May 18, 2013


This is a website for RINOs.

For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to the political world, RINO is a term sometimes applied to Republicans who are deemed insufficiently committed to this or that “principle” of the current Republican Party. Hence, in their view: Republicans In Name Only. While intended as a term of derision (or worse), it is a label I bear proudly. As I wrote in a letter to the New York Times published in April 2013, my motto is: “RINOs, let us unite and put our hides on the line to save our party from itself.” Bold words, I later thought, but apart from the occasional letter to the editor, what am I doing about it? This blog is the answer. A very small step indeed, but possibly one that might encourage others.

What are my credentials? First, the Republican part. I have been a Republican all my life. I recall (or possibly I just recall being told) that in 1940, at the age of five, I joined the family in listening to the Republican convention on the radio and added my small voice to the broadcast chorus of “We want Wilkie.” Several years later, as soon as I was eligible to vote, I became a registered Republican and have remained one ever since. Along the way, I served in the Nixon and Ford Administrations in various positions in the White House (including the Counsel’s Office) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Finally, after retiring to Cape Cod in 1995, I was elected to serve on a Republican Town Committee.

So why am I a RINO? In a nutshell, I am pro-choice, pro gay rights and pro gun control. If that were not enough, I do not share the view of the Grover Norquist wing of the Party that any tax increase, on anyone, at any time, for any reason, is a bad idea. Along with Alan Simpson, I believe that increased tax revenues are needed as a part of the approach to our fiscal problems. Those ideas and others will be expanded upon, explained and defended in this blog. In order to be a RINO, though, it is not necessary to share all of my heretical notions. One or two is probably enough: the RINO tent is a big one. (Indeed, even non-Republicans are welcome as “Associate RINOs” if they feel they might become Republicans one day.)

Given my views, some might ask why am I not a Democrat or at least an Independent. The answer is that, in many respects, I remain a more or less traditional Republican. I reject the view of many Democrats that the sole answer to our fiscal difficulties is increasing taxes on “the rich” and that redistributing income through the internal revenue code is the preferred solution to the problems of growing income inequality. Also unlike many Democrats, I believe that “Entitlements” (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) are an unsustainable burden on the national economy and must be significantly reformed to be preserved. I also share the perception of my fellow Republicans that Democrats believe that most social problems are best addressed by complicated (and frequently overlapping) federal programs that require the maximum number of bureaucrats to administer. The most significant initiative of the Obama Administration, the Affordable Health Care Act, had worthy objectives, but in practice seems increasingly to be exposed as an expensive and cumbersome apparatus that cannot be sustained. (Readers of a certain age may recognize an analogy to devices created by Rube Goldberg.)

An Independent, of course, is free to be critical of both parties—as I often am. And if I were transplanted from another country (or planet), that’s where I might be most comfortable. But apart from my personal history as a Republican, our politics have been, and remain, very much organized around the two party system. Notwithstanding the gridlock of recent years, that system has served us pretty well and, in any event, there do not seem to be any plausible alternatives in sight. Thus, to be a full participant in American politics, it is useful, if not essential, to belong to one of the two major parties. Put another way, I think that survival of the Republican Party is in the national interest and its survival may depend on the Party changing its course in some respects. And whatever small influence I might have in advocating such change is more likely to have some effect from within than without.

Procedural Stuff

My intention is to write something more or less weekly but not on a fixed schedule, at least at the outset. I also intend to be fairly brief, perhaps 1000 words or less. The first blog on a specific topic will appear in the next several days.

I will welcome comments, including disagreements (see “Leave a Reply” below each post), with only a couple of limitations. Commenters should be willing to have their comment published under their full name (not just a cyber nickname). Lively rhetoric, in agreement or disagreement, will be expected and appreciated, but I will screen out any comments that are profane, ad hominem (toward me or anyone else) or needlessly unpleasant.

-Douglas M. Parker

16 thoughts on “WELCOME to RINOcracy

  • Hi Doug,

    Politics are much like the USGA rules of golf…….only (34) however , the decisions are almost endless.
    When I was in college, as a member of the debating team, we were guided by specific rules and always respect for the other team. It was great fun.
    Those parameters are very much like the rules you have established for this blog.
    Well done!
    Obviously we often find ourselves on different sides of the political spectrum sometimes and the banter keeps this old gray head smiling……and occasionally reconsidering my farther right positions and maybe, just maybe yours as well.

    I did note that a previous responder spoke of his respect for G. Washington and very rightly so.
    You may recall from your history lessons, that even G. Washington was dilly dallying with a junior officer’s wife while he was involved in other activities. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Clinton, did likewise while Carter only lusted in his heart.
    Go Maroon and White!

  • I am with you, Doug! I lean toward Libertarian ideals, but as a party they have always struck me as a little too “pure.” I am a life-long Republican, a retired Army officer, and a (moderate) Baptist. I believe in a strong defense, the Constitution, a robust, active foreign policy, and moderate fiscal conservatism. I also am socially liberal and believe that many contentious issues today are nobody’s business but the participants’.
    This should be great fun, especially as the Trump campaign implodes in a month or so!

  • Hi Doug,

    This is a voice from the past– Cornell and Sigma Pi

    I too am a RINO !!!
    I look
    forward to your comments during this crazy election season.


  • Hi Doug! I am not a Rino, so I agree with about half of what you are proposing. I am a Libertarian and you may fit into that party. Your point is that Libertarians don’t have a chance to get elected-with the exception of Ron Paul- so why bother with a third party? Unfortunately, you may be correct, however I believe the average American is a Libertarian and would vote that way if given the opportunity-if we could find a great communicator and leader to lead the Party. I think your blog is a great idea. On the Baltimore issue, I believe that it is an economic problem. If more jobs were available in Baltimore, there would be less crime. I don’t see anything changing until the current Progressive policies are abandoned. Keep up the good work!

  • Hi, Doug! To quote Orlando in ‘As You Like It’ “…I thought that all things had been savage here…”, where ‘here’ (in this instance) is the jungle of (American) political discourse. Thanks for returning us to a world of civility.

  • Hi Mr. Parker,

    I am a conservative Republican in a very blue state. I share most of your views on both parties and am delighted to join a discussion group which shares these opinions! Fire away!

    Peter Taylor

  • Thank you for the opportunity to comment which I will continue to do based on the following attitude:
    I lean towards conservatism, a bit to the right of a Rino, as defined by Douglas Parker. I believe in women’s choice—-up to a time limit, somewhat less than nine months. I am pro-gay rights—short of marriage and pro-gun control provided everyone has a right to a pistol and/or hunting rifle(no sub-machine guns or bazookas!).
    I still have an enormous admiration for the founders of the U.S.’s form of government (i.e. Madison, Franklin, etc.) especially Geo. Washington, still the greatest of all Americans. I suspect they would all be very disappointed in the U.S.’s loss of vitality and “machismo”.

    Bill Von Albrecht

    • Welcome. You may be to the right of some RINOs and not others. No matter: all points of view are welcome and more debate would make RINOcracy even more interesting. And if you find the commentary helpful, please spread the word.

  • All for the thrust of your purpose, much needed for the Republican Party, for the nation, and for the health of the two-party system. I thought I had subscribed several weeks ago, but apparently not. Hope it takes effect this time, and much success to your movement.

  • Gonna be fun! I will try to give a “redneck “perspective from time to time. My comments will probably be a little more to the right, especially on fiscal matters, the role of the Federal government and taxes. We Repubs gotta qiuit killing ourselves over social issues!

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