Saturday, April 20, 2013

Who Are The Non-Extremists? Where Are They When We NeedThem?

Kevin Drum asserts "petty details are what the blogosphere was invented for." That statement of purpose allows for a lot of creative argument, so I'll try to start one.

Over at Dakota War College, commenter Joshua Haeder asserts political extremism is rampant:
Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Barak Obama, Barbara Boxer just a few of the long list [of Democratic Party extremists]. Yes there is an equal list on the other side, we can go through them if you’d like. Both sides have extremists, saying they don’t would simply be ignorance. We can certainly go to a conversation about a larger list on both sides.
I played contrarian and asked for a short list of non-extremists. So far the only response has been Ken Santema's assertion, "It took a lot more thinking for me to come up with some non-extermists from each side….." Santema, unfortunately, doesn't list the politicians he considers non-extremists.

I'll ask the question here. Are there any national Republicans that South Dakota Democrats don't consider extremists? Are there national Democrats that South Dakota Republicans don't consider extremists? Leave some answers in the comments.  By the way Libertarians can feel free to pick from either party.


Ken Santema said...

I think the question is interesting because extremism is relative to where a person is.

But at the national level I would say Republican Michael Grimm is about as non-extremist as you can get. Even though he was brought into office by the Tea Party movement, he has shown himself to be open to all views. Even if he disagrees with other views he seems to acknowledge opponents remarks.

From the Democrat side Ben Nelson used to show promise. However his vote for ACA ticked off the voters in Nebraska enough he decided not to run again last year.

Both of the above politicians have taken stances against their party and seemed to consider multiple viewpoints.

Now as a Libertarian I would consider politicians such as Ron Paul (even though he is retired) or Justin Amash would be the least extremist. But I have a feeling most non-libertarians of both parties would disagree with me on that one.

Kal Lis said...


I agree with your first paragraph. That's why I wanted to see who others would consider non-extremists.

I found this article at the American Conservative. It make s the point that we seem to change out minds about what it means to be extreme:
"n the first two years of the Clinton administration, the Democratic Congress passed an assault-weapons ban, a tax hike, and a bill criminalizing anti-abortion protesters (the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or FACE, Act). Clinton tried unsuccessfully to abolish the ban on homosexuals serving in the military—a rather shocking idea in 1993—while his wife championed a healthcare overhaul much more progressive than Obamacare. Today Bill Clinton is remembered as a welfare-reforming moderate, but when he had the chance he pushed the liberal agenda as far as it would go—and farther.

By contrast, when Obama had a similarly strong hand in Congress, his most left-wing accomplishment was getting onto the statute books a healthcare reform that bore striking similarities to the Heritage Foundation’s 1993 alternative to Hillarycare. Yet even some quite intelligent people will tell you that Obama is the most left-wing president in American history. He’s not even the most left-wing president in the last 20 years."

I don't know if I can name a politician, but as an independent, I find commentator Matthew Dowd to be pretty reasonable. he was in the Bush II administration, and I found nothing reasonable about that administration.

I don't know much about Amash; I'll have to give him a look