There Is No Such Thing as a Conservative Democrat

My comment in the Morning Jolt that “one of the key lessons of this is that Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Mike Castle, and Mark Kirk will come through for you when Bart Gordon won’t” is turning some heads.

I get the feeling that I’m a little more tolerant of those often derided as “RINOs” than your average guy on the right, but a lot of my easygoing acceptance is directly proportional to the political character of the district or state that they represent. For example, I’m just not convinced that Maine will elect a Republican more consistently conservative than Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins. I knew Scott Brown was going to leave some of us disappointed from time to time. I know Mike Castle’s going to frustrate me if he becomes a senator, but he’s probably as good as it’s going to get out of Delaware.

But in the end, even the squishiest Republican candidate chooses to be a Republican, with all of its attendant inherent hostility from much of the mainstream press, demonization by Hollywood, reflexive accusations of racism, etc. That suggests at least a little spine, or at least a certain willingness to espouse a view because of some deeply held principle independent of public opinion.

Meanwhile, all but the most wildly rebellious Democrats will let down a conservative pretty frequently. Only three House Democrats voted against the health-care bill, cap-and-trade, and the stimulus: Bobby Bright of Alabama, Walt Minnick of Idaho, and Gene Taylor of Mississippi. In other words, every other self-proclaimed conservative Democrat voted for at least one piece of legislation that conservatives loathed. John Barrow of Georgia (lifetime ACU rating 36.2) voted for the stimulus. Heath Shuler (lifetime ACU rating 30.6) voted for cap-and-trade. Joe Donnelly of Indiana (lifetime ACU rating 32) signed on for health care.

Nat. Review
3/22/10