The Spectacle Blog

Leaching Away

By on 11.8.06 | 9:20AM

One big shock last night was the defeat of Iowa GOP Rep. Jim Leach. He's a centrist, one whose voting record ordinarily would not make him a particular favorite of conservatives. But there are two sorts of moderates: those who are just weak, as in lacking backbone, shifting in the wind rather than standing firmly for principles. Then there are the (rare) true moderates, people who actually do have a well-defined, well thought-out belief system that they can explain and defend and will do so with courage and grace, a belief sytem which puts them inthe middle of the political spectrum. Jim Leach is one of the latter. A very good man, a deep thinker, a little bit odd perhaps, but a man of principle. He particularly stood on principle in pursuing ethical problems in the Clinton administration. It is a shame he lost. He will be missed.

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