Ever since the Republican Party evolved to where today it is far more conservative than it even was during the Reagan years, it has become popular to refer to a Republicans who strays from the new orthodoxy as a RINO (Republican in Name Only). The hard part for me is trying to figure out who is the appointed chieftain(s) that gets to decide whether one is the real deal Republican or not, and how was this head knocker coroneted.
It was like watching a movie listening to the candidates for the U.S. Senate in the Republican Primary tear each other up, the common theme being that one or the other was too liberal on one issue or another. You would have thought that the object of their invective was Democrat Michelle Nunn. Now that David Perdue is the candidate, all of a sudden the others have rallied behind him to oppose Nunn, declaring that she is all the things that fellow Republicans once said about Perdue---and each other. I ask again, how can a voter know what he is getting with a Republican candidate these days?
I think it is fair for any Republican to question the bona fides of someone else who claims to be a Republican but in fact supports mostly Democratic positions. So why is it that Zell Miller, a lifelong Democrat, is a hero among Republicans? This is a man who became governor and senator because of the connections he made in the Democratic Party (recall that it was Governor Roy Barnes who appointed him to the vacant senate seat), who brought him up in the party, who promoted him, and did everything to help advance his career. Then, as a Democrat, in 2004, Miller gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention that nominated George Bush for his second term.
Miller has used the trite expression that he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the party left him. The big difference between him and Ronald Reagan, though, is that Reagan at least changed parties. Miller has not only not changed parties, he maintains that he is still a Democrat and always will be.
A week ago Miller decided to prove his Democratic loyalties by endorsing Michelle Nunn. At the same time he endorsed Republican Nathan Deal for a second term as governor. Miller did one good thing for Georgia that I can think of, and that is the one thing he will always and forever be remembered for, the one thing that will always be said whenever his name is spoken, and that is to create the HOPE Scholarship. I applaud him for that. As for Nunn, I would try to distance myself from this duplicitous politician as gracefully as possible.
I find it puzzling that Republicans hold Miller in such high esteem. He is a traitor within his own party. What about that makes him a hero? What about that makes him a man of high moral character? The best analogy that I can come up with is to imagine that Miller’s wife worked to put him through school, waited patiently at home while he was serving in the Marine Corps, and gave up her career to raise their children. Then Miller acquires a mistress, but he doesn’t have the decency to at least be discreet. No, he flaunts his mistress in his wife’s face on national TV and public gatherings, all the while poking a finger in his wife’s eye for the whole world to observe. That is how I perceive Miller, a man who was an adroit politician, a man who abandoned his family (Democratic Party), a man who has played Republicans, a man who has no credibility remaining, a man who personifies the word treachery, a man who deserves to be remembered for the HOPE, and a man who should know that it’s time to fade away.