Perry Bacon, please define "moderate"

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Washington Post reporter Perry Bacon:

These is also little push in Congress to take steps like repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, which I think would get little enthusiasm from the Blue Dogs and other more moderate Democrats who live in states in the South and Midwest that perhaps aren't as eager to expand gay rights.

Since when is not wanting to end discrimination the "moderate" stance? Would Bacon describe those who didn't want to allow marriage between blacks and whites a few decades ago as "moderates"?

The description of politicians as "moderate" is one that has positive connotations that are entirely inappropriate in this case, among others. Journalists should avoid the lazy tendency to use it. (Similarly, Democrats who have expressed skepticism about a public health care plan tend to get described as "moderates" in articles about that skepticism. With polling on such a plan showing overwhelming public support, the word "moderate" is a grossly inappropriate description of the plan's opponents.)

UPDATE: I should have read further. Here's Bacon in the same online discussion:

it's not clear to me what there is health care legislation Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu would back that Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe wouldn't. (i.e. The moderate Dems and moderate Republicans are united in being dubious of the public option)

Roughly 80 percent of the public supports the public option. Time to stop calling its opponents "moderates."

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Person
Perry Bacon Jr.
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