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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

a little bit of political courage « Previous | |Next »
May 24, 2003

This US. Senator has lots of political courage. Have a read of this and this

A different view of the US Senator can be found here The noble US Senator does have a shocking background as a southern Democrat. A true blue Dixie boy. In spite of his origins and background he is critiquing the national security state.

Oh for some more Australian Senators who find a bit of this man's political courage in standing up to the national security state and then do the same in Australia. There are so few Senators wioth political courage in Australia. Despite the inherent power of the Senate vis-a-vis the executive as the house of review so few of our Senators are little more than hacks who just toe the party line.

Their standard line is: Oh I cannot say that. I have to check to see if its alright. I have to go and make a phone call. Excuse me for a minute. Yes I can say that, but not that. The implication? The Senator's mind is not his/her own. The Party rules. The Senator is but a functionary. Their career depends upon it.

The more independent Senators we have in the Senate the better. Then we may see some political courage.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:04 PM | | Comments (2)


I can think of one Australian senator who speaks his mind in a similar fashion.. name of Brown.

Byrd does it's true have a Trent Lott style past. But he has renounced it. Mal Fraser still looks like an Easter Island statue with razors up it's arse, but he too has turned back toward the rest of us, arms outstretched. One of the principal architects of the tabloid, dumbed down, propagandistic mode of US conservatism was one Lee Atwater, who made on his deathbed what amounted to a mea culpa.. certainly a statement of regret for his contribution.

Of course you do get the Bill Haydens and the Christopher Hitchens's who tack the other way after half time. But the point is a person's past shouldn't count nearly as much as their present and the promise of their future. Byrd is being brave simply by making sense in a country starved of that commodity.

Hollingworth is different - he made grave mistakes in the past but hasn't given any current indication he realises that gravity. Oh he admits errors of judgement, but implies that was the standard of the time and lethally for him, made some unlovely speculations about the come hither role of the victims. That was the beginning of the end for him. He gave the impression it was a storm in a teacup but it was a bit more than that for most of the rest of us.

Sheehan in the SMH today runs true to form in his defence of the GG and his roughing up of Lindsay Tanner. It made me wonder if he had children and if so, whether he'd have been quite so sanguine about Dr H's omissions had Sheehan minor been one of the little devils who'd led those priests on.

Yes I had Brown in mind too. I was hoping that others may have come with some more names. Alas, nothing.