Saturday, April 08, 2006

Are RINOs people too?

The blogger known as the Recess Supervisor is upset with Milwaukee area conservatives and, I think, the Blogosphere generally for extremism. He wants us to lay off more "moderate" Republicans outstate as a matter of political expedience. Without these "RINOs", he says, the GOP would be a minority party. (He extends his views here.)

I agree, but I don't. Of course, compromise is necessary in politics but, unlike Recess and the other anonymous bloggers, most of us do not make a living on partisan success and are less likely to define the objective as "Republican," as opposed to "conservative" success. I'm just as willing as the next guy to close my eyes, think of England and vote for (or otherwise support) the best possible alternative.
But the price of that support is that we will try to make the mods know that what Jon Stewart calls "crazy Base-world" is out there and must occasionally be fed. I understand that this may make a politician's life difficult but that, my friend, is a personal problem.

That there are far more vulnerable Republicans than there are seats that might be flipped to our column is not surprising. The idea that an Assembly majority approaching 2/3 is tenuous in a state that is pretty much split down the middle is indisputable.

But that doesn't mean that principle is trumped by politics. I agree that Tommy Thompson was the King of the RINOs. While he was certainly preferable to every Dem he ran against, I do not regard his administration as Wisconsin's Golden Age. And we are not running a guy like Thompson this time. There is no comparison between Tommy and Mark Green who, contrary to the distinction that Recess seems to see, has few discernible differences with Walker. (And, yes, I get it that people who grow corn like Ethanol.)

I'll give Recess this. Movement conservatives have to understand that there is more to conservatism than opposition to government. Recess is right that conservatives need something to say on health care and education other than "no." School choice was a step in the right direction. Attacking the complacent cocoon created by the teacher's union may be the next. On health care, there is going to have to be reform and it is inconceivable that government won't be part of that in some way. We need to understand that market based reforms are going to require some element of (hopefully minimal)mandate and subsidy. On the TPA, it may not be possible to craft an amendment that will be a perfect (as opposed to a pretty good) guardian of the taxpayers' wallet. Opposing even the slightest compromise is what lead to problems in Colorado and, because of it, the cause of taxpayer protection has been set back for years in that state.

But I see little reason to support people who oppose most of what I favor because they are in the Republican Caucus. I can make allowances, but my principles are more important than politicos' job security.

3 comments:

Billiam said...

Well said, sir!

Dad29 said...

Once again, the distinction between "conservative" and "Republican" escapes the Beltway crowd.

...so do "principles," on many occasions...

Peter said...

Rick,
I saw this over the weekend and will be blogging on it later. As someone who is not a Republican, I am getting sick of being mistaken for one simply because I am conservative.

The statement that most Wisconsinites support an ethanol mandate may be one of the silliest things I have read on anyone's blog.

He's been inside the Capitol environment too long. It really colors one's thinking.