Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Why the rush to praise Sen. Warner?

I had friend in high school, and reading over the outpouring of praise for John Warner (here and elsewhere) brings to mind something she often said about her boyfriend – “But he’s really great when he’s not hitting me!”

Yeah.  Some things really shouldn’t be overlooked.

I really don’t understand this rush to praise – as decent and honorable – someone who hasn’t been that at all, when it’s come to the important things over the past six years.  Does it arise from some need to convince ourselves that there really are decent Republicans left out there?  The traditional aversion of the eyes from the bad that comes when someone announces a retirement?  Perhaps that he’s been your Senator for as long as you can remember?

What purpose does it serve to excuse his real and substantive failure to stand up for the Constitution, the military, and basic human decency these past few years?


Adjust Your Tinfoil Hat


Off to the Shenandoah Mountains


  1. Dannyboy

    Why praise the man as decent and honorable?

    Because he was.

    In a time of partisan hacks and vicious divides, Warner was one of the few that we could trust to look for compromise, even if he was a conservative.

    Look, I respect a lot of the things you say, man. But this is just a little too far. There’s a reason Warner has been in office for 30 years. There’s a reason he’s getting all this praise today, including from Warner, Kaine, and Webb. John Warner was a good man, and a good Senator. If you are SO partisan that you can’t see that… well, then that makes it easier to understand why you and the Senator don’t have meshing philosophies.

  2. MB

    No, I don’t fetishize “civility” so much that it blinds me to the substantive damage that someone does. Further, all of his good work earlier in his career is outweighed, for me, by his failures in this term. I do believe that someone’s character is most visible when times are toughest, and Warner repeatedly failed to do the right thing – the Military Commissions Act, giving the President cover for torture, etc.

    I’m quite comfortable not having a meshing philosophy with the Senator. That doesn’t make me partisan. That makes me someone who cares more about doing what’s right, and not doing what will benefit my political party. Warner, Kaine, and Webb have to give lip service to the muddle-headed masses that see value in empty bipartisanship. I don’t.

  3. As Dannyboy suggests, so frequently did Warner act like a Democrat, it’s surprising that you feel that he doesn’t meet your definition of a “decent Republicans,” i.e., a Republican who acts like a Democrat.

  4. MB

    James, you wouldn’t recognize decent if it jumped up and down in front of you.

  5. I think what has happened is that the current group of putzes in office have lowered our standards so much that even John Warner’s failed terms as a U.S. Senator look pretty decent and civilized in comparison.

    It is a sad, sad state of affairs when liberals heap praise on a conservative just because he did not act like a frathouse bully, and completely ignore his record of supporting the war in Iraq.

    Having said that – if Warner feels somewhat empowered by the praise, and by his new status as a nothing-to-lose senator, he might actually do some good while still in office. It is clear he regrets his blind support for this greedy and illegal war. Perhaps he can make a difference finally.

    Time will tell.

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