Laughable Claim: Moderate Republicans are Endangered Species


In 2011, Froma Harrop said Tea Party activists were engaging in “economic terrorism” over the debt ceiling, and later called activists “saboteurs.” Now she’s back, lamenting the alleged loss of the moderate Republican.

Harrop’s piece is worth reading, in all of its flawed glory, because it is a textbook case of the factually-challenged view that moderates are good for America, Republicans have lost their moderates, and the insinuation that the Democratic Party is reasonably centrist.

First, her opening:

Moderate Republicans are, were, good things. I use the past tense “were” because as they became rarities, the centrists’ chief function was preserving majorities in Congress for their radicalized party.

New England used to send lots of moderate Republicans to Washington. No more, and it’s not because there aren’t attractive Republican candidates. It’s because the ones representing liberal-to-moderate regions became scapegoats at which party extremists directed their primal screams.

Scapegoat is defined as “a person made to bear the blame for others.” In fact, it is moderate Republicans who are to blame for many of America’s current problems. Harrop’s position ignores that moderates were the ones who ran up the national debt, enacted ineffective immigration reform, allowed earmarks to run wild, and increased federal intrusion in health care and education.

Next she claims the GOP has lost its moderates. Considering the presences of Speaker Boehner, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Senators McCain, Graham, and Burr, among other very moderate Republicans, this claim is laughable. Furthermore, even the allegedly fiscally conservative House can’t pass a budget proposal that balances within five years, take a strong negotiating stand on anything related to Obamacare, tax reform, or regulatory reform. Not only is the GOP loaded with moderates, they occupy leadership positions that dictate which legislation is voted on.

Finally, her “wink-and-a-nod” claim that Democrats are moderate:

In a recent conversation, a rich benefactor of the Democratic Party stopped his usual attack on Republicans to express worry about the survival of their party. Moderates of all political stripes want a choice. Without responsible Republicans, the Democrats can get sloppy, and America’s challenges go unmet.

A return of the Republican moderate would be good all around.

Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, higher taxes, record and near-record spending, refusal to consider reform of unaffordable entitlement spending, targeting political opponents…If Harrop considers this track record reasonable and moderate, her version of left-wing policy would make Senator Harry Reid cringe. That’s why Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is the head Democrat in the House and President Obama is in the White House – because of the party’s centrist leanings. Are there fewer Republican moderates in power than there were prior to the Tea Party? Absolutely. Being a spineless, status quo politician isn’t known to win elections, but the over-blown claim that Republican moderates are gone is absurd. Further ignoring history, Harrop claims the following:

There arose the stupid “RINO (Republican in name only) Hunters Club,” courtesy of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. In 2005, Rush Limbaugh pounded away at Republican “traitors” in the Senate, adding that “they all happen to be from the Northeast, and they all happen to be moderates. They all happen to be liberals.”

And now they all happen to be gone, except for a few exceptions. Thus, the Senate has a Democratic majority.

Yes, the Democratic Party took the Senate in the 2006 mid-term elections, but a full year before the election, ABC News reported on a poll showing Democrats with an advantage on 9 of 10 major issues facing the nation. And a CNN article written shortly after the 2006 election showed the war in Iraq and corruption/ethics were the biggest issues for voters, hardly a mandate for big spending government programs.

In 2008, the Democratic majority deepened as the full folly of both parties – Republicans led by then-President Bush, hardly a right-wing Republican – were laid bare, and voters turned against the party that had long been in power.

Here’s the icing on this cake of fail, fiscal conservatives helped the GOP take the House in 2010. Harrop’s entire “analysis” can’t stand up to facts.