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Republicans' new litmus test for 2010 candidates: only conservatives need apply

In an attempt to reclaim the Grand Old Party for conservatives, a group of Republican National Committee members is circulating a 10-point platform for the 2010 elections. The platform opposes gun control, abortion, gay marriage and President Obama's healthcare reform, among other issues. The catch: Only candidates who agree with at least eight of the principles would get funding from the Republican Party.

"The goal of the resolution is to take a position ... towards reclaiming the Republican Party’s conservative bona fides,” said Committeeman James Bopp, who authored the resolution. “We are open to diverse views. But you have to agree with us most of the time.

Conservatives like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin clashed with party officials last month by backing a conservative over the party's nominee in 23rd Congressional District in New York. The effort to further purify the party ideologically could pose new problems for Chairman Michael Steele as he tries to recruit centrist Republicans to run in congressional districts that lean Democratic.

But conservatives within the party are adamant. They want candidates to abide by a litmus test they are calling Reagan’s Unity Principle. Here's the full list.

(1) Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;
(2) Market-based healthcare reform and oppose Obama-style government-run healthcare;
(3) Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap-and-trade legislation;
(4) Workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing "card check";
(5) Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
(6) Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;
(8) Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
(9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing healthcare rationing and denial of healthcare and government funding of abortion; and
(10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Comments () | Archives (7)

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This is great!!! For the Democrats. If this "movement" succeeds, the Dems won't have to invest much in political ads in 2010 -- they will just have to remind the nation of the "10 Reasons We Can't Afford to Vote Republican".

In fact, if the Dems get really creative they can remind Republican voters that Ronald Reagan would not have qualified as a candidate representing their party had he been evaluated against this list. That should bring more than a handful of Republicans into the Democrats' tent.

Hasn't the Republican party learned from the 2008 election what happens when you allow idealogues to dictate your party's direction?

Ha ha... what morons. Let's shrink our already shrinking party a little faster shall we? bye bye GOP your going the way of the Whig party. Good Riddens!

This is the best thing to happen to the Dems since Sarah Palin. If this kind of thing keeps up it will be like shooting fish in a barrel!

Really, that's it, laughable? And toting around Reagan's corpse, a moderate California Republican, give me a break, if the so-called conservatives buy this they really are out to lunch,...

We could refer to this core group of extremists as "The Base". That would go over well in certain arabic speaking counties. I figure they have one more election with Sarah as ringmaster before the Republican party splinters into multiple factions.

Something isn't right... This is almost reminiscent of the pledges those in the National Socialist party were asked to take...

Someone at the GOP needs to put an end to this - or it's gonna get implemented all wrong and make the party look like a bunch of crony's implementing their own view of McCarthyism.

I support most of what the GOP stands for, However taking away peoples Right to Marry just because of someones Religion?

gay people have Religions too!

I thought the Republicans stood for Big Government out of peoples lives? does that Exclude Gay people?

I know it did at one time for the Blacks and the Hispanics. I know way too many Gay people who are Republicans, and they are not gonna be too happy about this...

I am a Republican of all my 27 years, Even I can see that Glen Beck is full of Crap! he just loves writing on that Chalk board, saying crazy things for attention... If anything he's the Big Man Sized Queen.

I will not Vote for a Conservative anymore if they wont Respect the Lives of other people around them. you don't have to agree but you don't have the right to take someones Tax Paying Rights Away!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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