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.
Liberals and liberal leaning are a small minority without conservatives like Lugar and the out and out liberal Republicans like Snowe and Collins they can get their way they and their big govt plans die. They know it and the Roberts wonder twins know it too. So sure they bemoan the rise of candidates like Sen Rand Lee, Sen Mike Lee, Sen Ron Johnson, Sen Marco Rubio, Sen Jim Demint and soon to be Senator Mourdock.
There isn't a chance in hell that any of those guys will go soft where it counts. The growth of conservative strength in the Senate is a better indicator of conservative strength than even the House because the more we show we can win Senate seats which are state wide races the more we become stronger overall.
The left can not win as long as we fight them straight on and don't let them get away with two standards. They don't want to fight they just want us to elect GOP which will sell away our liberties one piece at a time and rather than making us more like Europe we are guarantee we stop the slide towards being more like Europe.
We are reclaiming America. We were NEVER a moderate nation. We have always been a nation of bold colors, proud patriotism and faith and they should be happy we are choosing to take back our country through the political process rather than through the violent response to their thievery of our birth right they deserve.
The moderates always win. Lately, they’ve been winning, and then screwing up.
“Moderation in war is imbecility”- Admiral John Fisher
Likewise, moderation in politics is imbecility.
There's no middle either. Congress itself has rules that require yeah or nay. Maybe doesn't cut it.
The quantum nature of politics needs to be addressed realistically. Reacharounds don't quite do that. in fact, they are damaging to the legitimacy of Congress, as well as to the very concept of government.
The compromise is to actually use and take seriously the tenth amendment. Almost everything we are fighting over does not belong a the federal level anyway. Liberal states and Conservatives states can live side by side peacefully, but we will never be happy with everyone being forced into conformity from the federal government.
Moderate means Democrat Lite. Moderates always move the country to the Left, never to the Right. Compromise always seems to mean give the Left just a little less than what they ask for - never give the Right anything.
Moderate is bad and is truly what is bad about American Politics because its always one way - just a little closer to Leftist victory.
“Compromise always seems to mean give the Left just a little less than what they ask for - never give the Right anything.”
Which eventually means the left gets everything it wants, at some point- everything the right wants will eventually be compromised away- “its the pragmatic thing to do” or “politics is the art of the possible.” Rubbish.....
In reality, there are no true moderates, only those who don't want their position labeled right or left.
“Our political tradition has always placed pragmatism over purity, reality over rigidity”
Cokie and Dokie have read the tea party leaves and don't like what they see. Too bad.
We are all better off if the government is paralyzed.
Now that the GOP has been moderated into a coma, when will they get around to moderating the democrats?
“We are clearly as conflicted as weve been since 1905.”
Wrong date, Cokie. Try 1861.
Exactly. How do you compromise with a socialist when they don’t believe you have a right to what you earn or own? It doesn’t matter weather we are talking spending, abortion, environment,workers rights, sex freakism(glbtq), its all the same. Its all about using the government to force our will and our money into servitude of the leftist political class for their benefit.
We need people at a minimum who represent the will of the people who elect them. A deep red state should have a deep red Senator and our goal should be to move every state to a more constitutional more conservative bent so as to protect our nation. There should be no desire to compromise. The left has shown no willingness to respect us. They are always pushing big homogenous plans to force us to agree with them from schools to health care they call merely disagreeing and religious piety ‘Hate’. This is a war they started and individuals like Lugar will not win it. They will instead give our country away piece by piece bit by bit without firing shot.
It started in the early 90’s when the internet, talk radio, and C-SPAN became unfiltered sources of information about what our legislature was up to. No longer were people dependent on a few newspapers and even fewer news readers for information. It was shortly after that, Dems lost their 40 year DC domination.
There is a harmonious consensus when Congress, pop culture and the media are predominately lib. Any opposition can be suppressed or ridiculed. Things only became “more partisan” when conservatives were finally able to voice their opinions unfettered.
It's been divided for a while now...it's just that the libs no longer monopolize political discourse, and why they desperately want to bring back the “fairness doctrine” so they can, once again, determine both sides of the argument.
Poor Cokie, she never did let fact and logic get in her way.
Bullstalin on the claim that there is greater separation between the parties. The former Democrat RINOs who infest the GOP need to TAKE BACK their party from the red diaper socialists who’ve taken it over since 1968.
It’s the conservative movement that’s being squeezed out of the political parties.
And if you ask the man on the street, he still opposes “SOCIALISM” and Barack Hussein Marxist Obama knows this. He ridicules those who call his plans Socialist. But he does not provide any refutation that they ARE Socialist. He just cites things like medicare/medicade and social security that people already depend on.
The biggest problem with this theory as posited is that the definition of left and right hasn’t changed at all in the past 40 years.
I have yet to see the goal posts moved to the right in any definable measure in the past 30 years. Less government, less government spending, lower regulation, pro-choice, support of the U.S. Constitution, individual rights, self-determination, strong national defense, supporting interstate trade and commerce without restriction.
The left has moved from equal opportunity to equal outcomes. It has moved from safety net programs to government guarantees and tried to define them as rights. It has foisted the interests of minorities ahead of equal protection to special protection and more importantly, racial and group exception from legal prosecution. It has gone beyond advocating changing sources of energy as the market dictates and allows to mandating it and funding losing effort after losing effort with great financial hardship at our expense.
I could go on and on but we know how the list goes.
Perhaps Hatch has finally figured out that voters don't elect him to work with Democrats, they elect him to DEFEAT Democrats.
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?
I think she’s right - certainly about the polarisation of US politics anyway.
The definition may not have changed, but the “progressives” are far, far more openly following the logical conclusion of their mindsets.
If you don’t believe in labels, take all of them off your kitchen cleaning supplies and foodstuffs, then randomly rearrange them. Then, you will know why labels are a good thing.
‘That kind of depends on how you define “moderation”.’
“..Decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.”- Winston Churchill
Sounds like a good definition of moderate to me- someone who stands for nothing.
Well, I dont define it like that.
I meant labeling people, not kitchen utensils. I like to think that people have a great deal more worth than egg whisks.
>>That system might work in smaller, more homogenous countries, but its a disaster in a nation this large and diverse.
This nation was never intended to work via top down “leadership” from Washington, DC. Power needs to devolve back to the states now that this experiment in centralized power, American style, has been shown to be an abject failure.
Perhaps I should not have used "right" or "left" for labels, but "good" and "bad". For instance, killing someone is bad. "Bad" is a label, but it easily conveys a meaning to the subject.
To go on, what about the terms "supply-side economics" or "Keynesian economics". Both are labels that quickly sum up two different economic schools of thought. Without the labels, I have to explain in detail what each means. With the label, I can quickly establish a starting point for a discussion.
So I don't understand your problem with labels.
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