The Seductive Promise of the “Moderate Republican” in the 2014 Governor’s Race
via D.R. Tucker – There is a belief in some sections of the Bay State that Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker represents a return to old-school, centrist, reasonable New England Republicanism, the sort of rationality embodied by former Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke.
The idea that moderate Republicanism can return to life is powerfully seductive. It’s something we all desperately wish could be true.
I found this idea powerfully seductive; it’s why I voted for Baker when he first ran for governor four years ago.However, even the most idealistic among us now have to acknowledge that “moderate Republicanism” is as much of a fiction as “clean coal,” and that this seduction is always followed by a betrayal.
In fact, as I watch Baker’s ads promising a civil, bipartisan approach to policy, I’m reminded of that great line from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
Let me warn you and let me warn the Nation against the smooth evasion which says, “Of course we believe all these things; we believe in social security; we believe in work for the unemployed; we believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things; but we do not like the way the present Administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them- we will do more of them we will do them better; and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything.”
But, my friends, these evaders are banking too heavily on the shortness of our memories…Remember, too, that the first essential of doing a job well is to want to see the job done.
Make no mistake about this: the Republican leadership today is not against the way we have done the job. The Republican leadership is against the job being done…
You cannot promise to repeal taxes before one audience and promise to spend more of the taxpayers’ money before another audience.
You cannot promise tax relief for those who can afford to pay, and, at the same time, promise more of the taxpayers’ money for those who are in need.
You simply cannot make good on both promises at the same time.