The personal attacks against me during the primary finally became so heavy that the state Republican chairman, Gaylord Parkinson, postulated what he called the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican. It's a rule I followed during that campaign and have ever since. – Ronald Reagan

Liberal Republicans did everything they could to sabotage the presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwater in 1964. Many supported Lyndon Johnson instead.

When Ronald Reagan ran for governor of California two years later, in 1966, he encountered the same antipathy from his putative party mates, some of whom even went so far as to declare their support for his Democratic rival.

Now, it's deja vu all over again. Fifty years after the betrayal of Goldwater by his own party members, 48 years after the first of several attempts by liberal Republicans to derail the Reagan juggernaut, liberal West Virginia Republicans are trying to pull the rug out from under the candidacy of one of their own party's standard-bearers.

Alex Mooney is running for the Congressional seat being vacated by fellow Republican Shelley Moore Capito. Mooney secured the Republican Party nomination in May, beating six opponents and winning 15 of the 17 counties in his district.

Instead of falling in behind him, however, a number of prominent state party members have violated Reagan's 11th Commandment, not only refusing to support Mooney but denouncing him, betraying their party, and declaring support for Mooney's opponent, Democrat Nick Casey.

Casey, needless to say, is eager to trumpet his “bipartisan” support. This Tuesday, his campaign identified former state GOP chairman and Secretary of State Edgar Heiskell as the latest turncoat to join the ranks of “Republicans for Casey.”

Republican voters in West Virginia should make a point of visiting Casey's campaign website and taking note of the Republican renegades publicized there. These Democrats in disguise have been unmasked and should be treated accordingly.

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