Updated Gov. Tim Pawlenty isn’t the first to use the phrase “Freedom First,” the name of his new political action committee (PAC).
“Freedom First” is also the name of a political group in Colorado that believes “the most powerful and ruthless Conspiracy in the history of mankind has a grip on world affairs and is seeking rapidly to eliminate the last bastions of potential resistance to its world hegemony.”
And “Freedom First” has already been taken as the name of a political committee in Florida, where one Republican state senator used it to help a colleague named “John Thrasher” thrash his opponents in a special election on Tuesday – the same day news of Pawlenty’s PAC went public.
Other less politically hospitable associations include a political ad titled “Freedom First” by Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana (about his opposition on privacy grounds to the Patriot Act), and a group called “First Freedom First” that fights to maintain a separation between church and state.
For some, “Freedom First” brings to mind the presidential campaign slogan of U.S. Sen. John McCain: “Country First.” Pawlenty was a big part of that campaign, right up until he wasn’t, so the slogan may have bored its way into his subconscious then.
(Pawlenty’s PAC name sent MnIndy commenter Minnesota Central down memory lane: “Ah, I remember the days of ‘Country First’ … but now it’s States Rights … it must mean that individual freedoms are more important than our collective good.”)
Politics in Minnesota had a field day with “Freedom First,” starting with Sarah Janacek mostly lauding the name as a welcome departure from the identity politics of Huck PAC and Sarah PAC (committees for GOP presidential rivals Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, respectively).
Then Bill Clements noted that 39 PACs already include the word “freedom” in their names, making it such a favorite that, he wrote, “I’m not sure using ‘freedom’ in a PAC name means anything at all, really. Except maybe, as songwriter Kris Kristofferson puts it, ‘freedom’ really is just another word for nothin’ left to lose.“
There are even more PACs with “first” in their names: by OpenSecret.com’s count, 132. They’re mostly banks (including the unfortunately named “Bankers First Federal Savings and Loan”), but there are also PACs named “America First,” “Texas First” and “South Dakota First.”
Huh: “Minnesota First.” Now that would have been a really terrible name for Pawlenty’s new PAC.
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