Sunday, December 26, 2004

So what has happened to leadership in politics? When did Senators, members of what is supposed to be the more thoughtful and refined chamber of Congress, knuckle under to political gamesmanship. Certainly politics is part of the calculous, but the lack of thoughtful discussion or any type of dissent is a distressing indicator. The Senate used to be a place where the traditions and history tended to win out over small-time individual and party tendencies. There will always be party influences, but there was an independence and freedom granted to Senators that their colleagues in the House would never experience. The House has already been afflicted by an overly enthusiastic adherence to a party line, to the detriment of any form of dialogue. It would be disappointing to see similar tendencies develop in the Senate.

From Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo.
He's frequently talked up by the White House as someone who they think they can get to come across. And here's what the Journal said about him last week ...

Mr. Nelson says he is "not saying no to some level of privatization " and is spending the holiday recess assembling a template for overhaul. He says he won't support a plan that could destabilize the current system and says he will insist on "real accounting" in tracking the cost. Like Sens. Conrad and Graham, he doesn't rule out painful steps like cutting benefits. "It's always an option," Mr. Nelson says. "It's sort of the last thing you do."

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