Former NJ Governor Christie Whitman got some ink in the Newark Star-Ledger on Monday, which oddly just happens to jive with the release of her book in paperback. Nonetheless, she's got some important things so say as usual. Speaking of the current state of Republican affairs, Whitman's not optimistic: "We're at a critical point. We're starting to see polls that look just like the polls looked to Democrats in '94."
From the Star-Ledger piece: "She says Republicans must stop their internal bickering and adopt a broader view that allows a less conservative take on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage and stem cell research. She calls for a 'new civility.'
"'The rhetoric is getting harsher, and we're having more divisive elections,' Whitman said. 'We can't just agree to disagree anymore without being disagreeable. ... People see their opponents as not just wrong, but evil.'"
The most interesting part of the article are some comments from former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who's now in charge of Freedom Works, described as "a grassroots organization of fiscal conservatives." Armey says of Whitman's views "There may be something to what she says," adding that the GOP has become "preoccupied by the Christian conservative agenda," to the detriment of "small-government, fiscal conservatives."
I agree with both Whitman and Armey, as might be expected. I'm glad Whitman continues to speak out, and I hope that will continue. One party or the other must embrace centrism and openness ... if they don't, something else will rise out of the rubble they leave behind.