Honest Politicians?

A while back, I helped write position papers for a Senate candidate. I thought the candidate would make an awful Senator (and events have since proven me right) but I only got involved after hearing the other candidate speak. I am quite grateful that man never became a Senator. I think most of you would be grateful too, regardless of your political leanings.

Hopefully, that establishes some bona fides for me when I say I’m not one of those people who reflexively think that Congress is made up of a bunch of crooks but my own representative or senator is honest. Nevertheless, while I’m not enamored of either of my Senators (Boxer and Feinstein), I do think highly of my representative – Henry Waxman. (Sadly… I’m in the process of moving, and won’t have the pleasure of voting for at least one person without having to hold my nose at the same time.) But then, I’ve thought highly of him for a long time, even before I lived in his district.

Perhaps its because I don’t pay enough attention to politics so, while I have seen some of his investigations, I haven’t seen his negatives. I don’t know. I do know the impression I have is of a guy who is a partisan Democrat, but who will call bull**** on his own side if he thinks he sees it. I get the impression that Tom Coburn is more or less the equivalent on the other side – I may not agree with Coburn on much, but he does seem to stick to his beliefs.

Am I wrong about Waxman and Coburn? Are they really honest or have I missed something? Are there other elected or appointed people in government that are actually honest? I’m interested in your thoughts. (Note… this is not an open thread on dishonest politicians – I don’t think blogger has quite enough capacity to cover that.)