[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: One-Way Moderation

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

One-Way Moderation

I like Myriam Marquez and her attempt to cover issues fairly and "moderately", and moderation is indeed good for most things, but when moderation means criticizing only one side for it's uncompromising stance, sitting on that fence doesn't feel so good.

Marquez joins the chorus asking for the GOP to moderate, presumably because they've lost a couple of elections. Here are some excerpts from her column today with my comments interspersed:

And that's the crux of the GOP's problem. The party's hard right can't reconcile that most God-fearing Americans are socially moderate. The GOP has strayed from an individual-rights and economic opportunity agenda to a party controlled by uncompromising zealots.

Really? When even liberal California votes against legalizing gay marriage, that should say something. Most Americans don't want a pure merger of church and state, but they're much more conservative on social issues than Marquez gives them credit for. And who exactly are the "zealots" running the GOP, I'd like to know? Don't throw accusations without supporting evidence.
Everyone loves a tax break, but most people also want strong public schools, healthcare for needy children, transportation systems that work and safe streets. Can Bush's new group find a balance?
And most people want government to be efficient, too. We've seen how wonderful government runs our schools, healthcare and transportation. It's not about balance, it's about making government less intrusive and more responsive to people's needs. In other words, less bureaucracy. Less government.
President Barack Obama so far has the public's support because he talks moderation. We'll see if he delivers.
So I guess talking is enough to convince folks. Sad.
No doubt Bush governed Florida as a conservative and delivered strong growth during most of his eight years in office. But listen: Voters no longer look to the private sector as the only way. Can this new GOP group accept the wisdom of regulation?
So what happened? People in only a few years forgot that Bush's formula mostly worked? No reasonable person believes that the private sector is the ONLY way. But give me an excess of private sector over an excess of government any day. And regulation goes farther towards producing excess in government than excess in liberty.
Toning down the angry, reactionary rhetoric of the GOP's far right won't be enough if the GOP of the 21st century refuses to work with Democrats and reach a middle ground. Voters have tired of partisan intransigence.
So what's the reactionary (and hateful) rhetoric from the hard left the past 8 years considered? Mere "politics as usual"? I mean, let's at least be fair - or shall I say - moderate, by calling out BOTH sides. As far as reaching a middle ground, has Marquez forgotten who rammed the stimulus bill down our throats? It sure as hell wasn't angry and intransigent Republicans. Where is the Democrats' move to the compromising middle, or are they exempt because their leader talks moderation (and wins)?

I almost feel bad for tearing Myriam Marquez's column. I really like her, but to ask that a political party "moderate" its values because they've lost a couple of election cycles is bad enough. Not demanding the same from the other side - the side in power - when our debt has reached rarefied heights, is bordering on hypocrisy.

The GOP has plenty of problems right now. Lack of strong any leadership. Not enough people within the party articulating a clear vision. Turning against their own values and trying to be too moderate, ironically enough. But it's definitely not because they're too extreme.


Blogger C.L.J. said...

Bush's formula worked? Really? Which part worked - property taxes becoming even more outrageously unfair, our schools remaining among the worst in the nation, or the continuous rise in insurance costs across the boards?

10:28 PM, May 06, 2009  
Blogger Robert said...

I don't know. Why don't you ask Myriam Marquez? She seems to agree.

7:20 AM, May 07, 2009  

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