The main stream media doesn’t like the political middle very much. Unless there is a scandal, the middle is boring. Too much detail and complexity and grunt work and compromise and not enough flash. The action is at the far right and the far left, with their true believers and Kos and O’Reilly, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. It’s where gotcha reigns and dialogue is more about proving “them” wrong than creating workable solutions to common problems. Spit and spew in support of uncompromising positions makes good TV, lights up the blogosphere, and drives political coverage and political discourse further and further to the fringe.
But here in Chicago’s northern suburbs the middle seems to be holding firm at least at the congressional level. Representatives Mark Kirk (R-IL10) and Melissa Bean (D-IL8) are both hard-working moderate representatives, more like each other than the extremes of either party. Kirk has taken hits from the far right for his pro-choice position, and strengthening of environmental regulations, Bean has angered the far left with her fiscal conservatism and support of free trade agreements. I like and have voted for both in my suburban wanderings and am glad to see them working together on important regional issues like protecting Lake Michigan and improving transportation.
Bean faces a primary challenger and Kirk will most likely face an opponent in the general election. It is apparent that each of these challengers will come from the far left. How much of a challenge do you think the fringe will mount and what do the moderates need to do to win?