Friday, October 27, 2006

Culling the Moderates - Not

A number of commentators have remarked that whether they lose the majority or not, the House GOP is likely to be more conservative next year by virtue of the fact that a number of moderates Republicans will have been defeated.

Consulting the RCP list of endangered GOP House seats, the average lifetime ACU rating of the 20 most endangered Members is 76.2% The endangered GOPers include John Hostettler (lifetime score: 90), Charles Taylor (lifetime score: 92), Chris Chocola (lifetime score: 95), Tom Reynolds (lifetime score: 88) and Mike Sodrel (lifetime score: 92).

I can't find the average score for all House Republicans, but ACU does say that in their book, 'conservatives' score 80 or better. So 'on the average,' the likely GOP losers on election day will be moderate-to-conservative.

Don't kid yourself that sitting out election day will make the Republican caucus more conservative, or that losing the House will make them so. They only way to do that is to support conservative candidates.

Another point: I hope that this difficult election day teaches House GOPers a lesson, and I hope they change their behavior in the next Congress. But I don't want them to be more conservative. I want them to be more reformist. I want to see an end to earmarks, and an outside ethics process, to start.

I think that tackling discretionary spending and entitlement spending is a thankless task, which the Democrats will try to frustrate at every turn. But I want to see some commitment to figuring out how to do it.

But the GOP doesn't need to be more conservative to do that. Going by the scoreboard, some of the most conservative members are the most hidebound institutionalists. That's what I want to see defeated - whether conservatives or moderates are the ones carrying the flag.

Back to the top.

No comments: