05/25/2005 03:09 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Moderates: The New Black

So moderates are apparently the hot new trend of the summer, with most of the media celebrating them because...well, because they're moderate. Or supposedly moderate. Check out the lead line of today's lead NYT editorial:

If nothing else, the deal to end the Senate's "nuclear option" showdown was heartening in that it did demonstrate that moderates still exist in Washington, and actually have the capacity to work together to get things done.

Actually the filibuster deal did plenty more than show that moderates have not gone the way of the dodo bird, Betamax, and worry-free casual sex. Where to begin? For starters, it guaranteed the confirmation of several immoderate judges who now have the rest of their lives to make immoderate ruling after immoderate ruling. Second, given that the Republican party keeps lurching ever further to the right, it officially redefined a GOP "moderate" as anybody to the left of Santorum or Frist (i.e. almost the entire civilized world). And since when does "moderation" have some sort of a priori value? Or "getting things done" for that matter? What if the "things" one is "getting done" are very bad things? Is it necessarily good to get things done merely for the sake of getting things done? Does it make sense, for instance, to say, "Well, I burned down my house today, but, hey, at least I got something done"? I'll take not getting things done over dubious achievements...however "heartening" they may be to the Times.