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Life After NY-23: Beware the Coming of the RINO

When we talk about many of these people not backing John McCain in 2008, it should be noted that McCain was the most moderate GOP nominee since Ford, yet somehow he was still too conservative for these folks.

On the other hand, in the past few years you’ll find very few examples of  conservatives backing Democrats. The one example is former New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith’s decision to endorse John Kerry, a move he admits was a mistake that he now regrets.

Of course, Smith’s admission of error is not something you’ll hear from a RINO. They’re far too busy congratulating themselves and enjoying liberals stroking their egos. The left loves to praise the vaunted political courage of liberal Republicans knifing their own partymates in the back.

RINOs, those with no real reason or ideology for being a Republican, are the high-maintenance drama queens of the GOP. Jim Jeffords needed to be part of a singing group to keep him in the Republican caucus for as long as he stayed.

We’re not talking about pro-choice fiscal conservatives or even moderates, but rather people who vote as often with Republicans as they do with Democrats, if not, in many cases, more with liberals than conservatives. These people will always be high-maintenance, needing lots of ego stroking and nudging, because they’re not really part of the team and have no stake in the success or failure of the Republican Party’s agenda.

Smart business managers want to have as few of these people around as possible, avoiding them altogether if they can. But whoever charged Republican congressional leaders with being smart? Based on the endorsements of the NRSC, it seems that the Senate GOP wants as many of these high-maintenance people as possible.

I can see Connecticut and Delaware as states where a member of the Olympia Snowe caucus may be the only shot Republicans have. But in Illinois, Republicans as recently as 1998 elected Peter Fitzgerald, a solid right-of-center senator. To imagine that Colorado and Florida can only be won with liberal Republicans at the top of the ticket is nonsensical and creates needless problems for the future even if they do win.

If Republicans in New York’s 23rd district wise up, Bill Owens should be a half-term congressman who can one day tell his grandchildren that he once served in Congress. The GOP should come up with a nominee that is acceptable to the Conservative Party, and the Conservative Party of New York is not hard to please. It’s endorsed many right-of-center figures such as George Pataki and Al D’Amato.

Had Scozzafava won, conservatives would have never been able to get rid of her given the belief in the divine right of Republican incumbents to be re-elected. Of course, the time would have eventually come when Scozzafava would have delivered that Academy Award moment where she had to follow her heart and conscience and stand with the Democrats -- and not let the fact that Republicans had spent millions of dollars to elect her and keep her in office stand in her way.

Not every Republican needs to be as conservative as Jim DeMint. However, it’s not unreasonable to ask that if you carry the Republican banner as a candidate, you have some reason to be a Republican other than convenience or family birth.  Recent history has shown that individuals who can’t meet this basic test are not worth the time or effort of Republican leaders.