Fox News today is reporting that some GOP leaders are proposing a litmus test to determine if a candidate should receive funds for the upcoming elections. There are 10 questions and a candidate running as a Republican has to agree with 8 of the 10. These are 10 major tenants of the party and I see no problem asking folks who are running under the party banner to state that they agree with their party on these issues. Of course, the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) are squawking because they should not be called Republicans and have never been in accordance with the conservative core of the GOP. The Democratic strategist interviewed for the story was purportedly chomping at the bit with excitement stating that it would turn away potential independent and liberal voters.
As is always the case in politics, you have to move beyond the rhetoric and actually look at historic outcomes. One must also recognize that when your opponent wants you to do something, you would be well pressed to do the opposite. In this case, what happens when the GOP runs candidates that adhere to conservative principals and don't try to act like "Democrat Light"? The GOP wins.
Had such a litmus test been in place, would we have had a Dede Scozzafava in New York? Would we have a Lindsay Graham, Olympia Snow, or an Arlen Specter (who of course has now switched parties)? For that matter, would we have a John McCain?
Any time in the last 30 years, when the GOP ran under the full banner of conservative principals of limited government and lower taxes, they win. The problem with the Republican Party is that they have not delivered. They have become a party of big government, just like the Democrats. People do not rally under an ambiguous banner. They do not become passionate supporters of moderates. They do not see much difference between the parties as they existed in the 2008 elections other than the fact that John McCain ran the worst campaign since Walter Mondale.
Enter the Tea Parties. Fired up every day Americans who work hard and play by the rules and say "Enough is Enough!" Tea Parties will force the GOP back to its roots or it will run its own candidates and split the electorate. This ultimately hands elections to the Democrats, which while painful, is the price the GOP must pay for failing to govern.
I say to the leadership of the GOP, do not be afraid of a litmus test - be afraid of not having one. The price of continuing along the moderate middle of the road, stand for less government than the Democrats is the road to failure for your party and ultimately for our country. The Lord Himself finds middle of the road, lukewarm disgusting, ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16.
What's it going to be GOP?