Wingnut holier-than-thou media slut, Rev. Louis P. Sheldon of the “Traditional Values” Coalition, has an commentary in the LA Times, “Hey, Governor, the GOP Won.” He’s chastising Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent comments that the GOP needs to move toward the political center. The Terminator better watch out — these folks are more dangerous than the T2000. And probably less human — Sheldon and his minions will eat Arnie for lunch if he sits back and takes it like the Dems did.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told a German newspaper this month that the Republican Party needs to “cross the center line” — that is, to slide toward the left. He couldn’t be more wrong — and more disloyal to real Republicanism.

The comment made it clear he’s part of the only group more disappointed than the Democrats with last month’s election results: liberal Republicans.

They desperately want to ignore the Bush values victory and the passage of pro-marriage initiatives in 11 states. Backed by a chorus of liberal pundits, these Republicans engaged in preelection hand-wringing about the “extremism” of religious people in their party and the dominance of something called “the religious right.” They predicted a certain Bush defeat and a civil war within the Republican big tent.

…Schwarzenegger told the German newspaper that Republicans reach “from the right to the center” and that “I’d like the Republican Party to cross that center line,” saying that if it did, it could take 5% of votes from Democrats. Of course, the governor is playing zero-sum politics by assuming that such a shift would not cause conservative Republicans to stay home.

The governor, however, should look at the example of another liberal Republican, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. In the last election cycle, Romney followed the Schwarzenegger victory formula to the letter. He helped bankroll a field of more than 120 mostly liberal Republican candidates to run as a “reform” slate against incumbent state legislators. Not one of these candidates mentioned the word “abortion” and, if you can believe this, in Massachusetts of all places, no Romney-endorsed candidate talked about homosexual marriage. That is the equivalent of running for office in Iowa and not mentioning farming.

Romney’s candidates lost. All of them.

…Religious conservatives in California have been skeptical but hopeful as we have watched Schwarzenegger attempt to govern. But Schwarzenegger has shown he is a liberal. He is more committed to liberalism than he is to traditional Republican principles or the success of his party.

I’ll agree with Sheldon on one thing — the Romney example is a good one to bring up. He’s right — why should the wingnuts be the only people talking about civil marriage for gays? The silence by liberal Republicans and Democrats alike speaks volumes about their inability to frame the issue as a moral issue about civil rights.

The fact that you don’t talk about it conveys the message that you either 1) don’t have a position that you can defend effectively or 2) you also have a problem with the issue and don’t want to alienate the progressives in your camp. Either is a ball-less stance.

Thanks to House Blend reader Jon for the pointer.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding