Tuesday, February 01, 2005
POLITICS AS USUAL: ...AND SHE'LL CRY IF SHE WANTS TO
"The Republican party is embroiled in a heated and high-stakes battle between its far-right and moderate wings-with conservatives declaring open warfare on the moderates who ask themselves "Whatever happened to the party of Lincoln?" Bearing profound implications not only for the future of the party but also for the future of American politics, this momentous battle will rage on no matter what the outcome of the presidential election.
Christine Todd Whitman retired as a member of the Bush administration in June 2003, tired of the ideological battles in Washington and eager to return home to New Jersey. A lifelong and loyal Republican and a leader of the party's moderate wing, she is a passionate believer in the power of the "productive middle" in politics.
Relentlessly pushing their ideological stances on abortion rights, race relations, the environment, tax policy, and go-it-alone foreign policy, the conservative extremists are not only violating traditional Republican principles, she argues, but are also holding the party back from achieving a true majority. By playing so slavishly to the far-right base, running negative campaigns and marginalizing women, the party has forsaken the much broader base that propelled the "Reagan revolution" and has fueled the country's overheated polarization."
You can find her website HERE.
I shoudl say from the beginning that I'm not a fan of airing dirty laundry publicly. I beleive that if a Party is having internal debates, they should be kept internal. It just gives the other side more dirt to throw at you down the road.
However, I do feel that Dubya tends to focus on promoting policies that wouldn't be considered "moderate" to say the least. I think the discussion Whitman's having is an important one. And it comes at an appropriate time--Bush has one his second term, and the GOP will need to start laying the groundwork and direction for the next election in 2008. There will be a new candidate, and the Party needs to decide who it wants to lead it, and more importantly, where it wants to go.
Frankly, I've always felt that there is an opportunity to build a broad base of support, not unlike Reagan did in '84. And I think Dubya can play a part in that role. I just hope that some Republicans don;t see this as an opportunity to emulate the Democrats.
We have a saying here in Canada--When voters have a choice between real Liberals and a Party posing as Liberals, they will always take the real thing.
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