"In 1986 Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million people. You know what happened, in addition to becoming 11 million a decade later? There were people trying to enter the country legally, who had done the paperwork, who were here legally, who were going through the process, who claimed, all of a sudden, No, no no no , I’m illegal.’ Because it was easier to do the amnesty program than it was to do the legal process," - Marco Rubio, Republican senatorial candidate.
The direction the GOP is heading does require a repudiation of Reagan's legacy.
Reagan raised taxes occasionally in deference to some concern about deficits. The current GOP refuses to even think about thinking about raising any taxes.
Reagan embraced immigrants and indeed granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
Reagan was prepared to negotiate with the Soviet Union. The current GOP does not believe in meeting or negotiating with any foreign enemies.
Reagan opposed an anti-gay initiative in California. Today's GOP regards anti-gay initiatives as a key fundraising and base-stoking tool.
Reagan never went in for extensive and open-ended nation-building and pulled out of Lebanon after a bombing that killed many Marines. The current Republican party never retreats on anything.
Reagan took personal responsibility for his violation go the law in Iran-Conrtra. Bush still has not taken responsiibility for the illegal authorization of torture.
Reagan took pride in his reading and his thinking on the philosophical and economic and social arguments that forged modern conservatism and the critique of the welfare state. Today's leader of the GOP - Sarah Palin - holds up her ignorance as a badge of honor.
Reagan signed the UN Convention on Torture. Today's GOP takes pride in violating it.