David Frum

10.15.12

Does the GOP Need a Liberal Wing?

Eli Lehrer certainly thinks so, citing New England as an example of a region ripe for capture by a more moderate branch of Republicanism.

[T]hat should be possible because the Republican Party's overall philosophy isn't necessarily inconsistent with the positions they have taken. For example, the position of nearly all nationally prominent Republicans that state legislatures rather than the federal courts should decide on issues of abortion is fully consistent with electing pro-choice politicians to represent pro-choice states. Since the Republican Party has often presided over expansions of the welfare state (most recently the Medicare drug benefit), likewise, people who favor more social spending should also be welcome in the party. And so forth.

The perfect example for Lehrer's argument is Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who, while well liked and respected, is being hammered for belonging to the same party as cranks like Todd Akin of Missouri. As long as the party lurches further to the right, moderate Republicans in left of center states have a seriously uphill battle.