Ms. Whitman is one of a quickly - and tragically for both the party and our American form of republican governance - diminishing population that genuinely and ardently identifies itself as "moderate Republicans." What that means in straight forward, unspun English is that they don't, in a salivating Pavlovian response, click their jackboots and thrust an extended arm in a 45-degree Seig Heil salute to every mean, coarse and rapacious proposition uttered by GOP neocons.
In an April 29 New York Times op-ed, "It's Still My Party," Whitman says, ". . . our party is committed to such important values as fiscal restraint, less government interference in our everyday lives, environmental policies that promote a balanced approach between protection and economic interest."
However, the first two "values" she claims the GOP stands for and extols have been shown by a surfeit of manifested evidence to be naught but a huckster's marketing flimflam, it's her enunciation of the presumed latter value that "spills the beans."
It's all a sort of Fox News notion of "fair and balanced." Chop off a mountaintop to get at the coal, and so long as the operating entity can buy off enough politicians and hire enough locals, none of the externalities - so thoroughly polluted skies and streams and lakes and rivers that health advisories strongly recommend against fishing or swimming . . . - need be summed on a corporate balance sheet. It's "balanced" because the income generated "balanced" against the selected costs that were taken into consideration.
Washington State's beautiful Puget Sound, once the home of its own wild orca herd, is so thoroughly PCB contaminated that, not only will the last of its orca be dead by 2020, signs in English and Spanish - advertencias: PELIGRO - warn against fishing and eating the catch. It has been designated as the country's largest Superfund site. The major source: Boeing. The aircraft manufacturer does not deny its contribution, only the percentage of the cleanup costs it should bear. PCBs are a prime carcinogen. Cancer! But that was weighed and "balanced" against the economic benefits.
And now . . . Now the country and the rest of the world are caught in a fevered scrambling over the possibility of a swine flu pandemic. While many are dismissive of the threat, it's essential to note that few, if anyone, are yet alive who remember the 1918-19 flu epidemic that, in just Chicago, in October, 1918 (ONE MONTH!) claimed 10,249 lives! Worldwide, the total runs between 20 and 40 MILLION; more than the four years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague of 1347 to 1348! (http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/)
And the best-guess source of H1N1: a corporate factory pig farm in La Gloria, Mexico; 50% owned by US producer Smithfield Farms. By its own books, the vertically integrated factory processes 950,000 pigs each year. Not counting the mega-tonnage of methane that's ushered into the atmosphere, that's a lot of insect and bacterial and viral infested porcine excreta and urine the workers slosh around in every day. But the small town was small and remote and in another country, and the workers and those living in the town, washing their clothes and bathing their bodies and cooking their meals and drinking the water, were inconsequential adjacent the "balance" of the economic benefits derived from the operation. See Mexican Swine Flu Timeline.
On the other hand, perhaps Ms. Whitman's suggestion that "less government interference" may have tipped her Republican hand just as much as did her GOP promulgation that balancing "protection and economic interest" was ever a laudable "value." Yeah, I know she was opining on the sadness that her party was so narrow that Senator Arlen Specter was forced to seek refuge in the Democratic Party, just to secure renomination in 2010, but she gave up so much more: without realizing it, she spilled the beans.