Thank you, RNC members, for showing that you have not lost your collective minds. Thank you for solidly voting down the insanity that was the resolution to introduce a purity test for GOP candidates.
James Bopp, Jr, an Indiana lawyer and RNC member, was pushing a litmus test for candidates in order to garner support and monies from the RNC. While most of the actual purity markers are standard beliefs held by Republicans, it was simply silly to write an actual list and expect candidates to check each demand off. This was insulting and a measure that would further shrink the party.
I don't know what it will take before the people holding themselves out as 'purists' to realize that this train of thought is outdated and harmful to the party they proclaim to protect.
The meeting must have gone along just fine, especially given that this wrap up was written:
We know that should this 'purity test' have come into play, the usual suspects would have been licking their chops with delight in reporting on it. Which, of course, supports the premise: don't give the enemy any ammo. We know that the media folks are deeply depressed that the candidate of their lifetimes has failed so badly to hold support from the majority of the electorate. Slapping around Republicans is no longer as viable of an option as it was immediately after the 2008 election - you know, the one that made them all proclaim in bold print that the GOP was officially dead and destined to be a minority party forever and ever amen. They were all just a bit too quick with the proclamations.
It is worth noting that the RNC is having their winter meeting in Hawaii - in Honolulu, and Hawaii's First Congressional District located in urban Honolulu. The very district in which President Obama calls his home district, growing up there. Nice touch.
Particularly with the election of Scott Brown from Massachusetts, it is necessary for the upper level of the party leadership to recognize that unity is essential for the party to be successful. And, to grow the party is the only way to win. Republicans have a golden opportunity to bring in like-minded Democrats and Libertarians and Independents to vote Republican. This is the way Ronald Reagan was successful in the 1980's - in direct contradiction to the purity test Mr. Bopp called "Reagan's Unity Principle". If Bopp was looking for personal recognition or to proclaim himself the savior of Reagan policies, he failed as far as a Reagan-like approach goes.
In our large and diverse country, it is ridiculous to expect a one size fits all candidate. Each region of the country fields different kinds of Republicans, as they do for Democrats. While the party bemoans the candidacy of the likes of Dede Scozzafava in New York, that candidacy was due to a fault in the local party system, not the national operations.
National Chairman Steele has pledged to find candidates for all Congressional districts across the country. That is a huge step in the right direction. Without grooming candidates, beginning at the local levels, it is impossible to grow a bench of solid candidates for national offices, further up the line. Steele may irritate some of the 'purists' with his style of chairmanship but the man is enthusiastic and puts the energy out there. For that alone, we are served well. In the past, most Americans didn't even know the name of the party chairman, much less knew where he stood on issues. Steele is out there and spreading the word. He is welcoming everyone, as he should. We can't win election with less votes, we win with more.
The majority of Americans now call themselves Independents, not a member of an organized party. It is time for those making the rules to wake up and open their arms in welcoming gestures to everyone garnering our basic principles and ideals.