http://tootallsid.blogspot.com/2010/05/liberal-and-conservative.htmlA year or so ago I just despaired at the "conservative" movement in the U.S. It just seemed to be fatcats and idiots, with no smart, practical people. After all, McCain picked Palin as as his Veep candidate, which thankfully handed the election to Obama.
But now I read David Brooks, Ross Douhat, and Reihan Salam (the last two are authors of Grand New Party) and they are just full of energy and ideas, with links to other smart conservatives. They actually respectfully consider the ideas of the liberals, attacking the idea and not the person, and with reason and not sarcasm. Heck, sometimes they even agree with the liberals!!
I wish I knew what happened. Maybe the nuts and dysfunctional fatcats scared them straight.
Btw, I just finished Robert Reich's Aftershock and really liked it. I learned a lot. His framing of the problem seemed clear and easy to test for soundness. And, like his conservative brethren, he is polite and respectful.
As a conservative who's been ashamed to use that label for years, based on what it has come to represent, I couldn't be happier. (Well, I'd be happier if the civil discourse was actually coming up in Congress and leading to reasonable, timely legislation... but one step at a time.)
John Stewart (Comedy Central) has had a lot to say about the new GOP. (I get most of my political news from John Steward and the rest from Stephen Colbert.) Some of the GOP actions are good - some are just the same old crap.
I find myself wishing for republicans like Chuck Hagel. He was a guy I could trust. Shortly after he had been elected to the Senate, I was trapped next to him on a Friday Midwest Express flight back from Washington to Omaha. I had congratulated him on his winning the election and asked, "What's up, now? Like all freshman senators he had been assigned to a boring committee. This one was dealing with a treaty concerning markings of chemical exports. He knew all about it - and was able to talk intelligently about the pros and cons of various schemes for two hours. He had done his homework.
I respect that. I respected his intent to do the right thing and to work for it.
Unfortunately a lot of senators don't do this.
I want a senator I can trust to work hard and try to do the right thing - even if I don't agree with him or her.
Yeah, Hagel is the real deal.
One of my key criteria for supporting somebody is this: Are they the real deal? I care less about their politics than their sincerity and thoughtfulness. I guess that sort of makes me an Independent.
Take Sam Brownback of Kansas. I violently disagree with many of his social values, but I like his reasonableness on everything else. I use to think he was an idiot, but now I think he's okay. Ditto for Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.
I think Chuck Hagel still has a future ahead of him on the world stage of policy-making.
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