November 24, 2009

In my last article under "Political Issues" I discussed how the Democratic Party was no longer the party of its founder Thomas Jefferson, and how the "D" which follows the name of the candidate on a ballot stood for promoting "Dependency."  With this article, I turn my attention on the fifty or so percent of Republicans who place an "R" following their name and that letter simply stands for "RINO" or, if you will, "Republican In Name Only."

Aside from having a third party candidate or bolstering the Constitution Party into a major contender (which I truly advocate) the only hope for conservatives is a retooling of the GOP.  But this won't be an easy task.

For years the Republican Party has been a source of frustration for conservatives. Yes, the Republican Party is the vehicle to victory if conservatives want any chance of passing solid legislation, but too often that vehicle has an ejector seat. Only moderates, or RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), are allowed on board.

Last week may have been the start of an awakening within the Republican Party leadership. I don't need to mention the conservative base, because we already know what we believe in. It's the "leaders" of our party who don't. However, after stunning gubernatorial wins in New Jersey and Virginia, and the near victory of a long-shot congressional candidate, establishment Republicans can no longer pretend that conservatism doesn't sell.

For the past decade, conservatives had put their hopes in the Republican Party only to feel betrayed and bewildered. Republicans swept to victory on a conservative message, then governed like big-spending Democrats. Adding a brand new massive entitlement (prescription drug coverage) is not conservative. Passing spending bill after spending bill that blow the budget and are lined with pork is not conservative. Is it any wonder that Americans turned out the Republicans? More Americans consider themselves to be conservative than liberal or moderate, yet Republicans acted as if the key vote was the liberal vote. Pathetic!

Then, we had the events of this week. In dramatic fashion, a message was sent to Barack Obama and his left-wing band of socialists that we aren't going to take it any more. America was mad at Republicans, but this is crazy. Does Obama really think that we want to turn away from the origins and spirit that made this country great?

A message was also sent to Republican leaders in Washington: the only way to win is to return to conservative roots and run on conservative issues. That's what happened in New Jersey and Virginia. And let's look at NY-23. A group of 11 people sitting around a restaurant pick a "friend of a friend" who has no business running as a Republican. She is NOT a Republican. The voters rebelled and a conservative candidate with no experience nearly won. In fact, Doug Hoffman would have won had the small percentage of Scozzafava voters actually voted for him.

As a conservative, I notices that the election results meant something big. What I'm sure you've been wondering for the last few days is whether the Republican leadership is seeing the same thing we are. Well, there is hope.

In a web interview with ABC News, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele had a message for wayward Republicans: get back to conservative principles or "we'll come after you."

During the interview with ABCNews.com's Top Line program, Steele said:

"Well I'm gonna tell you honestly, that's where the line gets a little bit tricky. And you saw in the House and in the Senate that there are ramifications, because that goes against a core principle. And trust me, you're assuming that people want to have bloated debt, government expenditures and growth into their lives -- they don't. That's a talking point out of the DNC."

"You're gonna find yourself in a very tough hole if you're arguing for the president's stimulus plan or Nancy Pelosi's health plan. There's no justification for growing the size of government the way this administration and this Congress wants to do it."

In his own blog post following the Tuesday elections, Steele wrote:

Because of your efforts, the Republican Party is once again a bottom-up party. The Republican Party has once again found its voice. The great candidates that won last night shared your vision and heard your message. You energized behind these core Republican conservative principles and candidates and rejected the failed Democrat policies.

Because of your efforts, we are now positioned to show new strength as a Party moving forward. Republicans will take that momentum into the 2010 mid-term elections and beyond.

You did not waver in your convictions...and the Republican Party will be guided by and through this voice. I thank you, the grassroots.

Steele's warning, although somewhat tepid, is definitely surprising. I heard speeches myself at RNC meetings where they virtually disavowed conservatives, instead saying, "Let's all just be nice and be moderate." More of the country is conservative... not moderate or liberal, and yet the Republican leaders want to turn away from conservatism? How stupid!

Steele's comments also mirror the activities of the conservative Club for Growth. As noted in a report on USA Today, Club for Growth is "airing ads attacking Gov. Charlie Crist , R-Fla., for supporting President Obama's stimulus package."

The report also quoted another telling line from Steele's interview: "I don't need you to identify as a Republican," Steele said. "I need you to identify as a conservative. We are the conservative party."

Wow! Did I just read that correctly? What is going on in Washington?

There is no doubt that conservatives are energized. We have such a golden opportunity given Obama, Pelosi, and Reid's efforts at taking even more freedom away from the American people and putting more control in government. If Republicans can just get their act together, we could have staggering electoral success in 2010 and 2012.

But we have to learn our lessons. If Americans give Republicans another chance, and we don't govern as conservatives, I feel it could be the end of the Republican Party. If the Republican Party props up candidates to run as conservatives, then govern as moderates, what difference is there between a Democrat and a Republican?

Conservatives need a place to go, and that place had been the Republican Party. Through Steele's talk, maybe the establishment is seeing that conservatives are the key to moving forward. If they don't see the writing on the wall, then conservatives will eventually move forward without the Republican Party. Now is the critical time to mend fences and get back to conservative principles. Now is the time.

In his blog on Human Events, Rock legend Ted Nugent (a big fan of hunting and is a lover conservatism) said that RINO Season is open! "RINOs are Fedzilla punks who feign support for conservative principles only when it serves their political interest. RINOs are also known for their moderate positions such as supporting tax increases, federal 'bailouts', 'comprehensive immigration reform', advocating more counterproductive gun control that guarantee more innocent victims, opposing the death penalty, and growing and sustaining Fedzilla and all its toxic mongrels by going along with the liberals. RINOs have forgotten President Ronald Maximus Reagan's admonition that government is the problem, not the solution."

As the Republican Party begins to retool, rebuild and return to the "less government is best government" conservatism that makes America work, the first thing the GOP needs to do is to lock the RINOs out of the discussion. Heavily armed with an abundance of conservative attitude, my hunting buddies and I will provide security to ensure RINOs are kept downwind from the discussion. If allowed to participate, RINOs will continue to rot the Republican Party from within and diminish it in the eyes of the public. Enough is enough.

So, from my standpoint in late 2009, it is best we keep the Mitt Romneys, the John McCains, the Rudy Giulianis and the Charlie Crists out of the primaries and look to true conservatives.  Want a few names? Bobby Jindle, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Ken Blackwell, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Tom Pawlenty.

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