Sunday, March 1, 2009

A sane Republican?!?!

Huntsman takes aim at GOP

Politico

"There was at least one 2012 presidential contender missing from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington this weekend, traditionally a testing ground for any Republican even remotely considering a White House bid. That could be in part because Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. risked getting booed off the stage for some of his views.

Largely under the radar of the national media and even out of sight of many in his own party, Huntsman, 48, is emerging as an articulate, unapologetic and unlikely spokesman for a new brand of Republicanism, one that seems out of vogue at a time when many in the GOP attribute their fall from power to a deviation from right-wing orthodoxy. . .

The party needs to be more intellectually rigorous, and to compete for the votes of the young, the elites and minorities, he said in an interview with POLITICO. To do so, the GOP needs to tack toward the middle on environment, gay rights and immigration. And, yes, Ronald Reagan is to be admired – but as much for his oft-overlooked pragmatism as for his conservative principles."
Ruh roh! Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute. This guy Hunstman is a Republican from Utah. . . . but he doesn't sound like he's completely bat-shit insane!!!! A-dub-a-da-dub-a-da-dub-a-da-dub-a-da! Whuh!?!?!?

I doubt I'd agree with him on most of the issues, but honestly, there IS a template out there for rational conservative out there. No doubt people in the Limbaugh-loving wing of the GOoPer base will try to shout down anything that a guy like Huntsman, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, or the two distinguished women from Maine have to say. It probably won't be until 2012 or 2014 that moderate Republicans can mount a serious challenge to the Completely Nuts Caucus of the RepubliCon Party, but hopefully one day we can have two parties that actually give a shit about people, rather than about 2/3rd of one party (the Dems), and approximately 1/20th of another.

Here in Cook County Illinois, I've been treated to what happens when one party - even one I mostly agree with - runs everything. I give you Rod Blagojevich, and Mayor Dick Daley. Believe it or not, I actually vote Republican in local elections here in Chicago when there's no Green running, not because I necessarily agree with them on the issues, but because the Chicago Democratic machine represents about the worst that Democratic politics have to offer.

Although I'm definitely pro-choice, I've always thought that reasonable people could disagree over the issue of abortion - the cultural issue that singularly defines and galvanizes the Christian Right. Regardless of how well or how terribly the Right lives up to its ideals, an ideology of keeping government small, balancing the books, and keeping taxes low is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. America needs dialogue - and as the example of Illinois shows, one party rule is not the answer to anything. But until rational conservatives like Hunstman have a place to make their voices heard nationally, I don't think the Republicans ought to be trusted as a loyal opposition in any way, shape or form.

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