Moderates Flee the GOP - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Moderates Flee the GOP

RNC Chairman Michael Steele says they're welcome in the party, as long as they don't try to change things



    Moderates Flee the GOP
    Social and fiscal moderates are finding the "big tent" a lot smaller than promised.

    While James Inhofe might beg to differ, most sane humans who assess the current state of the GOP would probably agree that they have a little problem with moderates. Their last presidential candidate, John McCain, often disagreed with the party establishment on questions surrounding immigration, torture, and whether or not his opponent was "scary"; for this he was often booed at his own rallies and rewarded with depressingly low voter turnout on election day. Another moderate, Arlen Specter, recently quit the party in disgust. Now the Senate holds exactly two moderate Republicans: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine, which is basically Canada anyway.

    So it's fair to say that the Republican party has been less than welcoming to moderates. This has been made so blindingly obvious that even Meghan McCain picked up on it -- she of the "I hate Ann Coulter, too" bandwagon, boarded six years too late.

    “I just wish that moderates like myself — more moderate Republicans and more socially liberal Republicans — weren’t looked at as, ‘Get rid of the dirty moderates. Get rid of them,’” the 24-year-old told CNN affiliate KTAR radio in a joint interview with her father.

    Ha ha, good luck with that! None other than Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, suggested that moderates were free to remain in the party, as long as they didn't have opinions or anything:

    "All you moderates out there, y'all come. I mean, that's the message," Steele said at a news conference. "The message of this party is this is a big table for everyone to have a seat. I have a place setting with your name on the front.

    "Understand that when you come into someone's house, you're not looking to change it. You come in because that's the place you want to be."

    So yeah, like he said!

    This is the point where sober political analysts are supposed to shake their heads and tut-tut about how an imploding Republican party isn't good for anyone, not even Democrats, because the majority party always requires a vigorous and credible opponent to stay healthy. This may be true and all, but you can't deny that the current theater coming out of conservative politics -- while terribly unhealthy and damaging and even sad sometimes -- is often incredibly entertaining.

    The radical moderate Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.