Friday, February 19, 2010

Good RINO Hunting

Republicanism is not Conservatism
We all have our own ideologies.  When they broadly overlap with others we make common cause via a political movement or party.  Our two major political parties only imperfectly concord with ideology.  Rather, they are the two vessels, right and left, that carry candidates to victory or defeat.  They are the two big tents. 

Given this True or False question, the only right answer for a conservative is the GOP.

I think we criticize politicians too much for not matching our ideology perfectly, for not being pure.  Meanwhile, we fail to criticize them for their serial constitutional infidelities.

Scott Brown is a GOP hero for wrenching the "Ted Kennedy" seat from the liberals' grimy clutches, but he wouldn't play well in Texas.  The south has many fine conservative congressmen and senators who proudly put Christianity and family values first, but Christian credentials don't carry you too far here in the Mountain West. 

Congressmen and Senators Serve Their States
If you believe in federalism, where the federal government restricts itself to its constitutional duties and leaves the heavy lifting to state and local governments, you cannot argue that Meg Whitman is too liberal to be the GOP nominee for governor of California, or that Carly Fiorina is too liberal to be the GOP senate candidate from that same state.  Senators and congressmen serve their states, and their politics will reflect the sentiments of those who elect them. 

The ACU Ratings:  Who are the True Conservatives?

The American Conservative Union publishes the gold standard of conservative measurements, ranking every congressman and senator based upon how each voted. 

Barbra Boxer is a zero (in more ways than one), and constitutional conservative Jim DeMint is around 98%.  The much hated Lindsay Graham scored a perfect 100% in 2008.  I don't believe he should be banned from the club because he has strayed on the one issue of global warming.

RINO Safari

The lifetime scores of Senators Snow and Collins of Maine both hover around the low side of 50%, in a state where the two liberal Democrat congressmen score a 6% and 12%.  These good women are walking a political tightrope, but they're on our side (Dems have heavily courted them).  If they both were Democrats, Obama and Harry Reid would still have a a 61 vote supermajority in the Senate.   

It's time we cut fellow Republicans some slack
Yes, conservatives, you're Republicans.  Who else are you going to vote for?  Politics is about gaining power so you can implement your ideas.  You do that by winning elections, not by "making a statement" with your independent party that steals 8% of the vote and throws the election to the Democrat (Bill Clinton never got 50% of the vote thanks to third-partiers).

The primaries are the arena to fight it out.  Proof:  Marco Rubio is now beating squishy moderate Charlie Crist. 

We need to hold the feet to the fire of those we elect.  We must invade the GOP and insist it stand for constitutional conservatism.  We also need robust internal debate, but let's save our outraged cries of "RINO!" for the rare Scozzafava, and stop anathematizing each other. 

Do you want the power to make the changes our nation needs?  Or do you want the smug satisfaction of being a pure but powerless minority?


Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

On Lindsey Graham,he lost me with 'immigration reform' under Bush.

On matters such as that I really do not care of the label, either you (as your sworn to do) uphold the Constitution or you do not.

Besides that, what some ABC group decides is conservative or not has no bearing whatsoever on my personal belief and understanding of the document stated above that governs us all.

Rememeber as well, the democrats thought the same by utilizing liberals and look at the state of our country now and their chances in November.

Fredd said...

Good post yet again, Silverfiddle. This sentiment (don't throw the baby out with the bathwater) is sound, and it is why I can't stand watching or listening to Glenn Beck. Aside from his sophomoric mannerisms and facial expressions, and his many, many MANY apocalyptic rants filled with doom and gloom, he espouses "pure conservatism," and anyone or anything that doesn't measure up is unacceptable. It's as if Glenn has appointed himself as the Pope of Conservatism.

He had some snarky things to say about Scott Brown (R-Ma), as if we have tarnished the conservative movement by electing someone who is a bit more socially liberal than Glenn The Pious.

I know that bad mouthing Glenn Beck is bordering on heresy in some conservative cirlces, and even though I agree with about 98% of his arguments, the guy just rubs me the wrong way.

I'm just sayin'....

jadedfellow said...

Philosophically speaking it tastes like bitter gall, but on a practical level it may have to suffice as the lessor of two evils (for the time being). Wars are not won by splitting the forces and the objectives you have stood for in your postings are legit and worthwhile so if this is a stepping stone, then I can walk with the concept for awhile.

Perhaps Mrs. Palin, if she is sincere about changing the tone in gov., could be a bridge of reconcilliation that brings some of the many factions together to engage the real opposition with a united front.

Unfortunatly it is politics and until the federal beast is caged the individual republics are some what powerless to govern themselves. I also detest labels, so Independent is my choice since fundamentally I can have only one master.

Silverfiddle said...

Good comments all. I can only add two quotes:

"An 80% friend (Lindsay Graham) is not a 20% enemy" -- Ronald Reagan

"Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good."

WomanHonorThyself said...

sorry havent been around as much hun..Computer problems..oiy!..:) have a blessed weekend! the last quotes too silver!

Snarky Basterd said...

I'll agree that the Pubbie fits the place; Brown would not fit in Texas, but Graham would not fit in Mass. I think Graham is a bad actor not because of his straying on several core issues but because he's indicative of the mistrust the Tea Party movement has with Washington: He's a practitioner of crony capitalism and selective constitutional republicanism ... and for that, I can't forgive him. I'll pick the races by the candidates and how they measure up to what the Constitution says they CAN do. I could give a damn about social issues; for me, it's about what you are entrusted by the public to uphold. Graham upholds himself for himself; and he needs to go.

Silverfiddle said...

I'm not quite as down on Graham as you are, but I agree with you about measuring each politician against the constitution. That should be the only standard, imho.

Lucky Archer - Λάκης Βελώτρης said...

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