August 3, 2005


In search of GOP moderates (Robert Kuttner, August 3, 2005, Boston Globe)

If the pandering to the far right in the jockeying for 2008 is one indicator of the bleak state of Republican moderation, the other indicator is the very faint condition of GOP moderate life in Congress. Here, too, profiles in principle are very much the exception.

President Bush has just given a recess appointment as UN ambassador to the wildly intemperate and mendacious John Bolton. You may recall that back in May, Ohio's Republican Senator John Voinovich made a great, tearful show of opposing Bolton on the Senate floor. The only problem with this fake bravery was that Voinovich supported the nomination in committee, where one more opposing vote would have blocked the nominee.

Similarly, consider the group of 14 alleged bipartisan moderates, who struck the supposedly historic deal to keep the filibuster option alive but limit its use. A reasonable observer might have concluded that several of the GOP moderates, having broken the filibuster against three far-right judicial nominees to allow a floor vote, might then have voted against them on the merits.

After all, these supposed moderates, like Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, describe themselves as prochoice. But no. Only Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee voted not to confirm.

The radical conservatism of John Roberts is gradually coming to light. You'd be a fool to think he'd be remotely like Sandra Day O'Connor. But don't expect a single Republican moderate to vote against him, much less join in a filibuster.

Dozens of Republican moderates, concerned about excesses in the USA Patriot Act, voted to limit fishing expeditions in library records. But when the bill came back to the House floor for final passage, stripped of that amendment, nearly all Republicans backed it anyway. For the most part, Republican ''moderates" in Congress do the administration's bidding whenever they are needed.

Given that the Senate unanimously reauthorized the Patriot Act, Mr. Kuttner apparently think GOP moiderates should be to the Left of Ted Kennedy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 3, 2005 3:13 PM

When I see "Boston Globe" or "LA Times" I skip the article/entry. Is that so wrong?

Posted by: Shelton at August 3, 2005 3:29 PM

"John" Voinovich? I guess he's laying low to avoid the sarcasm (with Bolton in office).

If Kuttner wants every elected official to act like Barbara Lee or John Conyers, perhaps he should just say so.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 3, 2005 4:07 PM

No more Jake. No more Scoop, either.

Posted by: ghostcat at August 3, 2005 4:37 PM

. . . Ohio's Republican Senator John Voinovich . . .

Lucky for us the mighty New York Times organization (publisher of the Boston Globe) has armies of editors and fact-checkers to prevent the kinds of juvenile mistakes that mere bloggers might make, like, oh, say, getting the name of a sitting United States Senator wrong.


Posted by: Mike Morley at August 3, 2005 4:37 PM

OJ - Wasn't your grandfather a moderate Republican?

Posted by: Foos at August 3, 2005 4:40 PM

Fact checkers flunked again-- Chafee was joined by Snowe and Collins in voting against Janet Rogers Brown.

Posted by: Dan at August 3, 2005 5:16 PM

Bob is so out of it. He's like an alchemist trying to work for DuPont.

Posted by: Luciferous at August 3, 2005 5:24 PM

i certainly skip anything by kutner or krugman; also anything by mad maureen, hideous helen, malignant molly, rabid robert scheer, perverse paul begalia, and creepy carville. there is exactly 0.000000% chance of these people ever writing anything worth reading.

Posted by: cjm at August 3, 2005 5:28 PM


Javits got him put on the bench. If he'd been willing to move to DC he'd have been Brennan.

Posted by: oj at August 3, 2005 5:40 PM

"Fishing expeditions in library records."

What a joke it is that this is the scariest thing they can come up with.

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at August 3, 2005 7:20 PM


Why am I not surprised that one of your bloodline was the classic WASP with more breeding than brains, a class of people my dad used to tell me he would happily shoot?

Javits always made sure to support whatever the Rockefellers wanted, that is what kept him in the Senate. Had he been independent of their thrall, he'd be slicing pastrami in the Lower East Side somewhere. When Old Nelson died, his days were numbered because the party reins were taken over by the Nassau County Mafia, hence Senator Al.

Posted by: bart at August 3, 2005 8:33 PM


WASPs are fortunate, we have the brains as well, which is why we get to do the shooting.

Posted by: oj at August 3, 2005 8:45 PM

Which is why WASPs in Ivy League schools need to be the children of alumni to get in.

Affirmative action is the great WASP protection racket. The WASPs, who still control much of America's older elite, know that they cannot compete with other White ethnics or with Asians. So, they created a system where qualified White ethnics and Asians are restricted from entering the highest levels of American power, while admitting manifestly unqualified Blacks and Hispanics, and continuing to admit unqualified WASP 'legacies' like both Gore and Bush. And they do this in the name of 'fairness.'

It has a certain Orwellian brilliance I will grant.

Posted by: bart at August 4, 2005 8:04 AM


They're our schools. We let y'all attend on sufferance.

Posted by: oj at August 4, 2005 8:19 AM

They stopped being 'your' schools when they started getting my tax money.

Posted by: bart at August 4, 2005 9:02 AM

That was our condition for letting the riff-raff in as other than char-people.

Posted by: oj at August 4, 2005 9:29 AM