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The Return of the Pharisees

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The spirit of Ronald Reagan is dead in the Republican Party, and every Republican who cut their teeth on Reagan’s style of governance knows it. That’s why the GOP will suffer greater losses in 2008 than they did in 2006.

I can’t tell you how many longtime Republicans tell me how disgusted they are with the party of Lincoln. They can’t understand how the Gingrich-led Congress of the 1990’s could sell out middle-America by transferring our job markets overseas with ill-gotten “Trade Deals.”

They can’t understand how the religious right went so wrong, as to incorporate innuendo, slurs, half-truths and downright deception to cast doubt upon anyone who dares to disagree with them.

They can’t understand how the Bush family inherited the mantle of Reagan and does the exact opposite of what Reagan would do to protect America first, uplift the middle-class and keep the religious right humble with conduct that is becoming of a Christian while holding the highest office in the land.

None of these things are taking place under the Bush-Cheney-Rove Administration and real Reagan conservatives are absolutely fed up.

I should know because I was one of those long-time Republicans, swept into office in 1994, based on a platform of reform, integrity and fairness on behalf of the middle-class in America.

Eight years later, because I refused to cower before some radicals in the gun-movement, I lost in a primary. I am a lifetime member of the NRA, won “Legislator of the Year” from the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association, sponsored “Right-to-Carry” bills and had a perfect voting record on all gun bills. My legislative rating from the NRA was “A+” which is the highest any legislator can attain. But, none of that was enough to save me from the lies and innuendo. And, most of what passes for campaigning these days is exactly that – propaganda and Machiavellian spin-control.

Yes, both parties suffer from it, but the degree of deception and slander that exists in the GOP is akin to the self-righteousness of the Pharisees. They had no problem breaking 2 Commandments (Thou Shalt Not Kill; Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor) just so they could keep Jesus from healing on the Sabbath.

The present-day Pharisees in the Republican Party don’t want “healers” today – they want “dividers.” How Ronald Reagan must turn in his grave.

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Tim Ferguson served in the Maryland State Senate from 1995 to 2003.  He believes that extremists in both major political parties have placed their party before the Constitution.  He was a Republican for 30 years, until he switched in (more...)
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