Banality: RINOs Counter Tea Party With Empty Rhetoric

Photo Credit: MIke Theiler I’m told we’re living in a Moderate Moment. After Mitt Romney lost the election, moderate Republicans started emerging from every corner of the country, from Northwest Washington, D.C. to Arlington, Virginia. It was time, they declared, for calm voices to prevail in the Republican Party. The Tea Party, the right-wing, the “Conservative Entertainment Complex” — all this must be cast overboard for the GOP to win again.

The latest iteration of this came in Wednesday’s Washington Post from columnist Kathleen Parker: RINO, of course, refers to Republicans In Name Only and is the pejorative term used against those who fail to march in lockstep with the so-called conservative base. I used “so-called” because, though the hard-right faction of the party tends to be viewed as The Base, this isn’t necessarily so. My guess is there are now more RINOs than those who, though evangelical in their zeal, are poison to their party’s ability to win national elections.

Parker calls for a RINO uprising, a new faction on the right to counter the Tea Party. That’s all well and good. There are genuine differences of opinion on the right, and a little inward dialectic never hurt anyone.

But how would her brand of Republicanism differ from the conservative base she derides? This is the closest thing we get to a policy prescription in her column: “Most would like the country to rock along without drama — operating within a reasonable budget, with respect for privacy and the rule of law, compassion for the disadvantaged and an abundance of concern for national security, including border control but not necessarily drone attacks on citizens.”

Yes, if only there was a political movement calling for reasonable budgets, more privacy for the individual, upholding the rule of law, and concern for national security. She must imagine hordes of earthy Tea Partiers holding the Post in their gunpowder-stained fingers while recoiling and exclaiming, “Compassion for the disadvantaged?! This paper’s gone to the dogs!”

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