The man who knew too much
I think John Thune's explanation of Bob Corker's occasional heterodoxies is what they call a "Kinsley gaffe":
"I think he’s a guy who’s willing to get down into the weeds," said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who is No. 4 in GOP leadership. "Because he immerses himself in that and understands it so well — the positions he adopts may not always be the ones that everyone else in our conference comes to."
It is true that if you understand policy, you'll frequently come to conclusions at odds with those of the Senate Republican Conference.
Update: Kyle Downey, Thune's press secretary, called to say that this is something of a cheap shot. "Senator Thune was simply being complimentary to Senator Corker," he said. "To interpret this as criticism of his colleagues is ridiculous." And there's something to his point: It's obviously not a bad thing that Thune is standing up for a more moderate member of his party. But I'd still stick with Thune's original comment, and it goes for both sides. If members of the Senate were more knowledgeable about, and more driven by, policy concerns, they'd end up in very different places than they actually do. Wyden-Bennett, for instance, would be the law of the land...
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