Parts II and III of Blog No. 5. “Whither the War on Terror?” will soon be forthcoming. There were, however, two events this week deserving of immediate brief comment. Both events involve difficult issues, immigration and abortion, that will each be the subject of full blogs, but, in the meantime, RINOs should be aware of them.
A Salute to the Sensible Six. Whatever one’s views on abortion, the bill passed by the House this week makes little sense. The bill, a severe anti-abortion measure sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks passed by a margin of 228-196. RINOcracy.com salutes the six Republican members of the House of Representatives who were sensible enough, and courageous enough, to vote against it. They are: Reps. Paul Broun (Ga.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Jon Runyan (N.J.) and Rob Woodall (Ga.). The Franks bill, would, with limited exceptions, ban the abortion of a fetus older than 20 weeks old (or at 22 weeks of pregnancy under a different measuring system). The bill stands no chance of being enacted into law, and if it were, would be clearly unconstitutional. It was an exercise in symbolism that was simply, as Rep. Dent put it succinctly, a “stupid idea.” There may be some House members who have such strong and sincere personal feelings about abortion that they will set aside rationality to support any anti-abortion measure at any time. On the whole, however, the bill–and the lock-step support it received from Republicans–can best be understood as yet another example of pandering to the dreaded base. (Or, as one might say, yielding to the party’s baser instincts.) The price will be paid in general elections.
Welcome Marco Rubio! We are pleased to welcome Senator Marco Rubio to the ranks of the RINOs. To be fair, Senator Rubio, probably does not particularly appreciate the label and is not ready to become an official member (if we had “official” members). Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Senator Rubio was the target of a noisy crowd of Tea Partiers, many bearing signs “Rubio RINO.” What was the occasion for this odd demonstration against one of their own, a staunch conservative and Tea Party favorite? It was, of course, to protest against the difficult and constructive work that Rubio has been doing in attempting to work with other Senators to fashion a bipartisan immigration bill. There are, of course, serious issues in how we resolve the immigration problem on which reasonable people can and do disagree. But only the unthinking will prefer a continuation of the present situation with 11 million people living outside our legal system. Improving border security is a legitimate goal, but it cannot be allowed to become the “poison pill” that scuttles reform. If we fail to agree on reform, it will be unfortunate for the country and disastrous for the Republican Party.
On a final note, a column in The Washington Times, in commenting on the attack on Rubio, cogently pointed out that if Ronald Reagan were alive today, he too would have to be regarded as a RINO. So we are pleased to extend to President Reagan a posthumous induction into RINOcracy.