For any effort to encourage political independent to survive and thrive, we have to be ready to reward independent, good-faith truth telling no matter who is telling it, and no matter whose ox it gores.
Here's one simple truth as I see it, and the teller is Tim Pawlenty. Quoted at Thinkprogress from his appearance on MSNBC:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) essentially called his party’s congressional leaders liars, saying anybody says they want to cut spending but won’t touch entitlements or defesne is “lying to you”:
HOST: What are you going to cut?
PAWLENTY: If you look at a pie chart of federal outlays, discretionary spending being the red, non-discretionary being the blue. The blue is already over the over the half way mark and it’s growing in double digits. Anybody who comes in here and tells you they’re not going to cut anything other than waste fraud and abuse, they’re not going to touch entitlements — they’re lying to you. If you want to deal with the spending issue, in terms of total federal outlays, you got to deal with interest on the national debt, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — if you have the time I can walk you through my ideas. But that’s the truth, you got to do entitlement reform, particularly if you’re going to hold defense harmless.
Predictably, THINKProgress's focus is expresing glee at a republican who apparently suggested his party leaders were liars. I've got a different takeaway.
Tim Pawlenty is telling the unvarished truth about our federal budget. We should applaud that, and acknowledge its truth and the ramifications that come with it. I could not have LESS interest in any argument about the relative truthiness of party-leading talking heads.
Any sensible independent has to read this and think, "hmm, I am willing to listen to more of what this guy has to say on the federal budget. I think his many not even be relevant to this matter."
More to come.