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Citizens of the Week

Today we introduce a new regular feature:, the Citizen Awards. This blog is all about the quest for a better society. Every week, we'll recognize one person who helped advance that cause (the Good Citizen) and one who set it back (the Bad Citizen). We'll focus on public figures and try not to take it, or ourselves, too seriously.

Good Citizen of the Week: Bob Bennett

Senator Bob Bennett was not in the news this week. But he's in the news this summer, because the Utah Republican Party denied his bid to run for a fourth term.

Bennett has an 83.6 rating from the American Conservative Union. But Utah's right-wingers branded him a heretic for supporting the financial bailout and trying, with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, to pass a bipartisan health care reform. At the party's nominating convention, delegates gave him just 26 percent of the vote.

Perhaps history will appreciate him more than the Republican delegates did.

Bad Citizen of the Week: LeBron James

I grew up in South Florida and, as a resident of Michigan, have developed antipathy towards all things Ohio. So you might think I'm pleased with LeBron James' decision to sign with the Miami Heat. Hardly.

Forget that it upsets the competitive balance in professional basketball. The issue here is what it does to the fans in Cleveland, a great sports town and a storied industrial city.

Oh, and the media spectacle was just embarrassing.