Saturday, December 8, 2012

What is Happening to Moderate Republicans?

I am not studying for finals now and am angry about stuff as usual, but I am not going to touch on too heavy of a topic now.  The sheer magnitude of craziness of the Republican party has come to light again in the failure to pass a completely non-controversial UN Disability Treaty.  Only eight Republicans voted for a bill that would do nothing to change US law and was actually based on American policies.  Let's briefly examine what is happening (or has happened) to moderate Republicans.

Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida, switched to an independent and is now a Democrat
The late Arlen Specter did the same before he lost the Democratic primary

Dick Lugar (former Indiana senator) lost his primary by 20 points after serving in the Senate for 35 years.

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska senator) lost in the primary before successfully running a write-in campaign to claim her seat (perhaps the only success story of a relatively moderate Republican recently)

Arnold Schwarzenegger would have a much better chance to win a national primary as a Democrat.

Jon Huntsman, a solid conservative former Utah governor, was ridiculed for preposterous positions like believing in science and supporting raising the debt ceiling over letting the economy crash.

Bob Inglis began his tenure as a reliable conservative, but his views began to moderate in more recent years. He voted for the stimulus and the DREAM Act.  More importantly (to me), he eventually came to accept the consensus on climate change and has been a strong advocate for a carbon tax (more on this later).  He lost his primary in 2010 by 41 points.

The whole of the moderate Republican presence Kansas state legislature, including the (now former) Senate president, got bombarded.  More on that here  (and just because it's Fox doesn't necessarily mean it's biased).

Chuck Hagel, a former Republican Senator before he decided not to pursue reelection, has endorsed Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Nebraska.

Colin Powell, Bush's former Secretary of State, has endorsed Obama twice now.

Mike Castle decided to run for the Senate after a long tenure (18 years) in the House.  He lost to Christine "I am not a witch" O'Donnell, who got easily defeated in the liberal state of Delaware.

Lincoln Chafee actually lost in the general election in 2006 after barely winning the primary.  His response was not what you'd expect: "When asked whether he felt that his loss may have helped the country by switching control of power in Congress, he replied: 'To be honest, yes.'" Now he's an independent governor, probably more of a Democrat.

Chris Cristie was heckled for giving praise to Obama's handling of the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  We'll see if the Republicans will embrace him in 2012 if he keeps his (somewhat) independent streak.  Or he could take the coward's way out like...

John McCain shifted to the right, now voting almost as an establishment Republican.  In fact, he was rated tied for the most conservative senator in 2011 following a long period of moderation before his 2008 campaign.

Mitt Romney.  Need I say more?

Okay, he wasn't really a moderate, but at one point, Tim Pawlenty supported cap-and-trade and believed in climate change.

Basically, the Republicans suck.  To be fair, the Democrats have consumed some of their own too, like Joe Lieberman (who has still for the most part supported the party's agenda since he became an independent) and Arlen Specter (the ex-Republican).  It is clear though that the purge is much greater on the Republican side.  Think of where the Democrats would be if not for senators in these states:

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