Republican darling former President Ronald Reagan popularized a phrase known as the Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."
Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has broken that commandment without remorse in his Los Angeles Times op-ed Monday. In fact, he argues that a party that doesn’t allow dissent, discussion or compromise is a party doomed to fail.
In particular, he laments the pressure to be ideologically far-right to be accepted into the "exclusive club" that is the GOP. "Big ideas don't often come from small tents," he writes.
And a "small tent" Republican party pushes out important moderate voices. As evidence, he points to two California Republicans who left the party to become independents: San Diego mayoral candidate and current state assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and former assemblyman and current Congressional candidate Anthony Adams.
Hinting at why Fletcher and Adams left the GOP, Schwarzenegger writes that in the "current climate, the extreme right wing of the party is targeting anyone who doesn't meet its strict criteria." Commenting on his own centrist politics, "I had taken an oath to serve the people, not my party."
Despite breaking the 11th, the governor makes his point by referencing the Republican of all Republicans: "What would Ronald Reagan have done? He worked hard to maintain a welcoming, open and diverse Republican Party."
Schwarzenegger is not the only GOP loyalist to chastise his fellow Republicans. In the videos below, Republicans David Brooks, Ross Douthat, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Norman Ornstein and now-Democrat Arlen Specter make similar pleas for a more inclusive and cooperative party.
Specter and Sen. Snowe refer to long-standing Republican politicians who have been ousted by the Tea Party right.
Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN), who has been in office since 1976, faces a serious right-wing primary challenge Tuesday. One of his opponent's primary criticism's against Lugar, as seen in the attack ad video below, is that Lugar cooperated with President Barack Obama.
Schwarzenegger, who is currently working on his memoir, dismisses the notion that a "real" conservative is one who doesn't work with the enemy. Again, he turns to Reagan, pointing out that the Republican president "believed in solutions and compromise" and "worked very well with Democrats to do big things."
Click through to hear similar criticisms of Republican by Republicans:
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