Jackie Calmes: No Moderates Left in the GOP

Wednesday's "Political Points" podcast featured hosts Sam Roberts and Sheryl Gay Stolberg discussing the November elections with White House correspondent Jackie Calmes. About two minutes from the end, Calmes said ruefully that there were no more "mainstream Republicans" left in the GOP, forwarding the long-time media worry that the Republican Party is totally dominated by conservatives.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg: "I think that it'll be interesting to watch how Republicans who come from the Tea Party wing of the party fit in, in Washington, because some of their platforms are privatizing Social Security, privatizing Medicare, these are issues that we're going to see percolating here in Washington more and more if Republicans take control and it will be fascinating to see how those tensions within the Republican Party play out and what kind of platform ultimately emerges for handling the nation's finances."

Sam Roberts
: "Right, it may be tough for more mainstream Republicans to reconcile that."

Jackie Calmes: "I don't think there are many of those left, Sam, and there's gonna be fewer of them once this election is held. Some of them have already lost in the primaries to the Tea Party wing."

Calmes is an ardent defender of Obama's "stimulus" package. In February she claimed no fair economist could deny the success of the package, a claim that is more and more disputable every day.

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