RINOs and the origin of the Republican Party


Writing for Time Magazine, Television Producer Rob Long ponders a purge of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) should be purged from the Republican party.

The RINO is behind all those awful bills with the word comprehensive in their titles. The RINO is the grease that oils the wheels of lawmaking that result in “reform” acts that don’t reform, “tax cuts” that raise taxes, “oversight” that overlooks and “reductions” that increase. How could it be otherwise? Washington is designed that way. When the devil comes, he bears rib eye from Palm.

When you connect the dots that way, there really is only one solution: a purge. “I’m just trying to get something done” is the call of the typical RINO. “We were sent here to pass laws.” That’s a pretty accurate definition, of course, of the opposite of conservatism.

It’s a popular request on conservative websites, where there are voters and activists who are more serious about this demand than Long. The discussions on whether to have a large tent, or consistent views for every Republican candidate, got me thinking about the origins of the Party. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln’s Democratic opponent in the 1858 Senate election and the 1860 Presidential election, recounted the development of the party in the speech which which began the Lincoln-Douglas debates. 

Prior to 1854 this country was divided into two great political parties, known as the Whig and Democratic parties. Both were national and patriotic, advocating principles that were universal in their application. An old-line Whig could proclaim his principles in Louisiana and Massachusetts alike. Whig principles had no boundary sectional line; they were not limited by the Ohio River, nor by the Potomac, nor by the line of the Free and Slave States, but applied and were proclaimed wherever the Constitution ruled or the American flag waved over the American soil. So it was, and so it is with the great Democratic party, which, from the days of Jefferson until this period, has proven itself to be the historic party of this nation. While the Whig and Democratic parties differed in regard to a bank, the tariff, distribution, the specie circular and the subtreasury, they agreed on the great slavery question which now agitates the Union. I say that the Whig party and the Democratic party agreed on this slavery question, while they differed on those matters of expediency to which I have referred.

As a side note, it’s worth considering if there’s anything capable of changing the political landscape now in the same way. I’m unaware of any issue on that level today.

However, since the Republicans began primarily as an anti-slavery party, it does mean that the only real RINO would be one who actually supports slavery.

About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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1 Response to RINOs and the origin of the Republican Party

  1. Rick Newman says:

    I don’t know if you actually need a huge issue but I feel the US is on track to have one – probably a fiscal issue with other countries looking at creating their own version of the IMF and/or dropping the US dollar as the standard. The mess that Obama is creating will get to a point where the media can no longer hide it and fingers pointing at Bush or the RINO enablers will no longer be an effective diversion.

    Republicans who wish to change the party and make it a viable option for the American people need to look north to Canada. Long story short and VERY overly simplified….

    In the 1980’s it was a different world and Canada was struggling to recover from a massive swing to the left. Welfare policies, entitlements and socialization had deeply indebted the country and general politicking had caused class and regional separation due to the handiwork of Pierre Trudeau (our Obama).

    With Reagan & Thatcher in power elsewhere, conservatism seemed like a safe bet and we elected Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives (PC). While he had a conservative streak in him, the party was centrist.

    In the 1990s, after almost 10 years in power the PCs were deeply unpopular which lead to utter defeat at the polls and a split in the party. Many issues surrounded this but when you try to control the free spending and free stuff, people don’t like it. When you do something that is economically necessary but painful (NAFTA & GST), the media demonizes you… they went from 156 seats to 2.

    The party essentially split into three factions; PCs, the Alliance Party and the Reform Party. PCs were centre/right. Alliance was the religious right. Reform was more of a libertarian bent but definitely fiscally conservative – probably closest to the Tea Party.

    It took almost ten years for the three to combine and another 3 years to defeat the Liberal Party and form a minority government. This was thanks in large part to massive Liberal scandals and mismanagement ACTUALLY being reported by the media (they were unable to cover it up by that point – Barry O will get there).

    Under Stephen Harper, the present Conservative Party have been in power since 2006. They govern largely from the center right with a majority but will often come out with policies that are “far right” (criminal justice, immigration) or “far left” (bathroom issues for trannies) and are very measured in their roll-out and implementation. Everything is incremental.

    Everything is done largely with a left leaning mainstream media that demonizes Harper and everything he does and says. Nowhere near what the US media did to Bush or Palin but Canadians would not stand for the rhetoric and propaganda that MSNBC or CNN try to pull. CBC is bad but they often come off as flakes or elitist.

    We still have our ineffective socialized health care that doesn’t work unless you’re gravely ill. We still have immigration problems and a huge tax burden with unfunded liabilities. But overall things are improving and Canada was one of the least effected countries in the last recession.
    We have a parliamentary system and it is different from the US but the fundamentals of party change and leadership are, I believe, universal.

    BTW- huge spidey fan and Canadian.

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