Something that was bothering me in 2008-sh and and has done little more than fester since then: RINO. For those not in the know, that means “Republican in Name Only.” It’s an insidious name those on the far right like to give Republican centrists.

In the interests of full disclosure, I’m going to reveal a couple of things. One will not be at all surprising. The other may be.

I’m registered Democrat. Yeah, I know. Pick yourselves up off the floor.

I used to be Secretary for the College Republicans.

Yeah, while everyone else was out there experimenting with drugs or figuring their sexuality out, I was messing with being an evangelical and going to Republican Conventions.

This is a strange turnabout for a woman who can still get passionately angry about Iran Contra. I was in debate about that time and that and mandatory drug testing were the hot debate topics.

But, in college I also experimented with being a Dittohead.

This was really for maybe a year or so before I snapped out of it. And it wasn’t that I even really agreed with him all of the time. But the truth is, I’m pretty fiscally conservative.

Now, when I say that, I mean that I won’t just throw money at problems. I own a Prius. I didn’t buy it to be good for the environment, though. I bought it because I didn’t enjoy the effects of a wildly unstable gas market on my discretionary funds. If speculation run rampant can increase the price of gas by several dollars a gallon, I’m going to be much less affected with my 10 gallons that last me 2-3 weeks than someone who has to fill up every week. With twice that. Or more.

It was a big up front outlay of cash (and I paid it in cash, I don’t have credit cards) but I have yet to leave the gas pump wishing I could’ve paid more.

I enjoy some of this freedom because I chose not to have children. Not everyone has my chilly attitude toward progeny and I’m not judging, merely pointing out the fact that family planning goes hand-in-hand with financial planning. Children cannot work until they’re sixteen by which time they’re likely to want to keep the proceeds for themselves. Not to mention the fact that you have to clothe, feed, and shelter them. That costs money. It’s not really a fiscally conservative choice to have a child. Yet…fiscal conservatives often want people to follow through with pregnancies they can ill afford.

And you know, I don’t personally have a problem paying extra taxes so other people’s kids can have an education. I have every right to be pissy about it, but I’m not and you know why? Because one of our best resources in the United States is our people and they are worth the investment.

Yeah, schools are expensive. Yeah, welfare gets expensive. But these are things that enrich our country. They are a solid investment. Not every investment I’ve ever made has gone well. Not every child will grow up to be a rocket scientist. But failure to try is going to result in failure. So it’s not fiscally conservative to deny benefits or schooling.

Back to energy. And the Prius. See, because energy is important and fracking, drilling, it’s expensive no matter what they try and tell you. And dangerous. Our natural resources, aside from our people, are a whole vast expanse of land on which we could have wind and solar farms.

This is not the only answer, it’s part of a portfolio of answers. And it’s not even the answer because of climate change. It’s the answer because instead of employing people going overseas to fight wars, we could employ people to build and run these things. Nuclear plants. We’ll need ’em and we’ll need people smart enough to build them and run them.

There’s a problem transporting energy so these plants would remain local, supporting local economies and towns. The major push back on this is really this dopey idea that a free market exists. Oil subsidies anyone? Major oil companies don’t want to give up their power. They’d be smarter to start diversifying, but then they’d have to explain the “losses” to their investors.

So, yeah. I’m fiscally conservative, but in a way that doesn’t mean I refuse to write checks to buy a lawnmower while my grass overgrows till I can’t get to my house. That’s not conservative, that’s stupid.

That said, Republicans really do add to the political discourse. Not lately so much but I think that traces back to people like  Rush Limbaugh. People who can make politicians shudder and recant for no good reason at all.

In 2008 when McCain was to be the nominee, I was actually kind of excited. It sounded like a real two man race. I was pretty disenfranchised that we passed over Hilary Clinton (who was kind of president before–Billary anyone? and during the most profitable time in recent memory) for Barack Obama. I was taking a serious look because McCain seemed to have some real backbone and like he’d really rise up to the task and tell other Republicans to suck it if they didn’t like his ideas.

And then…he was a RINO. Something broke and he became this sad old war veteran who kowtowed to every whim some batshitloco group of people (who were consistently overreported on–I was at Perry’s succession “speech” there were people but it wasn’t anywhere near a majority.) I really couldn’t believe it. When he announced his running mate, I was intrigued. A woman! Then she opened her mouth.

Even now, with as much gridlock as we face, we have some serious shit going down from the Democrats that needs review. And it isn’t gay marriage or insurance copays. We’re letting American citizens be blown up without due process. Indefinitely detained. This is where some real arguing should be happening, but it isn’t.

It’s frittered away on whether climate change is happening or not. So either a bunch of scientists are wrong or Pat Robertson is right and the tornadoes are here because we don’t pray enough. Really?

Anyway, I hope for the Republican Party’s sake that this fool Limbaugh is finally put in the dark corner of the party where he belongs. He’s not only ruined McCain, he’s ruining the party.

And it’s not just me who feels this way. Ask George Will.

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