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Sat Dec 8, 2012, 08:22 AM

 

And this is how the Democratic party gets pulled ever further rightward. [View all]

Yesterday, a moderate Republican named Charlie Crist decided to become a Democrat. The simple fact of the matter is that the Republican party has moved so far to the right that Crist can no longer hope to win any sort of party nomination(of course it doesn't help that he endorsed Obama).

So Crist decided to become a Democrat, like so many other moderate Republicans. A man who has run as anti-gay marriage, anti-public education, hard on crime, expand the death penalty, lower tax rates and endorsed by the NRA is bringing his views with him into the Democratic party, and will probably go ahead and run on those views as he seeks office. Thus, the party gets dragged to the right.

This has happened time and again, to the point where the Democratic party has been remade into an image of 'Pug lite. Rather than demanding that people remake themselves as true Democrats, the party constantly remakes itself to fit the notions of these moderate 'Pugs.

How are we, as individuals, supposed to support somebody like Crist? Is this what has become of the party, putting winning above principle and position, thus accepting anybody and any position just so long as we "win"?

Sorry, but Crist and others like him are taking the easy way, the coward's way out. Rather than doing the dirty work of taking their Republican party back, the dirty work of fighting the extremists that have invaded the Republican party, instead of doing the honorable thing, they take the coward's way out and jump ship to the Democratic party, and thus drag it further to the right. How far you ask? Far enough to the right that the policy positions of both the 2008 and 2012 Democratic party platform align quite closely with most of the planks of the Eisenhower era Republicans.

Oh boy, now we're my father's Republican party

So with the center right and extreme right wing positions covered by the Democratic and Republican respectively, where does that leave the left? For right now, and in fact for about twenty years now, pretty much out in the cold. Hanging on to hopes of some sort of great leftward resurgence within the party, or voting for the lesser of two evils, or simply out of force of habit, the left in this country has continued to vote Democratic, though it has seared the soul of many a liberal to vote for what is essentially a continuation of Nixonian, Reaganesque or even Bushboy's policies.

In the end, politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum, and with a huge political and power vacuum on the left, somebody, or some group is going to fill that void. When that happens, those constant, reliable votes on the left that the Democratic party has relied upon, even take for granted for the past thirty years will be gone, vanished, and take the Democratic power base along with them, leaving the Democratic party floundering as a centerist party. To paraphrase Jim Hightower, the only thing in the middle in this country are dead armadillos and dead political parties.

If the party doesn't what to become irrelevant and go the way of the Whigs, then it needs to return to its roots. It needs to support solidly liberal political positions. It needs to move back to the left. And it needs to tell moderate 'Pugs like Crist to go clean up their own party instead of polluting ours. Swing hard to the left, and guess what, such a leftward move could actually, over time, pull the Republican party back to the left, out of the hands of extremists, and make it, once again, the party of Eisenhower.

Wow, two distinct parties again, what a concept.

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