Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Sen. Saxby Chambliss

We hosted Sen. Saxby Chambliss on campus today. He’s in an unexpectedly tight race for reelection, running against his fraternity brother. (I should add that Chambliss and his Senate colleague Johnny Isakson attended UGA at the same time and married sorority sisters; Jim Martin, Chambliss’ challenger is two years younger. The Southern equivalents of Skull and Bones are the fraternities and sororities at the flagship state university.)

But back to Sen. Chambliss. He spoke very impressively on energy policy and quite lucidly on our current economic woes, winning over colleagues who aren’t exactly your typical Republican voters. (I won’t swear that they’ll vote for him, but they surely won’t slit their wrists if he wins reelection.) Chambliss has a style that isn’t exactly post-partisan, but his partisanship is subtle and understated, a model for what might work and win in this very bad Republican year.

In response to a question about the partisan climate in Washington, D.C., he made two interesting points, one institutional and one cultural. The institutional one is familiar: generally speaking the Senate is less bitterly partisan than the House (a function of statewide races, often with relatively evenly divided electorates). The other built upon his experience attending a weekly prayer breakfast, for Senators only. When you hold hands and pray with someone, he said, you don’t care whether they’re Republican or Democrat. I think he’s right. I seem to recall that Hillary Clinton has attended those breakfasts. Has Barack Obama? Or has he been too busy running a post-partisan campaign?

Discussions - 4 Comments

Sorry to disappoint you evangelicals, but out here in the west holding hands and praying with someone means next to nothing, and certainly does not indicate less rancor, maliciousness, greed, or propensity to evil.

Sorry to disappoint you evangelicals.

Finally an apology "ren"! Your posts are always a disappointment. We appreciate your self insight

I'm not a big fan of the bail-out, but then I'm not up for reelection before an electorate many of whose members demand that "something" be done. And among those who demanded that "something" be done were the small-town and big-city bankers all over Georgia, not to mention the small business owners who comprise one of the big constituencies in the Republican Party here.

He spoke very impressively on energy policy and quite lucidly on our current economic woes

Yes, he speaks - but what does he actually do?

Well let's see, how about the Prescription Drug Giveaway - the largest expansion of the social state since LBJ? Yep, voted for that.

How about the bank bail out bill, which despite being insanely expensive and unfunded (well, I’m 39 so I guess I will be taxed for it for the next 30 years), is also questionable even from a market point of view (and does nothing to fix the cause - easy money policy and political decisions like fannie/freddie? Yep, he voted for that.

Mr. Knippenberg, why don’t you come here to New Mexico? I would like to speak very lucidly about some beach front property we have. We could even pray about it if you wish…;)

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