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« Won't you help Katie? | Main | First look: Week 3 »

Saturday, September 16, 2006

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JEdens

We need Republicans to be a viable alternative to Democrats. As Daniel brought up in our discussions about this, things have gone to hell with the GOP in complete control for 6 years. Why is there any reason to believe that having the other party in complete control be any better? The two-party system is vital.

This makes the point that I was attempting to make in "GOP, Are you listening?" I would be ecstatic to see principled conservatives step back from the brink and return to offering sane, practical alternatives to the extremes of the left. When an entire party moves to the fringe, it's the moderates who end up getting screwed.

The aspect of this that hard-core conservatives don't seem to understand is that demanding such all-or-nothing party loyalty pushes moderates -- however uncomfortably -- into the other camp, thereby increasing the likelihood that the liberal extremes they so fear will come to pass.

I'm heartened by these indications that integrity and character are alive and well independent of partisan affiliation.

Ben

I must admit, I don't give a damn why John McCain is doing what he's doing. He's right, he's got moral authority and he's winning my respect. If doing the right thing happens to jibe with what's good politically, great. It happens too rarely.

Last week, I wrote both my senators and McCain about this issue. And I never write letters to my representatives.

But our situation now is morally outrageous. Who have we become, that, as Dan said, habeaus corpus is treated as a radical liberal idea? Can we really be a nation of freedom and detain people for months or years without charging them with anything, then release them - if they get out at all - without explanation or apology? If this is what we're building in Iraq, it's certainly not a democracy. It's a raw assertion of power.

If Americans don't care about things like this, we've lost our soul. As a nation, our unique position is that we're linked not by tribe or ethnicity or race long-shared history, but by ideas. We're united by belief in democracy and freedom. If we sell those beliefs out to protect "us" from "them," we no longer have a national reason to exist.

I can't help but feel we're at a crossroads - and maybe even a long ways down a very dark alley. If John McCain makes political hay by bringing us back, great. I might even vote for him.

(Note: I'm not reading the post as a critique of McCain, just responding to it's points).

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