November 9, 2010

Moderate, Like Bill Clinton

Justin Katz

Isn't this just too appropriate?

In a story confirmed by both campaigns, Block said in his posting that the meeting came about after a debate Friday night, when Block approached Caprio and told him "in a different lifetime I'd beg him to get me in to see the president."

Caprio said he was happy to oblige, and invited him to come.

Block said Caprio snuck him in the side door of the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, where Clinton was attending a rally for Caprio. He said he and his wife waited about two hours to meet Clinton.

When the Moderate Party began, many (including me) thought it was was a splinter group for centrist-to-liberal Republicans. That constituency exists, of course, but the group's founder has increasingly illustrated that it's perhaps better suited for Democrats whose radicalism allows for at least some financial sanity.

Block describes how Clinton's first reaction to Caprio's introduction of Block was perplexity. Perhaps Clinton's transition to a smile is symbolic of public realization that "moderate" isn't necessarily an implied jab at conservatives. Clearly, the nationwide election results show that many Americans who vote for Democrats see a leftward boundary.

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Ken Block is a scammer and a fraud.
He CLAIMED his party would focus on economic issues and take "no stand" on social issues.
Reality: Someone met directly with him and wanted to run for the GA (with enough money for a legit campaign) and was told rather directly that "you can only run on my ticket if you are for baby killing and gay marriage".
So much for "no stand".

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at November 9, 2010 7:09 PM

That's funny, Tommy. I heard that Laffey met with Block (twice) and would have run as a Moderate. But, Block is a religion-hating, baby-killer loving, metrosexual liberal and he wanted nothing to do with Laffey and his conservative social views. The guy is anything but a "moderate."
Even Block's own people were disgusted with him. The fact that his wing-nut social views trumped a real fiscal conservative shows what a fraud Block is.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 9, 2010 7:31 PM

Funny. You're picking on the Moderates for filtering out folks who were better suited running as Repubicans because they had strong social-right views. I had issues with them because I cling very strongly to some ideas far too socially-left (and too fiscally-right) for a party trying to find the middle. The truth is that they had to filter-out a tremendous number of potential candidates from every imaginable point on the spectrum.

As far as I can tell, Ken was a pretty mixed-bag on social issues. He opposes decriminalization of pot and supports e-verify. Compare that to Chafee.

I don't know what you think a governor can do about abortion anyway, Carcieri was a solid social conservative, doesn't mean he could overturn Roe v. Wade. As for gay marriage, I don't see how social conservatives can cling to the idea that it's a big deal. Massachusetts is still right there, kicking our butts.

Posted by: mangeek at November 9, 2010 8:39 PM

Unwittingly, you are making the case against Block. You are correct - what can a governor do about these social issues? Nothing. So why is a litmus test on these issues even necessary? It isn't.
That that is all that mattered to Block, when he had the opportunity to grab Laffey, is clear evidence of where his priorities lie. (Not to mention the fact that he couldn't bear the thought that his little Block party would stop being about him, with a strong personality like Laffey) To hold those issues so dear, at the expense of solid, fiscally conservative credentials is merely indicative of his primary motivations. He is a social liberal far more than a fiscal conservative.
Furthermore, if he even weighted them equally, the squalid conditions of this state's finances would make any reasonable person forsake the social issues for the the financial ones. Block couldn't even do that. It's simply because they matter to him far more, which is why he is really a wing-nut, despite the specious attempts to come across otherwise. Don't listen to what he says, watch what he does.

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at November 9, 2010 9:07 PM

Maybe 'moderate' is good branding, and not just 'middle of the road' on every subject. The vast majority of Rhode Islanders I know wish they could vote for candidates who were social liberals but fiscal conservatives. Too often, they pull the Democrat lever, just because they are repulsed by the social views of the Republican candidate. I know I've done it (I've smartened-up since).

The biggest loser in this gubernatorial election is 'the two party stranglehold', with Dems and Repubs only pulling 57% of the vote. Both parties have abjectly failed to deliver solutions that are simultaneously functional and appealing to an increasingly individualistic public.

Posted by: mangeek at November 9, 2010 10:01 PM

I think Justin has it right with this:

"a splinter group for centrist-to-liberal Republicans... Democrats whose radicalism allows for at least some financial sanity."

Put those two together in a state founded on principles of intellectual and spiritual freedom squashed hard by seven decades of single-party machine-politics, and you just named about half of the constituency.

There were folks from left and right working the Moderates, both on and off the payroll. Also, coverage on AR all seems to point out the 'left' aspects, while over at RIFuture, they did the exact opposite.

If it's any consolation, I'm sure I rounded-up a few dozen Moderate votes, and all came from 'progressives' who are coming to see the light of fiscal conservatism as their paychecks start creeping over $40K. I wouldn't consider the Moderates 'spoilers' at all, they're probably taking votes from all sides.

Posted by: mangeek at November 9, 2010 10:32 PM

The point is that Block is a LIAR when he says his party would take "no stand" on social issues while barring anyone who doesn't share his far, far left stance.
Unfortunately for Ken now that the party is officially on the ballot statewide anyone can run as a Moderate without "permission" from Comrade Block.
Anyone-Chris Young, Charlie Picerno, Terry Gorman, Rick Janetta, Kara Russo, etc.
Sleep tight Ken....

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at November 10, 2010 9:25 AM

Wait a minute. All you people criticizing the Moderates, because you think their social stances are extreme, how would you define a "Moderate"? The "other blog" slams the Moderates because of their fiscal conservatism. So if you have a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, that is someone who doesn't really fit with either party, maybe they're not "in the middle" but they sure don't fit with either one. Like mangeek said, maybe it is a bad label. But what would you expect a moderate to say on the issues? On SSM: "Well, I think it's ok in some cases, but not all cases." On taxation: "I think we need some taxation, but not too much". On immigration: "We need some immigrants, but not too many."

No, that's called a Chafee to be that wishy-washy. It's ok to be on one end of the spectrum or the other and not be considered a member of the opposite party.

If anything, the Moderates and your opinions of them are EXACTLY why we need another party. If not one, then at least 3-4 more parties. Because people don't fit neatly in your box and agree with you on all issues. So why not create more boxes? Or even better, how about no boxes, no labels and just let people run on their own ideas? Oh that's right, that would make it so much harder for voters. Then they can't just say "I'll vote for the Democrat/Republican". They'd actually then have to take the time to figure out the candidate's stances and learn whether they agree.

Posted by: Patrick at November 10, 2010 9:32 AM

I think a lot of Rhode Islanders would vote for 'Rockefeller Republicans' if the last administration and the previous witch hunt of Clinton didn't totally destroy the 'Republican' brand.

::puts on asbestos pants::

Posted by: mangeek at November 10, 2010 10:28 AM
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