http://features.csmonitor.com/polit...k- -now-its-republicans-seeing-the-downside/ Palin, Limbaugh, Beck now its Republicans seeing the downside Some moderate conservatives see danger in the vociferous right, especially among broadcast pot-stirrers. They want to advance the GOP by changing the tone. By Brad Knickerbocker | Staff writer/ October 3, 2009 edition I am not a member of any organized party, Will Rogers famously quipped. I am a Democrat. Then there were those old jokes about Democrats forming circular firing squads. But these days, it seems like Republicans are the ones duking it out with each other or at least examining where they are and where they should be headed after recent electoral drubbings. Mainstream Republicans are looking at the loudest of the conservative voices Sarah Palin and the most prominent of the talk-show types (Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al) and concluding that the GOP needs to do something different if its to succeed. Steve Schmidt, former campaign strategist for John McCain, said Friday that nominating former Alaska governor Sarah Palin for president in 2012 would be catastrophic for the party. In the year since the election has ended, she has done nothing to expand her appeal beyond the base, Schmidt said at a forum sponsored by The Atlantic magazine and web site. The independent vote is going to be up for grabs in 2012, he said. That middle of the electorate is going to be determinative of the outcome of the elections. I just dont see that if you look at the things she has done over the year that she is going to expand that base in the middle. Meanwhile, Schmidts old boss is working behind-the-scenes to reshape the Republican Party in his own center-right image, reports politico.com. That means recruiting candidates, raising money, and campaigning on their behalf. Those familiar with McCains thinking say he has expressed serious concern about the direction of the party and is actively seeking out and supporting candidates who can broaden the partys reach. In McCains case, that means backing conservative pragmatists and moderates.