Moderate: Not a Dirty Word

Those of you who live in Florida probably have a much better handle on the type of person Charlie Crist is, but I have to admit that since the lunatics have taken over the asylum of the GOP, he seems like he could be just the thing they need. He debated Teabagger darling Marco Rubio on Fox News Sunday today and though it likely won’t change many right-wing minds, his message is one that sounds pretty innocuous. At least, it did when the Republican party was sane.

The funniest part, as quoted in the linked article, is when Rubio tried to disparage asking Ronald Reagan if he would run as an independent. Crist fired back, informing the conservative that Reagan, in fact, was once a Democrat. Ironically, the famous quote Reagan used to describe his switch is particularly salient for Republicans today. I wonder how many moderates in the party feel the same way about the rise of the Teabaggers?

Rubio also defended the right’s budget plan, put together by Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan. Personally, I can’t wait for a local debate in which Marco Rubio stands before the electorate in Florida and starts talking about dismantling Social Security and Medicare. Of course, with many Teabaggers happily receiving benefits from both programs and decrying governement at the same time, perhaps Rubio understands cognitive dissonance just fine.

The bottom line for conservatives is that this election year is shaping up to be a watershed moment whether they recognize it or not. The ideological purity demanded by the Tea Party wing simply does not appeal to independents and moderates and certainly isn’t going to expand the base. Even Democrats would probably cheer if the GOP were to loosen their belt a little and allow a moderate voice to come to the fore. The Goldwater/Buckley era of intellectual conservatism was buried with St. Ronnie and the zombie version currently running wild is bound to end up destroying the Republican party as an entity. Yet the leadership and the feverish base just don’t want to hear it. I know they’re loathe to take advice from a dirty commie like me either but here goes:  GOP, you should listen to Crist.

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