Monday, January 15, 2007 not all of them are disgusting dirtbags

I don't know that its out of character for TJ and myself to find ourselves chummy with our political counterparts on the right. But it certainly isn't common.

Today however seems to be the day for the both of us to lay down our arms against the right-leaning foe for a moment and appreciate those among them where we can find common ground. TJ with his look at the Constitution Party's effort to end the Iraq occupation and me, I had today what I consider to be a very congenial chat with Oregonians In Action legal beagle Ross Day.

I called Ross today to get background information on something and it turned into an enlightening and fascinating chat, at least from my end.

I've had so much exposure to Oregon Republicans who seem to be consistently involved in one nefarious thing or another its easy to forget that its wrong to tar the entire group with that same brush.

Given that our chat was on background (meaning that Ross doesn't expect to be quoted from our discussion today in any way) I intend to honor that and not go into even the most casual parts of our discussion. But I was surprised and honestly a bit heartened to find the threads of common ground in our vision for Oregon and the US.

It a sad commentary that I should find this surprising: that a conservative and a progressive can find common ground. Politics has become so polarized in many quarters that it seems virtually impossible to find a place to begin discussion. That's not to say that Ross and I don't have a lot to disagree on. Its likely that when TJ and I really start digging in to Measure 37, we'll make Ross' blood boil. But it seems that nowadays its so difficult to find people willing to open up and discuss things honestly--trying together from a common place.

I'm grateful that Ross afforded me the opportunity to appreciate where he's coming from on the places we agree and perhaps build some understanding in the places we don't. Lately we've been hearing from our leaders in Salem that they want to do this and I'm skeptical that it can happen. Maybe there are more Ross-types down there than I'm aware of--but I don't think so.

I'll still smack him around when I think he's wrong (and I would expect the same treatment in return). But I know at least Ross is trying to be thoughtful about what he's doing and why he's doing it.

That goes a long way with me.