If only moderate Republicans were moderate. Or even Republicans, for that matter.
Jim Jeffords; Lincoln Chafee; Arlen Specter; Michael Bloomberg; Chuck Hagel; stop me when you can no longer keep your gag reflex from firing off.
They were all Republicans of convenience, never to be relied on in a crucial vote. Such people are perfectly happy during election season to wave the conservative flag, because that’s what an unprincipled scoundrel does to get votes and money. Low Information Voters. ‘Nuf said. Moderate Republicans are typically lionized by the press as superior thinkers, but the reality is…. well, you saw the Chuck Hagel nomination hearings.
At no point do such men ever fool the politically aware. Democrats know they always — always — can be had for the right price. The GOP Establishment will wet their pants trying to please them and buy their loyalty. Large dollar donors know that the opportunistic fence-sitter is often a powerful broker in Washington. Funny (unexpectedly!), when there’s no longer an advantage to being Republican, they’ll change their stripes to skunk in a heartbeat.
Now add to the list Charlie Crist, the Tan Man with a Plan. He’s a moderate’s moderate, holding multiple shifting positions on both sides of the divide. He was Florida Governor from 2007-2011, and when he decided to run for the Senate in the 2010 election, the GOP Establishment happily gave him their full blessing. Electability, the Holy Grail of the GOP Establishment. At the time his name was even in the mix for the 2012 GOP presidential candidacy. Don’t laugh. He was exactly the kind of person they wanted, (and ultimately got, IYKWIMAITYD).
When a minor train wreck happened in the Senate primary, called Marco Rubio and the Tea Party, Crist ran in the general election as an independent, scrubbing every vestige of pro-life from his campaign (and losing there as well, 49-30). He has since been a vocal supporter of Obama’s economic policies (which is what exactly, destroying jobs and commerce, and regulating everything to death?).
The current governor is Republican Rick Scott, whose first big move as governor was to reject $2.3 billion in federal funds for a favorite Obama pork project, a high speed rail line, due to questions about likely cost overruns, among other things. This infuriated state Democrats, for whom no spending project can be left behind. Naturally, Crist is ready to ride to the rescue, and is now considering running for governor again in 2014, this time as a Democrat.
Raise your hand if you’re shocked.
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