There is no longer any point in being a moderate Republican. Unless the mods start speaking up, they will very shortly be irrelevant, if they aren’t already.
Case in point: Arlen Specter. Specter made the “mistake” of saying that anti-choice Bush judicial appointees would have a hard time being confirmed by the Senate. The religious right is now demanding that Specter not be given the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his heresy. (Note the comparison to the Democrats, who gave Harry Reid the chair of the party because he was “next in line” – to hell with whether he was the best choice at this time.)
The latest from the Republican is Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, telling the Sunday morning shows that whoever leads the Senate Judiciary Committee must agree Bush’s judicial nominees.
Sure, why not? It’s not like the Congress is an independent branch of government. It’s not like Senator Frist and his Senate colleagues were actually elected to represent their own states and their own local interests. Oh no. This is the new Republican party. Welcome all, and please leave you brain at the door.
While I personally worry about what it will mean if Specter doesn’t get the chair of the committee, there’s an equally large part of me that couldn’t care less. Let the Republican party purge the CIA, purge the Senate, purge America of anyone who doesn’t believe in Pat Robertson’s and Jerry Falwell’s hateful, bigoted, narrow-minded jihadist agenda. It’s about time moderate Republicans, and America more generally, woke up and realized what the “new” Republican party really stands for and how it actually operates.
As a gay man who’s been on the receiving end of Republican hardline intolerance for years, it’s not surprise, and even a bit amusing, to watch that intolerance now spread to others who always thought they were out of the line of fire. Perhaps this is the only way they’ll wake up.