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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Today on Mutual of Crawford's Wild Kingdom, we stalk the elusive RINO 

If you haven't heard the term, here's how Wikipedia defines it:

RINO stands for Republican In Name Only, a disparaging term for a member of the United States Republican Party whose positions are "too far" from the party mainstream. Since the mainstream has been conservative since 1994, the term currently applies to Republicans who are too fiscally or socially moderate or liberal for their critics. The implicit suggestion is that RINOs do not belong in the party and should leave.

So according to this definition, fiscal and social conservatives are not RINOs, while fiscal and social liberals are. And RINOs should be kicked out.

There's a whole blog called RINO WATCH that's dedicated to outing the RINOs. Sample post:

Salem Representative
Billy Dalto
Assistant Majority Leader

"Billy Dalto is Oregon’s youngest serving legislator. With his election to Oregon’s 21st House District in November of 2002, he became the first Hispanic Republican to serve in the Oregon Legislature."

So what!

Is it because Billy is the Youngest first Hispanic RINO that Republican leadership appointed him Assistant Majority Leader?

Young Billy is immature, a RINO to be sure, and should have been contested in the Republican Primary.

Obviously, there will NEVER be an ENDORSEMENT from RinoWatch

The post above followed a post about an Oregon cigarette task which Dalto co-sponsored. If you support taxes, you're obviously a RINO.

Blogs for Bush goes after RINOs from time to time:

Despite the impression given in Glover's rant, bloggers did not simply throw softball questions at the Senators who spoke with us. I was determined to find out why Alito's hearings were delayed until after the New Year, despite the fact President Bush wanted Alito confirmed before then.

And he lived to tell the tale of this question. Later he gets to some RINO-bashing:

Captain Ed was determined to find out why the NRSC was going to spend money on RINO Lincoln Chafee, instead of supporting his conservative Republican opponent in the primary. I don't know if Ed ever ended up being satisfied by the answers he got from various people he grilled on the subject, but Glover is wrong to infer that the event last week was a love fest.

And here's another RINO-bashing post from Blogs for Bush:

The MSM, the left and the Usual Suspect RINOs have been in a tizzy since it was revealed that President Bush authorised "spying" on people here in the United States...first off, it is illustrative that it is referred to as "spying"; what is an FBI wiretap? Well, its spying, now isn't it...but you don't hear it called that, now do you? The use of the word "spying" is a specific attempt to make President Bush appear odious - and this done in order to harm President Bush as Iraq becomes a complete success.

But let's return to this "fiscal conservative" thing. Harry Browne presents a George W. Bush quote from the 2004 campaign:

Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it's less than 1 percent, because we're working together to try to bring this deficit under control.

Note how many caveats were in that statement above. Harry Browne (who, for those who don't know, is neither Republican nor Democratic) noticed this too:

George Bush is a first-class spender. And he doesn't have a Democratic Congress to blame for it. In fact, he doesn't have anyone but himself to blame for it — since he hasn't vetoed a single bill....

It's interesting that George W. Bush is increasing non-military spending at over twice the speed of Bill Clinton — that great bête noire of all good conservatives....

Total federal government spending in the first three years of the Bush administration has risen by 24.4% — the equivalent of 7.6% per year.

Bush blames this runaway spending on 9/11 and the need for greater homeland "security." But he isn't handling this situation in a fiscally conservative manner....

Bush brags that he's reduced the rate of growth in "discretionary" spending (items that aren't locked into the budget) to 1% per year. But why isn't he reducing discretionary spending by 5%, 10%, or more each year — in order to accommodate the new so-called anti-terrorism expenditures?

The reason is that he doesn't have to. It isn't his money that's at stake. All he has to do is extract more resources from the taxpayers.

Well, someone has dared to breathe the truth - George W. Bush himself is the Chief RINO. So says a conservative at Berkeley:

George W. Bush the RINO
Posted 10:22:00 AM by Fresh Prince of Berkeley (link)

I don't know how George W. Bush transformed the GOP into the party of big government. I'm just getting sick and tired of his spending....

This President is well into his second term and has yet to veto a SINGLE spending bill. This is a disgrace and is completely unacceptable. The federal government has no business spending this kind of money. The Republican Party gave this guy the nomination in 2000 because he was supposed to be a conservative....

What kind of conservative would vote for a bill or sign it into law if it creates jobs that taxpayers ultimately end up paying for and increases the size of the government? What would Ronald Reagan have to say about this?

The Republican Party is heading in the wrong direction, and this new kind of ideology of big government and big spending is likely to create a civil war within the party for years to come. I know I can't vote for people like this in the future, and might have to write in real conservatives like Tom Tancredo, Tom McClintock, or Pat Buchanan instead.

HighwayMan feels scorned:

I never viewed George W. Bush as a real Republican. I only have viewed him as a RINO(Republican In Name Only). He is extremely liberal. Dare I say, I think he is even more liberal then Bill Clinton was.
I voted for Bush both times. I didn't vote for him because I thought he was a good choice, I only voted for him because I viewed him as the lesser of two evils.

In the 2004 election, I really didn't vote for Bush, I voted against John Kerry. Unfortunately, it looks like we still got John Kerry anyways.

Matthew Yglesias, looking at a separate issue, links to the National Review:

"Republican" Sen. Larry Craig and Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy have gotten together to push a vast amnesty for illegal-alien farmworkers....The Senate will vote shortly before noon today on the Kennedy-Craig amnesty and on a less-bad (but still lousy) alternative....

I am now listening to Sen. Craig on C-SPAN 2 actually claim that his amnesty (which would grant green cards to some 3 million people, and maybe more, if it's as fraud-ridden as I expect) would somehow enhance American security -- he just now said his bill would "do a thorough background check".

Yglesias comments:

So Krikorian wants to make immigration a litmus test for party loyalty, which is an interesting proposal. But. Doesn't this leave George W. Bush in RINO territory?

Actually, although we'll have to wait until after the 2008 primaries to find out, perhaps George W. Bush is the real Republican today, and people who oppose deficits and want to prevent millions of "guests" from working for us are just...RINOs.

Assuming that this is a philosophical movement and not just an authoritarian cult of personality.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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