Friday, November 30, 2007

Loyalty Oaths

It was bad enough during the Truman and Eisenhower years. During the Red Scare University professors and anyone else the government deemed insufficiently patriotic and "soft on Communism" could be forced to take a loyalty oath. Not the Pledge of Allegiance but an affirmation that you weren't now, never had been and wouldn't be part of any subversive organization. The Supremes went back and forth on their constitutionality but finally came down against them. Colleges that refused to demand the oath lost government funding and even broke tenure for professors who refused to sign them.

In recent years the Republicans have revived the idea. If you want to attend an event where Bush is speaking you have to sign a pledge of personal loyalty to the Decider. Don't sign the Oath, don't go. This even includes active duty Servicemen and Servicewomen when he visits the troops. I suppose that billboards proclaiming him "Our Leader" were only logical.

Now it seems that the GOP has taken the next step.

Vote Virginia who want to vote in the presidential primary are now forced to sign an oath pledging that they will support the Party's nominee in next year's election. It doesn't matter who it is. It doesn't matter if you prefer the Democrats' choice. You can't vote your conscience and cast a ballot for the Libertarians. If you want to be part of the selection process you must either lie or sign away one of your most sacred civil rights to The Party.

The stated reason is that Democrats don't care who their Party throws up for the general election. They'll come in droves to vote for the Republican they believe will lose. It's a stupid solution to a non-problem. It won't survive the inevitable court challenge. But it does show the GOP's true values - rigid Party Loyalty, strict adherence to the Party Line and devotion to the Person of the Unitary Executive.

Even conservative papers like Reason and The Spectator are shocked at this one. The Weekly Standard barely raised an eyebrow saying that there's no evidence that voters cross over this way.

Me? I threw up in my mouth a little.

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