There’s a sad story making the rounds telling about a woman on a safari in Africa who wanted to get a picture of herself in the same frame as some rhinoceroses:
The Beeld newspaper reported Tuesday that Chantal Beyer said the game park owner snapped pictures and suggested that she “stand just a little bit closer” seconds before the attack. Photos show Beyer and her husband only feet away from two rhinos.
The paper said that just after the photo was snapped, the rhino attacked, and its horn penetrated Beyers’ chest from behind, resulting in a collapsed lung and broken ribs, the paper said.
The AP story shows up in paper after paper with a headline that says something along the lines of “‘Stand closer to the rhino’ results in grave wounds.”
Because I view everything through a political filter, every time I see that heading, my brain converts it to “Stand closer to the RINO results in grave wounds.” As far as I’m concerned, that’s just as accurate a headline as the original. RINOs are neither fish nor fowl (although they are pretty foul). They’re Democrat Lites whose overriding principle isn’t small government but is, instead, making friends in D.C. and avoiding nasty headlines from the media.
Do I believe in compromise? Yes, absolutely — but only when there is a good faith effort to compromise and when there is common ground. What today’s RINOs refuse to acknowledge is that the old rules governing compromise in Washington worked because RINOs viewed conservativism as a checkbook thing: they weren’t wedded to small government, they were wedded to affordable government. If they kept a moderate hand on the checkbook, they were doing their job.
Now that federal spending has climbed to monstrous and destructive proportions, there is no way Republicans can fulfill their traditional “moderate” role of being a check on overspending. That horse has long left the barn. The only thing left for ostensibly Republican politicians to decide is whether America will be a soft socialist (drifting inevitably into hard socialist) country or a true capitalist country. The American body politic is staring at a fork in the road with no middle ground. Politicians have to go in one direction or another. Those who choose the Democrat direction cannot call themselves Republicans. They’re just Democrat stragglers, and they may as well acknowledge that fact.
In today’s political world, RINOs are a dreadful thing for true conservatives, because they give credibility to the Democrat drift to socialism. They lend a superficial gloss of bipartisanship to outcomes that have nothing bipartisan about them. They are enablers and they are dangerous.
Republican politicians ought to fix their sights on one bright star: smaller government. With that as their starting point, they can have coherent, credible positions on myriad issues that concern the American people — everything from budgets, to abortion, to gun control, to immigration. Negotiations and possible compromise can flow from this ideologically sound starting point. Oh! And true conservatives really need to stay away from those dangerous RINOs.