the 'Ten Conservative Principles': worth debating?

Cruising by the AP feed this evening, I noticed this article on an attempt by several Republican National Committee members to put forward a resolution demanding a test of ideological purity for candidates. Dubbed “The Proposed RNC Resolution on Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates,” this appears to be yet another try at dragging the poor dead carcass of the GOP into the lair of the ultraconservatives. But hey, I’m no scholar of conservative principles; maybe I’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

The ten principles (perhaps paraphrased by the article’s author are:

Regarding number ten: Whee, RPG’s for all, apparently.

Supposedly only candidates who pledge that they agree with at least eight out of the ten would receive RNC support. OK, knock yourselves out if that’s the case, but I find it rather difficult to avoid jeering at most of this. The general thrust seems, first of all, to be grade-A paranoia: are there really that many closet socialists that need to be weeded out in what remains of the Republican Party? Next, it seems rather too focused by half on Obama, rather than progressives in general. I guess the mooks who came up with this really do think he is the Antichrist and only rose to office only by hypnotizing the foolish masses. Then there’s number eight, which, unsurprisingly, appears to codify denial of rights to a specific class of people as a bedrock principle of the party.

I do find rather amusing the repeated theme of supporting something solely by opposing something else. Yo, if you’re going to oppose a whole bunch of stuff, maybe you might want to consider actually proposing something of your own. Or am I to understand that on all of these issues, everything is just as good as it could possibly be, currently?

OK, so, my opinion: if adopted, another nail in the coffin of the GOP. I’ll step back now and listen to yours.

Probably not worth debating. I don’t really think of “Opposing Obama” as a principle of conservatism.

These things are more like specific debatable issues over which people may have varying degrees of feeling rather than a principle.

  1. and 6) are incompatible, but I guess their target audience will never notice that . . .

Not sure what the debate is, but this idea will go nowhere.

If you want to debat the individual principles that’s another matter, but practically speaking, no major political party can afford to base its support on an arbitrary list of positions. Would they put money towards the campaign of a sure loser who supported 8 of the 10, but not a good shot at winning who only supports seven? And for that matter, how would it even work to determine who does or doesn’t support each principle?

This will be forgotten very soon.

Nukes are cheap.

Well, they do say “… by opposing stimulus bills”. Apparently, any amount of money for military adventures is just fine.

Well, the debate I’d be most interested in is: do tests of ideological purity like this serve any useful purpose?

If anyone wants to tackle the individual principles, though, that’s OK by me.

I think they’re approaching it more as a moral obligation to do nothing, which is currently not being met.

The GOP is currently the Party of No in all but an official sense. Some apparently believe deeply enough in that position to sanction it in a statement of ahem principle.

  1. is a bald-face lie, especially the part about the National Debt.

  2. is corporate pandering, meaningless gibberish, especially the line about “Obama-style, governent run health care,” since no such thing exists or has been proposed.

  3. is also gibberish since opposing cap and trade is not a “reform.”

  4. is at least a tangible and debatable statement on a coherent issue, even though it’s complletely self-serving.

  5. is just bog-standard bashing of undocumented workers. It’s notable that even GWB disagreed with this position.

  6. is just stupid. cheap Obama bashing.

  7. is meaningless grandstanding.

  8. is naked bigotry.

  9. is idiotic fear-mongering.

  10. is a genuine comservative pronciple, of sorts, but one which is not under any current threat.
    In summation, I would say that this is not any sort of serious or sincere attempt to define an ideology, it’s mostly just empty, intellectually vacant demagoguery.

Not in an American context, because our electoral system naturally produces a two-party system, and each party must perforce be an ideological “big tent”; ideological purity is a formula for marginalization. In a multiparty system, however, a litmus test of this kind might be an effective defense against entryism.

Yes, he did – because his first loyalty was to the business interests, and they like having a cheap immigrant labor force. “Guest workers” would be just perfect, from their POV. But 5) is central to the coughracistcough worldview of the paleoconservatives. OTOH, (many, if not all) libertarians want “open borders” as a matter of principle. This point of the plank interestingly illustrates the potential (or emerging?) fissure between bizcons, paleocons and libertarians – all key elements of the post-Goldwater conservative coalition.

Point 2 (market based health care) is why point 9 is a problem (denial of care and rationing).

Point 4 has nothing to do with protecting worker’s rights and everything to do with depriving them of union representation. They want to make it easier for corporations to dominate workers, and secret ballots help with that. Why not just be honest and say ‘we want to make it harder for workers to organize’. Instead they have to pretend they care about workers rights so they can pass laws to take away worker’s rights.

Point 6 and 1 are not compatible, you can’t have 2 open ended wars w/o paying for them.

All in all, its the same conservative screed. A mix of xenophobia, militarism, fear of change, lack of responsibility (wanting endless wars w/o paying for them) and non-pragmatic ideology (living with market based health care is why people are desperate for reform. Market reforms won’t fix the problems the market created).

Reagan Would Fail “Purity Test” Proposed for GOP:

Are you telling us that Reagan was a… a… S S Socialist? :eek:

The GOP keeps moving to the right. Reagan used to be an extremist, now he is a moderate by GOP standards. Same with Gingrich. He used to be an extremist, but compared to people like Bachmann, King or Palin, he is moderate.

When leaders of the GOP are hinting at treason and assassination while making arguments showing they have no comprehension of policy (or any interest in understanding policy as anything more than a springboard for simplistic sound bites) or pragmatic interest in the people who have to live in this nation, Reagan starts to look halfway sane by comparison.

My question is, if implemented officially, what are the chances that the party would actually follow through on their threat and refuse to support anyone with 3+ disagreements with this list?

Gotta admit I’m a little surprised they only require opposition to government funded abortion, rather than just out right opposing abortion with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, incest.

Otherwise…remember the scene in BSG where Starbuck is screaming “We’re going the wrong way!”?

Yeah…that’s about where I am with the GoP these days.

My agenda:

It’s time to bring our troops home. Afghanistan and Iran need and deserve to forge their own destiny.

Just let gay folks have the same rights everybody else has. Fair is fair.

Smaller government is good. Start by eliminating the creepily Orwellian Department of Homeland Security.

Re-commit to the Bill of Rights. Even those parts than can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Let’s demonstrate our commitment by repealing the Patriot Act.

Legalize marijuana and tax the shit out of it.

Eliminate the death tax.

Close GITMO. Give the people there fair trials, and accept that some may go free because there’s not enough admissible evidence to convict.

Roe v. Wade is law. Get over it.

Our President does not bow to anybody.

Bah. Typo. Meant Iraq.

Less of a debate, and more of an opportunity to point and laugh.

BG’s already linked to a piece showing how Reagan would have totally flunked this ‘purity test.’ Both Bushes would have flunked #1, as the government, annual deficits, and the total debt ballooned on both their watches. (And Bush Sr. even raised taxes, too.) IIRC, GWB’s proposed immigration reform would have involved some sort of amnesty for longtime illegal immigrants, so he flunks #5. And he flunks #6 on both wars: in Afghanistan, he pulled Special Forces out in 2002 that the military wanted there, and had them scout out Iraq; and his troop surge in 2006-7 was against the recommendations of his commanders. He blew #7 too, by backing out of the Agreed Framework whose absence freed NK to get plutonium-based nukes.

So Bush gets 6/10 which is failing. Oops.

Meh. The name is Orwellian. The Department is mainly agencies that existed pre-9/11; hiving them off from their parent departments and grouping them under a new one was merely a reorganization.