Maybe Call It a Comeback
I really feel proud to be a moderate Republican these days.
Moderate Republicans in Congress, taking a cue from Tuesday's election results, the President's sagging approval numbers, and scandals plauging the House leadership, have decided now to strike back at the party's far right leaders. Fellow moderate elephant Jeremy over at Charging RINO gives a good summary of the "November Rebellion" by moderates and how they have singlehandedly been able to change the agenda.
Kudos must be given to these folks. In the House they were able to get the budget cutting bill proposed by House leadership pulled from consideration. This bill would have cut the budget, but on the backs of the most vulnerable. At the same time, plans were being made to pass yet another round of tax cuts that would only help the most affluent. I'm all for getting some fiscal sanity and I understand that there has to be some budget cuts. But it is morally wrong to ask the poor to bear the burden of these cuts, while the rich get another tax cut. You don't have to be a Marxist to see the unfairness in that.
Senate moderates are also getting into the act. It looks like an bill that would extend the first term tax cuts by one year (there was a plan to originally make them permanent, but that went nowhere) is not going anywhere and Ohio Senator George Voinovich couldn't be happier:
"It should go away," Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) said of the tax package. "We ought not to be involved in it."
Voinovich said the budget rebellion reflects increasing voter unease about Republican priorities: "There's uncertainty. There's anxiety," he said. "It's the common sense of the American people looking in on us and questioning what we're doing. People say, 'This doesn't make sense to us.' "
And where does this leave the President, who campaigned as a centrist and then governed as a conservative? Pretty much out the picture, says
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius:
Where is President Bush in this shifting political landscape? The unfortunate reality for the White House is that it may not matter much. Bush has never seemed interested in trying to shape a new political center, focusing instead on his conservative base. Now that process is beginning to animate both parties, while the president broods over his troubles.
The President had a chance back in 2001 to govern from the center. Instead, he choose to please the far right base, ignoring the rest of the country. That might work in less turbulent times, but not now when there is war on, and people are concerned about rising energy prices.
Let's hope this November Rebellion by moderates continues. Keep up the good work, people!