24 November 2009

Would The Last Republican Please Turn Out The Lights

G.O.P. Considers ‘Purity’ Resolution for Candidates

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.

Hence the provision calling for cutting off Republicans who agree with the party on seven of 10 items. The resolution demands that Republicans support “smaller government, smaller national deficits and lower taxes,” ...

The entire list can be found at the link above.

If they really enforce this, they would have to expel all the GOP members of Congress who were only too happy to run big deficits when they were in power under Bush! They would also have to run out Reagan, who expanded both deficits and the size of government.

Also interesting is there is no mention of earmarks, corruption, or avoiding sex scandals. I guess they figure they had to leave someone in the party.

How they reconcile this without their heads exploding, I don't know. But this is another example of how the Republicans are caught in a "purity trap" as I related previously:

Republican Purges Begin!

Caught In The Purity Trap

Ideological Purity A Losing Strategy

Some of this is due to the nature of the two party system itself. One party tends more towards purity, while the other tends to be broader. It just switches back and forth:

Political Amplitude

Part of the problem, is that with just two main parties, one or the other is going to have to be broad in order to pick up a majority. This will always be at odds with those activists, in either party, that lust after ideological purity.

Instead of swinging back and forth, would we be better served by a moderate party in the middle, holding the balance, instead of these wild swings back and forth?

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