And not in a good way.

Once again, the extreme left and the extreme right are beginning to exert their cult-like control over the Democratic and Republican parties, and I do not want to drink the Kool Ade.

In two separate but timely articles today, one on RealClearPolitics regarding the left and one on discussing the right, seem to say the move to the extreme flanks is coalescing as the campaigns for the nominations begin to get closer.

The first major salvo from the left-leaning libs came in the form of a full-page ad taken out in the New York times (at a discounted rate mind you), by MoveOn calling General David Petraeus a traitor. Coming from a family that has three generations of Bronze Star winners (World War I, World War II and Vietnam), I can say that was about the dumbest “move” that MoveOn could have made. I think this quote put it best:

“Simply put, the MoveOn people are a gift to the GOP,” Republican consultant Dan Hazelwood told Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza right after the ad came out. He is right.

And then we have the GOP. Do any of you remember the drubbing taken at the midterms in 2006? Do you really want that to happen again? With all but Ron Paul holding the line on the war, they are aligning themselves with an extremely unpopular and polarizing president. It may win one of them the battle for the nomination, but it very well can cost them the war for the White House:

Yet by hugging Bush so closely on the major issues, the Republicans are increasing the risk that Democrats can portray their 2008 nominee as the extension of a presidency that polls show has lost the country’s confidence. And by offering an agenda so centered on conservative policy priorities, they are swimming against a current of public opinion now running toward the center on many issues.

A Pew Research Center study from 2005 details the political leanings of Americans. 30% lean right, 40% lean left and 30% are in the middle. The middle has no choice but to split its vote, and then becomes a minority in both parties.

As a registered Republican but a political moderate, I am now faced with the strong possibility that, once again, I will have to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Dumb or dumber.

Bad or worse.

Liberal or Conservative.

Where’s the love for the Moderates?