Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 26, 2010

IDEOLOGICAL LITMUS TESTS FOR FUTURE HILL STAFFERS.... There are no doubt legions of far-right activists looking forward to applying for new Capitol Hill positions. No matter what happens in the midterms, there will be jobs to be filled, and if there's a GOP majority in the House, Republicans will have a lot of openings to fill with eager young ideologues.

And in preparation for these employment opportunities, the House Republican Study Committee is asking would-be employees who want to work for one of its members to check in with a couple of websites first.

"Once we receive your resume, it will be passed along in a binder to each new Member (and to any existing RSC Member requesting to see resumes) for consideration," reads an e-mail Tuesday from RSC staff, obtained by Roll Call. "We also strongly encourage you to submit your resume and complete the ideological questionnaires at the following two websites, as we will be checking these questionnaires as well."

The links to questionnaires on the websites of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and Leadership Institute's conservativejobs.com site, are pasted into the RSC e-mail. The RSC claims more than 115 House Republicans as its membership.

For the record, I'm not especially interested in seeking employment with a member of the House Republican Study Committee, but I was curious what these applicants might be asked before being considered for positions on Capitol Hill.

So I stopped by the Heritage questionnaire that Republicans are encouraging potential staffers to fill out. The "correct" answers seemed pretty obvious. Agree or disagree: "The U.N. should not have authority over the citizens or public policies of sovereign nations." Agree or disagree: "The U.S. has the right to use force to protect its national interests." Agree or disagree: "Judges should not make decisions based on their policy preferences."

I especially liked the next section in which applicants were presented a list of people and organizations, and asked to express general agreement or disagreement. The list includes Al Gore, the NRA, CATO, the National Organization of Women*, George W. Bush, Clarence Thomas, James Dobson, Bill Bennett, and for some reason, Dianne Feinstein.

The Leadership Institute's questionnaire, meanwhile, wants to know, among other things, if you think "homosexual activity should be incompatible with service in the U.S. military forces," and whether "minimum wage laws contribute to unemployment."

There was no explicit demands made by the House Republican Study Committee, but it's probably a safe bet that those with the "wrong" answers won't be eligible for employment.

The next Congress really isn't going to be a pleasant experience.

* Update: NOW, of course, stands for National Organization for Women, not National Organization of Women. The mistake was the Heritage Foundation's, not mine.

Steve Benen 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Comments

"And Mr. Torquemada in our Rpublican 'Inhuman Resources Department' will be asking you some questions personally as well, to make sure you were truthful on the questionnaires.
And, if I were you and I lied, I would not choose to come to his office. Mr. Torquemada does NOT suffer liberal fools gladly. So, be warned!
Oh, and before the interview, it is recommended that you notify the Republican House and Senate 'Inhuman Resources Department' of your next of kin.
Good luck. Bwa-ha-ha!!!"

Posted by: c u n d gulag on October 26, 2010 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised that they don't ask for shirt size so they'll know how many of each size to buy in brown.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on October 26, 2010 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

I've already applied. I have my fingers crossed.

Posted by: Al on October 26, 2010 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

They didn't include a DVD of Triumph of the Will to study as part of the "preparation" process?

Posted by: electrolite on October 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I've already applied. I have my fingers crossed.

Why don't you get real job, Al? According to the GOP, working for the government isn't a real job, y'know.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on October 26, 2010 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

The Leadership Institute's questionnaire, meanwhile, wants to know, among other things, if you think "homosexual activity should be incompatible with service in the U.S. military forces," and whether "minimum wage laws contribute to unemployment.

So, apparently the more tenuous one's grasp of reality, the greater the likelihood of employment with the Republicans in the House.

Posted by: chrenson on October 26, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Chins up, peeps! TWO bright rays of sunshine! We MIGHT not lose the House and Senate (stop with the foregone conclusion crap!) and if we DO it'll give the President two years to show some cajones, not have to tiptoe around the Blue Dogs and have someone to fight against. As they say in my lil' corner, it's a win win.

Posted by: SYSPROG on October 26, 2010 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

The real toughie for me is what I should feel about George W. Bush.

Insanely great president or sellout RINO who wrecked the GOP's reputation?

Is there a study guide? (Besides the Bible)

Posted by: catclub on October 26, 2010 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Feinstein is considered a possibility for a VP nominee.

Posted by: bleh on October 26, 2010 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't understand the point of this exercise. All of this stuff is stock right-wing orthodoxy. It's hard to imagine that anyone who wanted to be a Republican staffer would disagree with the "right" answers, unless of course they were going undercover, in which case they'd just lie about it.

All I can figure is that the message is that they won't tolerate dissent from the orthodoxy.

Posted by: Area Man on October 26, 2010 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

I hope this works better than when we sent the same types to Iraq!

Probably not.

Posted by: Roger on October 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Curious, is it not, that so many folks profess to hate Washington and all it stands for, yet desperately want to work there?

-and spend 140 million dollars to get a 100k job. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 26, 2010 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans just pine for the 1950s, but perhaps not why you think. They, and I am referring more to the rank-and-file than to their leaders, who are clearly in the pocket of the plutocracy, miss a time when the USA was astride the earth like a Colossus, with no serious competition from anyone, booming working-class industries (brought to you nin part by the unionization they hate). They miss the time when white people didn't have to care about what any minorities thought or felt. They miss women being actively suppressed from the workplace (post-WWII) in favor of 'the boys.'

They just miss all that stuff, and they just ignore the brutal racism and sexism (although they seem inclined to view it as a feature and not a bug), the widespread unionization, and the high taxes that came with all of that.

Posted by: Daddy Love on October 26, 2010 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, on the policy questions, I pretty much agree with what's written: I don't think the UN should have AUTHORITY over sovereign nations (and it doesn't), I do believe the US has the right to use force to protect its national interest (e.g., attacked; NOT "preventive war"), and judges should make decisions based on the law and precent, not policy preferences (as the 5-4 majority did in Citizens United).

Where I WOULD run afoul of them is on my opinion of W, Clarence Thomas, Dobson, Bennett, etc.

I guess I won't apply. As someone else pointed out, I have a job, and working for the government isn't a real job. If any of the bleaters out there who parroted that perspective, then they shouldn't be applying either...

Posted by: artsmith on October 26, 2010 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hard to believe the Humane Society, Red Cross, and the Salvation Army, did not make the wingnut litmus test list. These are all highly suspicious and possibly un-American operations that may be staffed by a few Democrats and left-leaning Independents.

Posted by: Bob on October 27, 2010 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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