Thursday, January 15, 2015

Philip Crane, R.I.P.

My apologies for not having posted anything
in the first week of 2015; due to the extreme
cold weather that has gripped Milwaukee (as
well as much of the country), I did not venture
out to my local library to post, or to do anything
else. I still have on my acquisition list a computer
so I won't have to head out to post on this blog,
take care of my e-mail or anything else online.
It's tough to attempt to go out in dangerously
cold winter weather, which is what much of the
country has been saddled with just after the start
of the new year, and that is why I have been
unable to get together with you, my great and
wonderful readers. So, without further delay,
here is my first posting of 2015.

It's a sad posting, however; your mournful Peasant
is reporting the passing of one of the heroes of the
New Right from the 1980s, longtime U.S. Repre-
sentative Philip Crane from Illinois, leaving this
world on November 8 of the old year. He was
84 years of age.

Rep. Crane served in the House of Representatives
from 1969 until 2005. Crane succeeded Donald
Rumsfeld in a special election to fill the seat when
Rumsfeld accepted a position in the Nixon Adminis-

A staunch conservative, Crane challenged Ronald
Reagan for the Republican presidential nomination
in 1980, attempting to run to the former California
governor Reagan's right in order to brand himself as
the best conservative presidential hope for the GOP
to defeat incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter.
Although he fell far short in his effort, Crane would
go on to be a dependable ally and friend of President
Reagan while Reagan served two terms in the White
House, assisting with guiding conservative legislation
through the Democrat-controlled House.

While in congress, Crane also founded the Republican
Study committee, a respected caucus still active today
in the House of representatives, was instrumental in
establishing the Heritage Foundation and served as
Chairman of the American Conservative Union.

Prior to serving in Congress, Crane was a professor
of History at Bradley University and was headmaster
of Chicago's Westminster Academy, as well as the
author of the book "The Democrat's Dilemma".
He established himself a a champion of reduced taxes,
and free trade, and advocated many other conservative
causes in his political career. He was able to work with,
get along with, and even be friends with staunch liberals
in the House, including archliberal Rep. Charlie Rangel
of New York.

Crane was also a man of great humor; he was famous on
Capitol Hill for his impressions of President Reagan, even
going so far as to speak to people on the phone in this
persona, his colleagues joyfully recall.

Another talent he had was, believe it or not, songwriting.
Crane wrote the song "Little Sandy Sleighfoot" a Christmas
season song recorded by Jimmy Dean in the late 1950s.

For years despairing of the Republicans ever being able to
win control of the House from the Democrats, the latter
having held that chamber since 1955, Crane was ecstatic
when the GOP won the elusive prize in the 1994 mid-term
elections. Crane was at last able to not just advocate for his
ideas, but to add them to the new majority's agenda and
get many of them into bills that would pass in both chambers,
as the GOP also took the Senate. Ten years later, Crane would
finally lose the House seat he held for over thirty years to
a Democrat, Melissa Bean.

Crane is survived by seven children, many more grandchildren,
his sister Judy and brothers David and Daniel. The latter brother
also served in Congress, representing an Indiana district. And
he is remembered fondly by those who worked with and for him,
and by many grateful constituents, as well as by his fellow
advocates of limited government and maximized liberty.
A job well done, and a life well lived. Rest in Peace.


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