Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Being a Defector

In the New Majority conservative columnist, David Frum, makes a brilliant point after the defection of Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party. The likes of John Ensign, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and Rush Limbaugh have pushed the Republican Party so far right for so long that it is without a center; there is no core. Frum writes:

The Specter defection is too severe a catastrophe to qualify as a “wake-up call.” His defection is the thing we needed the wake-up call to warn us against! For a long time, the loudest and most powerful voices in the conservative world have told us that people like Specter aren’t real Republicans – that they don’t belong in the party. Now he’s gone, and with him the last Republican leverage within any of the elected branches of government.

For years, many in the conservative world have wished for an ideologically purer GOP. Their wish has been granted. Happy?
Couldn't be!


The Write Girl said...

Hey Judith,

I certainly don't consider myself conservative. I think that balance is always necessary: some conservative, some moderate, and some liberal. Unfortunately, politics usually lacks balance.

judith ellis said...

So true, The Write Girl. I most certainly consider myself a moderate. There seems to be fewer and fewer moderates in both parties.

allen said...

I'm not sure what Republicans stand for at all. Have they actually stood for anything for the past 20 years? They surely are no different today than they were 10-15 years ago. What seems to have changed is the people. They are finally seeing the Republicans for what they are. The other day, Chris Mathews was talking about how the northeast was once dominated by Republicans. People like Jacob Javits were Republican. An insult among Republicans is to call someone a Rockefeller Republican which is a Republican modeled after the Governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller. In the mid 1960's the Republicans courted people in the south who were upset with the passing of the Civil Rights Bill. When Reagan came in, they started courting the Religious Right. This worked for a long time, but it is not working any more. Their problem is they there are no more Rockefeller Republicans. I've even heard Republicans denigrate President Eisenhower as being too liberal. Obama may be governing from what is considered to be left of center under today's standard, but he's square in the center if you look to the years before Reagan.

judith ellis said...

"Their problem is they there are no more Rockefeller Republicans."

allen - Sadly, this appears to be so very true.

The courting which you spoke of goes on both sides. But what can be quite disturbing is the hate that comes from the leadership and pundits of the current Republican Party. It's rabid stuff; there are no redeeming qualities. This is what people are fleeing from as well as failed policies on many fronts.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment--appreciated. By the way, I agree with you about Obama's governance from the center within the parameters given. This is a good way to look at this. I would also say that President Reagan may have been more ideological than substantive. The deficit rose the highest ever before President G.W. Bush.