S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Maverick Moderates

Hands across the aisle:
We have to look for hope where we can find it. Because Democrats are not in power right now, their only hope for being able to make a difference sometimes rests with their occasional allies across the political aisle.

A minority of the majority: It seems that several senators are in the "moderate" or "libertarian" category. This post links to a few stories about these brave legislators. They are courageous because opposing Republicans could sit squarely as targets on a Karl Rove political blacklist. I quote from a recent article about Senate Judiciary Committee Republican possible actions connected with the NSA domestic surveillance investigation,

Congressional sources said Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove has threatened to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president. The sources said the blacklist would mean a halt in any White House political or financial support of senators running for re-election in November.

Specter: At a recent hearing, several Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee questioned whether (OCP)-our current president-has unlimited power to spy on Americans. They include Senators Brownback, Graham and Committee Chairman, Arlen Specter.
Senator Specter earlier fought back opposition to his chairing the committee after the 2004 election. This Fox News 11/19/04 story lays out that fight. A quote,

Conservative Republican senators on Thursday unanimously supported moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter as the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, ending a grueling campaign Specter waged both publicly and privately to guarantee his seat.

Snow: Senator Olympia Snow has occasionally criticized the Bush administration, most recently about his budget cut proposals. U.S. Politics Today, a clipping service alludes to her criticism. To quote,

10 Feb 2006 07:32 GMT... regarding his proposed budget for fiscal 2007. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., labeled cuts in education ... cuts in education and health ''scandalous.'' Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, was stunned at the extent of the ...

Collins: Maine Senator Susan Collins has an independent streak, according to our current president. I quote from OCP's Ausust 3, 2002, remarks at a campaign reception for Senator Collins in Maine.

Maine's got two fantastic United States senators. Olympia Snow is a capable lady. Olympia and Susan make a formidable team on behalf of the citizens of Maine, and it would be wise for Maine not to break that team up. It would be wise for the people of this state to make sure that they send somebody back toWashington who understands that, to get things done, you've got to work with people of both parties and who solidly rejects like I reject the same old, tired politics of tearing somebody down to get ahead. (Applause.)
Susan Collins, she's a breath of fresh air in Washington, D.C. She's kind of an independent thinker, I might add. (Laughter.) I don't do everything she says -- (laughter) -- she doesn't do everything I say. (Laughter.) But she's an ally, and I'm proud to call her friend. (Applause.)

Chafee: Senator Lincoln Chafee considered not voting for President Bush, according to "Chuck Currie." To quote,

Asked if he might not vote for the president, Chafee said: "That's accurate." His office said this has been his position for months, though it has gotten little, if any, attention in Washington.
"There is no secret that on some very important issues I have difference with the current administration," Chafee said, listing abortion rights, the environment and war in Iraq

Patriot Act Negotiators: According to the NYT, renewal of the USA Patriot Act appears to be headed towards passage because of a deal between the White House and several Republican senators who had been objecting to its provisions. To quote,

The reservations about the act in the Senate gave rise to alliances not often seen. Senators Larry Craig of Idaho, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, all relatively conservative Republicans, joined with Democrats in voicing concerns over whether revisions to the act had done enough to safeguard civil rights.
Reference: Wikipedia Libertarian Republicans

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