[Note: My friends at In the Agora have declared today “Breaking the 11th,” in honor of Ronald Reagan’s famous 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.” As they point out, “Of course, Reagan himself often broke this rule, with good reason, and so shall we.” “Breaking the 11th” is a day for us to rise up and hold Republicans accountable for not upholding the principles we claim to value. In honor of the holiday (and with apologies to Eliza Kazan) I am “naming names”: expressing my displeasure with certain key Republican leaders.]
In the past weeks intolerable rumors about my political position have been circulating in the blogosphere. I want to make my stand clear:
I believe that Republican activities confront the people of this country with an unprecedented and exceptionally tough problem. That is, how to protect ourselves from a dangerous and alien conspiracy and still keep the free, open, healthy way of life that gives us self-respect.
I believe that the American people can solve this problem wisely only if they have the facts about the GOP. All the facts. Now, I believe that any American who is in possession of such facts has the obligation to make them known, either to the public or to the appropriate Government agency.
Whatever hysteria exists–and there is some, particularly in the blogosphere–is inflamed by mystery, suspicion and secrecy. Hard and exact facts will cool it.
The opinions I have are sixteen weeks out of date, but they supply a small piece of background to the graver picture of Republicanism today. I have placed these opinions before the House Committee on Un-American Activities without reserve and I now place them before the public and before my peers in the blogosphere:
Bill Frist — So Frist believes both that embryos are human beings and that if we have an excess number of them it’s okay to kill them for research purposes. Some people see that as inconsistent. I see that as they type of hedging that will get you a six-figure salary as a lobbyist for a biotech firm after you retire from the Senate.
John McCain — McCain is the Ross Perot of the Republican Party. You can admire his character, his charisma, and his personal achievements. But you would have to be nutty as Perot to think he would make a worthy President. The Arizona Senator has a tendency to throw his support behind measures that, while well-intentioned, overstep the legitimate authority of the federal government. He made a mess of campaign-finance reform, he proposed taking legislative action against Major League Baseball and the players over the steroid scandal, and he threatened to hold up every piece of legislation in the Senate if House leaders didn ‘