We (on the Left) tend to paint Republicans with a big brush. It's easy to do when they seem to vote as a rigid unified bloc, and when they all sign pledges and statements that often run counter to their pledge to uphold the Constitution. But like the Dems, members of that party run the gamut of outlooks.
Texas Governor (and presidential hopeful) Rick Perry fits the stereotype. He tries to come off as an affable Reagan clone, but has all the charm and apparent intellect of George W. Bush's mean redneck cousin. After his comment about treating Fed Chairman Ben Bernenke "ugly", he encountered some ugliness himself
, as protesters at a NH event let him know what they thought of him.
During that press junket, he told a boy
that evolution is a " theory that’s out there. It’s got some gaps in it..." He's also said that global warming is a hoax
. It's pretty clear that it was Perry that Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) was thinking of when he said that Republicans "are allergic to science"
They also seem to be allergic to common sense. Sen. Top Coburn (R-OK) recently said "It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor"
. He later tried to play that comment off as a joke. Yeah, ha-ha... hilarious.
But there are a few glowing embers there in the darkness (not exactly flaming liberalism - they ARE Republicans after all). Presidential hopeful John Huntsman has distanced himself from his science-challenged party members by declaring "I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy"
. He's crazy to think the Tea Party conservatives in his party will vote for him in the primary with THAT attitude.
Another cheer for a Republican meeting minimum expectations goes out to Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) who was selected to be on the joint committee (super Congress) for the debt plan. He has vowed that there will be no cuts to Medicare and Social Security
. I'm sure Paul Ryan (R-WI) will not be happy about that. No telling whether he will be in favor of tax increases though.
One Republican that IS in favor of tax increases is Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). He said at a town hall meeting that he agreed with Warren Buffet's call
to close tax loopholes that benefit the rich. It would be nice to have HIM on that Super Congress committee.
So of course these aren't bright shining examples of Republican progressiveism. There's no Nixon there, creating the EPA. But considering how far the Republicans have slid to the right with the Tea Party extremists pulling as hard as they can, it's nice to see (and acknowldege) those that are willing to buck their party's hard line and think for themselves.
Maybe this is some of that hope and change we were all looking for...