Please save the Moderate Republican from extinction

October 15, 2010

(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – Once they roamed this great country. From New York to California, from Alaska to Texas, well maybe not Texas but from “sea to shining sea” their numbers were plentiful and they were a sight to see, but no more. The moderate Republican is heading towards extinction. It’s sad really. For the past few years every time one of them came out of hiding they were hunted down, not by their traditional adversary the “rabid liberal”, no now they’re being hunted by their own. Actually more of a hybrid, many moderate Republicans have evolved (yes I said “Evolved”) into crazed extreme Republicans capable of saying and doing anything to be reelected.It wasn’t that long ago that the moderate Republican (mR) could be seen in it’s natural habitat, political fundraisers. Gobbling up cash and talking tough, then they’d head back to Washington and work with they’re Democratic adversary to fix the problems our nation faced. Guys like Lindsey Graham who once co-sponsored a climate change bill but was forced by crazed extreme Republicans (ceR) to abandon logic and reason for silliness. He claimed the senate didn’t have enough time to finish the bill so he withdrew his support. Or how about John McCain? Back in the day this one time mR actually co-sponsored a campaign finance bill that improbably was passed (which he later disavowed)and made into law! Unfortunately a run for president and a primary election has turned this once honorable man into a “tea party”  candidate. McCain once supported Roe v Wade but changed his mind  on the campaign trail. Other flip flops include, his onetime disdain for Jerry Falwell, opposition to Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, his stance on torture and the list goes on.  Or how about a guy like David Frum, former speech writer for George W Bush? Now he’s as conservative as they come. But he wasn’t conservative enough to stay in the good graces of the right. Frum was forced to resign from the American Enterprise Institue, a very conservative think tank. His crime was criticizing the increasingly intolerant right! These are just three examples but there are many more.

To illustrate how extreme the GOP is let’s take a look at four Republican historical icons and see where they’d fit in today’s GOP. Abe Lincoln, united our fair nation and freed African Americans from slavery.  Nope, way too tolerant of other races and a uniter. Please find another party. Dwight Eisenhower, WWII hero and president during early days of the Cold War. Warned us against the dangers of the “Military Industrial Complex”. Sorry, even the mere mention of slowing down the MIM now gets you labeled as a weak defeatist lefty. Sorry, please don’t call back the GOP is not interested. Richard Nixon, paranoid abuser of authority. How’d you get in this list? You’re just our type, welcome to the GOP. Ronald Reagan, mythic GOP leader. Hmmmm, let’s review your resume…Looks like you called for a nuclear free world and you raised taxes many times!
This will not do! The GOP does not care if it’s the smart and prudent thing to do. We’re sorry, Ronnie, our receptionist will show you the door.

Let’s take a look at what has supplanted the mR. Candidate number 1, pretends to hunt caribou and fish, quit two years into a four year term for Governor (the root word here is to “govern”, can’t govern if you quit), doesn’t read much and has no inkling what the constitution says or means. Candidate number 2, confesses to dabbling in witchcraft, abhors masturbation and can’t recall a single Supreme Court ruling she disagrees with and finally Candidate number 3, believes sharia law is setting up shop in Dearborn. Mayor John O’Reilly (clearly a Muslim name) disagrees. Doesn’t care for the Dept. of Education saying it’s  unconstitutional and should be abolished and finally used the “made lemonade out of lemons”analogy when discussing pregnancy options for young girls.  Again this is just three examples of the ceR.

In order to get anything done in Washington you need cash. No wait, what I meant to say is, you need moderates from both parties to sit down and work together. Ideologues and extremists are incapable because they are just too far apart from the center or rely on their dogma so much that nothing else makes sense. The disappearance of moderate Republicans can only mean more grid lock and more mean spirited politics which only serve to inflame the already combustible atmosphere.

So please, do what ever you can. Feed them when you see them in the wild. Let them know that there is a place for them. If we can bring back the wolf and the prairie dog, surely we can save this magnificent creature. We need moderates of both parties. Honestly, though it’s really up to Republicans to decide if civility and common sense will reign or if ridiculousness and ignorance becomes the norm. I for one hold out hope for the return of the moderate Republican.


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