Recent events have highlighted the need for the Republican Party to take a closer look at what they stand for. Perhaps the most prominent example took place in New York State’s 23rd congressional district. Republican John McHugh resigned the seat to become Obama’s Secretary of the Army leading to a runoff election. The New York Republicans chose “moderate” Dede Scozzafava to run on the Republican ticket. Never one to miss the opportunity to get in front of the camera, Newt Gingrich endorsed Scozzafava with his fellow Republicans; House Minority Leader John Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, and Representative Kevin McCarthy, who is in charge of recruiting GOP candidates to run next year. The Republicans also reportedly spent nearly $1 million on her campaign.
Joining these stellar conservatives in endorsing Dede was ACORN and along with such conservative notables as the creator of the Daily Kos. Enter Doug Hoffman who entered the race just weeks before the election as a Conservative candidate. Real conservatives flocked to endorse him, most notably Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty and the fight ensued. Days before the election, Scozzafava quit the race and promptly endorsed the Democrat candidate leaving Newt and the boys scrambling for cover. Arlen Specter must have been proud. Her endorsement and splitting votes probably gave the election to the Democrat, but Hoffman has taken a page from the Democrat playbook and has not given up as the votes are still being counted.
It is interesting to note that Hoffman’s opponent was sworn into office before the election results were certified (Hoffman conceded before he found out how close the race was and promptly unconceded). The Guinness folks are investigating as Democrat Owens broke four campaign promises in his first hour in office. Great job New York.
If you are like me you are probably way past being tired of hearing that our RINO is better than a Democrat. Even though Mr. Hoffman seems likely to still lose, I hope the gauntlet has been thrown. A similar situation is brewing in Florida as Republican-selected Charlie Crist is facing a big challenge from conservative Republican Marco Rubio. This race seems to be following the same pattern with country-club Republicans (McCain, etc.) backing Crist while conservatives are moving to Rubio’s camp. The Republicans really need another, boring, moderate, silver-haired white guy instead of a very popular Hispanic candidate. Click on his picture to visit his web site and consider a donation.
At this rate the Republicans will find a way to ride the wave of Obama unpopularity into an even smaller minority in Congress.
I thought that it might be wise to categorize the different type of RINOs. They are not all created equally meaning that they sometimes are almost palatable. You only have to wash your hands three times after voting for them.
The first group would be the Red Dogs like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. It is only news when they actually vote with the Republicans. I believe that the Democrat members of the Senate do not want either of these two to quit the Republican Party as they are reliable votes for the Democrats. When either or both of them vote with Democrats, the legislation or action can then be called bipartisan. Remember it only take one RINO joining Dems to be bipartisan.
The next group are the Stopped Clocks like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Even a broken clock is right twice a day and even Lindsay Graham gets it right once in a while. Graham is another Democrat favorite when they need a Republican for a bipartisan effort. Graham recently got a great deal of credit when he took Eric Holder to task for deciding to bring the 9/11 terror plot planners to the United States.
The Clocks are followed closely by the Mavericks with John McCain as their poster boy. These are Republicans with apparent strong conservative principles, but who love to be loved by the lame stream media (AKA the main stream media) and will often “cross the aisle” to work with Democrats for the higher cause. The Mavericks reached their peak last year when the media selected McCain to run against Obama for president. They may have been too smart for their own good when they selected Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. I believe that Obama was destined to win, but Palin’s conservative values provided a stark contrast to McCain’s moderate views on many issues like global warming.
The next group are the Liombs lead by Utah’s Orrin Hatch. In the interest of full disclosure, I own the principle of this group to Jim Quinn of Warroom fame. Quinn often describes Hatch’s actions as a lion on Sunday (during the Sunday morning interview shows) and a lamb on Monday (when the rubber meets the road). The liombs may be the least offensive RINO and maybe should not be considered as they are fairly reliable except for voting for liberal judges.
The last group are the Specters named after beloved Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter. Dede Scozzafava earned and executive membership to this club recently. The Specters are all about them and party affiliation is a means to an end, namely getting elected. This group is the first group of RINOs that need to be fired. Scozzafava got her notice and Arlen is headed for the same fate, but Pennsylvanians voted for Ed Randell twice and most recently for Bob “has anybody seen him” Casey. The famed “Red T” in Pennsylvania has a hard time overcoming the near 100% voting turnout in some Philadelphia communities.
The nation is paying a high price for the actions (and non-action) of RINOs with the election of Obama and his ruling czar class. If the RINOs do not screw up in 2010 much of the damage may be undone.