The GOP love-fest has lots of pundits and reporters quoting “Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment,” which commands “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.” But a reader of advanced years (i.e., a middle Boomer like me) recalls that the originator of the “commandment” was Everett Dirksen. It does sound like him, doesn’t it? I’m old enough to remember Dirksen, but, like Mr. Gonzales, I cannot recall whether or not I heard him quoted to that effect.
David Wilcox, a former Republican legislator in California, says that Reagan was the original beneficiary of the “commandment,” not its author; on this account, state party chairman Gaylord Parkinson invented it to prevent Reagan’s more-liberal primary opponents from pointing out his fundamental extremism.
Can any reader imporove on Wilcox’s account? It seems certain that Reagan got an early start on his long career of taking credit for the work of others; but was Parkinson inventing, or merely quoting Ol’ Ev?