The New RINO: A Conservative Without the Drama

Some folks, particularly many of my readers, are quick to throw the label RINO (Republican in Name Only) at any Republican not sufficiently conservative in their view. I don’t object to the practice one bit if the shoe fits. George W. Bush was a RINO. He spent the country into bankruptcy.  Lately, however, folks are confusing sensible with RINO.

Early on in the GOP primary season I expressed interest in Jon Huntsman. Just on paper, he looked like the strongest contender having both executive (Governor of Utah) experience and foreign policy (Ambassador to China) experience. I also liked the fact that he didn’t run away from climate change and evolution as scientific lines of inquiry worth exploring. Since I’m not a Republican, my analysis stopped there. I was quickly informed by several of my readers that Huntsman is a RINO and has no business anywhere near the Oval Office. Hence I was pleased to stumble upon a quiz posted by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough in Politico magazine. The quiz, copied below in its entirety compares Huntsman to the current leading contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. (YIKES I feel like I’m living in an alternate universe putting Newt Gingrich and “leading contender” in the same sentence!)

1. Who said, “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose. I am not going to change pro-choice laws in any way”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

2. Who bragged about being a moderate with this comment, “There is a new synthesis evolving with the classic moderate wing of the party, where as a former Rockefeller state chairman, I’ve spent most of my life”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

3. Who starred in a 2007 global warming commercial with Nancy Pelosi that was sponsored by Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

4. Who once famously said, “I don’t line up with the NRA”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

5. Who was paid $312,000 by ethanol interests and then said ethanol is good for national security and for the economy?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

6. Which candidate bragged about not being a Republican during the Reagan presidency and promised that if elected he would not “return to Reagan-Bush policies”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

7. Which candidate told Planned Parenthood that he supported state funding of abortion?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

8. Which candidate has consistently supported the type of individual mandates for health insurance that conservatives are trying to overturn through court challenges to Obamacare? (Trick question: Two of three are correct answers.)

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

9. Which candidate went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and called Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan “radical” and “right-wing social engineering”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

10. Which candidate is the only GOP presidential contender to come out in full support of the Ryan plan?

A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman

11. Which candidate bragged to CNN that he’s “the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

12. Which candidate told Planned Parenthood that he supported the “substance” of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

13. Which candidate said of the Medicare prescription drug plan that was the largest expansion of entitlements since the Great Society, “Every conservative member of Congress should vote for this Medicare bill. Obstructionist conservatives can always find reasons to vote no”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

14. Which candidate attacked Steve Largent, Tom Coburn and other conservatives as “the Perfectionist Caucus,” while giving his last speech as speaker in support of Dick Gephardt and Dave Obey’s colossal Omnibus Bill of 1998?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

15. Which candidate was ranked by Cato Institute in 2008 one of the most fiscally conservative governors in America?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

16. Which candidate was cited by the Pew Center for running the “best-managed” state, hailed by Forbes magazine as the “most fiscally fit” and ranked first in the country for job creation?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

17. Whose economic plan does The Wall Street Journal consider the most impressive and conservative of the Republican presidential field?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

18. The American Conservative wrote this about which GOP candidate, “For the past two decades a ‘moderate’ Republican was one who didn’t generally side with his party on three issues: taxes, guns and abortion. [This candidate’s] record on those isn’t just to the right of the moderates. It is to the right of most conservatives”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

19. Which candidate was praised in a Club for Growth report for reforming health care with “no individual mandate, no employer mandate and no provision for a massive expansion of subsidized care unlike Obamacare or Romney’s plan”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

20. Who are the real RINOs here? (Feel free to circle two.)

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

Answers: 1) A; 2) B; 3) B; 4) A; 5) B; 6) A; 7) A; 8.) A and B; 9) B; 10) C; 11) B; 12) A; 13) B; 14) B; 15) C; 16) C; 17) C; 18) C; 19) C; 20) you decide.

via Opinion: Who is the real RINO? – Joe Scarborough – POLITICO.com.

Clearly, at least from this quiz, the only candidate of the three who is NOT a RINO is Jon Huntsman. So, you have to ask yourself why is Huntsman labeled so by so many? Could it be that unlike Gingrich, Huntsman doesn’t talk about the President’s Kenyan anti-colonialist background? Perhaps it is because Huntsman, unlike Gingrich,  doesn’t identify liberalism as the most dangerous phenomenon in America since World War II Nazism? Could it be that unlike Romney, Huntsman has not been anointed by the establishment and certainly no one anointed by the establishment could possibly be a RINO.

The fact that Jon Huntsman has been virtually ignored by his party and the potential primary voters  tells me that his party is not really serious about leading us out of this crisis. The GOP electorate have so far only shown interest in opportunists and drama queens. If that trend does not change, the GOP does not deserve your vote in November of 2012.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Farewell to T-Paw and Change.org

Where T-Paw Went Wrong

It’s been a week since Tim Pawlenty (known in the Republican hood as T-Paw) withdrew from the GOP Presidential race. There hasn’t been a heck of a lot of real analysis on his withdrawal. Let’s face it. Watching Pawlenty was a lot like watching paint dry. He was hardly a media darling. Still I’m surprised that I haven’t seen a good post-mortem on his campaign.

Maybe I just don’t understand GOP politics but I have the prescription that would still have Pawlenty in the race today. Very simply, target the right demographic. For reasons that totally befuddle me, Pawlenty decided to take on Michele Bachmann and go after her voting block. It doesn’t take a Sigmund Freud to figure out that Pawlenty with his vanilla demeanor was a rival of Mitt Romney, not Michele Bachmann. To put it a bit differently, there are two factions of  GOP candidates this season, the sensible and to varying degrees, the wild-ass crazy. Pawlenty, no matter how much he wanted to be the bad boy you don’t bring home to Mama, was in the sensible league with Romney and Huntsman. Pawlenty should have saved his money, like Mitt did, and waited for the right opportunity. Instead, he blew his entire chest on Iowa and to make matters worse, blew it on the Ames Straw Poll which everyone now knows is NO predictor of future victory.

But then, I’m not really sorry to see Tim go. Tim is, in a word, a punk. Call me old-fashioned but I find something wrong with a candidate who shrinks away from attacking the acknowledged front-runner (Romney) and instead goes full throttle against the only woman in the race. Tim’s lucky he ran out of money because if he hadn’t, he would eventually have had to man-up. I’m not sure T-Paw had the testosterone to run the race to the end.

Why I’m Through with Change.org

For over a year now, I’ve subscribed to e-mails from Change.org. Like a typical liberal, I was moved by the organization’s commitment to social justice. I didn’t keep track but I’m guessing I signed an online petition or two over the past few months. I must admit, as the months wore on, their e-mails didn’t so much move me to social indignation but rather depressed the heck out of me. I also had the sneaking suspicion that some of the folks for whom Change.org advocated didn’t really deserve the advocacy. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back came in the form of an article on the makers of “Sesame Street”, The Sesame Workshop (known as the Children’s Television Workshop back when I was a kid).

Apparently the folks at Sesame Workshop had to release a statement saying that they would not have the characters Bert and Ernie get married. Yes, you read that right. Some gang of absolute idiots had petitioned Sesame Workshop to have Bert and Ernie get married. Change.org facilitated the petition. The simple translation of Sesame Workshop’s very polite statement was “for goodness sake, these are PUPPETS! What the hell is wrong with you?”

Now apparently Change.org and the authors of the petition felt that in a time of high suicide rates among gay youngsters, having Bert and Ernie, who have roomed since they came on the scene in 1969, get married would send a message that being gay is ok. It would be in the vein of the “It Gets Better” campaign.

I propose that one way to make “it get better” is stop sexualizing children. I don’t doubt that gender preference is deeply ingrained and very possibly innate. That does not mean that such a preference needs to manifest between the ages of two and four (the demographic of “Sesame Street”). The notion that a four-year old is homosexual, or heterosexual for that matter, is to my mind patently ridiculous. The Sesame Workshop has stated that the friendship between Bert and Ernie teaches kids that very different kinds of people can be friends. That is sufficient in teaching tolerance to kids. If by some wild stretch of the imagination little Johnny says to his Mommy “I want to kiss a boy but I don’t think anyone will like me if I do”, Mommy can always say “people can still like you if you’re different. Look at Bert and Ernie. They’re different. They look different. They like different kinds of things. And they like each other a lot.” This lesson in tolerance can be given without having to tell a four-year old that Bert sticks his pee-pee in Ernie’s bum-bum.

Before everyone accuses me of being a homophobe, let me be perfectly clear. I believe consenting adults can do whatever the heck they want with each other and it’s nobody’s business but theirs. I also believe that two people who love each other, with a sexual component, should be allowed to marry in a civil ceremony if they so please, regardless of gender. However I draw the line at how we introduce children to sexual concepts. The notion of teaching a four-year old that Bert and Ernie are gay (and all that goes along with that) gets me as annoyed as the constant heterosexualization of minors that gets portrayed on the Disney Channel on a regular basis. Our kids should be worried about reading, writing and arithmetic and how to be kind and compassionate to their fellow human beings. They should not have to be worried about what to do with their penises and vaginas. Why can’t we let a four-year old be a four-year old? They’ll have plenty of opportunity to wrestle with sexual urges when they hit puberty.

Sometimes liberals have trouble picking their battles. Now that Change.org has shown such bad judgment in trying to turn a wonderful kid’s show into an episode of Dr. Ruth, they can continue their battles without me.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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