Thursday, October 25, 2007

Is the GOP driving out moderates?

When a moderate Republican decides to take a pass on running for an open U.S. Senate seat, I think it's a problem. The WaPo reports:

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III said this morning that he will not make a run for the U.S. Senate next year in part because of what he sees as the Republican Party's increasingly narrow focus on candidates who pass conservative litmus tests.

Davis (R-Va.), who has been preparing for a Senate bid for years, said national and state Republicans have failed to recognize how dramatically the country's electorate is changing. Continuing to close their tent to such groups as social moderates, immigrants and those who look to government to protect public schools or reform health care will result in further electoral losses, he said.

Would I vote for Davis if I lived in Virginia? No. But I still think it's tragic how Republicans seem to be squeezing their more moderate members out.

How do they think this will help them win elections? The president's approval rating is at an all time low for ANY president. So why are party faithfuls still listening to the likes of Karl Rove and James Dobson?

Davis, 58, said his decision to take a pass on the Senate race next year was fueled largely by the Republican State Central Committee's decision this month to choose a convention over a primary to nominate the GOP Senate candidate in the spring. The choice is widely viewed to favor former governor James S. Gilmore III, whose right-leaning positions on taxes and social issues are more likely to appeal to the conservative Republicans who tend to participate in conventions.

Still, Davis, a seven-term congressman and former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, appeared far from ready to withdraw from politics. He said his decision on whether to seek reelection to the House next year will come later. In addition, his choice of a roomful of Washington journalists as his audience seemed designed to give himself a national platform as GOP critic. It is a role that could keep him relevant if the party's fortunes continue to suffer.

I hope he continues to speak out!


Fran said...

While I join in on the Repubs vs Dems conversations, ultimately I am one who loves politics because of what a democracy is meant to be. This very much ties into what I think community is meant to be...

A world where we work things out and actually share and compromise on certain things and agree to disagree on others.

I may sound silly, simplistic or just too idealistic. However, despite the fact that many things in my family life were crazy, I was exposed to a lot of talk about politics and the importance of involvement and voting. And while my parents were Republicans (maybe you read this), I was taught to listen, read, study and learn. And then to discuss and debate... Imagine that.

Anyway, in a true democracy we should all end up having at least some of what we want. If we don't we can and should write letters, blogs, be activists, etc for our causes. We should - we meaning all citizens should be using our critical thinking skills, reason and so forth.

That no longer happens. In our dualistic society it is black/white, good/bad, right/wrong, right/left etc. Anything less is viewed as some insanity. And I think that that is insane!

Sorry for my ramble here- anyway, this post about Davis is so illuminating because it shows the narrow focus at its worst.

We are in big trouble as a nation.

Howling Latina said...

Unfortunately, the Dems ain't exactly saints in Virginia, either.

They went on a full force attack mode of his wife who is running for reelection in the state Senate. YOu see, at the age of 18 her daughter was the get-away driver in a robbery and yep, thanks for George Allen's "truth in sentencing" law, she got sent to prison where she stayed for 5 years or so.

As a mother, my heart truly goes out to the poor woman who had her daughter brought into the campaign.