But today, there's one thing on my mind that I think is super important for all conservatives to understand. It's not a new point. It's nothing earth shattering, but it needs to be underscored. And that thing is this:
There are enemies of conservative Republicans within the ranks of the Republican party itself.
While we're all worrying about the left, the mainstream media, and the liberal Democrats, we also have a problem right within our own back yard. Keep in mind, throughout history it has been the Republican party that has brought about positive change. The Republican party was born out of the abolitionist movement of the mid 19th century. It was the Republican party that pushed civil rights legislation through. It was a Republican president in the 1980's that turned this country's economy around in a miraculous way. (slight aside: if you think the "job growth" of today is satisfactory, compare it to Reagan's job growth. It'll make you realize how much of the "job growth" being touted these days is a bunch of Orwellian B.S.) Simply put, it's been Republicans that have brought about positive change. And in most situations, it's been the Democrats that have been the obstructionists (Jim Crow laws were a Democrat invention).
The Republican party has always been "fighting the good fight" (not saying there aren't Democrats who have because there have been). Yet, despite the party's rich history, it also has it down sides. One of them being that it's also stuffed with big government politicians that really have no interest in relinquishing the power they have. These are what we call RINOs: Republicans In Name Only. Because while they may be in the Republican party, they surely don't honor the party's tradition with their "moderate" (and I use that term loosely since the definition of a moderate is a constantly moving target) pro government agendas.
While I've always known about RINOs in the party, I would always assuage my concern by saying "Well OK, they may be pro government, but at least they'll lean to the right and oppose leftism...right?" And I think many conservatives might think the same way: "They're not exactly in our corner, but at least they're on our side." And sad to say, after seeing the reaction of Senators McCain and Graham to Rand Paul's conservative manifesto filibuster, even the previous statement is not certain.
It's always been aggravatingly baffling when a RINO Congressman smacks down a conservative member of their own party. Why on Earth would they do that? Why would they sneer at someone boldly calling out the hypocrisies of the current and previous administrations? Why would they intentionally attempt to politically tackle Rand Paul instead of stand by him?
I'm sure to some reading this the answer is simple and obvious. But when thinking about it some more, I came to a couple conclusions regarding RINOs:
- They want to preserve their power. Hence they immediately come out to try to look like the "voice of reason" by ridiculing a "childish" colleague. They derisively claim this junior Senator doesn't really understand how Washington works (or something in a similar vein) and that he shouldn't do these childish stunts. To translate: They like how Washington operates now and don't want some upstart conservative ruining their power.
- As much as they may dislike Obama, they dislike the Tea Party conservatives almost or just as much. Tea Party conservatives, as noted above, are largely against the DC machine, which diminishes their own power the more the conservatives gain clout.
In other words, they like their power. They like the way Washington operates because it's a power structure they're familiar with. And those darn Tea Party conservatives come and try shake it all up on them and they will not stand for it. This is why they're so often seen doing the "bipartisan shuffle" as to somehow apologize for their crazy cousins' insane notions about liberty, freedom, and limited government. It's a "Hey guys, I'm sorry for this crazy guy raving for the last 13 hours, as you can see I'm embarrassed by him and think him and all his followers are nuts. On the contrary, I'm sane and therefore should be re-elected when it comes time because you need my bipartisanship to keep these crazies at bay". Again, they like the power structure as it's built in Washington and don't want it to change. Sure, they'd rather be the guys in the White House and in congressional majority because the structure is the same, just who's on top is different. They'd take being the minority and resign themselves to "gracefully losing" over allowing conservatives to come in, rock boats, and cause "political upheaval".
To distill that down further, all the RINOs are doing right is buckling down and trying to weather Political Storm Obama until 2016 where they have a chance to regain control. They have no interest in political change now. They have no interest in doing something as dramatic as defunding Obamacare. Why? Because that would buck the system they love too much. They do as little as possible to keep their constituents happy in order to secure re-election, and then spend the rest of the time tackling any conservative politicians that want change now, like the rest of the country.
And the thing is, as long as we have these tools in office, they'll continually attempt to brow beat conservative politicians to get them in line (aka meekly accepting the DC political machine and its power structure). That is why while 2014 will be a pretty defensive election year (keeping control of the House should be the most important goal), we should also work towards replacing these RINOs by winning the primaries. Of course, this is risky since that would put any unseated RINO's seat into more serious contention between two relative unknown quantities in the general election. But honestly, waiting for 2016 to get more politicians with spines into Congress is just too long. We have to go on the offensive, and that includes cleansing our party of the politicians that are as much part of the problem as the liberal Democrats.
Even if we don't gain any seats in the House or Senate (though it'd be nice to take the Senate, but I'm not holding my breath), if we're able to flip a few from RINO to conservative, then that might be enough to gain more support for more bold action...such as unseating Boehner as Speaker of the House. He was pretty close to losing it this time if only a few more politicians grew spines.
Either way, how can the Republican party ever hope to turn this country around if the conservatives are being beset by the RINOs in their own party? Clean out our party, re-capture the party's rich heritage, then fight in solidarity against the big government left. But we need to get rid of the RINOs plaguing the party first. So in 2014, it's RINO hunting season....