The election of President Barack Obama last fall and the accompanying reaction from the extreme right wing worsens the condition of moderate Republicans. Here in Wisconsin, especially around metropolitan Milwaukee, where right-wing talk radio with Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling sways listeners, moderate Republicans continue to come under siege.
Now we see that on a national level the problem is worsening.
Whether it’s the loose confederation of Washington-oriented groups that have played an organizational role or the state-level activists who are channeling grass-roots anger into action back home, tea party forces are confronting the Republican establishment by backing insurgent conservatives and generating their own candidates — even if it means taking on GOP incumbents.
As we noted last August, Democrats, Libertarians, and No Republicans, Oh My
...(they) are not Populists in any sense of the word, they are libertarians...
...The Tea Baggers and the town hall protesters are really about reshaping the fundamental premise of our government. That is a challenge for the Republican Party. They will not quit until they either control the GOP or bolt to the Libertarian Party lead by Sarah Palin.
The real challenges for progressives and moderate republicans is finding their common ground. It will require positional shifts for both, which they need to accomplish anyway.
The left must realize there is a role for capital and that profits are not evil.
For moderate Republicans, it means accepting reasonable regulation in areas like financial services, consumer protection, and safety. It means putting distance between them and the far right.
The left and the moderate Republicans must recognize (this list is far from comprehensive):
- the existence of global warming and that we must do something about it.
- the need to integrate every American into the workforce.
- the value in education and training and the value of investment in infrastructure.
- the critical importance of the quality of the environment.
- the role of the government in protecting heath and safety.
- the need for limits to international trade until all markets are subject to the same labor and environmental standards.
- the need to welcome development that is compact and that makes transit systems more efficient.