Crist’s Defection And A More Moderate GOP?
So, moderate Republican Charlie Crist just went independent in a spite bid to try to steal the seat from the GOP? Sort of like moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava, who supported a Democrat when she couldn’t win? But wait, could Crist be more fairly compared to moderate Republican Arlen Specter, who switched parties to try to win as a Democrat? In all fairness, Specter does seem closer to the mark than moderate Republican Lincoln Chafee who became a Democrat after he lost a race. Then there’s moderate Republican Colin Powell who endorsed Barack Obama. There’s also moderate Republican Kathleen Parker, moderate Republican Christopher Buckley, and moderate Republican David Brooks, all of whom may as well have endorsed Obama. Of course, we also can’t forget moderate Republican Meghan McCain who essentially disagrees: with the Republican Party on everything as compared to moderate Republican David Frum, who agrees with Republicans on a few things, but wants the party to give in to Democrats on most of the things that matter.
So, let’s see: Do moderates make up the majority of the GOP? No. Are moderates a big help on fund raising? No. Do they defect on crucial votes to pass liberal legislation and kill conservative bills? Yes. Can they even be counted on to stay in the party? No.
But, what do we hear?: : We need the Republican Party to be more moderate: Like Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter, Colin Powell, David Brooks, Meghan McCain, yada, yada, yada — failure.
Yes, moderates are welcome in the GOP. Yes, we need to run moderate candidates in certain states. Yes, the GOP needs to do what it can to convince moderate voters to pull the lever for the party.
But, the Crist defection is just the latest evidence of the obvious: The GOP needs to be a conservative party, centered around conservative principles, with conservatives in charge of all the important levers of power.