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OPINION

The RINO Guide to the GOP Primaries

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Do you call yourself a conservative but consider yourself to be centrist-curious? Looking for a little help on how your heresies from true conservatism fit in with the crop of mediocre GOP candidates? Well, fear no longer! The RINO guide is guaranteed to match your betrayal of conservatism with the candidate of your choice!
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Are you... more concerned with being on the winning team than believing in something? It's tough, you know, having principles. You understand that. The American public so very seldom know what they really want - and that's especially variable based on geography. Considering that you think that it's important for a Republican to be in office, no matter what that Republican actually believes in, this can be harrowing.

Thankfully there's a candidate for you! And even better news, he's a frontrunner! You should really consider voting for Mitt Romney, who, like another Massachusetts politician, can often be found being for something before he was against it. With your penchant for being on the winning team, no matter what that team's philosophy is, you're sure to be happy joining the frontrunning bandwagon.

Are you... a revolutionary red-meat conservative who doesn't mind taking your fair share of political gamesmanship? It's easy to rail against pork-barrel projects, after all, but it's not incumbent upon you to actually set an example. If everyone else gets their piece of meat, you should be able to get yours too!

You're the kind of person who laments government spending on Congressional vanity projects but wishes they'd fix that pothole that's kind of inconvenient on the street outside. And you'll champion that letter-writing campaign to your local Congressperson when the feds step in and repair your pothole to the cost to the taxpayer of $1.4 million. You've got someone: Michele Bachmann! Jump aboard her train and watch the federal dollars roll out for whatever tiny infrastructure project in your neighborhood you've been whining about. After all, she's notable for her frequent requests to Obama's Department of Transportation to put those pork projects to work back in her home district!

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Are you... a Republican who's only into the whole party thing because you care about the fate of the nuclear family? It's easy to be concerned with cultural issues when you don't really concern yourself with how the federal government is spending money. Hell, other Republicans will tell you what to think about that! You probably don't even remember what "No Child Left Behind" or "Medicare Part D" are. But the other Republicans told you to sign your name on the dotted line. And you did - and you even voted for Arlen Specter, a guy who was literally a RINO toward the end of his tenure in Washington, in a primary against a true movement conservative.

If you don't particularly care about the Bush years, when the Republican brand took credibility hits left and right while implementing big-government "compassionate conservatism" and presided with confidence over a massive expansion of the welfare and regulatory state, Rick Santorum is your man! He's a Bush big-government conservative, except he doesn't think the government is involved enough past the door of your house. Your family is falling apart, and Rick Santorum's government will be there to save it.

Are you... someone with a few vaguely conservative principles but consider yourself "too smart" to be stuck in traditional boxes? You may think these politicians are a bunch of clowns and there are easy ways to solve those "big problems" everyone hates if only someone put you in charge. The "Washington Establishment" just won't listen to these great ideas - never mind that you've actually worked with the levers of power for years. You think that if you were in power, people would finally, magically start listening to you.

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In fact, when your own side has tuned you out, you're even ready to go work with Nancy Pelosi. People say global warming is a problem, right? Well sit right next to Nancy Pelosi on the couch and pull the lever for Newt Gingrich. Because the only reason Washington didn't change when he had power the first time around is that the Speaker of the House is too powerless of a position, and the Presidency will finally be able to give him the platform to put those "big ideas" into motion.

Are you... seemingly the perfect movement conservative, only you've got a lot of Hispanic neighbors who you'd like to remain friends with? It might be that those other conservatives you associate with don't actually know any immigrants, but you, because of your ties to the community, know that it's "inhumane" to acknowledge that illegal immigrants have broken the law. You don't want to deport them, and you don't even want to build a fence to keep illegal immigrants out!

Heck, it'd be downright mean to even deny their children a taxpayer-subsidized education. And since you're just as compassionate, you'd love to vote for Rick Perry. Perry's a guy who understands the real challenge of illegal immigration, and thinks the traditional conservative approach to the issue is "heartless."

Are you... someone who really agrees that the American government is the source of most of the problems in the world, both here and abroad? If the government can't get America's problems right, how in the world could it get Iraq's? or Afghanistan's? Or Iran's? Or Israel's?

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The answer is to dismantle the government everywhere! Bring all the troops home and ignore the safety of some of America's key allies, like Israel. And the Republican establishment has so strongly sold out to this idea that American military power can be a force for good. In fact, you were so disillusioned by Ronald Reagan that you voted against the Republican party in 1988! If that describes you, your ideal candidate is Ron Paul! He's the RINO who is so strongly a RINO that he actually ran against his own party in a national election.

Are you... an open-minded temperate moderate who is horrified by the extremism of the Republican Party? Do you secretly plan to undermine your boss a mere two years after he hired you for a very important position? Do you think the GOP has become a horrific collection of people who hate scientists and intellectuals?

If so, it might be time to a good, long look at Jon Huntsman. He's the "moderate" Republican choice, and he made his hay by working as Barack Obama's ambassador to China and taking on his own party on evolution and climate change.

Sometimes, with so many "true conservatives" running around, it can be tough for a RINO to find a place in the modern Republican party. However, RINOs are truly lucky to have so many candidates who have betrayed pure conservative principles running in the race this time. Follow this handy guide, and a RINO will be able to find their favored candidate in no time.

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