"The definition of who was a true conservative narrowed. It became necessary to pass certain purity tests — on immigration, abortion, taxes and Terri Schiavo.
An oppositional mentality set in: if the liberals worried about global warming, it was necessary to regard it as a hoax. If The New York Times editorial page worried about waterboarding, then the code of conservative correctness required one to think it O.K.
Apostates and deviationists were expelled or found wanting, and the boundaries of acceptable thought narrowed. Moderate Republicans were expelled for squishiness. Millions of coastal suburbanites left the party in disgust." [Emphasis mine]
January 22, 2008
He discusses how pragmatic the Reagan admin was by comparison (though of course he forgets much of the bad policy and attacks on government that Ronnie gave us). But then, Brooks, suggests, the party tightened: