Republican Defeat By Moderation

Kyle-Anne Shiver & Lee Cary
The capitulation of a cabal of Republican Senators concerning the stimulus bill is just another example of defeat by moderation.

Political pundits will place blame or credit, depending on their bias, on a few Republican Senators. But they’re only the latest symptom of a long festering disease.

The absence of values promotes the absence of discipline, which obviates the opportunity for concerted action in pursuit of a defined agenda. The net result is defeat for the party of moderation. The tumor need not encompass the entire body to bring trauma to the organism.

For complex reasons, the media has defined “moderation” as the first cousin of reason.  Moderation has become an honorable stance aligned with the absence of dogma and, associatively, intransigence. In truth, moderate is the absence of commitment. And defeat accompanies the absence of commitment. In politics, in marriage, in parenthood, and, most terminally, in war.  

Despite his occasional requisite language to the contrary, the last Republican candidate for President positioned himself as a “moderate.” He meant it to be an advantage in his effort to appeal to “independents.” It didn’t work. 

So when his soul brother Sen. Lindsay Graham, from the Gang of 14, railed on the floor of the Senate about how the stimulus bill was not bipartisan, some of us could not help but speak loudly to the deaf TV saying, in effect, “Welcome to the party, Pal.”

Here’s the problem. Once you establish moderation as a paradigm of collegiality, tolerance, and open-mindedness, it’s very difficult to reverse the positive popular image of “moderate.” That image is routinely conveyed by a media not sympathetic to the host philosophy of Republican “moderates.” 

At the beginning of his first term, President Bush invited Sen. Ed Kennedy to the White House movie theater and summoned his aid in writing the No Child Left Behind legislation. Following his established modus operandi in Texas, Bush made a good faith effort to “reach across the isle.” He naively played political nice ball. It never earned him any points, with Democrats or the media. 

President Obama is from Chicago. He plays political hardball al la the Daley Machine. Gee, what a surprise.

In the jargon of the former USSR, the Republican “moderate’ Senators who’ll vote for the alleged stimulus bill are just more bodies in a conga line of Republican useful idiots
Dick Morris, commenting on Fox Business News on Friday, February 06, 2009, said, “The Republican Party died today.”  That assumes it was alive yesterday. It died, operationally, long ago with the birth of moderation.
The capitulation of a cabal of Republican Senators concerning the stimulus bill is just another example of defeat by moderation.

Political pundits will place blame or credit, depending on their bias, on a few Republican Senators. But they’re only the latest symptom of a long festering disease.

The absence of values promotes the absence of discipline, which obviates the opportunity for concerted action in pursuit of a defined agenda. The net result is defeat for the party of moderation. The tumor need not encompass the entire body to bring trauma to the organism.

For complex reasons, the media has defined “moderation” as the first cousin of reason.  Moderation has become an honorable stance aligned with the absence of dogma and, associatively, intransigence. In truth, moderate is the absence of commitment. And defeat accompanies the absence of commitment. In politics, in marriage, in parenthood, and, most terminally, in war.  

Despite his occasional requisite language to the contrary, the last Republican candidate for President positioned himself as a “moderate.” He meant it to be an advantage in his effort to appeal to “independents.” It didn’t work. 

So when his soul brother Sen. Lindsay Graham, from the Gang of 14, railed on the floor of the Senate about how the stimulus bill was not bipartisan, some of us could not help but speak loudly to the deaf TV saying, in effect, “Welcome to the party, Pal.”

Here’s the problem. Once you establish moderation as a paradigm of collegiality, tolerance, and open-mindedness, it’s very difficult to reverse the positive popular image of “moderate.” That image is routinely conveyed by a media not sympathetic to the host philosophy of Republican “moderates.” 

At the beginning of his first term, President Bush invited Sen. Ed Kennedy to the White House movie theater and summoned his aid in writing the No Child Left Behind legislation. Following his established modus operandi in Texas, Bush made a good faith effort to “reach across the isle.” He naively played political nice ball. It never earned him any points, with Democrats or the media. 

President Obama is from Chicago. He plays political hardball al la the Daley Machine. Gee, what a surprise.

In the jargon of the former USSR, the Republican “moderate’ Senators who’ll vote for the alleged stimulus bill are just more bodies in a conga line of Republican useful idiots
Dick Morris, commenting on Fox Business News on Friday, February 06, 2009, said, “The Republican Party died today.”  That assumes it was alive yesterday. It died, operationally, long ago with the birth of moderation.