My articles '10 Republicans Who Should Go Away' and '10 Democrats Who Should Go Away' both made the 'Most Popular on HuffPost' list two weeks in a row, making it clear that:
1. There are lots of Republicans and Democrats people really would like to see go away.
2. Thousands of Republicans don't like me.
3. People like top 10 lists.
Due to their overwhelming popularity, I've decided to run a regular 'Top Ten' list, as they are fun to do, and they generate some fantastic debate.
So, in the latest installment of the 'Top Ten' list, I thought it might be a more positive to list 10 Republicans who should stay in the political and media arena for their good behavior.
1. Colin Powell
Powell managed to extricate himself from serious political circles the day he presented the 'evidence' of Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction to the United Nations. The entire debacle was shameful, and Powell was deeply embarrassed about the matter and clearly wracked with guilt. His name tarnished, Powell slipped away from the limelight after Bush's first term and remained largely out of sight for a number of years. However, Powell re-emerged during the Presidential election to elect Barack Obama, stinging his friend John McCain, and blasting his choice of running mate. Powell said of Palin:
"Now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Sen. McCain made."
And with that, Powell bounced straight back into credibility. If the Republican party wants to survive, it must start listening to people like Powell, who are above all, sane.
2. Ron Paul
Ron Paul won pretty much every Republican debate hands down, proving that brains and ideas won't get you far in the GOP. The doctor from Texas ultimately failed because he decided to tell the truth about the massive hypocrisy and corruption of the Republican Party, and tried to offer something similar to the original Republicanism of small government, civil liberties, and a humble foreign policy. Paul's small government libertarianism may be outdated (probably by a hundred years or so), but his analysis of the United States fiscal and foreign policy were incredibly accurate and insightful.
On Bush's version of capitalism, Paul said:
Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hike
On the war in Iraq, Paul less kind:
Cliches about supporting the troops are designed to distract from failed policies, policies promoted by powerful special interests that benefit from war, anything to steer the discussion away from the real reasons the war in Iraq will not end anytime soon
Amen. Please stick around Ron
3. Chuck Hagel
This is what a real 'Maverick' looks like. Despite the Nebraska Senator's vote for use of force against Iraq in 2002, the Senate's No. 2 Republican Leader stood staunchly against its continued occupation once he realized he'd been repeatedly lied to. In 2007, Hagel joined the Democrats in supporting legislation to begin removing troops from Iraq within 120 days, and he described the plan to build up more troops in Iraq as "the worst foreign policy blunder since Vietnam." Hagel stood firmly against the Bush Administration's attempt to instigate conflict with Iran, suggesting that impeachment chargescould be brought up against a President who was unresponsive to the political will of the public. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Hagel was the foil to Joe Liberman, praising Obama and criticizing the GOP and it's nominee. Unlike other Republicans, Hagel has refused to trade principles for popularity.
4. Peggy Noonan
It is impossible not to respect Noonan as a writer. She is clear, reasoned and very well informed. Her traditional conservatism is refreshing for liberals to read as she offers sharp criticism that doesn't lecture, and doesn't assume superiority. Noonan has been on the wrong side of pretty much every argument since Bush was inaugurated until it became abundantly clear that the Republican party had been hijacked by a bunch of ideological nut cases. When Sarah Palin hit the scene, Noonan had clearly had enough and spoke out forcefully about her party's plummet into insanity. Here's what she had to say about the Governor from Alaska:
In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.....
In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.
Noonan may be on the Right, but she tries hard to be fair in her commentary, a much appreciated attribute in the world of talking head warfare and vicious partisanship.
5. Andrew Sullivan
The British born, Gay, Catholic, Conservative blog maestro isn't really a Republican anymore (given his support for John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008), but Sullivan maintains his roots in 'small c' conservatism proudly. Sullivan is a huge asset to political discourse in American. Sullivan's blog is one of the best around, and his unique perspective on current events makes 'The Daily Dish' a must read. Sullivan has been a voice of conservative sanity while the Republican party spirals into oblivion, providing constant reminders that the clowns in power are a nothing more than a twisted aberration. Sullivan is anti torture, pro environment, and pro gay, proving conservatives aren't all mean SOBs. Sullivan's anti Clinton tirades are somewhat tiresome and his views on the economic crisis aren't that well thought out, but overall, he is a powerful voice for true conservatism and a welcome one at that.
To read the next five, click here.