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January 5th, 2010 3:21 pm
Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone
Posted by Print

From the Sunshine State today comes news that Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer (one of the closest allies of moderate Governor — and U.S. Senate aspirant — Charlie Crist) is resigning from his post. The chairman came under fire from the right for his unsubtle support of Crist against the more conservative former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in the Republican senate primary, as well as for being a bit of a spendthrift.

The delicious irony is that Greer — a man who had been justifying his every action on the basis of creating a “big tent” party — chose to leave office with a scorched earth message:

Greer said his opponents want to “burn the house down and destroy the Republican Party.”

“I am not a purist,” he said in describing his vision for the party. “I have never been a purist. I believe that our party stands for principles and values and that anyone who has an interest in our party should be able to participate.”

Greer’s beauty pageant eloquence aside, these statements are an intellectual schematic of political breakdown. If your party “stands for principles and values,” then you can’t strengthen it by attempting to marginalize those who take those principles and values most seriously. Too many GOP moderates seem to think that creating a big tent means pushing conservatives out of the back end. They’re going to have to learn how to be partners and not adversaries in the future. If they don’t, expect to see more centrists dethroned ala Jim Greer.

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