Sunday, June 25, 2006

Heartland Republicans defect to the Democrats

Up until a few weeks ago Mark Parkinson was Kansas' Republican party chairman. Now he's running for Deputy Governor, as a democrat.
Sitting in his headquarters, the new Democrat is sticking to his guns. Republicans in Kansas, he says, have let down their own people. 'They were fixated on ideological issues that really don't matter to people's everyday lives. What matters is improving schools and creating jobs,' he said. 'I got tired of the theological debate over whether Charles Darwin was right.'
His defection has emboldened other moderates, known as RINOS (Republicans In Name Only) by doctrinaire Republicans across the heartland, the ideological home for the culture war issues pushed by Karl Rove as the GOP winning strategy. By ignoring such debates as abortion and evolution altogether and concentrating on bread and butter economic and quality of life issues, Democrats are beginning to stain a sea of red with spreading patches of blue.

The opportunities are all there, but as Jon Stewart asked Howard Dean last month "So, how will the Democratic Party blow this?"

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