This question has been baffling the political scene since John McCain ended his campaign as a fringe right-winger, claiming that Obama had ties to terrorists and America-haters, and refused to temper outbursts of “Kill Him!” at McCain-Palin rallies. We all know the story after that – the Republican Party erupted with a new wave of xenophobia, purity tests, and faux-libertarianism known as the Tea Party.
‘Moderate’ had become an obscenity for conservatives. Not even those who seemed like they had a semblance of levelheadedness, like Charles Grassley during the Health Care debate in 2009, could follow through with cooperation and waver from the inflexible stances of the far-right.
Enter: Jon Huntsman.
Coming out of the closet this past week was former U.S. Ambassador to China for the Obama Administration who has decided to speak sanity to craziness. Yesterday, during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” he called others in the Republican candidate field “unelectable” and “extreme.” On Twitter, he boldly declared, “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
Speaking about the his own party:
“Again, it’s talking about things that, you know, may pander to a particular group or sound good at the time, but it just simply is not founded in reality,” Huntsman added.
“I wouldn’t necessarily trust any of my opponents right now, who were on a recent debate stage with me, when every single one of them would have allowed this country to default,” Huntsman said. “So I have to say that there was zero leadership on display in terms of my opponents.”
Will moderation work for a Republican candidate during the primary stage of the 2012 election? Or does the Tea Party and Talk Radio contingent of the Republican Party have a monopoly over conservative thought?