Monday, July 10, 2006

Immoderate Moderates

The Moose celebrates the fighting moderates.

It is deeply ironic to hear the kossacks and their fellow travelers kvetch, moan and complain that Joe was too tough on their boy Ned. Apparently, they can dish it out but they can't take it. Now, they are crying copious tears on their keyboards as it is evident that Joe Lieberman is going to aggressively advance his argument for the vital center.

Joe has emerged as a key leader of the battling centrists. They span both parties and their foes are the wingers on the right and the left. This hearty band of moderates will defy ideological purity and forge new alliances across the political spectrum.

David Brooks captured this development yesterday in his column,

"This isn't a fight between left and right. It's a fight about how politics should be conducted. On the one hand are the true believers -— the fundamentalists of both parties who believe that politics should be about party discipline, passion, purity, orthodoxy and clear choices. On the other side are the quasi-independents -— the heterodox politicians who distrust ideological purity, who rebel against movement groupthink, who believe in bipartisanship both as a matter of principle and as a practical necessity...

"The big story out of the campaign last week was the aggressiveness Lieberman has finally brought to his side of the fight. Over the past few years, polarizers have dominated Congress because people who actually represent most Americans have been too timid or intellectually vacuous to stand up. Even today many Democrats who privately despise the netroots lie low, hoping the anger won't be directed at them."

As the Moose has indicated, the race in Connecticut is a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. Indeed, this is the critical political battleground for the vital center. There are no neutrals here. No CO status will be granted. Praise is due Senators Pryor, Salazar and Nelson for taking a courageous stand for the center!

Joe is our leader, and he inspired us last Thursday night with a bold performance that made us proud. Immoderate centrists of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but the domination of petty partisan polarizers who poison our political discourse!

The choice doesn't have to be between Grover on the right and kos on the left.

And speaking of old Grover, there was a fascinating piece about him yesterday in the Washington Post with this nugget,

"Frank J. Gaffney Jr., the firebrand director of the Center for Security Policy, has developed an anti-Norquist presentation, complete with charts and graphs, that he has shopped around to other conservatives, saying it shows Norquist's ties to terrorist sympathizers.

"This is the perfect moment to get the truth, because guys like Abramoff . . . have a powerful incentive to cooperate and get out the truth. At the very least, the questions should be asked," Gaffney said.

"At issue is the Islamic Free Market Institute, which Norquist created in 1998 to steer Muslim voters to the GOP. To run the institute, Norquist tapped Khaled Saffuri, whose dealings with the American Muslim Council linked him to Abdurahman M. Alamoudi, a founder of the council, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from top Libyan officials and admitted participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate then-Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia."

Given Grover's links to the Administration, this alleged relationship is more than a little curious. And where are the other conservative hawks on this issue? Are you still enjoying the little nosh at Grover's Wednesday's confabs in possible contradiction to your national security credentials?

The question for both parties is which one will capture the vital center? While '06 may very well be a "base election", '08 will be far different. At the moment, too many Democrats are succumbing to what Brooks aptly describes as the "liberal inquisition". If this inquisition is successful, the Democratic brand as a centrist party will be gravely undermined.

The Moose has been the recipient of excommunication orders from would-be Torquemadas of both the left and the right - some with beards and others with modems. And he can report that it is a gratifying experience. Unfortunately, some politicians become weak-kneed and craven in the face of the Inquisition.

But, fear not and take heart. The moderates are battling back - led by Fightin' Joe.

-- Posted at 6:01 AM | Link to this post | Email this post