Moderate Republicans’ quandary |

Moderate Republicans’ quandary

Matt Zalaznick

The fundamentalist wing of the Republican Party is losing its mind. And the Democrats are complete sissies. Moderate Republicans who wanted to vote for someone other than Bush but just couldn’t stomach Kerry aren’t to blame. They got Swift-boated. They got hoodwinked. And they appear to be getting angry. Their contempt for Kerry’s seemingly ever-changing character left them with administration’s continued contempt for the environment. They expected fiscal responsibility but got a presidential and congressional spending spree. The Democrats? Well, they have nothing to say. They are complete pansies. Moderates are watching with rising horror as Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, James Dobson and the other masters of intolerance are exposed for the jihadists they are. Moderate Republicans who supported the war on Saddam are beginning to see there’s a war on Charles Darwin.When moderates voted homeland security, they didn’t realize they also voted for the censorship-slinging kill-joys of the Parents Television Council. Backing the international war on terrorism to spread democracy, they also backed a domestic war on freedom of speech, freedom of scientific inquiry, freedom of choice and freedom from religion. They wanted to stamp out tyranny and they got stifled stem cells. And there’s no Democrat, neither senator nor governor nor party chairman, taking these fanatics on. The Democrats are complete wimps. When will Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean demand that federal funding be withheld from any school boards that dump evolution for a Christian rock superstition like “intelligent design”?When will somber Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (if he is actually a Democrat) start hammering on the political crimes committed around the Schiavo case? Maybe Reid should sue Bill Frist for malpractice for misdiagnosing-via-satellite a fatal injury miles outside of his medical specialty. But the Democrats are more afraid of the moral values insurgents from Colorado Springs than the Sunni insurgents in Falluja. The fundamentalists would rather yank out their faith-based feeding tubes than ever vote for Hillary Clinton. Democrats are more afraid of shifting political tastes in middle America than political upheaval in the Middle East. They’ve got the Lebanon of Rafik Hariri confused with the Lebanons in Ohio, Missouri and Indiana. And the wispy Dems show no signs of growing a backbone. They’re still running their ultra-cautious, take-no-stance (or take all stances) Kerry campaign. They are likely to tread lightly right out of the next congressional and presidential elections. Americans, regardless of their flaws and obsessions, don’t much like mealy-mouths when they’re picking a president, especially when soldiers are dying overseas and Osama and others of his insidious ilk are still creeping from cave to cave. The Frist wing isn’t likely to bank its religious revival to the left. But this, along with DeLay’s disgrace, is likely to frighten moderates back toward the left, where they belong. What does this all mean? It means John McCain or Rudi Giuliani – or any other tough-on defense but not-so-worried-about-gay-marriage Republican – has got it made in 2008. The right is faithing itself to political death, the Democrats are flaking out, and many Republicans don’t want the bad words bleeped out of Arnold’s old movies. They hope to have enough Social Security checks to pay for their TiVos and satellite dishes so they watch the “Terminator” over and over. Vail, Colorado

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