Don Pesci: Most Republicans are RINOS


With apologies to Shakespeare: “Spending’s the thing, wherein we’ll catch the conscience of the King.”

There is in Connecticut no truer Trumpian liege lord than Joe Visconti, a gubernatorial candidate who described himself in one of his campaign documents as “Trump without the millions.”

When Trumpians refer disdainfully to “the DC Swamp,” they have in mind the kind of uncontrolled spending that, during the Obama administration, doubled President George Bush’s $10 trillion deficit. The current deficit now has been boosted by the U.S. Congress, and it was Trump who signed – very reluctantly, to be sure – the “drain the swamp’s” death warrant.

After Trump had signed the budget, Visconti advised: “Still love & support Trump but MAGA [Make America Great Again] is dead. You can’t give huge tax breaks and then give away a trillion $$ in spending in the same year and not expect a $22 Trillion deficit. Build the wall is dead. Lock her [Hillary Clinton] up is dead. Nothing but empty slogans now. As for Republicans? Most are Democrats, always have been. The bill should never have been assembled by Ryan the RINO [Republican In Name Only] but it was. Nothing but betrayal. Here’s how it rolls out in 18, we lose the House because Trump supporters aren’t blind and won’t come out for RINOs, Trump isn’t on the ballot. Pelosi takes over and starts impeachment proceedings day 1.”

Laura Ingraham lamented that the omnibus bill was a huge boondoggle designed to fool most of the people most of the time. Connecticut has its own version of the national omnibus bill, a catch-all bill at the end of the legislative season that few exhausted legislators manage to read. Such massive bills are pokes designed to hide crony swamp dweller's legislation.

The national poke more than adequately finances a military that former President  Obama seriously under-financed. It might be recalled that Trump, entering office and during his rambunctious campaign, presented himself as a Pat Buchanan anti-interventionist, after which he surrounded himself with generals. The world is a messy place for anti-interventionist presidents. The budget does not adequately finance the border wall upon which Trump campaigned, but Planned Parenthood, against which Trump campaigned, receives its pound of budget flesh.

Earlier in January, Senator from Planned Parenthood Dick Blumenthal and other extremist socially progressive Democrats beat back a bill that would have imposed a mild and painless restriction on those seeking abortions, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” The bill did not interfere with a woman’s right to procure an abortion; it simply restricted abortions to 20 weeks of a pregnancy, a period of time after which, science tells us, the fetus can feel pain. The bill also provided that women who defied the bill could not be prosecuted under the law, while those providing the abortion would be penalized.

Pro-abortion senators such as Blumenthal waved their old campaign placards against the bill.  “It is shameful and disgraceful,” Blumenthal fumed, “that this measure should be before Congress. Hands off women’s health care.” The reader will note a tactical change in language: According to Blumenthal, the bill would not interfere with a woman’s “right to choose abortion,” merely hasten the choice. Abortion has little to do with health care and everything to do with abolishing parenthood.  The regulation prone Blumenthal later would pronounce “immoral” those who defended a bill that regulated abortion on behalf of unborn children who feel the deadly pain of an abortionist’s knife. As Attorney General of Connecticut, Blumenthal consistently favored the regulation of businesses in his state, and he continues to do so in the Senate, bills affecting Planned Parenthood being a notable and glaring exception to his rule.

No, sorry. It is late-term abortion, the selling of baby parts and the inability of pro-abortionists to make relevant developmental distinctions in the stages of human life from conception to birth that is, by any stretch of the moral imagination, indecently immoral. In their campaigns, cowardly Republicans seem willing to cede the moral high-ground to the immoralists.  

The imposition of the Trump tariffs has split Republicans, but Republicans and Trump were marching in tandem on the matter of immigration. That battle has been lost, largely owning to court decisions that have about them the stench of unconstitutionality. Here is Nancy Pelosi crowing her victory in assuring that the nation’s borders remain ungovernable and permeable: “Democrats won explicit language restricting border construction to the same see-through fencing that was already authorized under current law. The [omnibus spending] bill does not allow any increase in deportation officers or detention beds.”

So, the obscenely large spending bill is a win, win for progressive big spenders and a lose, lose for taxpayers. Democrats in Connecticut have offered Republicans the same plank that leads to the same shark-infested waters. Whether they will sleepwalk the plank to their appointed end remains very much an open question. 

Don Pesci, a frequent contributor, is a Vernon, Conn.-based columnist.