Thursday, January 04, 2007

My party left me

Many people who describe themselves as Reagan Democrats are fond of repeating the Gipper's statement about the Democratic Party, i.e., "I did not leave my party. My party left me." To which we offer the following:
According to research undertaken by political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, in the early 1970s, the voting records of those in the political middle of the House Republican delegation were approximately as conservative as Congressman Steven LaTourette of Ohio, whom the Almanac of American Politics termed as having "the most moderate voting record of Ohio's Republican members." Yet 30 years later, in 2003, the anti-tax group the Club for Growth contemptuously labeled LaTourette a "Republican in Name Only" for his insufficient fealty to conservative causes. What was once the party's center had become its far left, as the average Republican congressman of the early 2000s was now 73 percent more conservative than his counterpart of the early seventies. In the Senate, the move rightward proved even more pronounced. The median Senate Republican was approximately twice as conservative 30 years later, as represented by Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum, a man who, before his 2006 defeat, famously compared gay Americans to practitioners of polygamy, incest, and bestiality.