Thursday, April 7, 2011

RINO Hunting, Then and Now

Much like their animal namesake, RINOs are terribly near-sighted creatures. As the giant land mammal can barely see beyond 30 feet in front of it, the political animals seem incapable of comprehending the consequences of actions beyond the next thirty days—particularly if they are threatened with things like Leftists and Sunday shows saying nasty things about them, or not being invited to the D.C. cocktail circuit.

As a government shutdown seems quite likely to occur, one has to wonder how some Republicans will respond. Will they be able to see beyond the immediacy of the moment? Will they be able to bear up under relentless castigation from the lamestream media? Will they fold like a house of cards under the hypocritical lecturing from the likes of the “extreme” Chuck Schumer and His Senatorialness Harry Reid, the patron saint of cowboy poets?

We all know how frequently some in the GOP (I won’t call any names, but they rhyme with Mohn McMain, Brindsey Braham, Glolympia Glow, et al.) talk tough in sound bites and campaigns, but bail out when the real legislative fighting starts. While it’s frustrating, it’s nothing new. In fact, President Reagan found himself dealing with just such fair-weather friends. Twenty-eight years ago today, he wrote in his journal:
Interrupted to make a call to Sen. Pete Domenici. Budget committee is debating defense budget. I asked them to hold off voting til Monday so we could discuss a reasonable proposal. He refused and I got mad. These supposed to be Republicans went ahead and cut in half the increase we’d asked for. The Russians must be very happy tonite [sic].
Domenici went on to serve several more years in the Senate. I don’t know enough about his long-term Senate record to say whether he deserves the pejorative “RINO,” but as we approach high noon in the budget showdown, I’d like to remind my fellow conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party types that—ultimately—we aren’t the type of folks who look to politicians to save us. Yes, we look for leadership; But if it isn’t provided, we provide it ourselves. As Milton Friedman famously observed:

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