Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

80% Republican

Posted by Warren Peterson on November 30, 2009

A proposed ten point test for Republican candidates would require at least an 80% agreement (eight out of 10 correct answers) to be eligible for support from the Republican National Committee. It is rare to find a political candidate willing to sign on 100% to his or her party platform. Some will agree in principle but express a nuanced view on one or more of the platform planks. Others simply ignore the document. Party platforms are written at conventions where a determined minority can often insert language that is problematic for candidates. A position statement by the party national committee, however, is voted on by committee members representing each of the states and territories and is therefore likely to cleave more closely to the views of people who identify with the party. So I don’t have a problem with a “litmus test” as long as there is more than one right answer to the questions. Take the issue of the 2nd Amendment. In rural Wyoming, full bore gun rights may be the ticket to political office but in New York City acceptance of limited gun restrictions keeps a candidate in the running. At least such a position statement would prevent spending money trying to elect people who fundamentally are closer to the opposition party. For the Republicans Arlen Specter, Dierdre R. “Dede” Scozzafava from NY 23 and Jumping Jim Jeffords come to mind. There is room in the party for a spectrum of ideas but there are limits.

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