Reason. Thoughtfulness. Discretion. Modesty.
These are the words I would use to describe Bob Brown, I first met him in 2001 and was impressed with his dedication to the office of Secretary of State as a largely non-partisan office. While elected with a party moniker it was emblematic of an age we have since left. The office was for those seasoned legislators who cared deeply about the functionality and inner workings of our elections, not using the office for partisan reasons as we see so often today from our current officeholder, Mr. Stapleton.
Bob Brown was Montana Secretary of State from 2000-2004 and the Republican nominee for Governor in 2004, as well as spending 26 years in the Montana Legislature.
Bob Brown knew their was a line that was not crossed, even in the most heated battles. He knew that partisan games could be set aside to come to governing consensus and attempts at compromise.
Bob Brown reminds me a lot of John McCain. While I disagreed wholeheartedly with McCain on many crucial issues, including nearly everything on foreign policy, I could respect the attempt to accomplish bipartisan bills, when it made sense.
On that note, Bob Brown has been on a tear lately, on the passing of John McCain he stated:
The demise of the Republican Party pretty much coincides with the passing of John McCain.
He has decried the rise of Trumpism:
on the Republican side, there is overwhelming submission to a single individual who has no core philosophy of any kind. That does not constitute a political party.
There could be no more vivid contrast than between Trump and McCain. Both are flawed and fallible. But while McCain has a history of expressing remorse and regret for his mistakes, Trump is utterly incapable of either. McCain has been guided by a moral compass. That is something Trump, in both his political and personal lives, seems never to have had.
Bob Brown has no agenda behind these statements. He is not like David Frum who uses his disagreements with Trump to make himself more famous or inject himself into debates where it is unnecessary. Bob Brown is obviously a Republican who is deeply troubled at the direction of politics in America and particularly the party that he represented during 30 years in office.
I have written often of John McCain as the last of his kind, a man who knew that George W. Bush and Karl Rove had used the dirtiest tricks against him to steal the Republican Presidential nomination in 2000 and after that sought to reform elections with groundbreaking bipartisan campaign finance reform known as McCain-Feingold campaign finance act.
John McCain has passed, but it is good to see that some shred of rationality exists in a party that deeply needs many more Bob Browns standing up and speaking out for sanity and the direction of our country.