Carl Hulse tracks down an apparently rare species in Saturday's "Moderate Republicans Feeling Like Endangered Species."
"Facing the loss of fellow moderates in the Nov. 7 elections, Republican centrists in the House and Senate are faulting Congressional and party leaders for pursuing a strategy dominated by conservative themes.
"Leading moderates say Republicans concentrated on social wedge issues like same-sex marriage while pressing national security almost to the exclusion of popular wage and health policies that could have helped endangered Republicans in the Northeast and the Midwest."
"Ms. Snowe and other moderates, while holding out hope that most of their counterparts would hang on, were dismayed by the prospect of depleted ranks, saying it could lead to a more polarized Congress.
"Two Senate Republicans often found in the small moderate bloc, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Mike DeWine of Ohio, are in serious jeopardy. Two leading House moderates are retiring, another lost a primary, and at least six others are in difficult re-election fights in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere."
If Congress has indeed become more ideologically polarized, it's not just due to more conservative Republicans but more liberal Democrats. But for some reason the Times doesn't find the absence of moderate Democrats nearly as interesting as the loss of moderate Republicans.
According to a Nexis search, since Bush's election in 2000 the Times has referred to "moderate Republicans" as an "endangered species" seven times, a fairly highly number for such a seemingly arcane description. There were no refences to "moderate Democrats" as endangered.