Resolution Will Halt GOP Progress

03/31/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

After the recent GOP win in the Massachusetts special election, and what seems to be a reconnection with voters on our Party's economic growth and job security ideas, you'd think that Republican National Committee members would take advantage of this week's RNC winter meeting by promoting a unified front focused on those core issues.

Instead, extremists led by Jim Bopp, the RNC Committeeman from Indiana, have proposed a damaging resolution that could scuttle GOP advances in this vital election year -- a mandatory litmus test that GOP candidates would have to pass in order to receive financial support from the RNC.

This proposal, known as the "Reagan Resolution," would require Republican candidates to adhere to positions on at least 8 out of 10 issues, including the hot-button topics of immigration, abortion, and same-sex marriage.

In short: Don't agree with the extreme-wing? Then say goodbye to help from the national Party, according to this insidiously intolerant proposal.

This resolution has been criticized strongly by RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who argues such a litmus test would hurt GOP recruitment and have a chilling effect on this election year.

We agree wholeheartedly. If there is any lesson the Republican Party should take from its painful election losses in the 2006 and 2008 AND our recent wins, it is that the GOP needs to be more inclusive and more tolerant -- not less. The notion of requiring Republican candidates to pass a right-wing checklist in order to run for public office is about as exclusive as can be.

Bopp, who is coincidentally the longtime legal counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, seems to be putting their agenda ahead of what is best for the GOP. The real Republican Party has always fought to preserve Americans' personal freedoms and individual rights; at the same time the GOP worked for strong national security, lower taxes and better jobs.

Let's hope, when the Republican National Committee considers this resolution this week a majority of its members keep these fundamental GOP principles in mind and vote against this outrageous proposition.