Monday, August 09, 2004

Interesting profile of Sen. Bill Frist. The most revealing part: his critics point out that his major failing is his lack of willingness to compromise (surprise!). He will adamantly focus in on minor issues, despite what many deem as a larger good.

It's educational to learn of an example where Frist did this. The article cites:

Some senators and lobbyists say Frist appears too unwilling to risk setbacks on measures he opposes in order to clear the path for bigger priorities. For example, one of the amendments pushed on the class-action bill would have required many U.S. companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The "climate change" measure's chief sponsor, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said he did not know whether he had enough votes to pass it, but there was only one way to find out. "Someday we've got to learn that you've got to allow votes on things," McCain recently told reporters. "Otherwise we might as well be the House of Representatives."

So, we learn that 1) Frist will remain stubbornly firm on something anti-environmental, 2) despite the fact that a fellow Republican sponsored the legislation! It shows you just how far to the right Frist is and yet how sane & moderate McCain remains, regardless of how far his party has moved to the right.

In addition,

Some advocacy groups complain Frist is too eager to please his party's conservative base. Among the angriest are backers of the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention, a multinational agreement that seemed within reach of Senate ratification last spring after decades of debates and setbacks. Despite the Foreign Relations Committee's unanimous endorsement, Frist kept the measure from reaching a Senate vote after conservative writers -- most notably Phyllis Schlafly -- attacked it and the White House visibly softened its support.

"This is a complete cave-in to the right wing," said Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust.

All the more reason we need a change that goes beyond just the #1 & #2 office holders.

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