Those who call themselves “Republicans”, but promote the Tea Party agenda domestically; the Neoconservative agenda in foreign policy; the social policies of the fundamentalist Christian right, the Radio Talk Show hosts and Fox News Channel; the fanatical gun rights advocates of the National Rifle Association; and other right wing extremists, represent the downfall of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and George H. W. Bush.
And it is precisely these groups within the GOP who condemn Colin Powell, Jon Huntsman, Chuck Hagel, Richard Lugar and others as being “RINOS”–Republicans In Name Only!
But it is precisely people such as Powell, Huntsman, Hagel and Lugar who represent the moderate conservative approach to government, a mainstream viewpoint which includes understanding that negotiation and compromise is essential to the workings of American democracy.
These people above are thoughtful, rational, accomplished leaders in the party, but they are being swept aside—Powell ignored and pilloried by many; Huntsman quickly being repudiated in the Presidential primaries; Hagel now facing a massive battle to overcome opposition within his own party to be confirmed as Secretary of Defense; and Lugar defeated in a Senate primary by an extremist who then lost the Senate seat that Lugar had held for 36 years.
As Powell said yesterday on a television interview, it concerns him that his party is ignoring the demographic reality of the growth of minorities in the voting population, and they have a problem with skin color and ethnicity. Hard to believe that is is the party that ended slavery and promoted civil rights in the mid 19th century!