With the partisan dethroning of Florida's Republican Governor Charlie Crist and the open challenge to standing Republican Senator Bob Bennett's incumbency, a window is opening for third party politics and the flexing of muscle of the "middle ground." That the middle ground may not represent anything that is corrective about American politics is a topic of another writing. What is clear is that the inertia of the chauvinistic zealotry that today prevails in far right-wing Republican politics has produced an opportunity.
If those Republicans who desire to rescue their party from the acts of the absurd want to be successful, they must consider doing as a corpus, what Charlie Christ has done individually. And if they bolt the party, they may find that there is support significant to win elections without the mantle and cloak of the shadow business interest's hands on the steering wheels of political careers. Indeed, elected officials across all political lines may actually be freer to do what they were elected to do.
There is a broad spectrum of Republican thought that advocates for fiscal conservatism, family values and the other insincere and senseless pabulum proffered from sometimes surprisingly sincere ideological viewpoints. If those thoughtful sincere Republicans are ever to regain their party, they must be prepared to leave the far right extremists behind. Any strategies that forward such thinking must be employed long term however. It will be necessary to "spank" the Palin/Beck/Limbaugh/Drudge forces back into the submission of reason. This may mean losing seats in Congress during the coming mid-term elections. But such an act may save the Party as a whole.
Like Crist, if Bennett was to bolt the Republican Party, there are many moderate Republicans that would follow. Clearly, the far right wing, bolstered by the orchestration and organization of corporate dollars, has puffed itself up to a size greater than it actually is. Like the strategy used to frighten predators in the wild, the right-wing has learned to ruffle its own feathers, spike its own hair and stand on its hind legs making itself seem more dominating and ferocious than it is or should be. This has been effective to the point of scaring the moderate and independent predators off. Sadly, those moderates and independent "predators" actually represent Republican's own "species" as this metaphor extends itself. Thus moderate Republicans are now in danger of either losing the true ethos of their party to zealots or altering their own political aspirations to a point where what they originally sought is no longer recognizable as viable desirable policy.
In the process, the trumpeted "liberal controlled press," that is actually controlled and directed by moneyed interests decidedly committed to maintaining the status quo, has blown "tea bag" political activities out of proportion without holding their efforts to standards of accuracy, efficacy or objective examination. Marshall Mcluhan was correct and in this regard, "The Medium is the Message." The Republican right wing "Meerkats on Steroids," have thus enjoyed an inordinate impact on political perceptions. And their "movement" for government responsibility" (as they define all the terms) has successfully threatened the whole fabric of the American legislative process. This done while totally dismissing Wall Street's complicity in the theft of homes and livelihoods domestically, ignoring the erosion of nations and their infrastructures and tacitly denying the devastation of lives worldwide.
Moderate Republicans should convene to take back the night. They should develop strategies to deny the crazies' control of the Party aircraft. If hijackers have commandeered the plane, it is a wise strategy to rush the hijackers. If not, the plane is going down anyway. It is guaranteed not to land at the original destination! The problem here is that Republicans are seldom required to be smart. Corporate money provides this function for them in most cases. And thus, this analogy fails with them because most Republicans are ideologically shortsighted and appreciate their demise only in literal terms. The same must have been true for the dinosaurs!
Moderates and independents seem to have no appreciation of the imminent demise of the principles for which they are aligned in the first place. Sour personalities and negative mind-sets have replaced those few vestiges of reason that once surfaced in the Republican offering. My guess is that away from the cameras and microphones, Charlie Crist and Bob Bennett would not now be so enthusiastic about the Republican Party that they joined some decades ago. Especially if attempting to explain the one-way dubious quality of Party loyalty. Indeed, brachiation amongst Republicans might be an easier read.
If middle ground Republicans and right leaning Independents test the wind and furl the sails, they may yet save the ship from the current ill wind and from running aground. If not, the old Fram oil commercial's admonition is salient. "Pay me now or pay me later." And don't feel bad as far as allegiances go. If it makes Republicans feel any better, today albeit on the neutral ground of a non-ethnic neighborhood, I saw a "Blood" gang member wearing blue. Know that you've been forewarned that it will not get better from here for less strident Republican/Moderate voices. Modern Republican "storm trooper" equivalents are on the rise.
NOTE: This piece was written before the announcement of Bob Bennett's defeat on May 8, 2010, for re-election to the Senate in Utah.