Don’t Despair Yet, Mr. Bartlett!
By Dennis Sanders
August 31, 2009

In a recent post, former Reagan aide Bruce Bartlett has correctly noted the sad position of the Republican party these days and gives a somewhat good reason for why he is “anti-Republican.”

He notes that in the eighties, the grown-ups in the Democratic Party created the Democratic Leadership Council to try to steer the party back to the center. Bartlett then notes that there is no such counterpart in the GOP and that has allowed talk show hosts like Glenn Beck to run the party and drive away moderates and independents.

Well, he is partially correct. Talk show hosts have in some way become de facto leaders in the GOP, but unbeknownst to Mr. Bartlett there are grown-ups still in the GOP who are trying to steer the party towards the center. There are several organizations that are dedicated to this task, but they have little name recognition and are ignored by the mainstream media as well as the blogosphere.

Mr. Bartlett might want to check out the Republican Leadership Council. It’s not as well known as its Democratic counterpart, but it is trying to get the GOP to welcome centrists again. Led by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and former Senator John Danforth, this group is willing to speak up and has done a good job of getting people involved at the state and national level.

He might also want to look at Republicans for Environmental Protection, a grassroots organization that is trying to preserve the environmental heritage of the GOP. They work hard at getting “green” Republicans elected to office and are not afraid to call out those who do not respect the environment.

Let’s not forget the Log Cabin Republicans, the national association of gay and lesbian Republicans who are working towards the full inclusion in the party and the nation of gay and lesbian Americans. The organization is always looking for straight allies to work with us.

Mr. Bartlett, I think all of these organizations would be pleased to have you join them in trying to make the GOP a sane political party again.

It is easy to complain about the current state of the GOP. I’ve done it myself. But when there are groups out there working hard, like the RLC, Republicans for Environmental Protection and Log Cabin Republicans, they need our help and support now more than ever.

Mr. Bartlett you don’t have to call yourself a Republican, but you should try to help the adults that are working for change.