Don’t Forget the Moderates

While they don’t exactly get many ideologues’ hearts pumping, moderates like Rep. Christopher Shays (CT-04) and Sen. Gordon Smith (OR) are crucial building blocks for any sustainable governing coalition.  Electing Republicans in Democrat-dominated states can do a few things.  It helps keep the party nationally viable.  It not only gives the party a toe-hold in unfriendly areas but a possibility for expansion; it helps keep the Republican party a respectable brand within that state.  And a diversity of opinions on a number of issues can maybe help keep the party intellectually vibrant.  Besides, as suspect as guys like Smith may seem to aspects of the hard right, are the policy goals of the right really going to be accomplished by trading him for Jeff Merkley?  (If Merkley takes Smith’s seat, he could hold it for a long time.)

So if you’re in Connecticut and thinking about volunteering for the local McCain office, you might consider giving Chris Shays a hand, too.

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