Monday, November 23, 2009

Ronald Reagan, Scored by the RNC's Reagan Unity Principle

The Republican National Committee has come up with the idea of charting future Republican candidates against a so-called "Reagan Unity Principle", holding all these Republicans running for office to a field of idealistic Reagan-like ideals. Candidates who fail to meet 8 or more of these ideals would be refused funding by the RNC as being ideologically unpure. The RNC will score candidates based on their voting record and public statements. I wonder how President Reagan would score?

The entire text can be found here (via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire).

So, let's take a look at them, shall we?

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;

Oh, bravo. Ronald Reagan certainly supported smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits, and lower taxes, right?

Except, that when he was Governor of California, Reagan raised taxes. But that was in order to pay off the Californian deficit. Yet, he didn't seem to care so much about that when he was president: Reagan originally slashed taxes, but two years later increased those taxes somewhat. The US debt rose from 909 billion to 3.2 trillion from 1980 to 1990 - eight of those years were under Reagan. In addition, government expenditure still increased, albeit at a slower level than previously. So, Ronald Reagan clearly fails this section.

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

This is certainly true. While health care was not a major issue in the 1980s, Reagan was very slow to act on the AIDS crisis. He was certainly not interested in interfering with health care, even in this limited area. Reagan gets the RNC Seal of Approval on this one.

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

Such things did not exist when Ronald Reagan was president. However, Reagan did think that acid rain was nonsense, he deregulated the oil industry, and used federal environmental funds for political purposes. Seal of Approval!

(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

Yeah, Ronald "Strikebuster" Reagan supports workers' rights.

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

Again, illegal immigration wasn't particularly an issue during Reagan's years as presidency. So I have no idea what Reagan was perceived to have done to defend the United States against the evil brown people who want to work for a living. So this is going to be an "invalid point".

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

Ronald Reagan wasn't a very big fan of sending soldiers to actually fight. In fact, most of his presidency involved America paying others to fight for them. But he does like invading weak countries like Grenada. Presumably, he'd be okay with fighting a war the US was already in. Again, Reagan wasn't really on the record about Afghanistan and Iraq, having withdrawn from public life in early 2001 to battle Alzheimer's. This point is again invalid.

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

Ronald Reagan secretly sold weapons to Iran. He was not interested in containing them, rather arming them so he could fund his pet projects in Latin America covertly. Reagan fails at this point.

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

Reagan is said to be personally tolerant to gay people, but firmly was against GTLB rights. He gets the RNC Seal of Bigoted Approval!

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

Reagan was very firmly anti-abortion for most of his political career. However, very early on, as Governor of California, he signed into law the "Theraputic Abortions Act" which was designed to reduce back-alley abortion. While this turned Reagan, personally, against abortion (so he claimed), the RNC is unlikely to forgive a moment of ideological impurity. So he is denied on this point, because Ronald Reagan once supported abortion rights, in even a small and limited way.

In addition, he appointed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is pro-abortion, to the Supreme Court, something that could never be supported by conservatives today.

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership;

By the same note, Justice O'Connor voted for gun control. As a Justice appointed by President Reagan, he must be held accountable for choosing a judge that could not be relied upon by the conservative movement to uphold one of their Reagan Unity Principles. Thus, Reagan fails.

So, in conclusion, the Republican National Committee would not support Ronald Reagan if he were to rise from the dead and run for President once more, finding that he is not ideologically pure enough to deserve support, based on a rose-tinted look back at the terrible President of Ronald Reagan.

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