Sunday, October 29, 2006

Charge of the RINOs, Again...

When the writings of ex-Weekly Standardite David Brooks first appeared in the New York Times, I thought it was a good thing, that they were finally getting someone to add at least a tiny semblance of balance to the raging leftists on their op-ed page. But the more I read of him, the more I think of him as just another party apparatchik in the same vein as Hugh Hewitt, and his latest column does little to dissuade me of that notion. An excerpt:

You look at the vulnerable Republicans and it’s like a moderate Republican graveyard: Deborah Pryce, a bright and effective member from Ohio; Christopher Shays from Connecticut; Sweeney from New York; Gerlach from Pennsylvania; Reichert from Washington; DeWine from Ohio.
Why have 55 Republican senators? Why not 25? Why not 15 brave and true? Throw in a few dozen pure-minded Republican House members and you could hold the next Republican convention in a living room.

I suppose I could see his point, but I still don't agree with him. In a more sane country, in a more sane political world I don't think I'd have to be asking this question, but here goes -- What in the bloody hell is the point of having Republicans in Congress if they don't agree with the conservative agenda the Republicans are supposed to have stood for? You know...lower taxes, smaller government, keeping the feds out of my gun safe and not interfering with my wanting to fill that gun safe up? Say what you will about ideological purity, but, for example, as a gun owner I think Republicans like Mike DeWine, Arlen Specter and Lincoln Chafee are worse than useless to the Republican Party, as they give those who would take more of our money and liberty more legitimacy than they otherwise would have had -- "See? Republicans support these common-sense gun laws too!"
I suppose that centrism might play well among the people who put these pansies in office, but from where I sit that's still a form of playing defense, to an extent -- you let your more leftist opponent define who you are and you try to get as close to him ideologically as you can while still giving Republican voters in your state a reason to vote for you. To what extent that's true, I don't know, but I think it would be very interesting to see what kind of power shift would occur in this country if Republicans moved to states in which their votes would actually count for something; after all, for example, as Kim du Toit illustrated in one of his essays, there's not much if any point in voting Republican if you live in Chicago, as "the Incredibly Raving Loony Party...gets six times as many votes as the Republicans." I've said this before, and some might think it heresy, but if it came down to a vote for a Zell Miller-type Democrat or Lincoln Chafee-type Republican, I would have absolutely no trouble voting for the person with the D beside his or her name. And I would go so far as to say that I'd bet money that Zell Miller's speech at the 2004 GOP convention did more to excite and motivate real Republican voters than anything and everything the aforementioned RINOs have done in their entire Senate careers.
Brooks and his ilk can talk this suburbanites-swinging-the-election tripe all they want, but if you ask me, if the GOP ends up on the curb Election Day, it will be because of, not despite, the fact that they have lost touch with the agenda of those who love freedom. If anyone's marginalizing the Republican Party, it's Brooks and his ilk. And the sooner the higher-ups in the GOP figure that out, the better off we'll all be.