Republicans Building Big, Empty Tent: Noonan

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 8:02 AM CDT
Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., pauses during a news conference on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – With Arlen Specter gone, it’s time for the "latest round of What Should the Republican Party Do," writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. Call Specter an opportunist if you want, “but opportunists tell you something: which side is winning.” The Republican party is losing, seemingly bent on self-destruction. Yes, a big tent needs ideological tent poles, “but also, the people inside can't always be kicking people out of the tent.”

“In the party now there is too much ferocity, and bloody-mindedness,” says Noonan. Recently Jim DeMint said he’d rather have 30 reliable conservative senators than 60 unreliable Republicans. “Really? Good luck stopping an agenda you call socialist with 30 hardy votes.” Political parties don’t grow by contraction. They’re coalitions and need only agree on the basics. “A great party allows everyone in. … A great party has give.”