Don’t Equate “Moderate” with “Bland”

February 8th, 2010 at 8:30 am | 5 Comments |

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E.D. Kain’s latest post which is itself a retort of see 9171,1960311,00.html#ixzz0eezPvQFq” target=”_blank”>David Frum’s post on the need for moderates in the GOP to become active again misreads what moderate Republicans are all about. In some cases it seems like Kain confuses “centrism” and “moderation” to mean a Republican that aims toward a bland middle of the road view. However, history shows us that Moderate Republicans are a real faction in the history of the GOP with real values and positions on various issues from civil rights to the environment. One only has to read some of Geoffrey Kabaservice’s wonderful profiles on forgotten Moderate Republicans like Thomas Dewey, Thomas Curtis, and Arthur Larson to know that moderates in the GOP were anything but milquetoast.

I don’t think Frum was trying to lump everyone that is not in agreement with the current GOP agenda under the banner of moderate. Instead, he was calling on those specific Republicans who share the moderate Republican heritage to claim it once again and take the lead in the affairs of the party.

Of course there are many factions in the GOP and the wider conservative movement and all are important. But Frum’s call to moderate Republicans was a specific shout out to a specific community to stand up and get involved again in your party. It’s a call that all principled moderates in the GOP should listen to.


Originally posted at Republicans United.


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5 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    Great post.

    I think the position to stake out for a “moderate Republicanism” is that there are things in our world besides fighting wars and arresting bad guys where the Federal Government can play an important role.

    As long as a controlling faction of the Republican Party is publicly at war with this concept, effective governance is going to be difficult.

    And as much as Republicans hate hearing things “being blamed on Bush”, there is a legitimate question to be asked to any Republican Presidential Candidate in the future – “how would you govern differently than the George W. Bush administration?” Failure to be able to answer that question effectively (“less earmarks” just didn’t cut it) was a critical factor in McCain losing in 2008.

  • sinz54

    balconesfault:

    There’s a historical parallel here:

    The reason the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) was formed in 1984, was so the Dem Party could finally, finally tell the American people that they were not going to follow in the footsteps of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter anymore. Men like Paul Tsongas and Bill Clinton and even Al Gore offered a different path from McGovern, Carter, and Mondale.

    We really do need a Republican Leadership Council (RLC) now, to offer the same thing for the Repub Party. And a fledgling RLC is just getting started:

    http://www.republican-leadership.com/

    But so far at least, the RLC, unlike the DLC, is shying away from addressing foreign policy. And that’s bad. Because it was the Iraq War, more than anything else, that wrecked the Bush Presidency and discredited the GOP.

    The DLC told Americans that the Dem Party isn’t pacifistic anymore.

    The RLC has to tell Americans that the GOP has abandoned nation-building in Third World regimes as the way to confront terrorists and rogue states. That’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room that the GOP is averting their eyes from.

  • balconesfault

    The RLC has to tell Americans that the GOP has abandoned nation-building in Third World regimes as the way to confront terrorists and rogue states. That’s the 800 pound gorilla in the room that the GOP is averting their eyes from.

    Well, it would be a bit easier if the GOP would actually acknolwedge that invading Iraq was a mistake. But there is no stomach for that.

    And without acknowledging that, there’s no way to get to where you want the RLC to go.

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