With the death of US Senator Arlen Specter from Pennsylvania, it’s difficult to avoid a metaphor about American politics. Where have all those GOP moderates gone?
The late senator devoted his 30-year Senate career as a loyal Republican, but switched to the Democratic Party in April 2009. His partisan decision was partly about self-preservation, as Senator Specter faced defeat in the upcoming Republican primary against a conservative opponent who accused Specter of becoming too liberal for the GOP.
However, this also reflects a larger reality for US politics: GOP moderates are a vanishing breed as conservatives in Republican states continue to turn against moderate members in their party and trying to drive them out of office to clear the way for reshaping government across a wide sector of the GOP's mid-America.
In the past the Republican party had a component referred to as Rockefeller Republicans, referring to former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. These group members tended to work well with middle of the road Democrats. Why can't they just get along and work for all of US?