No, not Jim Webb. I'm talking about the old patrician, John Warner, last of the dying breed (at least among Republicans) of gentlemen in the Senate. I may disagree with many of his opinions, but I rarely doubt that his votes are principled and thoughtful. John Warner is the only Republican I ever cast a vote for. It was in the 1996 Senate race, and I voted for Warner to thank him for saving Virginia from the humiliation of having Oliver North elected as our Senator. When Jollie Ollie captured the Republican nomination for Senate in 1994, Warner recruited a fairly moderate Republican (Marshall Coleman) to run as an independent, which split the Republican vote and allowed Chuck Robb to be re-elected. So, I've always thought of Warner as a decent sort, and his comments yesterday reinforced that thinking.
You may remember Liz's post from yesterday about the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff statement as to what the military considers "immoral": homosexuality and officers who sleep with other officers' wives.
Well, Senator Warner had something to say about that: "I respectfully but strongly disagree with the chairman's view that homosexuality is immoral[.]"
Maybe you don't think this is a big deal, and maybe I think this is too big a deal. But John Warner is 80 years old and has been serving the Old Dominion, which up until recently has been a redder than red state, in the Senate for almost 30 years. He has fairly high approval ratings and probably is the best liked politician in the commonwealth. So a remark like this, coming from the mouth of one of the Senate lions, not to mention a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, smells like progress to me.