A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

April 7, 2007

For GOP Centrists, Life in the Minority Isn’t too Bad

The New York Times had a report on life in Congress for GOP Centrists, mostly from the Northeast. Thus far, some of the new GOP minority, find life isn’t so bad with the Dems in charge.

Typically, the GOP congressional delegations from the Northeast are signficantly more progressive than their counterparts, and have been thought of in the GOP caucas as the black sheep of the Party. However, moderate GOP Representatives like NJ Mike Ferguson, CT Chris Shayes, and NY Peter King have all seen positive trends in some areas, mostly linked towards labor initiatives since the Democrats took control almost 100 days ago.

Mike Ferguson had this to say about life in the minority,

“Under the Republican majority, those bills would have never gotten to the floor,” he explained before heading back to his district. “Now they have been brought to the floor, and I’ve voted for them.”

This of course represents the need for minimum wage in the expensive Northeast, and the important role that Unions have played in providing middle and working class families with some manner of economic stability, which again, due to the exceptionally high cost of livng, and example is the minimal price of a small starter home in suburban NY coming in typically at about $325,000.

Another factor that the GOP centrists are relalizing is that the Administration’s policies are very unpopular not just with the nation as a whole, but with the states in the Northeast and the Rust Belt. Simply put, the GOP can’t afford to throw away as many as 125 Electoral College votes every four years, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find a candidate that could have some traction in this vote heavy region. Particularly, moderate Democrats fared well in battleground states of PA, OH, and MI. Chris Shays, never the most popular Republican in the caucas puts it this way, “Democrats basically grabbed the center and ran with it politically,” adding that he would continue working with the Democrats provided they did not veer from the political center.

However, Democrats see the blood in the water, having unseated ten Representatives from the region, and they want more. The best hope according to the “Tuesday Group”, moderate Republicans – sometimes belittled as RINO’s, who meet to discuss issue which effect their constituency, typically health care and jobs, is for the GOP to send a national candidate with more moderate views, but still within the scope of the more Conservative base; Rudy Giuliani comes to mind. Having the pressure off of this group to go along with more conservative stands on issues like abortion, global warming concerns, gay rights, gun rights and immigration may help this part of the GOP caucas to stay alive. Peter King, R-NY stated it this way, “They’re (the leadership) not pushing members to take suicidal votes or take bullets for the team.

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