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September 19, 2007 09:56 PM UTC

A New Progessive Ken Salazar?

  • by: Steve Balboni

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Okay, so he’s still more conservative than most of us would like. Still, Senator Salazar has had a pretty good week.

On Monday, as Pols noted, he returned from Iraq with a new position on war funding and a decidedly liberal position at that.

He said if the administration continued to resist a strategic shift in Iraq, it might become time for Congress to attach conditions or withhold military money to force a change – an idea he has resisted in the past.

Now today comes a change of position on Habeas Corpus. Salazar (and every Senate Democrat) voted in favor of restoring the right of Habeas Corpus to those detained by the U.S. Last year Salazar was one of 11 Senate Democrats who voted in favor of the suspension of Habeas. Today’s amendment ultimately failed due to a GOP filibuster but those of us here in Colorado can take away Salazar’s vote as a small victory.

Salazar’s vote last year was seen as a betrayal of the most basic civil rights by more than just the activists in the Democratic Party. Indeed many prominent Colorado Democrats voiced their great displeasure privately to Senator Salazar.

We will have to wait and see if this trend continues but these are very positive turns from Salazar.


14 thoughts on “A New Progessive Ken Salazar?

  1. I’m having trouble getting past how you are using the label “liberal.”  and “conservative.”

    Let me offer my opinion that the truly CONSERVATIVE position on Iraq is that we have no bizness invading other countries that pose no threat,
    and that we ought to be backing out of that anti-freedom, anti-democracy, anti-“right of self determination” endeavor post haste. 
    A leading conservative voice on this issue is Ron Paul. 

    From how I understand the concept of “Conservatism,” the position that Senator Salazar is moving toward on Iraq is increasingly Conservative.

    I would say that it was exceedingly liberal, but not libertarian, of President Bush to invade Iraq in order to bestow Democracy on them. 
    I would say that, in this one very important respect, the neoconservatives who persuaded the President to invade were liberal extremists.

    Similar argument for Habeas Corpus.
    It is characteristically Conservative to want to stick to,
    or in this case go back to,
    our philosophical and political roots. 

    It is characteristically Liberal to experiment with untested new schemes that may or may not jeopardize this 231-year-old political experiment in self governance.

    1. You might be referring to old liberalism  (19th century?) while the other posters are referring to contemporary times: e.g. welfare-state.

      Either way, “liberal” and “conservative” are overused to the point they don’t describe anything.

      The larger issue is not whether or not the way Salazar voted was liberal or conservative, but whether or not I thought he acted appropriately. In this instance he did.

      1. And your examply of “welfare-state” still doesn’t hit it, since contemporary liberals are for a government “for the people, by the poeple, of the people,” which would be in the best interest of the poeple, while contemporary conservatives are for a goverment “for wallstreet, by wallstreet, of wallstreet.”

        “Welfare” or big government is not really the issue, but rather who the government is going to serve; being which class of people.

        So, if you believe Salazar was acting in the best interests of the people, he was voting as a liberal.

    2. have you been confused by all American political discourse for the last 50 years?

      You are using traditional definitions which have no bearing on modern American politics. I’m not at all sure how someone who has followed politics in the United States at any point in the last 50 years couldn’t get past my usage of the term “liberal” and “conservative.”

      Honestly, this is an argument an undergrad who just finished his first political philosophy class.

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