Moderate v. Centrist
I managed to miss this on Friday (actually I saw it but forgot to post it and then just re-discovered it) - CNN political editor Mark Preston has some comments on the distinction between "moderate" and "centrist", at least as those terms pertain to the Republican Main Street Partnership.
More than 60 current governors, representatives and senators are members of the RMSP, which works to bring together centrists within the GOP around issues which unite rather than divide. It's a good group, and they're working hard this year, planning to spend more than $7 million on elections around the country.
Part of the RMSP's big job is countering the impact of the Club for Growth, which goes after Republicans who don't agree 100% with their economic and social platform (i.e. all tax cuts good, abortion bad, etc.). Right now the Club is going after freshman congressman Joe Schwarz (MI), who has been very much a centrist during his term, as well as Senator Linc Chafee in RI (the Club supports challenger Steven Laffey, while RMSP is backing Chafee).
Rep. Tom Davis (VA), the current president of RMSP, notes that the group is not about unseating other incumbent Republicans, speaking of the need for tolerance of different views within the party. While I sometimes wish that this group would be more active and make the centrist voice heard on a wider range of issues, I think they've improved greatly in recent years and I really hope that trend continues.
As we're seeing around the country, from Rhode Island to Connecticut to Michigan and beyond, there are those in both parties who want everyone to think, act, and vote alike. That is neither healthy nor desirable, and we all should continue to do everything in our power to oppose such attempts.