Chuck Grassley and The RINO Wing
By: Nathan Tabor
There hasn’t been a more controversial piece of Congressional and Senate legislation than the proposed health care program in my memory. In spite of polls revealing a majority of Americans oppose the current health care proposals, the Democrats are pushing hard to pass their legislation as quickly as possible.
The American people are seeking to have their voices heard through their elected officials including conservatives, but the US Senate appears to be oblivious to that fact — including Republican senators such as Iowa’s Chuck Grassley.
Rather than fighting this attempt at an oppressive government takeover of the private sector, Senator Grassley appears to be more concerned with garnering positive press by not just remaining silent while Democrats shove their health care bill down the throats of the American people, but by proposing his own amendment to bill titled America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009, the brainchild of Democrat Senator Max Baucus of Montana.
And what is Sen. Grassley’s contribution? An amendment that will allow the Internal Revenue Service to interfere in the internal operation of non-profit, tax-exempt organizations including Christian churches and so-called faith-based organizations.
For decades, the federal and state governments understood the Constitutional protections afforded religious group such as churches, charities and other organizations. The First Amendment declares religious groups’ autonomy from government interference or intrusion. And who more than a self-professed conservative Republican should be cognizant of that legal protection.
According to critics — many of whom are registered Republicans — Sen. Grassleyâ€™s long-armed amendment will use a religious group’s tax-exempt status as a rational for government officials to force unconstitutional disclosures. In other words, Grassley wishes to corner religious groups into a Catch 22 position: a church or faith-based group may retain their tax exemption, but they must also give up their First Amendment rights by yielding up excessive information about their internal policies. Or they may exercise their constitutional rights, but lose their 501(c)(3) status.
Grassley’s amendment is the antithesis of Republican political philosophy including smaller, unintrusive government especially in religious affairs. It seems that Grassley is a RINO (Republican in name only) and he is part of the reason the Democrats now control the White House, the House of Representatives and the US Senate.
RINOs are a great asset to the Democrat Party and the news media. Liberals know they have little credibility, therefore when they wish to make a point they mention that Republicans also want what they want. By Republicans they mean RINOs. Democrats believe Iraq is another Vietnam? Well, so does Republican Senator Chuck Hagel. Democrats are fearful that a Justice Alito may overturn Roe v. Wade? Well, so does Republican Senators Arlen Specter, Olympia Snow and Lincoln Chaffee. The Democrats fear we might be “abusing” terrorists? Well so does Senator John McCain. Democrats wish to control one-sixth of the US economy — health care — well so do Republicans such as Chuck Grassley.
The GOP is in a lot of trouble and that trouble has nothing to do with Tom DeLay or Jack Abramoff or Scooter Libby or George W. Bush. The Republican Party is being co-opted by liberals who call themselves “moderates” or even “conservatives.”
When the GOP articulates conservative values and strategies for the future, they win elections. When they try to be Democrats, they lose. They may believe it’s the “wacky right-wing” that’s hurting their party, but it’s actually the “wacky left-wing” that cost them their power. Who wants to vote for a Republican who behaves like a Democrat?
When conservatives get all fired up, armed with the truth they are unbeatable. But few in the GOP are doing much to get them fired up.
Nathan Tabor is an author, columnist and political consultant.