With John McCain, Lindsay Graham and others in the Republican Party still insisting that the GOP's problem is that we haven't reached far enough "across the aisle" or compromised our values enough, I thought it would be instructive to hit their concepts with a little humor.
So with the sincere hope that David Brooks reads and enjoys this, I offer the Top Ten Moments in Moderate Republican History. There were so many to choose from, sadly.
Number 10: Newt Gingrich does global warming public service announcement Nancy Pelosi, undercutting the burgeoning "drill baby drill" movement.
Number 9: Bush Quayle 92 Campaign: as we discovered what kinder and gentler GHW Bush meant when he said "read my lips." It was not "no new taxes." It was "no more Reagan."
Number 8: Dole Kemp 96, featuring so called "citizen Dole" of Kansas and Jack Kemp literally thanking Al Gore in a debate when Gore complimented Kemp on abandoning his principles to play nice with liberals.
Number 7: Ford Dole Campaign 76. Known as "Dull -Dole," they stood for....um...well....who knows?
Number 6: Jumpin Jim Jeffords jumps to the Democrat Party, effectively taking away Senate gains in the Contract with America election of 94.
Number 5: Arlen Specter switches parties, effectively multiplying the impact of Al Franken.
Number 4: Dede Scuzzy-favor endorses Democrat Owens in NY 23, shining the light of truth on the whole concept of "moderate" Republicans.
Number 3: The McCain Campaign of 08 refuses to "name names" of any Democrats in the economic meltdown related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sealing his fate for once and for all.
Number 2: Colin Powell, the huge proponent of moderates like McCain representing the Republican Party, endorses Barack Obama for President.
AND THE NUMBER ONE MOMENT in Moderate Republican history: Karl Rove and George W. Bush hatch the first "new tone" tactic - a refusal to even attempt to defuse the idea that Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, even though there was voter fraud and felon votes in the hundreds of thousands, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Republicans who left voting lines when NBC fraudulently gave Gore Florida at 7 Eastern time.
I give this the top moment because perhaps no single factor haunts Republicans to this day as the "new tone" and I was crying foul way back to Florida recount in 2000.