non-members. That data contradicts a common story line that Tea Party members are interested in ideological purity while others are more practical in their considerations.

But the divisions get even clearer when the questions get more specific:

Again, those in the Tea Party are more committed to the GOP field than other primary voters. Ninety-one percent (91%) of Tea Party members now plan to vote for the eventual GOP candidate even if their first choice isn’t the nominee, compared to 71% of non-members.

Kidding?  Non-Tea Party Republicans could see a 29 percent defection rate if their favorite candidate isn’t nominated?  Wow.

The next time someone tells you that the Tea Party is too puritanical, tell them, “Perhaps, but we’re not nearly as puritanical as the establishment Republicans.”

What are the Perfect Ingredients of Great Book?

Writers are always looking for the perfect topic for a book.  But there’s a problem. What’s important to me may not be important to you. And what you to read about, I might not care about. 

That’s why great books achieve a certain universality.  They touch on the essence of life itself, of humanity itself, of existence. 

Some say that the secret to perfectly spellbinding stories is a mixture of just three elements: sex, food, and spirit.  That’s why Elizabeth Gilbert’s Love, Eat, Pray became such a phenomenal best-seller and movie.

I might claim that sex, justice, and military is the perfect American combination for a fiction story.

But I’m not here to talk about fiction.

I’m here to talk about hard, cold reality served up by one of St. Louis’s leading conservative writers.

TDIA_Cover_LR_10-8-11-204x300Are you ready for the perfect conservative book recipe?

Buy and read Bob McCarty’s Three Days in August.  Read all about the book:

U.S. Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart admitted to having a one-night stand with a 28-year-old German woman the night of Aug. 22, 2008. She did, too. Both knew sex was part of the plan when they left the discotheque near Stuttgart. Two months later, however, her story changed and the highly-decorated combat veteran found himself facing rape and kidnapping charges.

During court-martial proceedings one year later, Stewart faced an Army court-martial panel comprised of soldiers who had recently returned from a 16-month deployment with the Army attorney serving as Stewart’s lead prosecutor.

Despite a lack of both physical evidence and eyewitnesses to the alleged crimes, it took only three days for the panel to find Stewart guilty of numerous offenses — including aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, forcible sodomy and assault and battery — and sentence him to eight years behind bars.

Incredibly, the conviction was based almost entirely on the testimony of Stewart’s accuser, a one-time mental patient who, with the backing of the German government, refused to allow her medical records to be entered as evidence.

When several witnesses came forward during a post-trial hearing to reveal startling proof that the accuser had lied several times during the trial, their words were largely ignored by the court and Stewart remained behind bars.

Today, Stewart’s fighting for a new trial so he can shed the “sexual offender” label that will stay with him the rest of his life if justice remains out of reach.

Based on extensive interviews and never-before-published details taken from the actual Record of Trial, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight for Military Justice by Bob McCarty paints a portrait of military justice gone awry that’s certain to make your blood boil.

Coming in eBook and print versions.  Look for it at booksellers everywhere Oct. 19.


Mark the date, October 19, down on your calendar; it’s game one of the World Series, it’s the day before the next After Party at Helen Fitzgerald’s, and it’s the day Three Days in August launches. 

Am I an Idiot?

For most of my life I was naïve.  I think. I thought that most people who voted for larger government, higher taxes, tighter regulation, and limits on speech, religion, and assembly, were misguided.

I’ve always known and acknowledged that the people who advocated and plotted to concentrate power in the hands of a few were wicked creatures.  I never hesitated to attack them head-on.

But the others.  The others I sometimes pitied. Other times I belittled.  Other times I simply giggled at them.

After the center-left’s response to Tucson, I think I might have been wrong.  There might not be many “good” liberals.  Maybe most on the center-left are rotten, power-hungry, freedom-hating, murder-using slime.

Please show me I’m wrong. Don’t bother telling me, because I don’t believe a one of you. Show me.

The liberal-progressive-left world has demonstrated the worst of humanness this week.  It’ll take a lot to convince me you haven’t sold your souls.

Apologies to Seth Godin and His Readers

I tried to manually trackback to Seth Godin’s post on TV from this post

Between WordPress’s false negatives on reporting success of links, my laptop’s touchy touchpad, and Typepad’s weird trackback URL system, I managed to:

a. Link once to the wrong blog post

b. Link twice to the right blog post

I pride myself on being respectful of blogging etiquette.  I hate trackback spam. I hate it even more when I’m the one creating it.

I am sorry to Seth and his readers. 

Thank You!

Wikio - Top Blogs - Politics

Hennessy’s View is now 255 on Wikio’s Political Blog rankings.  I know that’s nothing compared to Gateway Pundit. After  10 years of blogging, though, it’s nice to crack some list somewhere. 

If you’d like to see me move higher on this list, please use the social buttons below. 

Also, please tell me why you read Hennessy’s View in the comments.

Thanks, again, for a great Christmas present.

3 Events Coming Up

calendar_of_events[1]I am very honored by the invitations I get to speak to various clubs and organizations around Greater St. Louis, including Illinois. This August, I have the chance to meet two groups and to guest host a radio show. 

On August 18, I’ll speak to the Meramec Township Republican Committee.

On August 26, I’ll be speaking at the North County Republican Club meeting at Yac’s Restaurant at 407 Dunn Rd. in Florissant. 

But even before all that, Dr. Gina Loudon has asked me to guest-host her wonderful new radio show  on TruthTalk 630 AM this Wednesday, August 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. I am still working on my guests, but please listen in.

Why We Took a Stand Against the NAACP

Sometimes it is personal.


Beginning with a simple blog post in February 2009, the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition has attracted over 40,000 people to dozens of events and online crusades.  The vast majority of these folks represent America’s highest ideals in character and citizenship.  We are educated, polite, and patriotic.  We are stand-up people who fix our own problems and earn our own livings.  We are not perfect, of course, but we understand that no one else can live our lives for us.

When we announced those events and asked people to show up, I don’t think any of us considered the responsibility we were taking on.  But we were.  We were asking strangers to take a risk, to take a stand. That invitation carried an implied promise of reciprocity: if you stand with us, we’ll stand by you.

Then, on Monday, we heard the cruel lies and invectives hurled by Ben Jealous and other NAACP representatives. Their attacks were aimed at the women and men who answered our invitations.  People of good character and reputation were being labeled racists simply because they deigned to say, “enough” to the the government we, the people, created.

We could not let the NAACP’s baseless accusations stand. We did not want this confrontation, but we will not be silenced.

I emailed our resolution to the NAACP’s headquarters at midnight on Tuesday and went to bed.  I set the alarm for 5:00 and prayed. In the morning, I got out of bed and prayed again. I posted the resolution on stlouisteaparty.com.  I wrote my thoughts on this blog, and I headed to work, praying all the way.  See, you’re never really sure, in a situation like this, how it’s going to work out. You do what you think is right and prepare for whatever comes your way.

Since Tuesday, my prayers have been answered repeatedly.  Besides the support from big names like Sarah Palin and Andrew Breitbart, we’ve received dozens of emails:

My tea party admires yours, for your courage, and would like to adopt/ sponsor/support your resolution, by posting it on our website at www.ncteapartyrevolution.com as well as our facebook group.

From Texas:

THANK YOU for condemning the NAACP for their revolting and hypocritical insults of Tea Partiers everywhere.

I live in a small city in West Texas, where our Tea Party generally preaches to a like-minded choir. :) But I know I speak for every conservative in West Texas when I say thank you again, for having the courage to speak frankly.


Congratulation on your resolution condemning the NAACP. We are standing by your side on this issue. May we use your resolution as a template for our own resolution here in MA?


As the chairperson of the Elbert County Tea Party I am going on record, and per the request by the St. Louis Tea Party for us to join with them, in condemning and exposing the totally illogical and dishonest nature of the NAACP's actions.  In the end they discredit themselves and harm their mission much more that they do ours, but we must have the courage and the willingness to stand up and call dishonesty exactly what it is, DISHONEST!

And dozens of others around the country. Plus, Jesse Jackson stepped away from the NAACP accusations, Dave Weigel said the NAACP’s stunt backfired, and former NAACP chapter president defended the Tea Party.

When you do the right thing, good people will stand up for you.

How much more personal can you get?

Go Israel

No, I’m not a war monger. But peace is not the absence of war. It’s the presence of peace.


If you live in Israel, you are not at peace. You are at war. War against a massive body of people who want to destroy you before they move on to destroy Christendom. If Christendom doesn’t destroy itself first.

So let’s all thank Israel for standing tall on the front lines of this epic battle between good and evil.  And thanks to Saudi Arabia for seeing the light.

And let’s stop pretending that it’s anything less than that.

Grading my prediction for 2009

On December 28, 2008,  I published my predictions for 2009.  I should have graded myself in January, but I was still on hiatus from Hennessy’s View.  So let’s take a look. The Dow:  The Dow trades within a range of 1,000 points with a daily average closing of 8,500.

Grade:  D. The average would be a pain to figure out, but it looks like it was closer 9800.

GDP and Economy:  By July, everyone pretty much calls the situation "Great Depression II."  Unemployment, which declines in the first quarter, increases to more than 12 percent by fall.  Gross Domestic Product by quarter:

Q1:  -.06

Q2: -1.5

Q3: -6.5

Q4: -2.0

Grade: B.  The combination of unemployment and GDP followed my track except that Q1 actual was worse than I predicted and Q3 better.

US Treasuries: Moody’s warns investors in US Treasuries that inflation could erode the real value of the paper dramatically but falls short of lowering bond ratings.  China and Japan sell over $1 trillion in long-term US debt.

Grade:  C+.  Moodys did release several warning about US debt hurting Treasury ratings, and China was a net seller most of the year.  I overshot the amount of treasury sales by China and Japan—by a lot.

Auto Industry:  The bridge loan isn’t enough and the UAW refuses major compromises, but Obama and Congress block GM and Chrysler from bankruptcy.  Instead, Congress authorizes $70 billion in exchange for voting stock and a seat on the companies’ boards.  The companies oblige, effectively becoming government agencies.

Grade:  B+.  Everything happened as I predicted, but the companies went through bankruptcy anyway.  On this, I was overly optimistic.

Iraq:  The slow drawdown of troops will continue according to the plan approved by Iraq in 2008.  The net effect of Obama’s win on Iraq is zero.

Grade:  A.

Iran:  The Obama administration achieves a pyrrhic victory by signing a non-proliferation agreement with Iran similar to the one Clinton (via Carter) signed with North Korea.  By the end of 2009, Iran’s cheating is obvious, but both the US and UN ignore it . . . until it’s too late.  Israel acts alone.

Grade: D.  Israel hasn’t attacked Iran, obviously.  Obama got way too friendly with Iran, but he’s backed off.

Key Legislation:

Fairness Doctrine returns requiring television and radio stations to provide equal time to all sides of any news or science issue with the exception of climate science.

Grade: F

Emission Standards increased dramatically by Congress and rubber-stamped by GM and Chrysler boards.  Ford sues claiming unfair competition and anti-trust violations.  Suit will take years to settle.

Grade: A

Unions can demand to know a non-union’s position on unionization votes.  Many shops turn union; many anti-union workers are assaulted and threatened.

Grade: F

Medical workers are compelled to participate in abortions regardless of religious or personal beliefs.  Thousands of doctors and nurses quit in protest.  The Catholic church closes thousands of hospitals creating the greatest healthcare availability crisis ever in a post-industrial country.  Congress prepares, by year’s end, to take over the healthcare industry and all medical universities and colleges.

Grade F

Overall: D


Several major professional sports teams fold as advertising dollars disappear.

Grade: F


No one really cares after reading the list above.

Grade:  B.  Michael Jackson died.


Newt Gingrich prepares a presidential run in 2012 by quarterbacking a team of more than 200 Republican Congressional candidates on single agenda to win back Washington and capitalism.

Grade:  B.  Newt will run.  He just didn’t quarterback the Congressional Win-Back.

Climate Change:  2008 was the coolest year in almost 20 years, and 2009 looks to be even cooler.  A major flaw is revealed in the most sophisticated models.  James Hansen refuses to admit he was wrong, but even the media stop covering climate change.  Environmentalism shifts to potable water, an actual problem that will affect the US in 20 years as the Ogallala Aquifer dries up.

Grade:  A++.  How could I have known that ClimateGate was coming down the pipe?  Huh?  You believe that?  Amazing.

Composite:  I’ll give myself a C.

Junk Bond

John is a Vietnam veteran and retired business executive.  He loves America and hates to see what’s happened in Washington the past few years.  He believes in liberty and Constitutional limitations on government growth. 

He called the Tea Party just to vent and to see if it’s just him.

Recently, John had called Senator Kit Bond’s (R-MO) office in Washington.  He wanted to know whether stories that Bond had signed off a $659 million earmark for soy bean farmers were true. 

According to John, the Bond staffer who answered the phone was terse, rude, and argumentative.  She balked at being called a “lady,” though she couldn’t think of an acceptable alternative. She hung up on the constituent and veteran twice.  She threatened to call the police if he called back.

John’s offense?  He had the audacity to ask about the earmark and state his view that Bond and his staff are our employees. 

I was not able to speak to anyone at Bond’s office to confirm, but John’s story wasn’t the first like it.  Senator Bond, one of the biggest porkers in Congress, has a reputation for being rude to constituents . . . unless, of course, they come bearing campaign contributions.  Now that he’s retiring from the Senate, even donors are in trouble.

Bond’s local office was more polite to John, but they still argued with him, claiming John’s assessment of Bond’s political career was unfair. 

John contrasted for me his treatment with Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) office staff.  McCaskill’s people were not only polite, they were polite while arguing policy with John.  While John admits he can be short and direct, he felt that never went there with McCaskill’s polite, professional, and enthusiastic staff.

Now, I agree with Sen. Bond on most issues and I disagree with McCaskill on just about everything.  (Same for Tea Partier John.)  Where John and I have more in common with Claire than with Bond is on the point of customer service.  Claire understands how to treat constituents on the phone; Bond simply does not.

Want to know why the Tea Party is viewed more favorably than the Republican Party?  This story tells it all. 

Wake up, GOP.  You’re on the road to losing seats in 2010 rather than gaining them.

Overwhelm the Nazis

The American Nazis are holding a rally on the Arch grounds at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18.  The Anti-Defamation League is sponsoring a counter-rally in Forest Park at the same time. I will be at Forest Park.

So I have some strong disagreements with some of the sponsoring organizations of the counter-rally.  Big deal.  If the point of the counter-rally is to oppose Nazism, then I can easily look past those differences for a couple of hours.  We'll pick up the other fights later.


Date: April 18, 2009  Time: 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.  Venue: Art Hill in Forest Park  Location: St. Louis, Missouri