by Jeff Matthews

You heard it right. It’s bad enough Congress is chock-full of RINO’s. We now have to be on guard against the new Stealth RINO’s

Like many reading this article, I have been through degrees of political stages in my life. While our experiences may vary as to specifics, I’ll lay my cards on the table. I went from straight-ticket Republican in the 1980’s, to a doubter of the GOP (but still mostly faithful) in the 1990’s, to disillusioned about 4-5 years ago, to reluctantly thinking of giving some, but not all, of them a 2nd chance in the 2008 election, to coming to conclude, as of now, “They all suck so bad, I don’t know why I even bother to care about politics and government anymore.”

We voters have been suckers for too long. Federal politicians of today are, for the most part, intelligent, but disingenuous. They are great at dishing out rhetoric and spin, and they are most acutely skilled at avoiding substance as much as possible. It is marketing over substance.

Doesn’t this sound like what RINO’s do? Yep! That’s how the acronym was devised. But beware, you Republicans out there. And for you who try to publicly proclaim your new “Independence” but know damn-well you’ll be voting Republican all the way, beware to you, as well.

There is a new breed of RINO called the “Stealth RINO” (I coined that phrase). These squirrely Republicans who have mutilated the Constitution, wrecked the government, wrecked the middle-class and who have run up deficits are pulling a new marketing trick out of their bags. It’s a little, dark vial just to the “right” of their snake oil. Get a load of this….

These clowns are calling other Republicans “RINO’s” just to garner points. It’s a great gimmick. After all, anyone who is a Republican and calls out another Republican as a traitor has to be the “real McCoy” – or so they want us to believe.

After reviewing a recent article by Gary Wood, I saw this and realized it for the first time. I knew these “real” conservatives were full of hot air, but I finally got my proof.

The article quoted a Wall Street Journal article and was about Senator Jim DeMint and the rift he is supposedly creating in the Republican Party. This is from the article:

Sen. DeMint is not endearing himself to the leadership of the RNC. What is he doing while Cornyn is trying to get more gang members to help with the rumbles planned in 2011? “I’m at the point where it doesn’t matter if we win if we don’t believe in anything,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “There’s no need to nursemaid somebody to the general election if they’re just going to come up here and vote like the Democrats do.”

DeMint is apparently attempting to revive an old position of statesmanship, people who believe in something like our Constitution, an Oath of Office, federalism, and people

After reading Gary’s article, I decided I’d test DeMint against this claimed position. What I found is that DeMint fails.

Before I show why, I want to expressly make it clear that this is not intended to be a slam on Gary Wood. He has devoted much effort to our Tenther Movement, and much gratitude is owed for that. What I am suggesting is that, in this case, DeMint was mischaracterized because it is easy to let pass spin and rhetoric. Quite honestly, if I wasn’t piddling around and hadn’t decided to check, the odds would have been 10-1 that this would have gotten past me, too. I really knew very little about DeMint and still do know very little, except what’s below.

In any event, we all know, as Tenthers, that the federal government has no business entangling itself in issues over abortion, drug laws, education, employment, etc. ad nauseum. The TAC slogan I hear so often is that we expect our politicians, state and federal, to vote “in favor of the Constitution of the United States. Every issue. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.”

So, let’s test DeMint on his conduct and positions as one of our federal Senators.

On abortion/reproduction:

  • Voted YES on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted YES on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted YES on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)
  • Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life. (Oct 2003)
  • Voted YES on forbidding human cloning for reproduction & medical research. (Feb 2003)
  • Voted YES on funding for health providers who don’t provide abortion info. (Sep 2002)
  • Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
  • Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)


On education:

  • Voted YES on 03/11/1999 Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999
  • Voted YES on 07/20/1999 Teacher Empowerment Act
  • Voted YES on 10/21/1999 Academic Achievement for All Act
  • Voted YES on 12/13/2001 No Child Left Behind Act
  • Voted YES on 07/27/2002 Andean Trade Preference Act Extension [yes, there is education money in there.]
  • Voted YES on 04/30/2003 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
  • and many others.


On drug policies:
His responses to Project VoteSmart’s survey on the issue:

Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding drugs.

X a) Support mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs.
b) Expand federally sponsored drug education and drug treatment programs.
c) Decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
d) Allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medicinal purposes.
X e) Increase border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.
f) Eliminate federal funding for programs associated with the “war on drugs.”
g) Other or expanded principles


  • Voted YES on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism. (Sep 2001)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC. (Oct 1999)


On employment:

  • Voted YES on terminating legal challenges to English-only job rules. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on limiting farm subsidies to people earning under $750,000. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted YES on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25. (Mar 2005)
  • Voted YES on end offshore tax havens and promote small business. (Oct 2004)


So, there’s a glimpse into a self-proclaimed, self-promoting “real” conservative. If DeMint is a true conservative, then true conservatives don’t much care to operate the federal government within its Constitutional confines.

Ok. Alright. DeMint’s been exposed. So, now that he’s a man’s man among conservatives, we have to ask ourselves who we are. Are we Tenthers? Or are we Tenthers in Name Only (TINO’s)?

The moral here is that there are hazards everywhere out there. If you want to be a Tenther, you have to start taking it seriously. Don’t get caught up in spin and labels. Do the research. If you want to go by party labels, rhetoric and spin, don’t call yourself a Tenther. Join CPAC, or something else, instead. If you have time to read this blog, you have time to do simple Google searches to look up candidates and find their histories. It’s the only way to win this war. It’s either that, or continue to get suckered again, again and again.

Look. There are lots of us in this Tenther Movement who align with Republicans, whether they like to admit it or not. “Republican” has become a dirty word to some, and so they now tend to say they are “Conservative,” but rest assured, you who call yourselves “Conservative” are not going to be voting Democrat. Right?

What we need to do is watch each other’s backs as members of the Tenther Movement. Realistically, very few will vote Democrat, so, the real gain is not in exposing Democrats, but exposing Republicans who are thought to take the Constitution seriously, but who do not. All of us need to expose these people, rather than be quick to endorse them because they give a good speech and fill it with “tough guy, conservative” rhetoric.

As to DeMint’s big talk and posturing as a true conservative, rhetoric doesn’t cut it. He can talk the talk by calling out some of his comrades as RINO’s, but he doesn’t walk the walk. As we say in Texas, he is all hat and no cattle. People like DeMint are so “all over the place,” the only conclusion which a person can reach about his positions/record is he doesn’t even let the Constitution factor into his agenda.

killed-the-constitutionNice try, DeMint. But we Tenthers aren’t suckers, and we’ve got each other’s backs. You might spout off a fantastic rhetoric about fiscal conservatism, and you might even be a fair amount more fiscally-conservative than some of the others, but you are FAR, FAR away from our standards.

You might want to learn more about us, because, the way things are going at the national level, it will be our way, or you and your ilk are going to be hitting the highway.

Jeff Matthews [send him email] is a practicing attorney in Houston. He graduated from the University of Texas, School of Law in 1993 and was licensed that year.

Copyright © 2010 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit to the author and this website is given.

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