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Where Have All The Moderates Gone?
Written by Isaac Parker   
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 15:31

Don’t be alarmed, this is not another mainstream media article bemoaning the downfall of “moderate” Republicans. No, I’m sad to say, except for a few defeats here and there, the Republicans In Name Only (RINO’s) are still doing well, far too well for my likes. No, the real endangered species of politics are “moderate” Democrats. I don’t view them as moderates, they are still big spending statists, but political views are a spectrum, others are always farther out on the edge.

To most Democrats and public employee union leaders these days, anyone more conservative than Leon Trotsky is a right wing extremist. The public employee unions make sure that no hint of moderation goes unpunished. Wisconsin Democrat State Senator Jeff Plale, representing a South Milwaukee district, was defeated in the Democrat primary in 2010. He was the first of several “moderate” Democrats to be defeated recently in Wisconsin. Plale had initially signed on as a co-sponsor of former Governor Doyle’s cap and trade legislation. But, after realizing the job killing nature of this global warming hoax inspired taxing scheme, he came out against the bill. Then, to the horror of public employee union leftists, he came out in support of concealed carry legislation. I never found a case where Plale voted against what I think should be real union issues, workplace safety, wages and working conditions. No, the real union issues must be global warming and opposition to concealed carry legislation. Milwaukee area SEIU, AFSCME and teacher union locals rallied against Plale and defeating him in the 2010 Democrat primary, this insuring the election of a far left activist instead. But, Plale was only the first of the “moderates” to go.

Democrat State Representative Jason Fields, representing an inner city Milwaukee district, was a proponent of the very successful school choice program functioning there. This, of course, made him the arch-enemy of the corrupt Milwaukee public teachers union, known mostly in Wisconsin, not for their teaching skills, but for their lawsuit demanding that Viagra be covered in their health insurance plan.

*** Hmm… I wonder if that’s where Sandra Fluke got her idea for universal free birth control. I suppose, if the taxpayers are going to enhance, so to speak, male Milwaukee public school teachers with Viagra, they should cover birth control too! ***


The voucher program is a threat to both the public teacher union control of the failing public school system and the union dues pipeline of money to the Democrat Party. Parental choice in education has to be stopped. Public sector unions heavily financed Fields’ primary opponent this year and he lost in August to a union activist.

Long term, pro-life Democrat State Representative Peggy Krusick from Milwaukee went down also in the 2012 Democrat primary. There is no endangered species so threatened with extinction as pro-choice, pro-life Democrats. Wolves are coming off the endangered species list; perhaps moderate Democrats should take their place. It’s no wonder the crowd at the Democrat National Convention booed when God was gaveled back into the party platform. Comrades, that’s your modern day Democrat Party.

Milwaukee Democrat State Senator Tim Carpenter had his own public sector union moment too in 2012. Public sector unions and the Democrat Party were in a fever pitch earlier in 2012, trying to stop an iron mine in northern Wisconsin. Why?? It might make Governor Walker look good getting jobs legislation passed before the June recall election. The story, as I heard it from a different Wisconsin State Senator, was that Milwaukee private sector unions had convinced Sen. Carpenter to provide the decisive vote to pass the mining bill. Mining equipment is still made by some of the few factories left in that once industrialized city. Word leaked. Carpenter, who at that time was running for the non-partisan Milwaukee City Treasurer position was immediately contacted by the public sector unions and told that - not only would his run for treasurer be derailed, but they’d put their whole might into defeating him in the next Democrat primary. This was no idle threat; Carpenter had already seen what happened to Plale less than 18 months prior. It was pointed out to him that any support the dwindling private sector unions could provide to him would be dwarfed by what the public sector unions could provide to his opponent. The balance of power has shifted.

Carpenter hasn’t stayed in office all these years by being a dummy. He saw the light and cast the deciding vote against the iron mining bill. But, the damage was done. With this negative publicity from the unions, Carpenter narrowly lost the City Treasurer’s race. Financially, it was a tough loss for him. Milwaukee City Treasurer is a good gig; $120,000+ annual salary, terrific fringe benefits, lifetime pension and you do not have to know a damn thing about accounting or finance. Crossing the public employee unions is not a career builder for any Democrat, Carpenter will know better next time.

Why am I writing this? Am I upset? No, I’m not. I didn’t like to see a school choice or a pro-life supporter defeated. Senator Plale was pro-life too. He showed, unlike most Democrat politicians, a rare flash of common sense. But, when it came to most issues, all three of these politicians went along with the Democrat Party’s quest for more government, more regulation and increased restrictions on private property rights, higher taxes and less freedom. There are no Democrats left to trust.

Instead, I’d like to propose that the Tea Party serve the same role for Republican candidates. It already has in many races. Primaries are a perfect opportunity. Incumbent are far more vulnerable in primaries than in general elections. Turnout is low, typically the most highly motivated, ideological oriented voters bother to vote. Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, the U.S. Senate’s RINO in Chief, was defeated in the Indiana primary earlier this year. Why take out the RINOs? If the Democrats are unwilling or unable to compromise, because the hard left will not permit it, who will compromise? RINO’s of course. But, compromise only works if it goes both ways. One sided compromise is better known by its more common name – surrender.

This spring I listened to Wisconsin Congressman Tom Petri give a speech at a Lincoln Day Dinner. After a rambling speech stressing how bi-partisan compromise helped pass some obscure funding bill for the FAA, the person sitting next to me said, “Petri’s the best argument for term limits.” Amen to that. If a bill is bipartisan, either the Democrats have slipped in all the riders to the bill they wanted; unbeknownst to the hapless Republicans, or the bill was so obscure that no one even cared what was in it. I suspect the former.

If one side cannot compromise for fear of their jobs and our RINOs, still living in the more genteel past, are willing to compromise, guess who wins? There’s been much talk this election year of how Ronald Reagan and Democrat House Speaker Tip O’Neil compromised in 1981 to get Reagan’s tax cut through Congress. As much as I like Ronald Reagan, that was a false compromise. O’Neil agreed to future budget cuts, but the House Democrats reneged on the cuts. The tax cuts brought increased revenue, but the spending increased more and the federal budget deficit grew. We didn’t get to a $17 trillion deficit by accident. We got there through compromise.

The establishment Republicans won’t give up easily, there’s good money to be made with crony capitalism. They may vote to save taxpayer dollars opposing liberal social programs, but they’ll gladly support an equally costly “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska or elsewhere and pocket the highway construction industry campaign contributions afterward. Either way, your tax dollars get wasted. The only difference is who ends up with them.

After the disaster of November 6th holding the line is more important than ever. If we are going to surrender our freedom we might as well go down fighting. Wisconsin’s own former RINO and compromiser in-chief, Tommy Thompson, ran his primary campaign almost solely on the claim that he was the only candidate who could beat Tammy Baldwin; despite the backing of the Republican Party establishment, his campaign ended in a dismal failure. This outcome should be a clue to establishment Republicans about which way the wind is blowing right – even right here in our own battleground state. RINO just isn’t cutting it anymore.

The Republican leadership in Congress is racing to sell out their party to Obama’s demands. It was said of the old Soviet Union in negotiations that their position was, “what’s ours is ours, what’s yours is negotiable.” That’s today’s Democrat Party too. Prior to November 6, I criticized others for fighting RINOs, believing that a RINO is better than a Democrat. But, I was wrong. After seeing the disaster of Tommy’s campaign, I realize they are not. I would like to apologize.


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