Now that there is what could be called an ideological civil war within the Republican Party, with the tea party and most conservative elements of the GOP on one side and those more aligned with the party establishment on the other, the “moderate” label no longer applies to enough party members to count. Perhaps the “Legacy Republican Party” would be a better term for that shrinking group. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t comparable gatherings of more-conventional Republicans.
Of course, all of this is true to a certain extent for Democrats as well. I don’t believe the Democratic Leadership Council is active any longer, either. This council was a highly constructive group of moderate and pro-business Democrats, headed by the irrepressible Al From, and it used to be a major political force. Notably, it was a platform that provided a launching pad for Bill Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
All of this raises the issue of why there aren’t more highly visible confabs of center-right Republicans and center-left Democrats that could provide an organizing focal point. Other than the periodic meetings of the Democratic and Republican National committees, networking opportunities for more conventional Republicans and conservatives on one side and for the less ideological Democrats on the other side are few and far between. We hear about the business community’s efforts to “take back the Republican Party,” but this doesn’t seem to include forming counterweight groups in favor of nurturing and promoting “Legacy Republicans.”