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Friday, August 08, 2003
Re: "Moderate" Republicans

I understand Jason's points about Arnold and I think I agree with them right now. I think Tom McClintock or Darryl Issa would be better -- maybe even Simon? -- but I don't know if they could win. Although since you only need a plurality, this would be the time for Republicans/conservatives to rally behind one good, solid candidate and get him elected with 20% of the vote. Oh well, not gonna happen now -- and this is why we need strong conservative state parties, but that's another topic.

In terms of "moderates" though, let's be honest, for the most part they are squishes. What I mean is that these people are the first ones to jump ship and abandon the party. I don't have the numbers to back this up, but I'd wager that statistically if you are say a pro-abortion Republican you are more likely to vote against the party on taxes, property rights, welfare, health care, the environment, defense spending, etc. than someone who is pro-life.

Now, pragmatically you might argue that it is better to have Christie Todd Whitmann than Jim Florio. And that may be so. But I think that is often a false choice. Take Pennsylvania, for instance. The choice isn't between Specter or someone like Rendell, it's between Specter and Toomey. And as Rick Santorum has shown, you can be a conservative,white, religiously faithful Republican and still get elected.

Although there are some elections when it is smart to support a "moderate," I think it is in the long-term interest of both the GOP and conservatives to defeat the squishes whenever and wherever they have a chance.

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