Thursday, July 28, 2005

Whitman on the Center

Via Dave Meyer, guest-host at The Washington Note this week, I wanted to point out this article from Wednesday's Denver Post: "Ex-EPA Chief Laments GOP Shift." Before speaking at the Aspen Institute's summer speaker series on Tuesday (I'm still trying to find out if the text of that speech is available), Whitman met with the Post and discussed the rightward drift of the Republican Party and what it has meant for intra-party debate and centrist principles.

As a result of the current trend toward polarization, disagreement is stifled: "They believe you're either 100 percent with us or you're the enemy. You're not just against us; you're evil, and we need to take you out." Whitman recognized that Democrats face the same pressures from the left (witness the vicious attacks leveled at the DLC meeting this week), but made the point, which I agree with, that the GOP has lurched more strikingly to the right because "the levers of control are in the hands of people who have a much more narrow definition of what it means to be a Republican than I grew up with."

Of President Bush and his failure to work in a bipartisan fashion on just about anything, Whitman commented "President Bush won re-election by 2.5 percentage points. It was not a mandate to take the country hard in one direction or another."

My post from last night regarding the Santorum/Brownback wing of the GOP (and the excellent followup comments) was the first of what I fully expect will be a long series of discussions over what route the Republican Party will choose over the next couple of years. Will we continue allowing those with a "much more narrow definition" (to put it nicely) definition of Republicanism to run the show? Or will we opt for a new direction, perhaps epitomized by a revitalized centrist wing? I hope, of course, for the latter - and will do all in my power to make it so.

Governor Whitman, keep it up. The party needs your voice, now more than ever.

[Update: Dennis at The Moderate Republican has an outstanding follow-up to this post. Check it out. -- 11:21 a.m.]


At 2:28 PM, Blogger A Human Bean said...

I am not sure where Whitman would be getting the idea the GOP is moving to the right. True conservatives such as myself have felt left out of the GOP since Bush was elected. The Neo-cons are actually liberal Republicans who believe in big government, international interventionism, monopolistic business, and big brother public education among other things.

BTW, From reading your post why do you even consider yourself a Republican. You fit much more appropriatly in the Democrat party. RINO's and DINO's should just go where they belong so they parties can actually accomplish something and not have to worry about supposed members bolting all of the time.


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