Disappointing First Definition
So we’ve all supported the right of the Moderate Party to form, and it’s been an interesting process. Now that Ken Block has achieved the milestone of officiality, however, the big question is what the group actually means by “moderate.” The 4E marketing — economy, ethics, education, and the environment — is tantamount to declaring, “We’re for everything good and nothing controversial.” The general assumption, bolstered by the involvement of Arlene Violet, is that this translates into Republicanism minus social issues — or, more likely, capitulating on social issues.
It’s disappointing, therefore, to see this be the first political shot taken by the party’s new executive director, Christine Hunsinger, previously press secretary for Elizabeth “I thank the House leadership for letting me attend this OCG event” Dennigan:
“Governor Carcieri’s performance — if we’re grading it — I’m going to flunk him,” Hunsinger said. “This thing with unions is a shell game. Whatever deal he strikes will bind the hands of the next governor. I think it’s smoke and mirrors. They’re just playing around and it’s bad policy.”
It’s entirely possible that reporter Steve Peoples plucked this statement from a wide-ranging list of complaints about both major parties in all branches of government, but it also wouldn’t be surprising if Hunsinger provided it as her one specific statement in a warm, fuzzy discussion about her new job. Either way, the Moderate Party’s first tentative steps toward real political action are not encouraging. When the microphone is placed before her, whom does Hunsinger attack? The corrupt and absent General Assembly, which holds most of the power? The system of mutual background support across government branches? The social welfare empire? The public employee union machine? No. She “flunks” the governor. Ms. Dennigan couldn’t have said it better.
The Moderates’ challenge remains self-definition, and at this moment, that appears to require disproof of the impression of political hacks seeking indecisive voters.