On Republican Moderates and Arlen Specter

It has begun.  It hasn’t even been a week since Arlen Specter announced that he was switching to the Democratic party and already the Republican Moderates have started to squeal.  “We Didn’t Have to Lose Arlen Specter” crows Olympia Snowe, his partner in shoving the stimulus down our throats.    Senator Snowe seems to feel that the hard core Conservatives in the party drove Arlen Specter out over “social issues”

it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.

And, so, what does Senator Snow prescribe?

It is for this reason that we should heed the words of President Ronald Reagan, who urged, “We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.” He continued, “As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”

I’ll put the quote from Reagan in bullet points so that we can more easily disect it.

  • Restrain Government Spending
  • Pro-Growth Policies
  • Tax Cuts
  • Sound National Defense
  • Individual Liberty

The Stimulus Bill that Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe made possible with their traitorous votes for it outright fails 4 of 5 of these items on the litmus test as proposed by Senator Snowe! The only point that the Stimulus Bill doesn’t directly address is National Defense, although the stimulus certainly decimates our ability to defend ourselves when the entire thing is funded by foriegn governments who can undercut our economy at a moments notice.  In my opinion, it fails on a 5 out of 5 points, but I’ll cede that the one point is debatable for our “Moderates”.

Now, we’ll move on to the feelings of Christine Todd Whitman, former Republican governor of New Jersey.  She seems to feel similarly to Senator Snowe, but her litmus test is a little different.

In the coming election cycle, we have the opportunity to remind the nation that our party is committed to such important values as fiscal restraint, less government interference in our everyday lives, environmental policies that promote a balanced approach between protection and economic interest, and a foreign policy that is engaged with the rest of the world. The responsibility of ensuring that the party follows the right path lies with those moderates who are willing to work to make it happen. I anticipate that centrists will convene in the coming days to discuss how we can return the party to the sensible middle.

There we go again, Fiscal Restraint a key point.  Less government intrusion into our everyday lives.  How does any of this fit with Specter’s vote that pushed the Stimulus Bill through the congress?  With one vote, Arlen Specter threw out the window the single unifying plank of the Republican Party – Spend Responsibly.

I find it amusing that it’s always the hard core GOP that must compromise with the moderates.  We’re always getting lectures that the Republican party can’t win unless it listens to the moderates.  Well, there is no Republican more moderate than John McCain and that campaign was an utter disaster.  And you can’t blame Bush’s sins of his second term on the hard core GOP either.  Most everybody I knew spent the last two years of the Bush Presidency sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches hoping to use them on any Republican politican that darkened their door.  George W. Bush spent most of his Presidency looking for the “sensible middle”, and his attempts to do so were a disaster.

There is nothing wrong with the Conservative Principles espoused by the Republican Party, they can still win, and if anybody seriously believed that a Republican believed in those principles after the debacle of the last 6 years then that Republican could put such a hurt on the Democrats that they’d never forget it.

The problem isn’t that the GOP needs to move to the middle.  The problem is that the GOP betrayed their principles.  Their base doesnt’ trust them anymore.  That means no donations, no envelope stuffers, and nobody talking them up when the Democrats talk them down.

Arlen Specter left the GOP because he couldn’t be reelected as a Republican having supported a Stimulus Bill that bankrupts the country.  To this, I cheer.   There would be no hope for the Republican Party if a Republican Politician could vote for a bill as horrible as the stimulus and not face that kind of backlash. And the moderates should get on board with the conservatives on that point.

3 thoughts on “On Republican Moderates and Arlen Specter

  1. PW

    agree with you. Moderates have been the tail wagging the dog for far too long. Lindsay Graham insisting that RINO Tom Ridge should challenge Toomey in the PA GOP Primary is a crying example that almost the entire GOP Senate caucus needs to be cleaned out. Moderates are not leaders, thats why there moderates…they can’t make up their damn minds.

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