Thursday, November 03, 2005

Gang of 14 Represent Hope

For those of you who are getting sick of political partisanship take heart, for there are at least 14 U.S. Senators who are willing to break with their respective parties to come together and get something done for us. To all you partisans, beware, you will no longer have the satisfaction of your party pulling off any extreme “stunts” to further embolden the party hardliners. These names found in the so called “Gang of 14,” will frequently appear in various other contexts in their efforts to do the right thing by the people. A moderate approach has proven again and again to be the best way of dealing with so many critical issued we face in this country, and will continue to be. The original intent of the “Gang of 14,” sometimes called the “Mod Squad,” was to resolve partisan conflict in the Senate over judicial nominees, and was successful in preventing a filibuster by Democrats and the use of the “nuclear option” by Republicans which would have banned the use of those filibusters in parliamentary procedure. Currently there is some discussion that the Alito nomination could be secured if the group decides to stick together and support him.

The group consists of 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans who are widely considered to be political moderates. Republican Senator John McCain is a maverick who is probably the most respected and popular among the 14. McCain has also been heavily involved in campaign finance reform, media reform, ending pork barrel spending, the 9/11 Commission, and is currently leading an effort to establish specific guidelines for treatment of detainees suspected of links to terrorism not protected as P.O.W.s under the Geneva convention, along with numerous other populist endeavors. McCain is also on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee currently investigating lobbyist Jack Abrimoff and his connections with the recently indicted Republican Tom DeLay. McCain has never been afraid to speak out against members of his own party if he feels they are in the wrong, including the President, although he is supportive of most of Bush’s policies. Other members of the Gang of 14 include Democrats Joseph Lieberman, Robert Byrd, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Daniel Inouye, Mark Pryor, and Ken Salazar. Republicans included besided McCain are Lindsey Graham, John Warner, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Mike DeWine, and Lincoln Chafee. Many of these individuals are heavily active in various committees working on bipartisan matters concerning national security, defense, intelligence, eminent domain, education, and of course judicial appointments. They stand as proof that in fact reasonable Republicans and Democrats can compromise on important issues in order to get things done for the American people while disregarding partisan criticism.

For more details on each member of the “Gang of 14” and the original purpose of the group itself, see the following link:

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