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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yes, it does

Politico: "Waning GOP Needs Its Moderates." That's an obvious but lamentably controversial point. Excerpt:

During the 1970s and ’80s, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan generated support for their party by appealing to centrist and independent voters, thereby enlarging the GOP’s coalition and helping to make conservative Republicans the nation’s political majority. These presidents championed numerous conservative ideas such as tax cuts, but they also embraced more moderate policies that were important factors in the GOP’s ascendance.

Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency, endorsed national health insurance and forged diplomatic relations with communist China. Ford treaded softly on social issues while Reagan raised taxes, negotiated arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and signed legislation strengthening Social Security.

Not everything on that list was of equal value; "national health insurance" is an area where I prefer to see the Republicans propose something clearly different from the Democrats. But the notion that the GOP doesn't need its moderates, indeed ought to drive them away, is the key factor making the party's electoral prospects so dismal at present.

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