The Atlantic

Who Will Lead the Republican Moderates?

The retirement of Pennsylvania’s Charlie Dent puts his like-minded colleagues in a tough position.
Source: Mark Makela / Reuters

These are ulcer-inducing times for moderate Republicans in Congress. With frenzied nationalism, populism, and Trumpsanity dominating the politiscape, displaying centrist tendencies in today’s GOP is like wearing a Taylor Swift T-shirt to Kim and Kanye’s house for dinner: You should expect things to get nasty.

Complicating matters, any criticism of the party’s president or his policies will prompt a brutal backlash from miffed Trumpkins and from the loyalty-obsessed POTUS himself. At the same time, with Trump’s popularity languishing, the midterm elections promise to be particularly hairy for Republicans from purplish, swingy districts. Small wonder GOP moderates are becoming the stuff of folklore—like unicorns or leprechauns or men who

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