For the Republican Party, the gap between image and reality widened again yesterday, with the RNC’s decision to promulgate a “test” for whether or not a candidate can be properly termed a “Republican,” and receive the party’s blessing. Apparently, following a bit of complex calculus derived by Pres. Reagan himself, any candidate ought to meet eight of the ten following criteria before asking for RNC money, or thinking themselves safe from inevitable betrayal, without regard for the nuances that animate American regional politics (“Scozzafava-ing”). Without further ado, the requirements:
- Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill
- Market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare
- Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation<!–
- Workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check
- Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants
- Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges
- Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat
- Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act
- Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion
- The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership
Well, let’s see how recent leaders stack up!
- Pres. Ronald Reagan (FAIL): loses 1 (increased deficit); 7 (met with Soviet leaders without preconditions, funded terrorists); 9 (did little but talk on abortion).
- Pres. George W. Bush (FAIL): loses 1 (increased deficit); 5 (pushed for “amnesty”); 6 (stalled on “the surge” until McCain pushed him into it).
- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (PASS): loses 1 (voted for the bailout); 5 (pushed for “amnesty”).
This is easy, because almost every Republican in the last 20 years will fail #1, at least. Remember, contrary magazine-style “purity quizzes” notwithstanding, Republicans treat McCain as the emblematic “RINO,” and Reagan as God himself. Please, add your own!