Room at the Raging RINO Inn?

I have been proud to be associated (however slightly) with the Raging RINOs blog collective. It’s a group of thoughtful and intelligent people who are generally far more articulate than I.

But I find myself agreeing with the others less and less these days. The general mood seems to be one of punishing the Republicans in the November election for corruption and mismanagement.

However, the Democrats in 2006 are not Bill Clinton’s party. While vexing, the Clinton presidency charted calmer, pre-911 waters. I also believe that had Clinton truly understood the threat of Islamic terror, he would have acted.

I voted for Al Gore in 2000. While Bush was more likeable, I figured Gore would continue the economic good times. I was wrong. While everyone slept at the “End of History”, our enemies continued their 21-year-old war against us.

Because terrorists and their masters in Damascus and Tehran are at war with the United States, Democratic control of Congress would be an unmitigated disaster.

The right strategy, poorly implemented, is still light-years ahead of an inapt strategy perfectly executed. John Murtha’s proposal for fighting the war on terror from Okinawa is a perfect example of this.

In 2006, Democrats do not believe the nation is under threat. They’ve expelled Sen. Joe Lieberman from the party. Lieberman, a far-left liberal, understands that Western liberal values are threatened by Islamofascism.

It’s not that the Republicans have much going for them. The party is apalling. The proven corruption, while bi-partisan, indicts the ruling party far more heavily than the opposition. Congressional Republicans by-and-large do not deserve re-election.

But what have Democrats done to earn power? All they do is bash Republicans. If the war on terror, controlling illegal immigration, and continued economic expansion through sound tax policy are less important than tossing out one batch of corrupt bumblers and replacing them with another equally inept and corrupt group, then by all means, let’s turn the electoral map blue on election day.

But the act will have massive consequences. Premature withdrawal from Iraq and repudiation of the Bush doctrine could lead to a world war scale confrontation.

So the question is, in a nation divided, is there room for a Raging RINO that strongly prefers the Republican Party Kool-Aid to Democratic nihilism?

Join the Victory Wing of the Republican Party

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  • Filed in: Politics, Gone Wobbly, War on Terror at 9:26 am on Monday, October 16, 2006 TrackBack 2 Comments | view comments »

    Raging RINO no more?

    I’m sorry to say that The Commissar has lost his marbles.

    I have understood and respected his opinions in the past- even when I did not agree as in his throwing in the towel on Iraq a while back- but to say that the Democrats are a viable electoral option is to embrace nihilism.

    His words:

    I have decided to vote Democratic this fall.

    I am a conservative and a Republican party member. I believe in small government, free markets, strong defense, etc., but Bush’s snafu in Iraq is just too much. It overwhelms those issues which for 30 years have made me vote GOP. In addition to screwing up so far, there is zero evidence that he’s changed, or that he “gets it,” or anything.

    There is another aspect that makes this easier for me. Bush has not followed a conservative agenda (not that the Democrats would); he has increased the spending, size, and reach of government, mostly in the name of fighting terror. Historically, there has been a conservative philosophy. Today, most people & media use “conservative” as shorthand for “loyal Bush supporter.” But, as many have observed, Bush is no conservative. No need to remind me of Bush’s support for Intelligent Design, and other anti-science actions of the administration.

    As a voter (twice for Bush) and as a blogger who supported this nonsense, I have a hard time at this point, saying, “Yes, this war has been horribly executed and there is no prospect for improvement, let me pull the lever for more of the same.”

    Even if you accept Stephen’s assertion that the war has been horribly executed, the war in Iraq has achieved one key goal:

    This war on terror arrived on our shores on September the 11th, 2001. Since that day, the terrorists have continued to kill — in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, Baghdad, London, and elsewhere. The enemy remains determined to do more harm. The terrorists kill indiscriminately, but with a clear purpose — they’re trying to shake our will. They want to force free nations to retreat so they can topple governments across the Middle East, establish Taliban-like regimes in their place, and turn the Middle East into a launching pad for attacks against free people.

    The terrorists will fail. Because we are fighting a murderous ideology with a clear strategy, we’re staying on the offensive in Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts in the war on terror, fighting terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. When terrorists spend their days and nights struggling to avoid death or capture, they’re less capable of arming and training and plotting new attacks on America.

    We’re also spreading the hope of freedom across the broader Middle East, because free societies are peaceful societies. By offering a hopeful alternative to the terrorists’ ideology of hatred and fear, we are laying the foundations of peace for our children and grandchildren.

    This is George W. Bush, August 2005. The man has doggedly stayed on message, hoping that somehow his words would seep through all the fear, uncertainty, and doubt spread by those who would have the war end in failure; the mission incomplete.

    War sucks. I’m against it, in general. But when the enemy insists, as he has repeatedly since 1979- we must stand firm until the battle is won. Bush’s three paragraphs above ARE the plan for Iraq, the Middle East, and the War on Terror.

    Even if the effort in Iraq fails- and there’s no indisputable indication that it will- each day our soldiers spend training Iraqis, rebuilding the country, and killing terrorists, is another day the country does not fall into the Islamofascist shadow. The odds are increasing, even if in tiny measure, that the U.S. will be successful in Iraq and the War on Terror.

    My God! That this nation is fighting two wars simultaneously with an all-volunteer military, while growing its economy- that is the real miracle.

    We can debate tactics all day- and surely the administration has made many tactical errors, and even some minor strategic errors. But the grand strategy in place is sound, and as long as Bush is president, he will carry it out.

    If seeing women throw off their burkhas of oppression left you teary-eyed and hopeful for the future, and now you want to vote for the party of ‘brutal Afghan winter’ and ‘quagmire’, you’re a hypocrite.

    If you were jubilant when Baghdad fell, and now you want to vote for those who call liberating 50 million people a disaster, you’re a hypocrite.

    If those who have supported this war in the past, turn and vote for the party of nothingness- the party where Joe Lieberman is no longer welcome- you’re a hypocrite.

    If you rejoiced at the Cedar Revolution, but are unwilling to support Middle Eastern democracy with American blood and treasure, you’re a hypocrite.

    I do not argue that the Bush administration or the Republican Congress is superior or even above-average. I fairly despise Congress- there’s only one or two weasels worth their seats in the whole building. Bush has been appalling on many issues other than the War on Terror.

    But if you think retreating back to the safe shores of America and ignoring the fight that’s going on for the freedom of hundreds of millions is a wise policy- please relent and remove your head from the sand.

    Hold your nose. Wince while you do it. Whine and complain. But vote Republican in November.

    Democrats stand for nothing but their own power. And this election is just too important to ’send a message’.

    Update: Heh, and Amen.

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  • Filed in: Gone Wobbly at 10:19 pm on Monday, October 2, 2006 TrackBack Speak Up

    We Wish You a Merry Moosemuss

    Major Mike explains why Harriet Miers is not only a solid pick, but an outstanding pick. Great work, Major- it’s what I was trying to say here, but much more clearly and eloquently explained, and in military terms, to boot.

    I found Major Mike’s post at Hugh Hewitt’s. Hugh has taken a lot of heat for his support of Harriet Miers, but I remember the one person who, among all of righty blogdom, kept his cool when the fake polls came out on election day. He sure doesn’t blog at the Corner. Here’s what Hugh had to say in the midst of the Drudge election day Kerry-winning-big hysteria:

    Posted at 2:00 Central (Link should work- PT)

    So now some news rooms are leaking pick-me-up exit polling numbers that have some bloggers alarmed. Please people. As The Mystery Poller pointed out, beware of early and even late exit polls. You can’t get enthusiastic about good leaks –the first “leak” had Bush winning Ohio by a huge margin, the second had Florida up 1 for Kerry. Lancaster County is going 2 to 1 for Bush! Turnout is huge in Ohio! Zogby says Ohio and Florida belong to Bush but Virginia is in play! And somebody get everyone at The Corner to go play some hoops until 6:00 PM.

    There are millions and millions of early votes and absentees –beyond anything ever seen before. Do you think that might mess up the exit polls, both pro and con?

    Here’s the very good news I am picking up and feel confident in reporting: the Senate races broke our way, especially in the south, and the Daschle camp has been telegraphing panic for three days.

    Yes, Hugh is devoted to the President. Shouldn’t all conservatives have a soft spot for the man, whether he supports your particular pet project of the moment? Bush has led Republicans to 3 consecutive (2000,2002,2004) electoral wins in a very, very difficult political environment. I’m not a fan of Campaign Finance Reform; Bush signed it. Much of the ballooning budget (basically, non-military) is problematic for me.

    But all the whiners and underwhelmers- this means the PowerLiners, Instapundits, Malkinites, etc.- need to get over themselves for a moment. Yes, it’s really quite a shame that Mr. or Mrs. Perfect Supreme Court Justice nominee wasn’t chosen. But if you’ve read Major Mike’s post at the top, that’s probably the point.

    With John Paul Stevens at 85 with 3 years of W to go, Bush may yet nominate another SC justice, probably after the ‘06 midterms. Then, after additional gains have been made in Congress and a slate of potential successors on deck, the President can return to Crawford with a very strong Republican stamp on Washington.

    My RINO nature leads me to think that outcome isn’t necessarily desireable, but if that’s the way things work out, it’s unlikely the folks throwing a hissy fit now will have word one of criticism for W then.

    It’s the STRATEGERY, people.

    Almost forgot: Dinner at Basil’s. Yum!

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  • Filed in: Politics, Gone Wobbly at 7:59 pm on Wednesday, October 5, 2005 TrackBack 2 Comments | view comments »

    Not Everyone’s Wild About Harriet

    …but Harriet’s just wild about George. No one’s happy, cause Harriet’s too single, too supportive of Al Gore in 1988, too unknown, etc. Capt Ed sums up his take:

    What did we get? Another long-term Bush buddy getting a lifetime job on the basis of proximity instead of excellence.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m certain that Harriet Miers is a fine attorney in private practice and has performed admirably as one of Bush’s long-term aides. However, nothing in her career shows that she has any remarkable experience or aptitude for this assignment.

    No, this does not mean that we let up on the Senate. In my opinion, the lack of leadership in the Senate made this choice possible, although given the odd nature of some of Bush’s recent nominees — like Myers — it might have happened anyway. It doesn’t mean we let up on Bush and his instinct to pick nominees from his close circle of friends. We need to insist on excellence, especially for lifetime appointments.

    Well, who can argue against “excellence” and for the buddy system?

    Let me give it a shot. Roberts, while ‘excellent’, is also something of an unknown quantity. Analysis of Roberts ranged from ‘Scalia’ to ‘Rehnquist’ to ‘O’Connor’ to ‘Souter’. Still, after his excellent testimonty, no one knows. Bush has known Miers for decades. My pet theory is that Roberts was the hard-core righty. He’s a stealth Scalia. This leaves Miers to be a reliable go-along vote. We’ll soon find out.

    Furthermore, no matter what his critics say, George Bush is not a hard-core rightie. This is most clear with his spending instincts. Bush got some initial grief about his previous nominee, Chief Justice Roberts, because Roberts’ own opinions on legal matters were so unknown. The Miers choice is more of the same, only W knows precisely what Harriet Miers’ legal philosophy is, and most people do not.

    This is the act of a lame duck president taking control of both parties in Congress. Trust me, he says. If he loses on this pick (unlikely), he will immediately revert to lame duck status. If he wins, he’s back near a first term level of power. That achievement would let him get his stymied legislative agenda back on track and eventually, designate a successor, if he chooses to do so.

    This is not a shirking violet pick. Miers is a huge gamble for the president and his prestige will rise or fall accordingly. As long as Harriet Miers is basically conservative, I have no problem with her on the court. 9 Scalias would not be healthy for the republic, after all.

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  • Filed in: Politics, Gone Wobbly at 6:17 am on Tuesday, October 4, 2005 TrackBack 5 Comments | view comments »

    Wherever Able Danger May Lead

    We must follow. As always, AJ at the Strata-Sphere is the Able Danger story. AJ notes a New York Times story saying the Pentagon is stone-walling- AJ’s take:

    There are ways to handle this without exposing classified information. This looks like some kind of cover up or something. I doubt it is - but it will be played that way. How come they couldn’t work out rules for discussing the matter without compromising intel? The big questions are policy and responsibility - not intel.
    That would explain why the posted witness list is a bit sparse as well. From the NY Times article referrenced above Specter is planning to go ahead - but with what? Weldon? We know his story.

    Indeed we do know about Curt Weldon. A comment to AJ’s post notes the hearing will be broadcast live at 9:30 a.m. ET on CSPAN 3, with a video feed linked as well.

    What’s going on here? Via Captain Ed, Donald Rumsfeld himself put the kibosh on witnesses appearing before the committee.

    Either this is one of Karl Rove’s super-complicated plots to make Democrats look like idiots (as if they need help!), or the Administration is covering something up. The truth about 9/11 is something the American people deserve to know. Covering any aspect of it up, four years on, is a grave insult to those who were killed in the attacks as well as the 2,000+ soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who’ve given their lives in the War on Terror- a war that may not have been necessary if 9/11 had been prevented.

  • Before 9/11- who knew what Able Danger said about the hijackers?
  • Who, at the highest levels, prevented the military from sharing the info with the FBI?
  • Who gave the order to destroy Able Danger’s records?
  • Why is the Pentagon stonewalling?

    Questions 1 & 2 look like Clinton administration blame, but 3 & 4 are squarely Bush administration. This shouldn’t turn into a witch hunt, but by God we need answers.

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  • Filed in: Gone Wobbly, War on Terror at 6:08 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 TrackBack Speak Up

    Wobbly Weekends

    In this inaugural “Gone Wobbly” post, I’d like to explain why I think the other RINOs, the Republicans In Name Only, are so valuable to the conservative cause.

    First, think back to the early 90s. Clinton’s the newly elected president, Dems control the House and Senate. The Democrats are ascendant, ready to fix the ‘worst economy of the last 50 years’ and get revenge for 12 years of Republican occupation in the White House.

    Until HillaryCare. Hillary led the charge to impose a massive national health care scheme. With solid majority in both houses of Congress, HillaryCare looked unbeatable. The American people thought such a pie-in-the-sky “free” healthcare system was socialism, a power grab by the federal government, and many other things. Such an overreach by a new administration- with Congress on its side- sparked a grassroots movement of dissatisfaction with the boys in Washington.

    Newt Gingrich had his opening. The Contract With America was the tool Gingrich used to accomplish the un-thinkable- an end to 40 years of Democratic control of the House, and retaking of the Senate.

    Enough history, right? What’s the point? The point is that even though Republicans control the White House, House, Senate, and have an edge on the Supreme Court, they are unable to fully master the levers of power. This is frustrating at times, as Sens. Snowe, Chafee, Spector, DeWine, (no, I can’t give Voinovich a label as cool as RINO, the silly crybaby) and McCain will undercut presidential and Republican leadership objectives from time to time.

    But with the exception of appointments (judicial and executive), gridlock is good. The American people don’t want to move too quickly in most areas, most of the time. Republicans govern, but the RINOs keep the neocons, paleocons, and wackos (somewhat) in check. The best part? Republicans can blame Dems for the actions of the (other) RINOs!

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