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Auchter's Art: Time for a rebrand

John Auchter
For Michigan Radio

I use the term "Moderate Republican" in the cartoon because it is the simplest and most widely recognized term for folks like Michigan Representatives Peter Meijer and Fred Upton. But in truth, it's archaic at best.

It really has nothing to do with "moderate." In what other universe would somebody with a voting record like Liz Cheney be described as moderate? It arguably also has nothing to do with "Republican." Were they not until recently the party of free-trade? Fiscal responsibility? Anti-authoritarian? Ally to our allies?

So really what is meant by "Moderate Republican" is "Those Who Used to Be Known as Republican Willing to Put Country Before Party." (That's quite a word jumble for a cartoon.) Functionally, it's Republicans who have fallen out of step (if only for a moment) with Dear Leader.

Among Meijer's transgressions is his voting in favor of congressional investigations into the causes of the January 6 insurrection. This has earned him death threats and aTrumpian candidate to run against him in the primary next year. Upton's most recent no-no was voting in favor of the infrastructure legislation, which has earned him party condemnation and also death threats.

So you can see how these so-called Moderate Republicans are being purposely hunted to extinction -- literally and figuratively.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.