Attention Moderate Republicans: You Have Been Put On Notice

There goes the big tent (again)

By the Chairman of the Republican Party himself:

“[C]andidates who live in moderate to slightly liberal districts have got to walk a little bit carefully here, because you do not want to put yourself in a position where you’re crossing that line on conservative principles, fiscal principles, because we’ll come after you,” Steele told ABC’s Top Line in response to a question about Republicans who support the White House’s stimulus and health care plans.

You’re gonna find yourself in a very tough hole if you’re arguing for the president’s stimulus plan or Nancy Pelosi’s health plan. There’s no justification for growing the size of government the way this administration and this Congress wants to do it.”

Let’s review:

President Obama is viewed favorably by 56.1% of Americans; only 37.1% views him unfavorably.

34.6% of the country identifies themselves as Democrats; only 22% identifies themselves as Republicans.

53% of America views the Democratic Party favorably; only 36% views the Republican Party favorably.

57% supports a public health care option; only 40% opposes it.

And the Democratic economic stimulus package ended the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in just a few months.

Yet, if you’re a Republican who supports health care reform, or the stimulus, or helps a popular President pass his popular policy proposals, then Michael Steele (and the teabaggers) are gunning for you.

Don’t conservatives remember that, the last time they took out a moderate Republican and replaced her with a right-winger, the GOP lost the election? And that happened last Tuesday–how bad are their memories?

If the GOP wants to be a tiny, ideologically-pure party, then Steele & co. are on the right track. On the other hand, if Republicans ever actually want to get back into the majority, then perhaps they should consider how to win moderates back instead of throwing them out of the party.


  1. Ian · November 6, 2009

    It has become the order of things that the political pendulum swings widely. It’s now strongly in our favor. The party out of power tends to purge itself, since they only have the base left. Eventually, they’ll be back.

  2. thoughtbasket · November 6, 2009

    Let the Republicans pander to the base. They can be the party of extreme conservatism and then elections will demonstrate what Americans really want: centrism. This is precisely what happened in NY23.

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