"He betrayed President Bush and ALL
Republicans, now it is time for payback."
Jim Barnett Chairman, Vermont
Ah, yes. The first volley in the long anticipated Republican response
to Jim Jeffords.
And who, pray tell, is Jim Jeffords?
For those who have lived in a vacuum in the last 4 years, Senator Jim
Jeffords was the Republican who refused to drink the neocon Kool-Aid.
In 2001, after 26 years in Congress, Jim Jeffords left the Republican
party and became an Independent. In doing so, he gave control of the
Senate over to the Democrats, and became public enemy number one to
the hardcore partisans who believe that 275 million voices are justly
served by the extremist subset of a single political party.
Why would a lifelong Republican do such a thing, especially when the
House, Senate and the White House were finally under Republican
He saw the writing on the wall for bipartisanship, something he
initially believed that Bush would change after the highly divisive
Clinton years. He was alarmed by the stacking of hardcore partisans in
conference committees. In short, he realized that the moderate wing of
the Republican party was fully marginalized. Thus, the players were in
place, the agenda was set and the neocon policy machine was primed and
ready to get busy.
With that in mind, he did the one thing that career politicians avoid
at all costs: He bit the hand that fed him so that the branches of
government would be forced to compromise.
That is courage.
It is also an indictment of just how far we have strayed from the
path. The life blood of Democracy is our participation in the
political process. Public service plays a big role in this. Sadly, it
is where we have fallen short.
Because we have failed to uphold the high standards that public
By definition, public service is predicated upon service to your
fellow man. Unfortunately, we have sat idly as public service has
morphed into blind obedience to a rule making elite.
Today I look at many politicians, and I am ashamed. Ashamed that they
are elected year after year, ashamed that their only talent is gaining
the confidence of special interests. Ashamed that the voters of this
country will endorse a politician based only on his allegiance to a
When the founding fathers envisioned our government, they did not
expect to create a career path for power slaves and greed heads.
Jeffords is exactly the type of politician that the founding fathers
envisioned. One who recognizes the immorality and illegitimacy of
partisan politics. One who puts his own soul, and his concern for the
people he represents, above his political career.
I wish there were more like him.
(Nimbus' Blog: Marrow)