Skip to comments.There are no winners in war against moderates
Posted on 05/05/2012 3:57:17 PM PDT by Maelstorm
Former Republican Rep. Tom Davis told The Hill newspaper: The middle is getting squeezed, but his comment vastly understates the crisis in the capital. Activists in both parties have declared war on moderates. The ideological gap between the two parties is widening rapidly. Paralysis is pervasive.
Political scientist Keith Poole of the University of Georgia, who studies voting patterns, told the National Journal: We are clearly as conflicted as weve been since 1905. The parties are, I think, completely dysfunctional and incapable of acting on major policy.
The National Journal reports that as recently as 1999, more than half of all House members could be called centrists. That number has dropped to almost zero, and next year the president whoever he is will face an even more polarized Congress.
We have become Europe, with ideologically based parties, rigidly enforced discipline and fast-fading bipartisanship. That system might work in smaller, more homogenous countries, but its a disaster in a nation this large and diverse.
Our political tradition has always placed pragmatism over purity, reality over rigidity. Americans dealt with the world as it was, not as we wanted it to be. We didnt spout dogma; we solved problems.
Both parties can share blame.
Start with the Democrats. In Pennsylvania, two moderate congressmen Jason Altmire and Tim Holden lost to primary challengers from the left. Both belonged to the centrist group known as Blue Dogs, which included 54 House Democrats.
Altmire and Holden were opposed by outside groups from MoveOn to the League of Conservation Voters who punished them for straying from liberal orthodoxy. (Both lawmakers voted against Obamas health-care bill, for example.)
The leftist website Daily Kos crowed about the outcome, boasting that the demise of the Blue Dogs would create a more effective and progressive Democratic party. Wrong.
This is not a left-leaning country. In the last election, only 22 percent of all voters called themselves liberals. The loss of Blue Dogs like Altmire and Holden might make the Democrats a more progressive party, but also a far smaller and less effective one.
Republicans engage in the same kind of fantasy politics. In Utah, hard-core ideologues have challenged the renomination of Sen. Orrin Hatch, a loyal conservative but a professional legislator who prided himself on working with Democrats like the late Ted Kennedy. He doesnt dare work with Democrats anymore.
In Indiana, another Republican conservative who doesnt believe Democrats consort with the devil, Sen. Richard Lugar, is facing a fierce primary challenge next week from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Keepers of the right-wing flame, from the National Review to Sarah Palin, have weighed in against Lugar because he fails their purity test.
On the presidential level, too, centrist impulses are sputtering. Democrat Bill Clinton ran for re-election declaring that the era of big government is over. His successor, George W. Bush, campaigned as a compassionate conservative who would unite, not divide, the nation.
Now, Mitt Romney is desperately calling himself a severe conservative and running as fast as he can from the label that he once proudly embraced, Massachusetts moderate.
The war on moderates is escalating. Extremes are winning. The American system is losing.
Really? What do you suppose will happen when the Socialists states run out of money to feed the hordes that the free stuff attracts?
The Civil War was not just about slavery.
Correct and well said.
And this is a bad thing?
Moderate muslims say nothing when they bow down to the capital of the Islamic empire and it’s death penalty for any non-muslims who’d date enter their segregated city. They say nothing when the religious texts of all other faiths are seized by the theocratic government the bow down to five times a day every day.
Such is “moderation”.
You got to love those “moderates” who coddle with Democrate Marxist terrorists and islamofascists... in the name of “tolerance” and “moderation”....
Like when McCain tried to make LaRaza kid minions of his, pedophile style.
I’d say the definition of moderate has been moved to the left. The American System is federalism. We don’t have a parliament or an imperial presidency in the American System.
We have a very narrowly focused federal government, not a national one. Within its proper Constitutional bounds the federal government is a fraction of its current size and states compete. Corruption is minimized and localized because there isn’t a fat purse to filch or massive programs to leech off of.
The troubles begin and end with the “Progressives”.
Cokie Roberts??? I didn’t even check the author. She’s a liberal and a liar, but I repeat myself.
succinct and it has the ring of truth to it. May I adopt this as my tag line? I'll credit you.
All that I have is yours, FRiend. But I want 50% of the t-shirt profits. ;-]
Got to clean it up tho.
The definition of moderate is a little skewed as of late, with John Kennedy being an ultra conservative by todays standards. The middle is so for to the left it eliminates the right.
Well, Cokie and Stevie, the obvious answer is to get rid of all the Democrats running for office this year so that the country can recover from the corrupt, immoral Leftist policies that are ruining the nation.
Former Republican Rep. Tom Davis told The Hill newspaper: "The middle is getting squeezed," ...Activists in both parties have declared war on moderates. The ideological gap between the two parties is widening rapidly.from the FRchives:
World’s smallest book, “Great Moderates in History” - Rush Limbaugh
You can be fervent in your beliefs and yet moderate in the way you express them.
And in what world is “labeling” a good thing?
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