Standing closer to the RINO can be dangerous

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:

Rhino photo by Angela Sevin

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.

Fork in the road

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.

Voters are left helpless and bereft when the political experts form a circular firing squad

I’m planning a trip this summer to Japan, a country about which I know nothing.  Actually that’s an overstatement.  I know some things:  it’s beautiful, historic, and clean (I love that part), and comes complete with great food and well-mannered people.  But that’s all I know.

Toji Pagoda

I don’t have this tabula rasa problem when I go to Europe.  Whether England, Germany, France, Belgium, or Italy, I have in my head enough information about the country to  be a little picky. It helps, too, that Rick Steves has published a series of European travel guides.  He’s not shy about being opinionated.  Indeed, that’s why people turn to him.  They have faith that they can trust his judgment so that, if he says a city is good and requires at least three days time, they can immediately book a hotel (one he recommends, of course) for two nights.  Likewise, if he says “don’t bother with such and such,” his readers know that Rick saved them time and money on a short, expensive trip.

Schloss Neuschwanstein

So far, I haven’t found a Rick Steves for Japan.  All the travel books make everything sound wonderful, without any rankings or priorities.  And I’m sure that, if I had unlimited time and money, I would enjoy traveling to every town, shrine and museum Japan offers.  But that’s not the reality of vacation travel, and I’m currently overwhelmed by the choices. Yikes!

My Japan conundrum isn’t unique.  In a world awash in information, there is no way one person can master all the data necessary to make important life decisions.  Inevitably, in various areas such as education, travel, politics, finances, etc., we select experts whom we trust and assume that, when they state an ultimate conclusion about their subject, we can rely on that conclusion.  This works both ways, of course.  Since I’ve long thought AlBore to be a rather foolish man with enough feral instincts to be a successful snake oil salesman, I have never believed in global warming.  Likewise, a friend of mine refuses to accept the rising tide of evidence against global warming, because it’s been published in “Republican” and “conservative” outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Mail.  The fact that AlBore’s theories are based on computer models while the evidence against global warming is based upon actual data disturbs him not a whit.  He’s found his reliable sources, and he’s sticking with them.

Right now, my reliance upon political experts is creating a dilemma for me, because my “experts” are turning on each other.  Before the primaries, they were all united in their profound dislike for Barack Obama.  Now, though, the circular firing squad isn’t limited just to the Republican candidates themselves.  The shoot-outs are taking place at every major conservative website, not to mention many of my favorite blogs.  Just check out PJ Media’s front page at any given minute to see astute political commentators, all of whom I respect, battering away at each other and the candidates.

To some commentators, Mitt is a RINO’s RINO, who flops, then flips, while Newt is the fiery voice of conservative truth who can reclaim America.  To others, Newt is an unprincipled loose cannon, while Mitt is a steady, conservative politician whose problem-solving skills make him the only one who can defeat Obama.  Still others see both Mitt and Newt as RINOs (one of whom has a backbone of noodle, while the other has the ethics of an alley cat), while Rick Santorum is the only true conservative in the house — never mind the fact, say entirely different pundits, that Rick’s conservative stances on social issues assure that he’ll lose to Obama.

I find all of the above viewpoints both interesting and credible.  Newt is an exciting speaker who articulates core truths about America, the economy, and national security that too many Americans, intimated by the PC police, have been stifling for years.  His fund of knowledge is impressive and enjoyable.  And of course, he’s the man whose insider skills in the 1990s forced the entire political system slightly to the right.  On the other side of the scale, he’s a man who has cheated on at least two wives (and I really don’t want to find out if he’s been cheating on a third), he’s known to be a terrible manager, his relationship to truth can be distant at best, he’s erratic, he too often sees Big Government as the vehicle for his own eclectic brilliance, and so on and so forth.

(Image by Gage Skidmore)

Then there’s Mitt.  We all know and appreciate the Good Mitt.  This is the Mitt who understands the market; the Mitt who has impressive organizational abilities; the Mitt who has proven to be an adept, albeit unexciting candidate; the Mitt who makes the Republican establishment feel loved; and the Mitt who, we are told, can entice the independents whom Newt frightens.  But all is not wonderful in Mitt land.  There’s also the Less Good Mitt, the unrepentant architect of RomneyCare; the man who, when he isn’t flipping, is flopping; the man whose Mormonism worries those who believe he is committing a profound doctrinal error that reflects on his judgment and intelligence; and, which might be the worst thing of all in a hyper-media age, the man who has the charm and warmth of a first generation android.

(Image by Gage Skidmore)

And what about Rick?  My God, the man is a Boy Scout, and I mean that in a good way.  He’s honest, loyal, decent, moral, and truly conservative.  He’s definitely what we conservatives want.  Except for that little problem he has of fading into the woodwork, not to mention the fact that, with the nation trending further and further left on social issues, there’s the strong likelihood, say many, that he’ll be the poison pill candidate for independent voters.

(Image by Gage Skidmore)

Darn those independent voters!  They’re the real problem, because all three conservative candidate (and, yes, I am ignoring Ron Paul entirely) could easily win against Obama if we could automatically co-opt independents into conservativism.  We can’t, though, which paralyzes the Republican primary.  While the independents seem to dislike Obama with ever greater intensity, the mainstream media has trained them, like tens of thousands of Pavlovian dogs, to be very hostile to certain stand-out traits in the last three Republicans standing:  Newt is the evil architect of the Contract with America; Mitt is the evil Mormon; and Rick is the evil Christian who will imprison all your gay friends and relatives.  Evil!  Evil!  Evil!

The worst thing of all, though, considering all the alleged evil the MSM keeps highlighting, is the fact that America’s premier conservative commentators aren’t doing anything to help.  Rather than building up their candidate of choice, they too are just as busy as the MSM, and the candidates themselves, in the savagery of their attacks against the candidates they don’t like.

It’s worth remembering that Newt rose to prominence during the debates because, in the beginning, he kept a laser-like focus on Obama.  He pointed out Obama’s myriad, manifest flaws and failings, and articulated ideas that promised to help America recover from her experiment with a true Leftist in the White House.  His numbers rose.  When Romney went negative, though, so did Newt — and so did everyone else.  In the last couple of months, the flesh-ripping on the debate stage is sickening, and the political commentators, rather than stepping in to help focus the voters on their chosen candidate’s attributes, are standing at the base of the stage drinking up the flowing blood.

THIS IS NOT HELPFUL.  If you’re going to have an opinion, advance useful information that helps affirmative decision-making and that helps staunch the sanguinary stream we’re currently giving as a gift to the MSM.  Yes, it’s good for the candidates to get groomed to fight the dirty fight, because it’s going to be very dirty indeed when they stand on a stage opposite Barack Obama.  I think, though, that we can comfortably conclude that the current batch has the grit to take the hits.  It’s time now to give the voters the help they need to choose the best candidate, rather than just to avoid the worst.

GOP, RINOS, and the Tea Party — by guest blogger W. H. Strom

First, this is what my background and has shaped my thinking, my starting point.  I am a hard line conservative.  I have been ever since gaining my maturity.  I am well educated, two master’s degrees, one in Strategic Intelligence.  I was born on the left coast, I am a practicing Christian, I live in Virginia, and was in the military (30 years) and a military contractor (10 years).  Now, why did I just bring all that up?  In my profession I have had to be an active listener.  First I flew fighter aircraft in combat and in opposition to the great USSR (Russia to the newbees) I had to know the world situation.  Later as an intelligence officer I changed my perspective somewhat, more toward learning what was going to happen in the near future.  I became very versed to situations and attitudes in the area of potential adversaries.

When you study potential adversaries motivations are as important, or more so, than capabilities.  The US military has sufficient wherewithal to destroy or damage most capability that our adversaries possess.  It’s the motivation that is the driving force.  As an intelligence officer and aircrew member, I was more than a little interested in the motivation of the people who were, occasionally, shooting at me.  After the wall fell, the intelligence game became much more difficult.  Instead of just one adversary, there was the potential of many.  Again, why do I bring this up?

I am “tuned in”, so to speak, to motivations and behavior.  I don’t much care about what people say as what they do.  What I have seen in the US Congress is that almost every time there is some great contentious bill come to vote, that vote is nearly always along party lines, regardless of “Blue Dogs” or “Moderate” Republicans. Witness the last Senate vote on health care, and several other like votes in 2009.  That was even more evident prior to the great upraising of the American public through such devices as the tea parties.

I just read the Wall Street Journal article on “Purity” tests.  I don’t like them.  Throughout my careers I have pretty much run my actions by “selective neglect”.  I do what I want of my superior’s wishes and ignore the rest.  I have been, on occasion, slapped down, but generally, I have had a relatively successful career.  There are others out there like me.  Locking someone up to a “test” to a list of values, of which some may vary in the next few years, does not seem like a good idea.  If there were to be a “Purity” test, it should be broad: defend the constitution; kill political correctness in all its varied guises; support a strong defense; really understand and expose the roots of  the Muslim religion; stand by our allies; and let freedom reign.

Third parties cannot win.  They are too small, take votes from a larger party and let someone in without a majority (Clinton’s first win).  It takes several elections to take over one of the top two.  In the mean-time, the left will smash this country.  What has started, and what we need to continue, is a redefinition of the Republican Party.  I am a George W. Bush admirer, but he let some stuff slip by in his last year in office, perhaps to salvage a “historical” view of his presidency.  Had I gone through the eight years he did, my sanity would also be questioned, but some attitudes and decisions must be reversed.  Goldwater did it for us in 1964, it’s time again.

I like Tea Parties.  It started out as a movement and needs to stay that way.  If it becomes a party it is very possible that much of its efforts will go toward maintaining its status.  That is a killer.  So, let’s all calmly look at the big picture.  Ultimately it comes down to how many Ds and Rs there are in Congress.  I vote for Rs.  I don’t much care if they are RINOS (as long as there are no good conservatives running).  I definitely do not vote for any Ds, regardless of how well they campaign, witness the last Presidential election and the Senatorial election here in Virginia a few years before that.  I only care about results, and Rs are much more likely to vote the way I want them than Ds.  Let’s not cut our own throats.  Nothing is done in a day or even in an election cycle.  Let’s get involved in the GOP and revolt from within if we don’t like what we see.  And for God’s Sake, let’s get out from under the elitist Northeasterners.

I am like the commenter I saw at this blog earlier:  I voted for Palin.  I like my politics sweet and simple, no secrets.  Whether Sarah can get an adequate staff together and overcome what the MSM has done to here, I don’t know, but now she is my template for a solid conservative people’s candidate.  If you don’t like my choice, that’s OK.  I will go along with the majority, unlike the members of the Democrat Party (I just can’t call them democratic).

Last comment: We must keep the pressure on.  Yes it was great to elect Senator Brown of Massachusetts, but remember, he is an eastern Republican.  He has stated that he could vote with the Democrats on some issues.  He is not Reagan, Palin, or even Gingrich.  We must continue to push the events of the past year, keep it in the news so the massive Democrat public relations campaign which has started doesn’t pervert the great uninterested public.

Summary: The GOP, along with all the RINOS who will play with us, needs to merge with the tea partiers and present a united front.  We need to keep the momentum going and not allow the 50 to 60 percent of the American public, who really don’t pay attention to politics, to forget the horrible fate that almost befell us.

W. H. Strom
Conservative

Wise Latina in on the Supreme Court

It was a foregone conclusion, but it’s still irksome that the RINOs piled on for Sotomayor.  It’s not just that she’s a judicial activist who dislikes self-defense, lies about her record, and shilled for a radical Puerto Rican group.  It’s that the hearings showed something very, very specific about her:  she’s a complete mediocrity.  The woman is as dumb as a somewhat smart post.  She’s a slow thinker.  She’s uninformed.  She’s a tribute, not to brains and hard work, but to affirmative action.

On the good side.  It is entirely possible that the charming and tactful Justice Roberts might be able to move that slow brain into a different world view.  If she were as bright as he, it is likely that she’d be able to match him argument for argument.  As a lesser legal light (heck, a lesser anything light), she might not be able to muster coherent arguments to justify her positions, and may prove to be a very weak liberal link indeed.