New England Moderates’ In-Tolerance
I’m actually surprised that Froma Harrop would be this myopic (no permalink available):
“Cocky whacko,” is what former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee called Sarah Palin yesterday during a speech in Washington. And Cocky Whacko is the general opinion around New England, even among Republicans and Republicans-turned-Independents like Chafee. We know that the Alaskan governor is beloved by the conservative base, but the reactions around here prompt the suggestion that Republican strategists get out of the office more often.
New England used to be the Republican heartland. In 1936, only two states chose Kansan Alf Landon over sometimes-New Englander Franklin Roosevelt. They were Vermont and Maine. And even to this day, there remain popular Yankee Republicans, notably the Maine senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. But other than these and a few other holdouts from other regions, the Grand Old Party of fiscal conservatism and social moderation seems dead and getting deader.
Perhaps the national Republican party has moved to the right of (or, more accurately, hasn’t moved as rapidly to the left as) a constituency that was significant in New England, but do the likes of Harrop even have the objective empathy to consider whether their own intolerance drives away us New Englanders to their right? Perhaps such “moderates” should strive to become better able to work with us — rather than thumbing their noses at us cocky wackos.