The dwindling, pathetic ranks of Republican moderates are quite sad, but when put this way, they're also quite funny:
The elections in November put seven new Republicans, nearly all conservatives, in the Senate, increasing the party's majority to 55. As moderate Senate Republicans look out around the country, they are comforted by the ranks of moderate governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, George E. Pataki in New York and Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.
But here in the Capitol, their numbers are so few, said Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, that they quit having their weekly lunches about a year ago.
"Susan and I were there alone for so much of the time," Mr. Specter he said, referring to Senator Susan Collins of Maine, "we worked through all of our conversation and decided to disband."
Man, there was a time -- I remember! -- when everybody wanted to eat lunch with Arlen and Sue. It was like, the table. Now? It's all these new kids, like Coburn and Brownback getting picked first and cutting in the lunchline. But damn man, Arlen, Sue and their friends? Those folks were giants.