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Nathan Fletcher

For Republicans, moderation is the only vice

For Republicans, moderation is the only vice

Meet Nathan Fletcher, candidate for mayor of San Diego.

He will lose, at least if the polls are right. But he has raised a minor stir through a video posted online a few days back. In it, he explains his decision to leave the Republican Party and identify henceforth as an independent. "I don't believe we have to treat people we disagree with as an enemy," he says. "I think we can just say sometimes we disagree. ... I've fought in a war," adds Mr. Fletcher, a Marine who served in Iraq. "I have seen the enemy. We don't have enemies in our political environment here."

Mr. Fletcher's decision has been scorned by observers from both parties as a...