DATE: 1/03/2005 09:10:00 AM
What's Bothersome About Whitman - The news that former Governor and EPA chair Christine Todd Whitman has written a book critical of the Bush administration shows the extent to which "moderates" are about self-promotion rather than a political swing bloc of any power. The moderates in the Republican party are almost pathologically addicted to media coverage - Whitman, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Chuck Hagel. Rather than work with conservatives and the administration to form coalitions and solve problems, these attention seeking camera hounds race each other to the news media.
The media enables this behavior by ignoring Democratic moderates (Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman) and making that party seem like a perfect bastion of liberalism. The Republican "mavericks" are always held up, though, as evidence that the party is falling apart at the seams. To give this impression ignores the fact that Republicans have won the last three election cycles and are on their way to majority status. And they've done this without listening to the nattering nabobs like Whitman and McCain.
Republicans are winning because of religious conservatives and a solid message. The Democrats and moderates would have you believe this is all a coincidence and due to 'negative campaigning' and an evil plan by Karl Rove. Ms. Whitman believes she's not welcome in the party because of religious conservatives. She's wrong. Her lack of influence in the party is more due to her need to be popular in the media than work with those she demands accept her.