RINOs need to shape up or ship out | NevadaAppeal.com

RINOs need to shape up or ship out

Chuck Muth
For the Nevada Appeal

Congressional Republicans got their keisters kicked at the ballot box last November. They were depressed. Lethargic. Apathetic. There wasn’t enough Xanax, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Prozac and Paxil combined on Capital Hill to service everybody. Then came the “trillion dollar turkey” spendulus bill disguised as a catastrophe-avoiding “stimulus” bill.

And suddenly … Republicans in the House of Representatives re-discovered fiscal conservatism. I mean, it was like the Grinch suddenly discovering that Christmas had nothing to do with spending money on gifts and presents and bridges to nowhere.

“Being Republican,” they thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Being Republican, perhaps, means a little bit more! And what happened then? Well, in Washington they say, The GOP’s small spine, Grew three sizes that day!”

House Republicans banded together and voted unanimously against the “trillion dollar turkey.” And it drove the Democrats cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. How could Republicans stand united on principle and in opposition to the Great and Powerful Obamessiah? How dare they?!!

Republicans were starting to get their groove back. But then … the issue went over to the Senate, where all good conservative ideas go to die.

Alas, three liberal Republicans turned this lemonade into a lemon. Republican Sens. Arlen Specter, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe sold out their GOP colleagues and the entire Republican Party by cutting a deal and giving Harry Reid the 60 votes he needed for the “spendulus” to go through.

Why, oh why, did we ever stop the practice of tar-and-feathering?

Yes, I fully understand the political reality that majorities get to lead ” and that you gain majorities by addition, not subtraction. But what about all of the fiscally conservative voters the GOP is losing thanks to RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) like Specter, Collins and Snowe undermining the party’s message and ruining the “brand?”

It’s a painful dilemma to be sure. So the question for conservatives naturally arises: “What would Ronald Reagan do?” Fortunately, we have the Gipper’s CPAC speech from 1975 to guide us:

“A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.”

If these three RINOs want to be independent and vote however they want ” even on bills contradictory to the fundamental beliefs of the GOP ” then they should go their own way and run for election as independents, not as Republicans.

Why should these RINOs benefit at the ballot box by having an “R” next to their name? Why should they benefit from the volunteers and grassroots activists who slug it out in the trenches each and every day doing the grunt work of voter registration and get-out-the-vote? Why should they benefit from all the money people all over the country donate to the Republican Party?

If elected Republicans ” including some state legislators here in Nevada ” can’t get with the party’s program, fine. But they shouldn’t expect to get the party’s support and money either. They shouldn’t be allowed to have it both ways. If they want to be independent, then run as independents.

If liberal Republicans want the benefits of running as a Republican, then they need to subscribe to the party’s core principles. And if they refuse, the Republican Party ” for its own sake and the fiscal sake of the nation and our state ” needs to cull these RINOs from the herd. No money. No endorsement. No volunteers. No nothing.

Until they bring back tar-and-feathering.

Closing thought: How many members of the Carson City School Board, who so adamantly and with malice called for fellow board member Joe Enge’s head on a pike this week over his DUI arrest, called for ex-Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira’s resignation after his DUI arrest? Why the double standard, hmmm?

– Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization. He may be reached at chuck@citizenoutreach.com.