Apparently, my earlier post came off as me being quite a bit more amenable to the “Frumians” than intended. To clarify, when I wrote that Frum made some “good points”, I was referring to his description of Brown and his positions. I most certainly don’t agree with Frum’s sullivanesque paranoia with the “right wing.”
Despite the fact that Brown doesn’t pass all of the traditional “right wing” litmus tests, Justin’s point that Brown isn’t running a moderate campaign is absolutely correct. The danger of shorthand labels is apparent; for while Brown may not be a “right winger”, he’s not a Chafee/Snowe/Collins moderate either. How about “right of center”?
The acute point I was trying to make was that Chafee–a social liberal and economic mess–had come to exemplify a Rhode Island moderate Republican to not only voters but also within the RI GOP itself. With his break from the party, my hope is that the fallacy can finally end and the idea of what it is to be moderate can better approximate the national norm. All that being said, and assuming all candidates are competent, I think it’s safe to say I’ll support the more conservative candidate every time.