Are Moderates Missing the Point?
Do they realize that there are people on this very blog actively supportive of Rudy Guiliani for Governor of New York? Do they get that there are many California conservatives who are enthusiastic about Meg Whitman? Did they forget that the favorite candidate of many conservatives in 2008 was Mitt Romney, the moderate Republican governor of Massachusettes? Even the scourge of many conservatives, John McCain, is getting more support because of his surprisingly conservative leadership in the senate (my jaw dropped when I read his quotes criticizing Obama’s cap-and-trade plan.)
And here is where moderates like David Frum, Meghan McCain and yes, Arlen Specter miss the point– conservatives are not anti-moderate– we realize we’re not going to win with a completely ideologically pure message everywhere. The thing we want is moderate conservatives not liberal Republicans. Moderate conservatives, first of all, respect the conservative movement. They’re looking to build bridges with us rather than burn them. They’re not looking to publicly denounce conservatives every second day, their criticisms are more conversational than they are confrontational. They also know when to agree to disagree. We know that as well. We’re not going to get a piece of brave pro-life legislation with Rudy or Meg at the helm of two of the bluest of blue states, but we’re confident in their ability to effectively run a limited government. We know they understand sound economic theory and don’t subscribe to the idea that higher taxes and more government services equal a better economy. We know they’re strong on national defense.
The thing that kills me is that from the sounds of it people like Meghan McCain and David Frum have some conservative ideas (Meghan for example is much more vocally pro-life than her father.) and if they found themselves could easily be categorized in the 80% range, but they’re too busy criticizing and denouncing conservatives.
They’re right about one thing: we do need to build coalitions, but we’re not going to build coalitions by turning our backs on principle.