The future of the Republican Party may be seen if one looks closely at the other side of the aisle in today's Congress as well as in secondary positions in the administration. After years of hearing references to RINO's, (Republicans In Name Only), we now are beginning to count the DINO's. A new President who was swept into office on a wave of Progressive support is finding his path to the restoration of our nation blocked by Senators and Representatives who profess to be of his own party.
The most prominent of these may well be Secretary-of-State Hillary Clinton. Her history since her failed attempt to establish universal medical care at the beginning of her husband's first term has been one of compromising and conceding to opponents the very heart of the principles which she professes to espouse. After eight years of watching her husband as his major successes were in the area of maintaining and improving the status quo to the benefit of the financial masters, she was so well schooled in the politics of survival as a politician that her record for supporting the policies of George W. Bush is all but unblemished. In the Senate, she diligently worked to become the leader of a "half-a-loaf coalition" that we may call the DINO's.
These DINO's are a combination of the Blue Dog Democrats and some almost-Republican opportunists who insist that we must cling to "the way we've always done it." (If we have always done it right, why is it not working?) In coalition with a few "moderate Republicans," they have done an admirable job of foot-dragging and hampering the passage of President Obama's most progressive proposals. On the other hand, under the influence of Secretary Clinton and the many other retreads from the Bush and Clinton administrations, the President too often has no choice but to follow their lead into the old tactics of compromise and coalition in order to make any progress at all.
The Progressive movement watches, aghast, as it is marginalized by the title of "fringe groups" and the "middle way" is presumed to be the proper path. The younger members of Congress are held in check by the seniority system which allows them little influence until they have become sufficiently "trained" to be allowed committee chairmanships and other positions which would allow them to assist in the needed reforms. There may be hope if the Progressives can continue to cling together in common cause through another election cycle or two and dislodge many of the bought-and-paid-for old veterans who like things just the way they are.
Both parties are represented in the House and the Senate but that may be misleading. There may well be the same sort of crisis in the Democratic Party as the Republicans now suffer. The result will be a lot of aisle-crossing as more Progressive members are added, pushing the "moderates" to the right and to the left as the parties re-align in an effort to keep their power. The future of both parties is currently represented in Congress but, with the continued efforts of "we, the people," the lines will be re-drawn. The war-mongers and mind-benders will be pushed out to the Libertarians and other militant parties, the present middle will be the right, and the Democrats will become more Progressive in their attempts to restore a nation that is free and democratic.
This occurrence will be dependent upon maintaining the fervor of the common people to re-establish their power. With each election, as more young people are inspired to public service and more war veterans return home with the determination that nothing like the George Bush administration ever happens again, we will become "a more perfect union." Then and only then will we be able to proudly boast of the government which was visualized by the Founders in forming our precious Constitution.
This writer is eighty years old and has spent a half century working with handicapped and deprived people and advocating on their behalf while caring for her own workung-class family. She spends her "Sunset Years" in writing and struggling with The System.