Don't Call It a Comeback...Yet
Jeremy over at Charging RINO wonders if Moderate Republicans are finally coming into their own after Tuesday's defeats. The moderates in the House were able to sucessfully strike a provision that would have allowed drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge or ANWR.
It also looks like Senate Moderates are also acting up:
In the Senate, a similar showdown will occur today, as the Finance Committee moves on a five-year, $60 billion bill that would extend expiring tax cuts from President Bush's first term. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) told Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) she would oppose the measure as fiscally unwise and an unfair boost to the affluent as Congress cuts programs for the poor.
Snowe's opposition would sink the bill. Even if she changes her position, the measure faces an uncertain future on the floor. Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) announced his opposition Tuesday.
"I do not know how anyone can say with a straight face that when we voted to cut spending last week to help achieve deficit reductions we can now then turn around two weeks later to provide tax cuts that exceed the reduction in spending," he said. "That is beyond me, and I am sure the American people."
To moderates, this is good news and should be a sign to GOP leaders to steer towards the center and not towards the far right. However, moderate Republicans need to come up with a governing agenda. Just a centrist Democrats have worked for years to come up with sensible agenda in contrast to the far left, we moderates have to the same and now is as good a time as any. The current leadership is mired in scandal and increasingly out of favor. Events like Terri Schiavo scared the dickens out of average Americans. Ross Douthat & Reihan Salam write a wonderful blueprint on how the GOP could be a party of economic security. The ideas they suggest will not please the more libertarian-minded Republicans, but it will please the center and I think could transform the party. In my mind, moderates should sign on to this agenda and run with it. We now have an opening, however small, to steer the party away from the Grover Norquist/James Dobson trajectory and towards a more moderate path.
Let's keep fighting, moderates.