Hey Pawlenty: Is George W. Bush a Republican?

W. supported bank bailouts. Pawlenty says that's a non-Republican position.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

GOP12 has some interesting video where the Morning Joe gang tries to nail Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty down on whether Olympia Snowe is welcome in his Republican Party (that, GOP12 smartly argues, should be a 2012 Republican debate question: Do you want Snowe in your party?). Pawlenty dodges and weaves, repeating a mantra about what disqualifies one as a Republican. The list includes being for tax increases "repeatedly" (one can, apparently increase taxes if you don't inhale while doing it), being for card-check, being a friend of ACORN, being for the stimulus bill and being for bank bailouts.

But ... weren't the bank bailouts an idea originated by Republican President George W. Bush? The answer is that Pawlenty says that being wrong on these issues in totality is a sign of non-Republicanism. But it's striking that in his mind one of the signature domestic policy initiatives of the last Republican president is a bright line litmus test for ideological purity for Republicanism. Not conservatism, mind you, but Republicanism.

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