E.D. Kain is correct:
I think moderates make the same mistake that the purists do in imagining that their own brand of conservatism is the right way forward. I would argue that neither the moderate or conservative approach is right or wrong, but rather that there are sincere, genuine and reasonable people representing both camps. These people are the ones that moderate and conservative members of the Republican party should support, despite some political differences.
Furthermore, these distinctions become fairly muddy as we look at the plethora of policy positions that actual Republicans hold. Take former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, for instance. As governor he cut several hundred state jobs, tightened the state’s fiscal belt, and vetoed 750 bills – more than all other 49 state governors combined. He was against both the TARP and the stimulus. And unlike Sanford and others in the GOP who claimed to be against the stimulus before accepting very large chunks of federal cash, I think Johnson would have refused the federal dollars if he were still in office. In this respect, Johnson might be considered very far to the right. But at the same time, Johnson opposes the war on drugs, and believes that the billions we spend locking up non-violent marijuana smokers each year is an expensive waste of time. Johnson has a legitimate shot at the 2012 Republican nomination for president if he chooses to run – but is he a moderate or a full-blooded conservative? Or is he a libertarian in Republican clothing? Does any of it really matter, so long as he is a principled, reasonable man with sound ideas about how to fix some of this country’s problems?