Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will. This is more than just a matter of "framing," although clarity of language, thought, and heart are required. It's a matter of actually having faith in the American people's ability to hear a real and authentic debate about the issues that matter.
- Barack Obama, September 2005
If you look over to the left of these words, you'll see a list of blogs representing some people who got fed up with the ideological rantings of the extreme left and are trying to have a different conversation about politics.
Today I'm wondering if there aren't Republicans who have gotten fed up with the mirror image of that extremism on the right and might be looking for some pragmatism as well. I'm also thinking about what kind of conversation we could spark if we started talking to one another. I'd guess that we wouldn't always agree, but six years ago then Senator Barack Obama threw out that challenge to us as quoted above. We hear lots of griping from various quarters about his so-called attempts at bipartisanship. And yet, I think he's been referring all along to how we talk to each other more than how he talks to John Boehner. But we haven't done much on the blogs to ever give that a go.
I know that a couple of blogs from the right switched gears during the Bush years. Andrew Sullivan's The Dish and Little Green Footballs come to mind. But I wonder if there are other smaller places where an identified conservative or two might be hanging out who is just as fed up with their brand of poutragers as we are with ours. I'd be open to starting a blog roll of "Pragmatic Conservative Blogs" where we could read and perhaps even initiate some back and forth conversation.
That would be one way I think we could live out what it is President Obama stands for and "be the change we want to see." So if you know of any blogs like that - please let me know in the comments. And if you have other ideas about how we could engage pragmatic conservatives and/or independents, I'd love to hear about it.