Friday, March 30, 2012

"We Don't Have Enemies In Politics"

Nathan Fletcher, an Iraq hero, has had enough of the GOP wars. As a California state assemblyman, he was one of the few in his party willing to work on a tax compromise with the Democratic governor. Spurned for the GOP mayoral nomination in San Diego in favor of a tea party regular, Fletcher has left the party to run as an independent. He caught the attention of David Brooks at the New York Times, who reports:

[Fletcher] declared, “I believe it’s more important to solve a problem than to preserve that problem to use on a campaign. I am willing to work or share or give all the credit to someone if the idea is good. I don’t believe we have to treat people we disagree with as an enemy. I’ve fought in a war. I have seen the enemy. We don’t have enemies in our political environment here.”

Fletcher is the decided underdog in the June 5 voting. But he represents a nationally important test case. Can the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, who were trained to be ruthlessly pragmatic, find a home in either political party? Can center-right moderates find a home in the GOP, even in coastal California? As the two parties become more insular, is it possible to mount an independent alternative?

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