Tuesday, October 11, 2005

R.I.N.O. Hunting Season!!!

Lincoln Chaffee, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, George Pataki, the list goes on and on. They are some of the many moderate Republicans that I like. I respect them greatly. I don’t agree with them on all issues, but I know that not only are they people of integrity, but their hearts are in the right place and they have the better interests of this country in mind when they approach an issue.

It is sometimes said by pundits, including this blogger, that we should not hope for the demise of these moderate Republicans. That if the moderates are forced out of the GOP the Party will be left with right-wing ideologues and other whack jobs. In that vein of thinking, we are supposed to hope that Senator Chaffee gets re-elected next year. Well, I don’t!

I have been thinking about this over the last several weeks. Exactly why is it so important to try and stop the Republican Party from sliding to the right and wallowing in ideological demagoguery? I for one am tired of feeling bad for moderates with weak-spines. The Democratic Party was swept from power through the loss of a historical base, southern Democrats/Dixiecrats. From around 1960, when the Catholic John Kennedy was elected President, the Democratic Party philosophy shifted towards one of inclusion and integration. This did not sit well with a large number of Democrats, overwhelmingly from the south. Over the years these Dixiecrats defected to the Republican Party. You didn’t see a bunch of Republicans rushing to stabilize the Democratic Party and keep it from sliding to the left. No, they welcomed these defectors.

This exodus reached its zenith in 2004 when Dixiecrat extraordinaire Zell Miller endorsed President Bush for re-election over his own party’s candidate. He even went so far as to speak at their convention. Talk about adding insult to injury.

So, now there are vulnerable Republicans north of the Mason-Dixon Line, I say get your hunting rifles boys and girls (big joke, you know many Democrats with rifles?), because it is R.I.N.O. hunting season. For those not in the know; R.I.N.O. is a name given to moderate Republicans by the extreme right-wing of the GOP. It stands for Republican In Name Only. In fact this isn’t a bad name for them. We defeat these R.I.N.O.s in the states where we are strong, like Rhode Island, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Arizona, and soon a progressives and moderate coalition will have taken back the United States Congress from the right-wing “Zell”ots.

So, Senator Chaffee, if you are reading this and are wondering what you did to deserve this rallying call for your defeat I will say this; your only crime is serving as an enabler to people in “your party” that don’t represent your interests and do not have the interests of the people of Rhode Island at heart when they make policy decisions.

If you want to rectify the situation, defect from your party. Become an independent like Jim Jeffords of Vermont and ally yourself with the Democratic Caucus. Raise your kids and grandkids to think for themselves and not just join a party because it was Daddy’s party.

Until then, the message is clear: You’re going down!

Fantasy Government?

I was reading an interesting posting on someone else’s blog the other day about fantasy sports and how someone should put together a fantasy government league where people can build governments with certain politicians and other public figures. One would then track the success of these “fantasy governments” by the success of the various leaders.

This is, of course, absurd. You can’t measure the capabilities of a political leader in a hypothetical world. It is like saying that Al Gore would have handled the aftermath of 9/11 better than George W. Bush, or John Kerry would have handled the Hurricane relief efforts in the Gulf States better. You can say it, but only if you acknowledge how ludicrous you really sound.

One would like to believe that Al Gore would have been more level headed in the aftermath of 9/11, that he would not have gotten all Walker, Texas Ranger on us, but can anyone say that with certainty? I was pretty upset after 9/11. I was able to restrain my response after the terrorist attacks because I really have no power and no ability to do anything about anything. George W. Bush reacted, in part, in response to our great national blood thirst for revenge.

In addition, it seems logical that John Kerry would have had a more pragmatic and systematic approach to responding to natural disasters like the recent Hurricanes that struck the Southeastern United States, but are we sure of that? Would you bet your life on it? Is there anyone out there who knows for sure that John Kerry would have been his Navy Swift Boat self, charging up onto the beaches and chasing the Viet-Cong into the jungle, or would he have been Senator Kerry, voting for relief before voting against it? I believe the G.I. John would have showed up but have no evidence to support that hypothesis.

Hindsight is always 20/20. There is never any ambiguity about what needed to be done after someone has shown us how not to handle a situation. They say that we learn more from our mistakes then we do from our successes. If that is the case, George W. Bush is going to be smarter than Einstein by the time he leaves office. He has almost turned “fucking up” into an art form. Perhaps he should apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts before he has it eliminated to pay for bullets in Iraq.

All that being said, who would you want to run this country? I am asking for creative thinking here. I don’t want to hear: Joe Biden or Bill Frist. If you lived in a perfect world, who would be President of the United States? Also, I don’t want to hear Bill Clinton, no people term-limited out of office. The person has to be alive, but not necessarily an American citizen.

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