What is this new RED-DOG Republican term? How is it different from a RINO? How does it relate to a Blue-dog Democrat? What about CINOs? Is there such a thing as a DINO? Who are the PLINOs? Can Partial-Choicers be welcome in the Republican Big-tent (some want to build)? and how/why it all matters....
First, I must set the stage by covering the Blue-Dog definition. Rather, we must address the misconception or misrepresentation (CINO) over the last decades of the concept as the Democrat Party continues to move further and further Left.
Being a "Conservative" in the Democrat Party actually meant something at one point, but not anymore. My family is Conservative, and to my dismay, there are still many of them that fail to understand that the Democrat Party they remain loyal to has long left them. There are still many loyal to that Donkey logo even though it doesn't come close to representing their views anymore. Simply stated: Electing a Conservative Democrat just enables the Progressive/Socialist (Far-Left) agenda today!
The Reagan years is what has brought us the change, or rather distortion as many true Conservatives moved to the Republican Party following the Carter and crew Government expansions and failures. The creation of, what is today, the Blue-Dog myth/misconception, is all that remains. So, What really is a Blue-Dog?
The myth: A Blue-Dog Democrat puts their "Conservative" (at least, Fiscal-Conservatism) values/principles, that they espouse on the campaign trial to get elected, first and foremost rather than Democrat Party politics.
The truth: A Blue-Dog puts the DEMOCRAT Party first when it comes time to the tougher choices. They do so to make sure their Party hierarchy looks favorably on them when the time comes for Committee appointments, DNC funds and/or other fund-raising aid, etc... They just espouse the Conservative values (some of which they may actually believe, but are quick to sell-out) in order to get elected in districts that are not blatantly controlled by the Far-Left Democrat loyalists! They really should be called: "semi-Conservative 'sounding' CINO Democrat Pavlov Dogs." CINO, being "Conservative In Name Only," of course - see too: CCINOs.
The proof: The Blue-Dog Democrats supported the Reagan (and at other times it was popular/convenient to do so) Tax Cuts. During the 1980's they also pledged, as part of the compromises, that for every $1 in Tax Cuts accompanying Spending reductions would be made. When it came down to keeping those promises, they voted the DEMOCRAT Party "Progressive" line for (not only against cuts, but for continued) Higher Spending. As for how/why Reagan didn't shut down the Government more to hold them to their promises is for other diaries.
Through all that, the myth of Blue-Dogs as Conservatives first prevailed, improperly! More on why it helped to create the last few Election cycles later, but it was/is that myth that has some folks thinking they can be Conservative (or, at least Fiscal-Conservative but somewhat more Liberal socially) and vote Democrat and have those values/principles be represented, again - improper logic, based on a bad definition/belief. The last 10 years, let alone the Obama Administrations first 100 days, should be demonstrating that clearly to those "Independent" or "Center-Right Democrat" voters. Republicans, and Conservatives both, must make this/these distinctions better in the next Election cycles. A vote, ANY VOTE, for a Democrat promotes ever increasing Spending and Government expansion and control over all aspects of life, higher and higher taxes driving jobs overseas, taking over Health Care (not providing help for those needing Insurance - big difference), etc...
What of those that switched to Republican during the Republican Revolution!?!?
They were "Conservative first," that original Blue-Dog definition which has been proven now to be untrue (if it ever was), and what would have been known as a DINO (if that ever existed, it didn't), and came to the "more Conservative" Republican Party. Many "Blue-Dogs" stayed behind. Not all of those that switched parties did so because of Conservative values, but we were certainly more than happy to welcome them in order to help work toward what many thought would be a long term Republican control. While we (Conservatives) may decry how the Republican Party may not always be as Conservative as we'd like (or forget at times) it is still the Center-Right Party, whereas the Democrats (in so far as those who EVER hold the power within that Party) are the Ultra-Left!
All of those "Conservative" and even "Moderate" Democrats coming over to the Republican Party has left the Democrat Party even more Left than you had ever thought possible! Any of you out there that still think the Democrat Party represents your viewpoints need to recall these FACTS. Conservative and Moderate, except the current "actual" Blue-Dogs (that put DEMOCRAT PARTY, or Progressive-ism/Liberalism FIRST by voting Democrat Party loyalty) and do so just for the sake of helping to get them elected, members have left that Party leaving only those that are (deep down comfortable and) willing to let the Far-Left control all levels of that Party and the Country therefore when the Democrat Party has majority control!
Joe Lieberman, as an aside, at least became an "Independent" as a matter of Principle over some major disagreements with the Democrat Party jumping further and further Far-Left. He still is a "Liberal," but I have some respect for him. I have ZERO respect for Specter!
Voting for the actual Blue-Dog (Conservative in tone, but loyal to Far-Left Democrat Party leaders come time to vote in the Chambers of Power) definition yields more Progressive agenda. There is simply no plainer way to put this!
RED-DOG Republicans versus RINO... When it comes down to it, a RINO and a BLUE-DOG are pretty much the same. They stake out positions which help them get elected in their Districts, but will more often than not side with the Progressive-Democrat agenda. When it comes to making those tough choices, they default to the DEMOCRAT position.
A RINO simply uses a local Conservative-Republican base while pandering to other Liberals/Moderates to expand their votes to get elected, and then often votes, in the name of BI-PARTISANSHIP, with Democrats furthering the Progressive agenda. You don't often see any Bi-Partisan Disease discussion come out of their mouths in bringing Bi-Partisan support to a Conservative agenda item vote! It is always compromise that yields in giving Democrats something - I call it McCainism, and we need less of it! Let them compromise with US for a change! A "Red-Dog," as we further explore this definition, would finally speak of Bi-Partisanship in terms of bringing their Liberal counterparts to reaching Bi-Partisan cooperation of an actual Conservative position, for a change, not always an automatic concession to the Left.
Republicans would Welcome Bi-Partisanship from DINOs (Democrat In Name Only) if - "IF" - such a thing as a DINO (the real concept of what that "Blue-Dog" myth was), had/could ever exist. A DINO would be what that Blue-Dog myth is/was, an actual "Conservative First" and Democrat Party loyalist second. But, again, no such thing exists. Democrats don't bite the hand of the Liberal/Progressive Democrat Party hierarchy! That phenom is only in the Republican Party with RINOs - willing to vote those close calls against the Base that gets them elected and funds their campaigns.
So, What is this RED-DOG concept?
A RED-DOG would be a Republican Party loyalist. The exact same as a BLUE-DOG in that when push comes to shove they vote Party first, but one that votes with the Republican caucus line. They can and may be "Liberal" in some of their viewpoints, as the current traditional RINO is seen as, but unlike a RINO they actually have some Party loyalty. This would be a welcome departure, IMO and distinct difference, because even when the Republican Party strays, it is ALWAYS more Conservative on the positions/issues than the Democrat Party. Again, let's look at the reverse by way of contrast to help make the point - A Blue-Dog always siding with the Democrat Party always helps push the Country LEFT whereas a Red-Dog would side with the Republican Party line which (at worst case) at least attempts to slow the Progressive and/or Liberal-incremental-ism agenda(s).
A "Red-Dog" would still be more Liberal on many issues, but would show some loyalty to those (fellow Republicans) that help get them elected. That show loyalty to those that help fund (RNC and/or Conservative Groups) their campaigns, by sticking with the Republican Party during those hard-choice times, rather than bite the hands that help feed them (like a RINO does over and over).
Do you see the difference? Do you follow?
A RED-DOG would still be infinitely more "electable" in the Blue areas of the country and would be contributing to the Republican Caucus, which is controlled by Conservatives (yes, though not always as Conservative as some would like).
I have tried to put this forth in the manner I have (a couple of different ways) in the hopes that one wording or another will provide that "light-bulb" break-through of the point, and I think (and hope) that I have put forth enough for people to understand the difference of a Red-Dog over the dreaded RINO!
It is, in part, that Big-Tent perspective. I have no problem with more diverse opinions. It is where do they come down for Party-line votes, as has been such a problem the last countless years. We can have these "Social Issues" debates on our State levels, where they belong!!! Shrinking Government and getting those decisions back to our States has to be the start, and it won't start without REPUBLICAN MAJORITY and those willing to help us move that way we have to be open to. It is a fine line. I'm just saying I'll stand steadfast and more open to compromise with someone that fits a RED-DOG definition than I will all these RINO folks that have us incensed. There ARE many, and I'll leave it open for the debate in the diary, as to who fits the RED-DOG moniker. Those that we may not feel are as "Conservative" on things as we'd like at times, but at least rally around the "more Conservative Republican Party" when push comes to shove. Lindsey Graham? Bob Dole may have been a RED-DOG had the term been in the lexicon then (he certainly wasn't my choice for the Republican nominee at that time either, but I was willing to back him when he got it) opposed to McCain as a RINO!?!? (More on McCain, will he do a Lieberman? at Dave in atl: now that Specter is someone elses problem as well as some of my early musings on the Red-Dog term there and at Jeff Emanuel: Breaking News: Arlen Specter to switch to Democrat Party - I'm not afraid to promote others' work ;-) )
As for Benedict Arlen (disre)Specter, which is what prompted my coining the Red-Dog term to differentiate between a RINO from what would be more palatable ideologically Red-Dog (willing to work out "Social differences" from within the Republican Party, but loyal to the mostly Conservative voting Republican Party - for yet one last stab at throwing definition at you)... I sure hope a Democrat beats him in his Democrat Primary. Regardless, I thank him for leaving, as it gives us the chance to put a much better candidate forth on the Republican side.
That this finally affords Conservatives an opportunity to remind folks that the Conservative agenda is NOT dead and of the Blue-Dog myth. A "supposed" Conservative Democrat does nothing but empower the Reid, Murtha, Pelosi, and many other ultra-Left wing of that Party (like Claire McCackle [sic] who pretends [read:Lies] to be a Fiscal-conservative [actual definition Blue-Dog] and/or Moderate to get elected, but is full fledged Party-line Democrat). The Conservative message, by way of the Blue-Dog, has PROVEN to be the correct message that wins Elections. We have to remind folks of the difference between the Blue-Dog myth versus fact and that a RED-DOG (again, somewhat Liberal on some things, but willing to help provide Republican Party majority and the ultimate promotion of the Republican Party Platform - which remains Conservative) promotes Conservatism far more than any Democrat, even a Blue-Dog, or RINO.
People like McCackle [sic-on purpose for comedic effect and to show my disdain] prove a Conservative tone/message wins and they do so only in these "Moderate" areas only to bamboozle voters into electing them. We can and will win these CENTERIST areas with Conservative candidates if we articulate the message and points properly, and stop being intimidated in doing so. Only the deepest of Blue areas are where we should be supporting, and vigorously promoting and working to help elect (Tedisco? an argument of this? and even he may have gone to Populist over Conservative message and cost him the Election?), those in our Party that are of the Red-Dog versus the RINO mindset! Ashcroft was elected at one point in MO, why did we land up with Claire after that? Certainly was NOT because of a too Conservative candidate, IMO.
Please note or understand that I am NOT saying (if that has not already become apparent) that I am looking to "expand the Party" by having the Leadership or the Top of the Republican Party ticket be "Moderate." Just the opposite, I want and hope we all fight that Conservatives fill the Leadership roles of the Party and therefore the key Committees when there is a Republican Majority! Only that RED-DOGS are necessary to have Republicans competitive in deep Blue areas (related: Exporting/Expanding BLUE-ism... shaping elections to come. another definition/understanding Diary). Given my definitions/distinctions, I would happily stand by a Red-Dog as they are more likely to stand by me when it really counts, whereas the RINO does NOT!
That the Republican Party, regardless of your Social stances, is the Party of EQUAL JUSTICE and FREEDOM. Your Freedom to choose your State/Local agenda over all consuming Progressive Federal dictates - forced one size fits all. The alternative to RACE BAITING, Class Warfare, Sexist, etc., Democrats. Those that are NOT cowards and willing to actually discuss all things as they relate to CONSTITUTIONAL principles, Founding values (why the Constitution was left open to Amendment, not JUDICIAL ACTIVIST FIAT), Smaller (local control) not NO Government over Democrats' Government control of everything, LIBERAL-incremental-ism, etc....
A last quick question: Have you ever changed your mind on anything? Even something simple? Then, you (have not) do not even agree with yourself 100%. What makes you think that you cannot support someone else without them having to agree with you 100%? [That 100% thing pertains in the Update below]
[May '09 Update section] --------------------------------------------------------------
CINOs (or CCINOs) - Conservative campaigners In Name Only:
A Blue-Dog and a RINO may be one of these. The Blue-Dog generally is, while campaigns as a Conservative (or, at least somewhat) votes with his/her Democrat Party no matter how far-left the Democrat Party position is with/on/in Legislation. A RINO may be a CINO, a Moderate, or out-right Liberal, but as we've all seen too many times when the Republican Party needs their vote for a tough vote, they side with the other side! Whereas the Red-Dog can be much more Moderate for many of our tastes, what is important is that they don't go running to the Democrats to vote with (that Bi-Partisanship Disease thing) for a close vote. A Red-Dog will show some loyalty to Republican voters and side with his/her fellow Republicans in those close votes (that would include some in both the House and the Senate when it came to the Stimulus vote in February - which helped better define the line between who is a RED-DOG and who is a RINO)!!
Plus additional thoughts imported from Comments I made in another thread regarding new terms of:
PLINOs versus Partial-Choicers:
[Comments edited some, for the full extent of the Partial-Choicers and PLINO concept see see here: realityunwound's Big-Tent Diary discussion for full context. I am editing to focus on Terms here.]
I'm not sure I know any "Partial-Choicers" (Pro-Choice Republicans), but that provides yet another new term I’m trying to get out - “Partial-Choicers” for Pro-Choice Republicans, and whether we can focus on some common ground. A "Partial-Choicer" would be someone that considers themselves not Pro-Life but that concedes there to be common-ground in stopping the out-right Abortion-on-Demand, Infanticide, Public funding of Abortions, Non-Consent Abortions for Minors, etc.... policies promoted by the Democrat Party.
I do not know IF I know any Partial-Choicers! You may not know either. The reason? Too many of us, IMO, may LOSE OUR COOLS/MINDS at times. It is why we don’t really have any discussions around here at RS even as any PARTIAL-CHOICERS are too intimidated to have the dialog, as they know they will be SHOUTED DOWN and driven away rather than allowing them to focus on the areas they can/will cooperate with us. PARTIAL-CHOICERS know to just (or feel they must) keep quiet about it in Republican company, and that is a shame IMO.
I ran for Office as a 100% unapologetic Pro-Life Republican against one of those Pro-Life Democrats and had a lot of support from RTL members because they understood, like I contend, many Pro-Life Democrats are really PLINOs (Pro-Life In Name Only, because they have to bow to the Democrat Infanticide Platform [and other non-Life stances noted above] position when push really comes to shove to insure they get the Democrat campaign funds/help)…. Some Democrats talk Pro-Life in the light but don't vote it behind the Legislature doors. We can/should work with Partial-Choicers to end that.
But this is not a specific "Issues" Diary, just one trying to ensure we can have more appropriate and accurately identifying terms to discuss amongst ourselves and/or others with!
Just as it is important to distinguish between RINOs (bad) and Red-Dogs (OK), it is important to know the difference between PLINOS and Partial-Choicers and not automatically go from Jekyll to Hyde (reacting hyper-actively, like Democrats with ears/eyes attached directly to their knees - which results in those knee-jerk reactions) when the topic comes up and start "Troll" and "Moby" shout-downs!
[/end May '09 Update section] ----------------------------------------------------------
Regards from NoMoTown - Liberals, looking to do to America what they have done to Detroit!
Lastly, support the "TEApeats" (another new term I'm trying to get into the lexicon ;-) ) - ReTeaParty (for 4th of July) site