Maybe they don't seem like farm-subsidy friendly politicians, but still ya gotta respect a civic leader who can say things like this:
While questions continue to arise about the alleged plot to blow up a fuel pipeline beneath JFK Airport and surrounding neighborhoods, some are questioning why New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hasn't had a louder voice since the plot was foiled on Saturday.My thoughts exactly. The best answer to the terrorist threat is not to build a fortress America complete with police state and rampant paranoia. It is to keep on keepin' on.
On Monday, Bloomberg finally weighed in, but his response was not what some would have expected.
"There are lots of threats to you in the world. There's the threat of a heart attack for genetic reasons. You can't sit there and worry about everything. Get a life," he said. [More]
Meanwhile Sen. Hagel is mirroring my own political pilgrimage.
What distinguishes the politician from the political agitator is a lively concern for his own job security. Politicians sometimes say what they believe, but they don't usually say things that might jeopardize their political future. Until recently, Chuck Hagel was a consummate politician, and a successful one at that. He defeated a popular sitting governor in his first Senate race in 1996 and won reelection, in 2002, with 83 percent of the vote. While he occasionally strayed from the GOP fold on foreign policy--an ardent internationalist, he had criticized both the Iraq war and neoconservatism generally--his credentials as a loyal Republican were never in doubt. He has long been a predictable vote on issues of importance to the American Conservative Union, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Christian right. And he remains so. It's not well-known, but Kyoto foe Hagel is still skeptical that humans are triggering global warming. "We always had climate change," he told me during a recent interview. "The issue is what is causing this. We still do not know." [More of an superb article, free subscription required and recommended]While we parse the minute details of nuance and expression of the early debates, I find hope for the Republic in people like these who are increasingly compelled by their beliefs, rather than polls.