The Republican ‘purity test’ (part one)
Much has been said in the past week by commentators, GOP party officials, elected representatives and the like about the touted ‘purity test’ for candidates or would-be candidates for office under the Republican banner.
The Republican National Committee has announced they will be considering a resolution in the early New Year that would require those seeking office on a number of issues. If a candidate disagrees with the party line on three key issues or more out of ten then the RNC will not forward money to their congressional or senatorial campaigns nor would the candidate receive official party support.
Naturally, this has sparked much discuss with heavyweights such as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and now head of FreedomWorks which is one of the biggest promoters of the tea party movement speaking yesterday on this issue which is certain to divide the GOP.
Armey said the purity test is not a litmus test, “It's a very reasonable thing to say if you want the support of the Republican Party, demonstrate some allegiance to the primary positions taken by the party. That's not a litmus test. That's just saying if you want us to give you our money, our support, our troops in the field, our endorsements, then demonstrate that you're someone like us.”
This will be news to Dede Scozzafava, the moderate Republican who was arguably forced to drop out of this month’s special election in Up-State New York’s 23rd District who went on to back a Democrat who won. This was after national Republicans such as Armey and Palin supported the Conservative Party candidate. Yesterday she said that she would have met only 7 of the 10 criteria on the purity test so no money and no support from the Party Establishment.
Kathleen Parker, columnist for the Washington Post, called it “The GOP’s Suicide Pact.”
MSNBC’s First Read is calling it a civil war within the Party. So what is this purity test and what are the questions?