So did our Official Artist, who has posted a pretty funny fast-food analysis of the candidates.
Hugh Hewitt, who became the completely deranged lap dog of Mitt Romney, started the whole process. I used to love his radio show and linked to his blog frequently. As he went on a campaign of spreading filth about all of Romney's rivals, both on his vicious blog and his utterly sycophantic radio program, I started examining the sources of my convictions. In the comment threads on Hugh's blog I noticed a continuing theme about this candidate or that being a Republican In Name Only (RINO). There were all kinds of litmus tests thrown out there, including pro-life, tax cuts and so forth. Each one was held up as a kind of religious orthodoxy and if you had any traces of sin upon your legislative hands, you were considered an apostate.
The tax cutting thing started to get to me. Here's why.
The national debt soared under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. It dropped during Newt's time in the congress. Reagan and W both cut taxes, but did not cut spending. The result was a financial catastrophe. I'm far more forgiving of Reagan since he had a hostile congress that was carried over from the spend-like-crazy 1970s. The current Bush has no such excuses. Nor does the Republican party.
So just what does it mean to be a Republican these days? It certainly doesn't mean that you're fiscally responsible, does it? Frankly, the wild increases in the debt during total Republican control of the budget makes me want to re-register as an independent.
For those of you who are still Republican stalwarts, just what does that (R) mean? Reality suggests that an (R) means the same as a (D). A profligate, pandering vote-buyer. That's the truth. You can't point to real data and argue otherwise. Since that's the case, what's wrong with being a RINO? I want a RINO. There's no way I want some tax-cutter who refuses to cut spending in any meaningful way. We did that. The evidence of fiscal mismanagement is pretty clear.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up supporting McCain. I know everyone runs about pointing to his immigration votes, McCain-Feingold and so forth, but I'm beginning to look at those with a different set of eyes as well. I spent a lot of time listening to the Republican High Priests of Theology, Rush and Hugh and so forth, who I now see were either completely ignorant of financial matters, or were simply lying to support the party. They colored my view of these issues and it's time to re-examine what I support and why.
Until I change my party affiliation, I think you can safely call me a RINO as well. So what?