Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Centrist Coalition

Looks like there are at least a few level heads in Congress:
As a veteran of Illinois politics, U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson is no stranger to a culture of back-biting, name-calling and cliques pervading the halls of power.

But when the Republican got to Congress, he found out things were even more bloodthirsty.

And that, said Johnson, is why he and another equally flustered colleague, Democrat Steve Israel of New York, are announcing the formation Wednesday of a new centrist caucus dedicated to tempering the win-at-all-cost attitude pervading Congress while preaching the virtue of getting people who disagree to get along.
This may be an uphill battle, seeing they don't have the clout of seniority, but leadership from both sides have made statements.
A Hastert spokesman said the speaker will support efforts to reduce partisanship, but he declined comment on specifics until Johnson and Israel laid out their plans in full.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who rips into Republicans with regularity, has also given her support to the new caucus. Former Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley and former Republican Minority Leader Bob Michel of Illinois, whose leadership harkens back to times when things were more congenial, are also ardent supporters, saying the time has come for a change.
Efforts like this have been tried before, but this times it seems like there is a certain level of sincerity. Whether it is PR smoke and mirrors is yet to be seen.

At least here in the Minnesota Blogosphere, we have learned to play nice together.


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