Among the biases of the mainstream political media, the most absurd is the adoration of the "moderate." When Maine's Olympia Snowe, the most liberal Senate Republican, announced her retirement Tuesday, it sparked an avalanche of lamentation and praise of this "dying breed" of moderate.
Praise for moderates these days typically goes hand in hand with cries that the GOP has been hijacked by conservative extremists. It's enough to make you wonder whether our political journalists -- either the liberals on the news pages or the "responsible" conservatives on the opinion pages -- have been paying attention.
Let's begin with the state of the GOP. Many Beltway Republicans suspect that Barack Obama will win re-election. There are many reasons for this, but for those conservatives who struggle every day to make conservatism more acceptable in the cocktail party circuit, there is only one explanation ever for Republican failure: conservative extremism.