New Hampshire–Moving To The Left, or Rejecting GOP Extremism?

One reason that Republicans have lost their control of the federal government, and are gradually turning into a regional party with support limited to the south, is that they have both moved to the far right and fail to understand how their views have become unacceptable to majority of the country. The latest example of this is seen in an analysis by David Scribman at Real Clear Politics of the perceived move of New Hampshire to the left.

Examples of moves to the left provided by Scribman are not so much leftist policies but a rejection of Republican extremism. Civil unions is simply an idea whose time has come, and represents a rather moderate alternative to legalization of same-sex marriage supported by most liberals. He sticks to the usual GOP talking points in calling taxes the “first love of liberals and Democrats.” While nobody likes higher taxes, the policies of the Bush administration were so extreme as to be rejected by moderates as well as liberals. Everyone hates to pay taxes, but ultimately most adults will recognize that there are essential government functions which must be paid for, and running up deficits is a poor solution. Grover Norquist’s pledges against any increase in taxes represents an extremist ideology, not traditional conservativism.

Scribman fears that New Hampshire residents are not the indepenent minded individuals they have been in the past. I have no first hand knowledge of New Hamphire and therefore could be wrong, but I have seen a similar rejection of the GOP among other former supporters and suspect similar forces are at work there. While Scribner considers Hillary Clinton to be far left, in reality we have a far right Republican Party which is countered by a mildly left of center Democratic Party, which might actually be right of center in most of the world. Only far right extremists would consider the policies of the Democratic Party to be far left.

My bet is that New Hampshire hasn’t moved to the left as much as the independent minded people of New Hampshire have rejected Repubican extremism. Non-extremists will reject a foreign policy which strengthens al Qaeda and Iran while getting the United States involved in a quagmire. Only extremists will support a political party which goes to war based upon lies, and rejects modern science. The economic policies of the GOP no longer benefit the small businessmen on Main Street as they use government to transfer wealth  to the ultra-wealthy. Using government to promote the agenda of the religious right will be opposed by the independent-minded, whether or not they are religious.

In a two party system, a centrist party is going to beat an extremist party in New Hampsire and in most of the country. Democrats may be winning in New Hampshire simply because the Republicans do not offer an alternative worthy of consideration.

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