Wednesday, October 31, 2012

That Sound You Hear Are Moderate Republicans Positioning Themselves

Finally, finally it's beginning to happen. The moderate Republicans who have essentially been stomped into the ground and silenced during the Tea Party avalanche are now beginning to step forward and begin the slow process of taking back their party. Despite the craptastic economy, Obama's basically poised to win this.

Frankly, the only people the Repubs have to blame are themselves. The Democrats suffered a similar isolation (and defeat) when the left wing of the party held sway until Bill Clinton wrenched it away them. And let's be clear that I fall squarely in the far-left spectrum of political beliefs and yet I concede that this is what had to happen for the Dems to win the White House; it didn't hurt that the economy was in the toilet, making Bush senior very vulnerable. As has been Obama. I've heard over and over again this was the Republican's race to lose. Yep, all they had to do was run a centrist campaign and they would have mopped the floor with Obama.

Why do I say that the moderate Repubs are finally wrenching their party back to where it was pre-Tea Party? Two reasons: one is that Chris Christie basically gave Obama his biggest endorsement of the entire campaign and probably did more for Obama's numbers than any single event (with the exception of Romney's 47% comments). Christie has his own agenda for sure--hello, 2016--but more than that, he has a history of collaborating with Dems to get the job done, and that hasn't changed despite the GOP's determined efforts to obstruct all agenda (regardless WHAT the agenda is) as long as it means collaborating with the Dems. Christie is one of the few Republicans who seems to remember that government is a collaborative experience. Anyway, I would imagine people like Mitch McConnell (who has hired a Tea Party hack to run his 2016 Senate campaign--might want to review that strategy, Mitch) are furious. I would also imagine that Christie is getting a lot of behind the scenes support from those Republicans who have been bullied over the last two years by the extreme wing of the party to vote their way or the highway.

Two? The only issue the Republicans have been talking about for the last two weeks have been the events in Libya. Johnson went so far as to say that abortion is a non-issue and that every constituent he talks to is demanding answers on Benghazi. Interesting that. Ninety-seven percent of the population say they have strong feelings on abortion, while roughly half of the people polled had no idea what had happened in Libya (and it's not hard to make a leap that they don't care either). Today Condi Rice has come out and said, wait a minute, buckaroos. When events are happening that fast on the ground, it's difficult to get the facts straight. Don't jump to conclusions. In other words, back off.

That both of them, eminent Republicans, essentially endorsed the Obama administration the WEEK before the election says to me that the moderate Republicans are making their moves. They've written off Romney as being the puppet of the extreme wing of the party, and they've also written off this election. They are positioning themselves for 2016, which, mark my words, will be a centrist campaign that will appeal to precisely those voters who probably wouldn't have voted for Obama given the state of the economy but did so because the GOP cut its extremist throat. There are clearly some people who have had enough, have seen the damage done to the GOP by their extremist platform that marginalizes women and minorities (who are key to any election these days), and are determined to wrench the party back to the center. Look for a Christie/Jeb Bush ticket in 2016.

Good luck.

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