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Republicans, already unpopular (about 21% of Americans), consider making candidates jump through a ‘purity’ hoop

2012 campaign, politics of the politics, republicans

At a time when Americans self-identify as ‘Republicans’ less than at any time in the last 8 years, they want to squeeze candidates through ‘purity’ bottlenecks? This is a good idea? Will this help attract new, and especially rare non-white, folks to their ‘pure’ Republican candidates? Doesn’t sound like it.

G.O.P. Considers ‘Purity’ Resolution for Candidates
By ADAM NAGOURNEY

The battle among Republicans over what the party should stand for — and how much it should accommodate dissenting views on important issues — is probably going to move from the states to the Republican National Committee when it holds its winter meeting this January in Honolulu.

Republican leaders are circulating a resolution listing 10 positions Republican candidates should support to demonstrate that they “espouse conservative principles and public policies” that are in opposition to “Obama’s socialist agenda.” According to the resolution, any Republican candidate who broke with the party on three or more of these issues– in votes cast, public statements made or answering a questionnaire – would be penalized by being denied party funds or the party endorsement.

What do the proposed ‘purity’ vows look like? Here:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run health care;

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership.


Not only is this a bad idea for a party that’s in danger of becoming marginalized, the list itself is a complete joke, the sort of thing that insiders write for insiders to read and then cheer about. Poorly written, poorly thought out and full of flimsy talking points, it’s easily made fun of…

1.) You’d oppose Obama’s well-known stimulus bill tax cuts? 237 fricking billion dollars? Are you guys lying, or just stupid?

2.) Healthcare reform radically increases marketplace competition, that’s one of its obvious mechanisms for driving down costs. That’s why it lowers the deficit–see your own #1.

4.) EFCA doesn’t get rid of secret balloting or change the mechanism by which secret balloting certifies a union. Period. I thought everybody knew that.

5.) A total non-sequitur. Rounding up illegal immigrants has nothing to do with supporting legal immigration. If all these poor folks could legally immigrate, they would.

6.) There are ‘military-recommended troop surges’ for Iraq? That’s what’ll get America to reverse course, hang on there for years and years and then ‘win’? Hello?

9.) Most ridiculous of all–do you know how many Americans die because they have no access to healthcare? It’s far past rationing, it’s full-blown denial, followed by death.


If I can trump this pathetic thing in a matter of a couple minutes, I doubt that it’ll score with centrists and outsiders who are notoriously slow to buy political pablum. And that’s whom the Republicans desperately need.


ADD: Keith Olbermann notes that this ‘purity test’ would have, in the past, excluded a bunch of half-asses like…Ronald Reagan:

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