Convictions over Compromise
by Matthew Ung
I’ll be frank. Republicans are compromising where Democrats are not. Republicans are buckling where Democrats are not. It’s a good thing I’m a conservative before I’m a Republican.
The actions of the Obama Administration and the Democrats are very easy to decipher. They are about imposing Utopian statist power-grabbing. There was no compromise on Obamacare! On the most unconstitutional single bill of our time that needed to be crushed, the democrats did ZERO compromising, ZERO pandering, ZERO negotiating. And they succeeded. While many Americans were still debating if healthcare was a right or privilege, the bill was passed into law with planning and precision. Despite many Democrats being promptly voted out of office and a reversal in the public support for Obamacare, the law still threatens our freedoms today.
The actions of Republicans are harder to decipher, because the Republican Party is proudly a “big tent party,” which can be good or bad. I’ll get to that later.
During this last legislative session in the Iowa House, the beginning of budget negotiations had Republicans calling for a $6 billion state budget and the democrats calling for a $6.2 billion budget. I remember reading that in my newspaper. Conventional wisdom would put a typical compromise at $6.1 billion, unless my math is off. But my eyebrows furrowed a day or two later, when the headline said the republicans announced the beginning point for further negotiations would be the full $6.2 billion the democrats started with. The 60-40 republican majority in the Iowa House would now be arguing which extra programs would be funded with the spending increase, instead of which programs DESERVED to be a funding priority for the Iowa taxpayer. I looked at my newspaper, staggered at how quickly the French surrendered… I mean the Iowa House Republicans.
I had a deep thought I’d like to share. RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) are well-known and often-mentioned. They are well-known because establishment Republicans typically compromise, whether it’s on minor issues, sacred issues, or Constitutional issues. Here is my deep thought: Why is there not talk about the opposite camps of “DINOs”? (Democrats in Name Only). It’s just as catchy and clever as “RINOs”, is it not?
I’m not just being silly, this is a serious point. DINOs don’t exist, and not because they went extinct. DINOs don’t exist because establishment democrats push the same issues that hardline, left-wing, radical democrats push. Democrats are not known for compromising their values. They typically vote the same when they are in the minority as when they are in the majority.
Why do the liberals constantly clump the entire Republican Party together and ridicule them all as the “far right,” the “right wing,” or the “ultra-right” for their lack of compromise? Because it works so well. Unlike their counterparts on the Savannah, political RINOs have very thin skins and fragile egos. They don’t want to be called a party-pooper, so they “go along to get along” all the live-long day, just going with the flow like migrating sea turtles. After 39 years of RINO migrations, we still have taxpayer funding of state-sanctioned murder, complete with ongoing sex-selective abortions, despite Life-at-Conception wording being in republican platforms on all levels.
I hate to see social issues like abortion deliberately brought up for debate towards the end of a legislative session simply because it’s considered a “divisive social issue.” Couple that stigma with all the legislators wanting to wrap up the session before the deadline, and the argument becomes “OH MY GOSH IF WE DON’T COMPROMISE ON THIS THE GOVERNMENT WILL SHUT DOWN!!!” At least, that’s what happened with the 60-40 Iowa House majority last year when taxpayer-funded abortion was supported by 53 of the 60 republicans.
While the RINOs debate how many more adoption pamphlets and consultation services we can get into Planned Parenthood facilities… the real debate is whether or not Obamacare will successfully overwrite state law and use your tax dollars AND health insurance premiums for outlawed late-term abortions.
I don’t mean to imply the conservative republicans are standing idly by while their party is crumbling. If they were, there would not be such terms such as “republicrats,” “RINOs,” and “repubicans” constantly repeated by disappointed conservatives. This has been a festering problem for decades–as with any group, there has always been a small sect which opposes everything. Back in the 1930s and 1940s, these RINOs were called “Me-too Republicans.” Me-too Republican Thomas Dewey ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt, not on the promise to oppose the New Deal, but on the promise to administrate it (a democratic idea) in a republican way. Whatever that means!
The problem is this: In the case of moderate republicans, who care more about re-election than their party platform, they have become the majority, which puts true conservatives in a very uncomfortable position. The regular political issues are labeled “divisive social issues.” Traditional marriage? “Wait until next year; it’s a divisive social issue!” Pro-life? “Wait until next year; it’s a divisive social issue!” 2nd Amendment rights? “Wait until next year; it’s a divisive social issue!”
But notice when the left pushes their issues, they are not social issues, they are human rights issues. Free contraceptives? “Human rights issue!” Amnesty for illegal immigrants? “Human rights issue!” Forcing private citizens to enter into contracts against their will? “Human rights health issue!” Abandoning the federal Defense of Marriage Act? “Human rights issue!”
The left does not compromise. If they can’t get it through the ballot box, they want it through the courts. If they can’t get it through the courts, they want it through government fiat and bureaucracy. If they still can’t get it, they want an Imperial President to stamp it with an executive order. But as a caucus, they never say no and never accept defeat. If you don’t like Obama pardoning unrepentant criminals, *gasp* You’re a racist! If you don’t like Eric Holder perjuring himself before Congress, *gasp* You’re a racist again! If you don’t want to pay for a lesbian’s birth control (that is probably next), I suppose you’d be a *gasp* “homophobe” who “wages war on women!”
We have politicians who surrender before they even run for office. Let’s put conviction over compromise, or what are we fighting for? Do we go into politics with the goal to compromise? Does anyone? Is that a mark of nobility… or just the easy way out?
I’ll quote Archbishop Fulton Sheen of the Catholic Church:
There is no other subject on which the average mind is so much confused as the subject of tolerance and intolerance… Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.
Reagan ran as a principled conservative against the establishment, in three republican primaries. It’s not enough to win elections, republicans have to elect leaders. That’s what we did with Reagan, and it started in the primaries.
When I ran in the June 5th, 2012 Iowa Republican primary as the more conservative candidate, I received some hate mail from RINOs, one of which compared me to my opponent by saying,
“You and your fellow cohorts, on the other hand, actually take yourselves seriously and are, thus, more dangerous to society at large.”
I responded by asking the RINO if he actually took himself seriously, because if he didn’t, I am definitely wasting my time formulating any responses for him. I further questioned him as to whether it was a mark of honor for him to “not take himself seriously,” if indeed he did not. He didn’t take that so well, and started with the typical threatening verbiage. In this case, RINOs often act just like their Savannah-trodding counterparts–they charge, even if it’s at their more conservative brethren.
RINOs are slow. Slow to get it. But on the bright side, it sure makes them predictable!
We will probably never see the extinction of the RINOs. But for goodness sake, let’s stop compromising with the compromisers. Let’s work the primary election process like it was supposed to work.
Godspeed and happy RINO-hunting.
Matthew Ung is a Christian, conservative, Republican, in that order. Currently working in healthcare administration, he has earned a masters degree in business administration from Creighton University and lives with his beloved wife in Sioux City, IA. He was recently a Republican primary challenger for the Iowa House seat in District 6.