I think I need to clear up some misunderstandings about my last entry.
First and foremost, we certainly have to work with what we have. I would never advocate not working with the Republican party, nor would I ever say that moderates aren't necessary.
What I am trying express is that the current establishment of the party - an establishment that is growing, not shrinking - has repeatedly shown they do not want the moderates in their party and they are going to flush them out one by one.
This purge of the moderates is happening all over the state and all over the country. Republicans are running hard liners in primaries against moderates (a la Garton) or they are pulling party support from their races. The right wing is not trying to hide the fact that moderates are not welcome.
So, as I said before, why do the moderates continue to make excuses for their party? It's like the battered housewife that makes excuses for her drunken, abusive husband. "Oh, he only gets like that when he's had too much to drink." What she leaves off is that he's drunk like that every day.
Why are these seemingly bright, good-hearted people taking the abuse?
It doesn't take interpersonal aplomb nor higher mathematics to divine what the party structure believes is the golden ticket for them. This hard line, fundamentalist, "God, Guns, and Gays" strategy is working for them and they aren't going to foresake it any time soon. Why should they when it wins them power and they have a whole fleet of people just waiting to apologize for their atrocities?
What I believe is this: It is in the best interest of these moderate Republican to vote against their party right now. This wholesale removal of moderate voices has been escalating since 2000. It could take years for the cycle to play out...Even decades. I don't think we have that kind of time to wait and all of us should be repudiating these policies by voting (not turning our backs to, just voting) against the Republican party.
It will be time to fill the ranks with moderates when they have ranks to fill. Right now, they have a glut of the wrong kind of Republicans and it's time for a good old fashioned weeding out. The fastest way to make that happen is for moderates to stop apologizing and start taking back their party. The only way to start that is by removing their total dominance of power.
You see, I believe we have to work with both parties...And we can certainly do our best to preserve the few good moderates that are left in the Republican party, but the only way we're going to stop the disastrous policies of the current 1 party rule and give these moderates a chance to rebuild their party is to first take it down a notch.
This applies to the here and now. In 2006, we have a chance to say a collective "We're not going to take it" and mean what we say. I'm not saying Republicans should turn their backs on their party forever. But I am saying that if a large chunk of them defects for one election cycle, it could make a difference. It could give them an opportunity to state the case for a return to real Republican values.
The Democrats aren't necessarily our hope either. Don't get me wrong. I have been critical of the Democrats many times as many of you know, but they are the OTHER party. One party rule is not good for the state or the country. It's been disastrous to the country and the Hoosier state isn't exactly sitting pretty after 2 years of it here. I'm not even a fan of the 2 party system! I'm a strong supporter of 3rd parties, in reality...But we need change FAST. And the only true way to make sure that happens is to vote Democrat this year.
Let me repeat...We need a change of course fast and that means the end of one party rule, which means that we have to elect as many Democrats as possible to ensure that happens.
Once we have a little bit of check back to the power, then those moderates can start making changes to the party...But waiting for that cycle to complete naturally could take years or even decades. There is too much at stake in the next 3 to 5 years to hope for the best. It's time to make a change.
For those interested, here's a good article from the Boston Globe that exemplifies exactly what I mean. It's a look at Bush's "signing statements" and how he's picking a choosing which laws he has to follow and how Congress doesn't want to set him straight because they're afraid it'll make them look bad to take on a President from their own party. Thanks to Jeff Newman for the link...http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws?mode=PF