Wednesday, April 25, 2007

If Google Can't Find Any, Well.....

I did a Google search for "moderate republicans". The results were interesting, but not surprising. I found just two sites on the first two pages that had a date in 2007.
There was a piece by Taegan Goddard's Political Wire with this interesting quote:

"During the 12 years that Republicans controlled the House, moderate Republicans were the stepchildren of their party, expected to vote with their conservative leadership on crucial issues, even if it meant taking positions that could anger centrist voters back home." However, now that Democrats have taken control of the House, moderate Republicans "are vowing to pursue their centrist positions more assertively, even if it means endorsing Democratic initiatives."

Curiously, there was no moderate republican named.
CNN's Political Ticker had another interesting piece, but again no mention of serving "moderates".


The Republican Leadership Council was founded in 1993 to expand the party's base, but has not been very involved in campaigns since 2003. It's now attempting to recruit candidates that are fiscally conservative, but moderate on social issues.
Former Gov. Christie Whitman of New Jersey, former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri and former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele want to revitalize the RLC, which has a counterpart in the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. The RLC is being combined with Whitman's political action committee IMP-PAC -- It's My Party, Too.
"After the losses in 2006, the reaction was overwhelming that we need to get the Republican Party back to its fiscally conservative roots," Whitman said, adding that the GOP needs to be "a little less judgmental."
Would these people even be welcomed in the present republican party?

There were great websites with titles like these:
Bush's Re-election Would Doom Moderate Republicans
Moderate Republicans Feeling Endangered
The Moderate Republican Scam
This one here is my favorite. It lists those things that make a republican a moderate:

A passion for civil liberties;
A disdain for conformity and suspicion of authority;
A belief that the Constitution is a living, breathing document with timeless values that must be made relevant in a modern age;
A commitment to protect the environment and not engage in mindless exploitation of the nation's natural beauty. A spirited case must be made for reusable energy sources like solar power. Modern technology provides many options before the earth is harshly, brutally, and needlessly pillaged.
A strong belief that diversity -- gender, racial, social, sexual, ethnic, and religious -- should be celebrated because it gives the United States moral strength. Diversity -- in the long-term, encourages respect, understanding, and a greater sense of community;
A commitment to fiscal prudence and limited government;
A recognition that government does have a basic social responsibility to help those in need;
A belief that the nation does have international responsibilities;
A belief that God and religion have a very important place in America -- at the dinner table and in churches, temples, and mosques. But it should never be used by politicians to advance a narrow moral agenda;
A belief that the national government should be used in a limited manner to advance the common good;
A commitment never to put party above country; and
A responsibility to publicly criticize those who call themselves Republican when the situation merits. Moderate/Progressives have a duty to vote against the party line when it doesn't serve the greater good. Doing so doesn't make them less Republican; it demonstrates that they have the honor, political courage, and intellectual honesty to put nation above party.
Does this sound like the republicans serving in congress? Hell, that doesn't sound like anyone, but it sounds great. I'd join a moderate republican party in a second, if there was one

The search continues.

Jim M

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11 Comments:

Blogger Pete Abel said...

News Flash, Jim: Christine Whitman, John Danforth, and William Steele are welcomed in the Republican party, and widely respected within it. I'm not sure why you continue to deny the very real and very powerful evolving movement to return the GOP to its roots. Reference my earlier post at CS: http://centralsanity.blogspot.com/2007/04/interview-kate-whitman-republican.html

10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Pete Abel said...

Jim,

Just saw your reply to my comment on an earlier, related post -- the reply where you noted that you "can appreciate other points of view without agreeing with them."

I can, too, which is not the only reason but certainly one of the reasons why I read this site often, as you do mine.

So, please don't take my comments the wrong way: My intent is to challenge the thinking that moderate Republicans don't exist or are silent. We're not. Are we as prevelant or vocal as we need to be, either among voters or elected officials? No -- but we will get there.

In a way, your words motivate us to do just that, and I suppose in that sense, I appreciate these posts; the tone of my comments notwithstanding.

10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jim M said...

Pete
I am politically active in my local area. It is very much a right wing area, but I know lots of moderate republicans.
The problem is on the national level where moderation on the right is so slight that it is invisible.
Yesterday the spending bill was passed. Two republicans voted for it, eight dems voted against it.
There are several different influential groups within the democratic caucus from wacky way out there left to right of center moderates.
Within the republican caucus, as far as I can tell, there is only hard right. They NEVER vote against Bush. Note his veto record. Thanks for commenting.

5:27:00 AM  
Blogger Pete Abel said...

Jim -- OK. You win ... for now. :-)

10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Jim M said...

Pete
Thanks for coming back, I don't think I'm winning and I know you guys closer to the middle are doing good work. I hope it will turn around for all of us.
The danger is the swing to far to the left. We don't need that either.

11:42:00 AM  
Blogger mw said...

Well, if you can't find a "middle" or a "moderate" candidate or party that fits the defintion in the post...

Particularly:
- "A commitment to fiscal prudence and limited government"

... I'd just like to point out that there is a way to vote that does moves the Federal Government as a whole in the direction of the objectives/defintions listed in your post, even if none of the individual candidates or parties you vote for meet that criteria. This voting strategy can be counter-intuitive, as it does often require holding your nose and voting for candidates you vehemently disagree with, in order to achieve the objective of making the government behave in a moderate way.

12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Pound said...

It's great to find some other moderate republicans on this page! I agree that we need to focus the Reppublican Party on our history: Lincoln as the first civil rights leader, in favor of a strong Union; Theodore Roosevelt as the proponent of a square deal - a balance between business and government interests, pro-environment and conservation, with his "speak strongly and carry a big stick" stance on foreign affairs (diplomacy backed up by an overwhelming national defense); Eisenhower and Nixon's moderation; Reagan's appeal to labor (Reagan Democrats), as well as to conservatives... A "strong national defense, pro-environment, tolerant, balanced budgets, minimizing the culture wars (abortion and gay rights) right-of-center Republican Party" identical in many ways to Clinton's left of center last four years as President (but without Monica!), except for its insistence on a stronger national defense, would be incredibly popular with the American people.

1:49:00 PM  
Blogger Dennis Sanders said...

Jim,

I'm a moderate Republican and I am also the one who runs moderaterepublican.net. I also run the NeoMugwump blog at neomugwump.blogspot.com.

2:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jim M said...

Thanks for all the visits and comments.
I'm not done with this issue and the search will continue.
The center is very broad and should be room for everyone.

3:32:00 PM  
Blogger mw said...

"The center is very broad and should be room for everyone..." - jm

Actually not. The center is a very small pecentage of the electorate. There is a large percentage of partisan dead weight on the right (lets say 1/3 of the electorate). There is a large percentage of partisan dead weight on the left (lets say 1/3 of the electorate). So lets be generous and say that there is a third of the electorate that claims to be in the middle. The reality is that most of that middle third identifies more strongly with the right or the left and will default to their comfort zone when they get in the voting booth. So...

I am guessing that at most, there is 10% of the electorate that will actually swing. If the preponderance of that vote moves one way or the other, it can determine the outcome of a presidential election. If it splits evenly, it is impotent, and in a close election the more effective Partisan Dead Weight GOTV will determine the outcome.

12:25:00 AM  
Blogger Jim M said...

MW
I agree, but, the middle only narrows when there are two polarizing candidates.
If you get Hillary and Newt Gingrich, not likely, then the center is razor thin.
If you get Gore and Thompson then the center widens.
2008 should be fun.

6:27:00 AM  

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