Monday, March 31, 2008

N.J. Congressman Chris Smith is No Moderate

How do you characterize a Republican moderate? In my mind, such a politician would be moderate on social issues, perhaps even pro-choice, and present economic platforms that not only benefit the wealthiest persons but the average citizen; perhaps this moderate would even speak out against prominent Republican leaders when they err and question those leaders' strategies when they fail (Iraq and Bush, anyone?) Judging by these standards, NJ GOP congressman Chris Smith is anything but a moderate, though he is inevitably given this title because of his environmental record, which is good, and a few other issues.

On stem cell research and abortion rights, Smith is a staunch social conservative, Bush Republican; he refuses even the smallest amount of compromise and moderation when it comes to expanding embryonic stem cell lines and giving women the right to choose. Smith even wants to change the U.S. Constitution to prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying, and his legislative record reveals someone who favors hostile policies towards gays and lesbians. On the Iraq War, there simply is no bigger cheerleader for the Bush-Cheney doctrine of endless, resource-depleting war than Smith.

There is good reason why upstart Democratic challenger and History professor Josh Zeitz is making headway against Smith and his destructive policy positions. Smith is no moderate, and his record instead reveals that he is an out-of-touch incumbent beholden to the social conservative movement and Bush's failed domestic and international policies.


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