A new group has formed, the Republican Reason Caucus, which says its goal is to “Influence public policy in a way that respects sound science, the separation of church and state, and constitutionally limited government that upholds the liberties and equal treatment by the law of all individuals.” Sounds good so far. And I like a lot of the things that they’re saying on their site at the moment. Josiah Schmidt, their president, writes:
Modern conservatives care about social issues — we just have different opinions on social issues than the Republicans of four decades ago. We don’t believe that personal morals — what people do by themselves, without harming anyone else — need to be policed by the government. Modern conservatives believe in keeping America safe — we just happen to not treat the Pentagon budget as a sacred cow where no waste can be found, nor do we implicitly trust the same federal government we mock for the terrible job they do delivering mail and licensing drivers to fix every economic and diplomatic problem in any foreign country on Earth, nor are we willing to sacrifice every civil liberty on the altar of national security.
I happen to think the government does a fine job of delivering the mail and licensing drivers, but the rest is perfectly reasonable. In another post he says:
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (who was rejected by Pennsylvania voters 7 years ago) spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (“CPAC”) this past week, stating, “For those in our movement who want to abandon our moral underpinnings to win, what does it profit a movement to gain the country and lose its own soul?”
Of course, when Mr. Santorum talks about “moral underpinnings,” he means opposition to legal equality for LGBT Americans, and enforcing a government prohibition on abortion procedures. When Mr. Santorum talks about “immorality,” he refers to a society that is “anti-clerical, anti-God.” The twenty percent of Americans who now do not identify with any religion (“anti-clerical”), many of whom do not even believe in the supernatural (“anti-God”), would take issue with being referred to as “immoral”. These non-religious Americans are caring parents, doctors, teachers, and scientists, working hard to make the world a better place. They are just as moral as their religious friends and neighbors.
Exactly right. When Santorum talks about “moral values” he just means “punish gay people.” Edwina Rogers is on the advisory board of this new group, but there’s one big problem: There isn’t a single member of Congress involved. And their congressional scorecards are simply absurd. They rate Rand Paul with a perfect 100 and rate Republicans far higher than Democrats on the bills they rated. How? By including votes on things like extending the Bush tax cuts, a ban on earmarks and a balanced budget amendment, none of which actually have anything to do with the pro-science, pro-secularism views they claim to have.
When a group claiming to be in favor of science, reason and equality gives Jim DeMint an 87% score, they’re either lying about their goals or rigging the results. Take your pick.