Palin, Limbaugh, Beck … now it’s Republicans seeing the downside
Some moderate conservatives see danger in the vociferous right, especially among broadcast pot-stirrers. They want to advance the GOP by changing the tone.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
But these days, it seems like Republicans are the ones duking it out with each other … or at least examining where they are and where they should be headed after recent electoral drubbings.
Mainstream Republicans are looking at the loudest of the conservative voices -- Sarah Palin and the most prominent of the talk-show types (Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al) -- and concluding that the GOP needs to do something different if it’s to succeed.
“In the year since the election has ended, she has done nothing to expand her appeal beyond the base,” Schmidt said at a forum sponsored by The Atlantic magazine and web site.
“The independent vote is going to be up for grabs in 2012,” he said. “That middle of the electorate is going to be determinative of the outcome of the elections. I just don’t see that if you look at the things she has done over the year ... that she is going to expand that base in the middle.”
Meanwhile, Schmidt’s old boss “is working behind-the-scenes to reshape the Republican Party in his own center-right image,” reports politico.com. That means recruiting candidates, raising money, and campaigning on their behalf.
“Those familiar with McCain’s thinking say he has expressed serious concern about the direction of the party and is actively seeking out and supporting candidates who can broaden the party’s reach. In McCain’s case, that means backing conservative pragmatists and moderates.”
Speaking at the same two-day Atlantic event as Schmidt, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina said party leaders need to call out “birthers” and other conspiracy theorists on the right. “Say, ‘You’re crazy.’ In a respectful way.”