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June 28, 2008



While Lieberman and Hagel are both at odds with their (caucus) party on issues of foreign policy and national security, they are aligned with their party when it comes to most social and domestic economic issues. So I'm not sure swapping them really accomplishes anything.

I admire Hagel's courage of conviction, though, and I think he would make a good token Republican in an Obama cabinet. Secretary of veteran's affairs seems like the obvious choice (I wouldn't want a Republican as SecDef or SecState).

While I don't agree with either Hagel or Lieberman over a broad range of issues, I like the idea (in the abstract) that a politician's views aren't entirely determined by the letter next to their name. Unfortunately, our system of primaries and general elections with first-past-the-post voting tends to force every candidate to line up in a linear political spectrum. If we had proportional representation an/or one of many systems that allowed voters to express their second or third preference, it's possible we would see more elected officials who stake out positions that don't fit neatly within the Republican or Democratic "coalitions".

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