I suppose Virginia’s recently hammered-out, but not perfect by half, transportation bill is a “model” for legislators in Washington, D.C. to follow…Well, that’s what Sen. Tim Kaine (Virginia) said in his first speech on the US Senate floor Wednesday.
Kaine stated, “The lesson from what happened in Richmond is the economy benefits from a balanced approach, and an imbalanced approach is not going to be the way that we get to a solution that’s good for the economy and good for people.”
If Kaine has aspirations for higher political office, say President of the United States, he has been moving along a conciliatory political path that could distinguish him from his less-than-compromise friendly colleagues in the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately for some legislators, anyways, their mere presence in the last congress puts them at a conciliatory disadvantage relative to the recently minted Sen. Tim Kaine earlier this year.
Tim Kaine, of course, campaigned for the US Senate largely on a platform of compromise and bipartisanship. So Kaine’s use of the Virginia transportation bill, a bill that garnered fairly widespread bipartisan political support, as an example of bipartisanship to emulate is consistent with his own political message.
In these less-than-friendly political times, it’s difficult to discern genuinely good politicians. That is, politicians who care more about the political image and the political gain of looking like the ‘politician of reason’ than actually being that politician who genuinely acts for the good of the country. With Tim Kaine, however, I believe he is one of those politicians who genuinely wants to do the right thing for the country. Sure, if political gain comes from it, so much the better!
Regardless of Kaine’s true political motives, there’s no question that he’s right about taking a balanced approach to political issues like economic policy. Whether your left or right, up or down, or somewhere in between, the surest way to peace and prosperity is through compromise, not intransigence.