On one hand, it's always nice to hear a Republican call out our party for its insanity. On the other hand, it's depressing to be reminded that such Republicans need to be out of office before they get the courage to speak up.
Judd Gregg was a thoughtful, effective Senator from a region that no longer elects many Republicans. Too bad he's a dying breed.
As one listens to the continuing clanging of the Republican presidential campaign, one simple fact is becoming apparent: Viable proposals on the big issues that face our country are difficult to find.
The candidates are allowing any effective and doable policies to be marginalized by their zeal to speak to a blogosphere electorate that does not have to consider approaches that work on difficult problems such as our deficits, immigration reform and energy policy, because they have no responsibility to fix those problems.
This electorate is simply out there somewhere in the cloud shouting down anyone who disagrees with them, and requiring GOP presidential candidates to kowtow to their excess or be excoriated.
The practical effect of this new form of influence in the political process is that any policy that does not meet a litmus test of irrational ideological purity is rejected. Ironically, the purity sought guarantees the failure of the policy.
This policy mayhem leading to a virtual absence of substantive proposals on the complex issues of our times might be driven by the nature of some of our candidates.
It is a field in which candidates who for years have been considered at the margin of the effectiveness range now find themselves being looked to for leadership. Some of the stronger players who actually have had to govern and who speak with conservative voices never got into the field.