GOP Conveniently Fuzzy Memory
What is wrong with this picture in the minds of republican's memory of Ronald Regan?
Last week in Hawaii, the Republican National Committee almost passed a resolution named after the Gipper. “Whereas President Ronald Reagan believed that the Republican Party should support and espouse conservative principles and public policies,” it declared, only candidates who complied with eight of 10 “Reaganite” principles would be eligible for party funds.
These principles include, according to the resolution; smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes, and opposition of amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Why am I questioning the memory of the elephant crowd?
if you look up the word “amnesty” in Black’s Law Dictionary, you’ll find a reference to the 1986 bill that Reagan signed, which ended up granting amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants.
Additionally and even more telling are other Reagan era cross partisan developments, spearheaded by the Gipper himself for reasons that may be surprising to both or all sides of the aisle.
When Republicans lost big in the 1982 midterm elections because Democrats accused them of wanting to privatize Social Security, Reagan abandoned the idea and instead made a deal with Democrats that raised taxes and saved the program. In 1984, when his advisers told him that Americans considered him too warlike, he responded with a series of breathtakingly dovish speeches about his desire to eliminate nuclear weapons that helped ensure his landslide re-election. In 1981, he nominated the socially moderate Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, even though Jerry Falwell and other evangelical leaders cried betrayal.
Additionally, the federal government employment grew by 61,000 and deficits and debts nearly tripled under Reagan while under Bill Clinton federal employment decreased by almost 400, 000. Reagan also raised taxes several years in a row to pay for Social Security and Medicare (government run health care) among other things.
The question now is, what really is the 'Center' of the Republican Party/GOP and what is the real agenda behind this movement?
Is it truly just being the party of 'No' or are we in for a real movement?
I am sure there will be additional attempts to move in this direction as the Republican Party base continues to push Right and hopefully the agenda will become crystal clear (through voter demand) before it is delivered upon us in an election result.