The real problem with moderates
November 28, 2011 5 Comments
As I wrote recently, this silly “moderate” and/or “radical centrist” third party beloved by ignorant pundits is not going anywhere. That said, it’s still nice to see EJ Dionne lay out so clearly why it is such a horrible idea:
Some of my middle-of-the-road columnist friends keep ascribing our difficulties tostructuralproblems in our politics. A few call for a centrist third party. But the problem we face isn’t about structures or the party system. It’s about ideology — specifically a right-wing ideology that has temporarily taken over the Republican Party and needs to be defeated before we can have a reasonable debate between moderate conservatives and moderate progressives about our country’s future. [emphasis mine]
A centrist third party would divide the opposition to the right wing and ease its triumph. That’s the last thing authentic moderates should want.
Yep, a lot of these knee-jerk centrists keep insisting– despite voluminousness evidence to the contrary– that the “right” or “moderate” approach must simply be half-way between the two parties. Yet, this fails to account for the fact that the Republicans have moved the goal posts so far that they are out in the parking lot. So long as the Republican party is in thrall to people who see lower taxes for rich people as the sine qua non of politics and are willing to destroy the full faith and credit of the US and cause all sorts of unnecessary hardship to ordinary Americans in pursuit of that goal, there really cannot be any compromise. The sad truth is that so many journalists and even ordinary people are so constitutionally inclined to take a “split the difference” approach that they fail to appreciate how truly radical the current Republican party is. To simply call for a moderate third way is to deny that essential reality of contemporary American politics.