Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Question for Liberals

Mirror question of the one that I asked conservatives: OK, liberals, which Republican pols do you like?  That is, about which Republicans do you think:  I disagree with them on the issues, but I do believe they are well-intentioned, serious, excellent public servants.  Even if they are wrong about everything (or at least nearly everything).


  1. Richard Lugar & Chuck Hagel.

  2. I'm hard pressed to think of any that currently hold office. Chuck Hagel is definitely up there, though. John Huntsman too, although given that he's currently an employee of the Obama administration, he probably counts even less than Hagel.

  3. For various reasons, I like Richard Lugar, Chuck Hagel, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee, Chris Smith, and Joseph Cao.

  4. the NE Republicans, Collins and Snowe in addition to some of the ones named here.

  5. Three years ago, I would have had an instant answer to this question...

  6. We have to strike Huckabee from the list. Nobody well-intentioned or serious could make this kind of a statement about centrist conservative B. Hoover Obama:

    "His worldview is dramatically different than any president, Republican or Democrat, we've had," said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, who attributes conservative fear not just to Obama's effort to expand the federal government but to the president's overall governing philosophy.

    Read more:

    I mean, what the hell?!? Really. Obama is to the right of Clinton, who was in mant ways to the right of Eisenhower.

    JzB - who has zero respect for Republicans

  7. Every Mormon in a nationally recognized political office strikes me as painfully sincere and well-intentioned (the one notable exception as far as sincerity also strikes me as serious and reasonably well-intentioned), so I'll second Jon Huntsman and add Orrin Hatch and I suppose Bob Bennett; don't know enough about Mike Lee yet to say. Sure, Lugar and Hagel, too, and I'll add that Mike Huckabee comes across as an incredibly well-intentioned person, though not necessarily serious about some things that an executive should be serious about. Charlie Crist's ... ideological flexibility ... is endearingly pragmatic, too. On the other side (not pragmatic, highly ideological) Paul Ryan really seems to want to do things, even if he's befuddled as to the way the world works.

    Jodi Rell and Chris Shays in Connecticut and I think Jim Douglas in Vermont, too. I have been sad to lose a lot of respect for Snowe and Collins over the last couple of years, as I suppose had to happen wrt every NE Republican in national politics. I think Chafee father; son seems well-intentioned but fliiiiiighty (and also is now an Independent). I go back and forth on Chris Christie, but he's definitely serious about his job. Bill Weld, if he still counts as a politician. Mike Bloomberg, if he still counts as a Republican.

    Northeast focus because I'm from Brooklyn -- but no New York Republicans. Pataki is worse than Giuliani. Seriously. (At least Giuliani was intermittently interested in governance.) And the idea of Chris Cox in any position of power ever again -- *shudder*. Well, Idk, I expect that McHugh fellow who became Army Sec and Dede Scozzafava are probably all right. Again NOT Joe Bruno, Dean Skelos, or Jim Tedisco (don't even know who replaced him as Assembly Minority Leader). None of the five (!) Republicans on the City Council (of 51!! That can't be good for the City. Why doesn't the Republican Party evolve locally so as to change that? -- I mean, besides on the mayoral level?). Though the fact that a Republican Councillor from Queens is a pagan is kind of funny, I have no idea whether he's serious. In general I don't know how I would learn who, at the hyper-local level, is really good.

    Oh, that lady who ran against Blagojevich a few years ago seemed pretty serious. Can't remember her name.

  8. Whoa, long comment is long. Sorry about that.

  9. I respect Clarence Thomas a lot. He's the only conservative on the court who's actually principled, in the sense that if the conservative ideology leads to a substantive result that contradicts the Republican platform, he'll go with his principles, rather than helping the GOP get its desired results.

    I don't have any respect for any Republican in Congress, regardless of how often they vote with us. It's quite clear that the Republican's Congressional agenda this session has been to obstruct and delay all governance, regardless of the effect on the country, in order to make Democrats look bad. They've all participated in this, Snowe, Collins, & Brown included.

  10. No, I don' think any of them are "excellent public servants." But I think our governor Arnie is well-intentioned. I think Bloomberg is well-intentioned.

    My criteria of being an "excellent public servant" would be: Does this person put important public policy above the Republican Party? There are several votes that I use as benchmarks to answer that question (yes, for Democrats too). The Military Commissions Act, and (ahem) Protect America Act. Voting in favor of either or both of these bills renders the person unfit for public office. Full Stop. So, Ron Paul and 6 Repubs in the House that are no longer there, Chaffee and Jeffords. I give half-credit to the 6 or so Republican abstainers on PAA, though Tancredo, Young and others fail for overall lunacy, or corruption.

    For later than the 108th and 109th, no, there isn't a single Republican that holds national office that is well-intentioned and serious. I'd try to give credit to those who voted for the Bush Administration's TARP, if the person would own up to it. That every Republican is running away from this emergency legislation proves the Party-before-Country mindset of the GOP on a national level.

    Maybe Cao. Ryan fails because of his dishonesty (because I have been assured by people who know that the man is bright enough). Brown, I'll give a chance but the jury is still out.

  11. The one I can think of who hasn't been mentioned here so far is the soon-to-retire George Voinovich. I disagree with him on several issues and think he screwed up on the school funding question when he was governor of Ohio. However, he seems to have always acted on principle (even if I disagree with the principle), not merely politics, and he's willing to occasionally depart from the standard talking points.

    As one commenter noted earlier, it's harder to find these kinds of Republicans today than three years ago. In fact, some Republicans have gone downhill since Obama's election. I would put Chuck Hagel in that category.

  12. I'm astounded by the difference between the number of comments here (12 before this post) and the single comment on the conservative thread.

    Are readers overwhelmingly liberal/progressive, or are conservatives unwilling to admit respect for opposing views?

    For me, Snowe for politicians, Bruce Bartlett for pundits, though he claims he's no longer conservative.

  13. zic: the readers are overwhelmingly liberal...the questions for liberals always get more comments.

    On the GOP side: Jim Leach was a class act (and another one that hasn't been there in 3.6 years)

  14. Without trying to be self-righteous or snarky, I would posit that conservatism is currently more a matter of tribal identification than political philosophy.

    Thus, to the degree that conservatives read this blog, or respond to the other question, I predict that the overwhelming "favorite liberal" will be Joe Leiberman. And that primarily because he seems to enjoy occasionally sticking his finger in the Democrats' eye.

  15. @the classicist, that rat bastard chris cox was my congressman so frankly there is nobody happier than me that he's out of politics.

    TBH, the Clarence Thomas one is an interesting one, I daresay that Scalia is a bit more principled than Thomas.

    And on Barlett, I think he claims that he's no longer a a Republican but still a conservative (or libertarian, whatever the hell that means in this day and age.)

  16. In 2008 I would have said: Lindsay Graham, Arlen Specter, Snowe, Collins
    (Graham has since taken to compulsive lying. He, Snowe, and Collins have all taken to filibustering policies they themselves believe are sound during a war and economic catastrophe, making them simply monsterous. Arlen, of course, has been chased from the party)

    In 2000 I would have added Antonin Scalia to the list. Ditto Bruce Bartlett. (Bush v. Gore exposed the naked partisanship and his failure to recuse himself given his relationship to Cheney is a horrific ethical lapse)

    Today? It's a party of nihilists who truly don't care what happens to America or Americans. (Let alone caring about what's actually true, right, or good)

  17. Robert Gates seems like a decent guy, but he's not an elected official, so he's allowed to have principles.

  18. Mr. Bernstein never asks any questions of "moderates" is why I answer on the "liberal" thread, though I am not a liberal. Unless one considers, like most Republicans, that anyone to the left of outright extremist wingnuttia is "liberal" then yeah, I'm a liberal and proud of it.

    My favorite Democrats aren't the most liberal Democrats.

  19. Not one, not any more.

    Even the ones who we think may indeed be thoughtful conservatives and amendable to discussion have decided their futures as Republicans far outweigh any need to set the country on the right course.

    At least Lyndon Johnson had the guts to read the racists and haters and demagogues out of his party, knowing full well it could doom them electorally. The "good guys/gals" referenced upthread have thrown all principle and common sense overboard by letting racists, islamophobes, homophobes and just plain loons become the faces of their party.

    The last time I voted a Republican was Frank Sargent for governor of MA, 1972, I think. The next time will be in a parallel universe.

    Fnck 'em. Fnck every single one of them.

  20. I'll support bob bennet. He tok some hard votes and actions and got himself defeated for it. I have to say Licoln chaffee as well. He could have left the party and gotten reelected but chose to stay in and lost. Orin hatch is the final name I can think of.

  21. Rep. Walter Jones(R-NC-3) for his change of heat on the Iraq War and his subsequent efforts to end the war

  22. Jeff Flake. A distant cousin by marriage, a Mormon from AZ. Hope he runs for McCain's seat one day.

  23. None. Not a single one. I live and vote in Maine, and I voted for Olympia Snowe the last time she ran. But (as has already been pointed out), she and Collins both clearly know which side their bread is buttered on, and both obviously support the GOP above their own principles.

    I would have considered a vote for Peter Mills for governor here in Maine, but there's no other Republican I could possibly consider supporting for high office.

  24. I have been impressed by Richard Lugar periodically. Were it not that his votes so often contradict his rhetoric, I could easily say I admire and impressed by him. Unfortunately, he says reasonable things and then votes in an unreasonable manner.

  25. > I daresay that Scalia is a bit more principled than Thomas.

    Scalia would certainly like us to think so. But: Bush v Gore

    So no.

  26. Louie Gohmert.

    Pshhhhh, ok, not Louie. Bloomberg doesn't count, although I like him because he's rich. He won't be easily bought. I've liked Huckabee outside of the Jesus things. I like the dude from one of the Carolinas that got ran out of office over the Glenn Beck stuff.

    OH...I live in Florida and have liked both Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist, although Crist was too gay and had to become an Independent.

  27. Hegel, Lugar, Snowe, Collins,

  28. Forgot to add Robert Gates, who, it seems to me, shines brightly in the company of Republicans. Reasonable, calm, sensible, competent leader.

    Nice question. Nice blog. Think I'll add you to my blogroll.


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