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!

  • Your words provoke the question, “Has a third party not been created in which many of us now fall? The elephant has morphed into a rhino. What have the asses become? Paula Spellman

  • Doug, You are my hero. Whilst I remain independent, and wildly in love with the greatest President I I have known, HST. I can be had by the right kind of Republican, one like you fair, balanced mentally, progressive on social issues, and sound on social entitlements. Let’s start by means testing medicare and Social Security. Let’s get term limits and get the pols on all the social entitlements, They like sequester, OK they take a 10% cut for incompency that allow us to take that path. Most of all get rid of the extreme religous right and the Tea Party no nothings. “Once more into the battle and fill the breech with our Rhino dead.. BAngus

  • Bravo, Doug! I will follow your thoughtful commentary with interest and will comment as the spirit moves me.

  • Doug,

    I look forward to your well-reasoned thoughts in print, and no doubt will enjoy reading your opinions as much as I enjoy listening to your opinions (and debating them). Am I a Rino or a Dino? Dunno, but I welcome your persuasion.

    Topics I would love to see you address in the future: gun control, tort reform, public employee unions, taxation on earned income vs investment income, campaign finance reform – and the pro-active role the Supreme Court has taken.

    And, perhaps the most interesting topic for me: Is it possible to be a republican if you believe it is the woman’s choice, or if you don’t believe in the Christian god?

    • Women in the Military have a real battle. Men can yell; “Attention, I stand before you.”
      Sure, but they’re not behind you. Ask yourself how the system works?
      Whether its the Catholic Church or the Military. Who is in control?

  • As you know many of us could not care less about saving the Republican Party while still caring about saving you in your intellectual struggles to define yourself in the GOP standing next to the Pauls both father and son and this new misanthrope from Texas, something Cruz I believe. But no matter you are the smartest guy I know and you will figure it out As to sexual conduct in the military we seem to have the ability to make simple issues complicated jut to make sure that the result does not offend too many people. What could be more direct, in non combat situations, if it is illegal in civilian life then it should be illegal in the military . If the chain of command cannot change the so called culture of the military , then take it out of it’s hands. Ever since the draft as eliminated the military has become more and more isolated from main stream America
    Those sixties protesters had no idea what we would reap from their actions.

  • Hi Doug,
    as a life long waffling republican made an independent by W, I applaud your effort. In a situation where there is no major party which anyone either basic intelligence and any sort of moral compass can support, your effort is welcome and indeed probably long overdue.
    One surprising aspect of the W era republican administration is how incompetent it was. All it could produce was PR and slogans. How in fact did The Defense of Marriage Act promote the security of any heterosexual couple or society. When gay men marry and have children, they join the rest of us who worry about schools, stet safety, public health, and a host of issues fellows who cruise Christopher Street high on qualudes probably never focus on.
    As the colorful LBJ said of another group, it is better to have them inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in. Incidentally, as Robert Caro points out, he gives the lie or at least proves the exception to the motto that power corrupts. Once in power, he was far less corrupt than he had been before.
    So up and at ’em!

  • Congrats on your launch! I may not post much, but I will be reading! I’m glad you are putting some thoughtful and considered words out there, even if we might not agree on everything!

  • Love it! Thanks for including me! Time somebody knocked some sense into both parties. However, will refrain from commenting on sexual assault in the military. Baffles me why women want to go into the military in the first place.

  • Excellent news, Doug. A breath of fresh air as well as common sense. Let civility reign!

  • Dear Doug,
    Hooray for you! As per our many email exchanges over the past several years, RINOs should unite (and if you succeed, I might join you). In the meantime, sign me DINO.

  • Doug: mazeltov! As a defrocked Republican myself, I can only applaud your efforts to bring the Republican party back to its proud heritage of adult government. I look forward to reading your observations and comments.

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