GOP Moderates, Still 'Dwindling' Away After 15 Years

Those GOP moderates just keep 'dwindling' away. Political editor Richard Stevenson Sunday wrote about Americans Elect, a new organization that favors an alternative nominating process for electing a president in the name of nonpartisanship: 'Group Clears a Path For a Third-Party Bid.' But what Stevenson called a 'process to enable creation of a centrist ticket' was in fact packed with Democratic Party soldiers and disgruntled Republicans. Stevenson employed an old Times trick to denigrate the GOP by singling out for approval 'one of a dwindling band of moderate Republicans.'

Those who have lent their names to the effort include Will Marshall, the president of the Progressive Policy Institute, the centrist Democratic research group; Christine Todd Whitman, the former governor of New Jersey and one of a dwindling band of moderate Republicans; Mark McKinnon, the strategist who guided Mr. Bush's message in 2000 and 2004 but backed Mr. Obama in 2008 and now says his interest is 'anything that disrupts the current system,' and Doug Schoen, a pollster who worked for Bill Clinton in the 1990s but is now frequently critical of Democrats.

Katharine Seelye used that same formulation in an April 16, 2009 story on then-Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania: 'Mr. Specter is holding fast to his identity as part of a dwindling band of Republican moderates.'

As Times Watch has previously reported, the "dwindling band of Republican moderates" has been "dwindling" for a long time - former reporter Adam Clymer used that exact same phrase back on December 1, 1996, giving back-handed praise to 'very conservative' Sen. Trent Lott:

But the dwindling band of Republican moderates gives him high marks for attentiveness. ''I've always found him considerate of those in the party who weren't in total lock step with him,'' said Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island, who has not always found other conservatives so tolerant.

After 15 years of 'dwindling,' it's a surprise there are any moderates left in the GOP at all!