In early September, Charlie Dent, Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania and co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group, suddenly announced he was retiring from the House after seven terms in office.
So what. What’s the big deal? Well, it’s apparently a big deal to many – particularly it seems to publications on the left like The Atlantic. Yesterday, The Atlantic wrote a piece entitled, “Who Will Lead the Republican Moderates?” lamenting the exit next year of representative Dent.
You see, Dent is the current “leader” of the moderate wing of the Republican Party in Congress. So of course it’s a big deal to the left, for as we know, moderate Republicans are the only reasonable people in the GOP.
And he’s not the only squish high-tailing it out of town. Representatives Dave Trott of Michigan, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Dave Reichert of Washington, John J. Duncan Jr. of Tennessee, Lynn Jenkins of Kansas and Sam Johnson of Texas are all packing it in.
Now if you are a Republican, you may think this terrible news that so many Republicans are leaving, until you dig just a bit deeper. And these days, it doesn’t take much digging. Conservative Review’s Liberty Score is a one-stop shop for a quick accounting of the above seven.
For those unaware, an elected officials’ Liberty Score is like a personal credit score. A credit score doesn’t give a detailed accounting of an individual’s credit health, but it is certainly enough to determine initial worthiness. And often, depending on the score, a creditor needs to look no further. If, for example, a creditor sees an applicant with a credit score of say, under 500, likely the creditor will reject the applicant’s request outright. A score that low pretty much tells them as much as they need to know.
The same can be said of the trusted conservative Liberty Score. The scoring ranges from A – F, with A being the most conservative and F being the least. Of the above list of retiring Republicans, only two, Sam Johnson of Texas and John J. Duncan Jr. of Tennessee had a score better than a big fat ‘F’. In other words, it’s the squishes who are heading for the hills.
As a conservative, I’m very broken up about this. If I may rephrase – here’s your hat – what’s your hurry.
But the leftist Atlantic is concerned. “These are ulcer-inducing times for moderate Republicans in Congress,” they write. “With frenzied nationalism, populism, and Trumpsanity dominating the politiscape, displaying centrist tendencies in today’s GOP is like wearing a Taylor Swift T-shirt to Kim and Kanye’s house for dinner: You should expect things to get nasty.”
I’m happy to admit – I pretty much don’t get that reference, but evidently, it’s bad. Of course, the same can be said of the dems. Being a democrat who displays anything other than radical leftist tendencies would, and is, ostracized.
“For years, Pennsylvania’s Dent has served as the lonely voice of the center-right—what he calls “the governing branch” of his conference.” Yes, because, it’s obvious that the Congressional “Freedom Caucus” has neither the ability nor inclination to govern.
If I may attempt a translation – what the Atlantic is trying to convey is that the sensible progressive centrists in the GOP are the only ones “fit” to govern, because they are so adept at “crossing the aisle,” willing to work with the socialists and communists in the democrat party to build bipartisan consensus, to “get things done.” Did I get all the feel-good buzz words in there?
As the Atlantic continued to bemoan the loss of such a great moderate, Dent was quick to reassure the publication that there are still plenty to choose from to take his place as leader of the squishes. He was quick to suggest Elise Stefanik, Ryan Costello, Leonard Lance, Carlos Curbelo, John Katko, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Patrick Meehan.
All but one of these has a Liberty Score of “F.” Fitzpatrick has a “D.” In other words the spineless, big government moderates will still be in great hands. And won’t that be great for everyone.