"Broadly speaking, there are two strands of conservative thinking in America right now," Rachel said on the show last night. "There's libertarian conservatism on one side, and then there's authoritarian conservatism on the other side. There's small 'leave me alone' government here, and big, intrusive government over here."
The small-government wing of the Republican Party showed up yesterday, somewhat unexpectedly, when 26 Republican members of Congress voted against extending the Patriot Act.
And at the state level, traditional conservatism showed up in Wyoming last month when a pair of Republican lawmakers, both women, spoke out against an anti-abortion bill that would have required doctors to tell women their fetuses can feel pain and to show them ultrasounds before going ahead with the procedure. "When I go to the doctor, it is the most private thing you can imagine," said State Rep. Lisa Shepperson. "I want myself, I want my husband, and I want my doctor there. And I don't want any government."
State Rep. Sue Wallis told colleagues her own story of ending a pregnancy after a brush with cancer. "[O]ur ability as free moral agents cannot justify these broad strokes," she said. She added, "I just ask you as a human being, as a friend, and as a colleague, not to pass mass judgment on your fellow human beings."
We were struck by their words. And judging from the Twitters, I'd you folks were, too. "I've never had this much respect for a pair of Republicans before," wrote @LadyPaxieAmor. "Sue Wallis and Lisa Shepperson, I salute you."