It speaks volumes about the rightward lurch of the conservative movement in the last few years that the hiring of Stephen Moore by the Heritage Foundation is being treated as a gigantic, perhaps galactic, event in the moderation of Heritage and maybe even the GOP. Read through the TPM piece by Dylan Scott on this development (mostly based on blind quotes from incredibly excited Republican Establishment types), and you’ll see what I mean.

The argument seems to be that Moore is in favor of immigration reform, and immigration reform is the ball game in the struggle between “respectable” conservatives and crazy people.

Personally, I’d say the dividing line between “crazy” and “often very wrong” involves the “constitutional conservative” belief that laissez-faire capitalism (along with some other items like fetal personhood) was handed down by God to the Founders and cannot be tampered with no matter what. But in any event, it’s not a good sign that Moore–the founder of the Club for Growth, father of the “Fair Tax,” long-time member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board–is being perceived as the symbol of a “move to the center” by anybody.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.