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Hunting for RINOs

The RINO – Republican In Name Only.

A common and potent term used by conservative Republicans who believe that a sitting officeholder or a candidate has fallen short of certain political ideals.

The term was first applied to modern-day Republicans with Teddy Roosevelt in the early 1900s. Even Republican icon Ronald Reagan was dubbed a RINO. 

The first known usage of the acronym (RINO) is credited to John DiStaso who, according to Vox, used it in an article for the Manchester Union Leader in December 1992. DiStaso is a longtime New Hampshire political reporter who recalls writing DINO and RINO in those days. “Bill Clinton would have been proud of what was happening on the third-floor Senate corner at the State House this week … The Republicans were moving out and the Democrats and “RINOs” (Republicans In name Only) were moving in.”

Today, it is a term of derision.

Lou Dobbs called out House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “He is too much of a — I’ll be kind, if not RINO, a middle-of-the-roader. I personally believe him to be outright, a RINO,” according to The Hill. Donald Trump called out South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham for calling it “inappropriate” to offer pardons to the defendants of the Jan. 6 riot. “Well, Lindsey Graham is wrong. I mean Lindsey is a nice guy, but he’s a RINO (Republican In Name Only). Texas governor Greg Abbott has been on the receiving end four times, according to the Dallas Observer. Closer to home, the Honor Pennsylvania Super PAC has hammered away on U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz as a RINO in campaign ads. 

The days of Ronald Reagan seem long gone in today’s Republican Party. The iconic Republican president was fond of saying, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.”  That’s certainly not the case today within the GOP. The 2020 election changed everything. 

“There’s more self-hate than there was before,”  said John Thomas, a Republican strategist who works on House campaigns across the country. “Ten years ago, we’d argue about who was more pro-gun, who was more pro-life. Now, my clients are going RINO hunting, which is a level of disdain that was not there before in our party.”

These aren’t simple match-ups between Trump and anti-Trump forces, or isolated intraparty feuds, says David Siders of Politico. Safe Republicans are being hounded by challengers from coast to coast, in many cases spurred on by Trump directly. Redistricting and retirements have further scrambled the established order in many places, opening up seats and drawing fields filled with combative candidates eager to move the party in a different direction. Combine that with high levels of energy — and anger — in the party base, and it’s a recipe to remake the party from the ground up.

The primaries will also test the durability of the Republican coalition that Trump shaped as a candidate and as president — a political legacy marked by significant losses for the GOP in America’s suburbs, but gains among white working-class voters and, to a lesser extent, Latino voters.

15 Responses

  1. Stop calling Republicans “conservative.” They are not. They are a right-wing, reactionary, autocratic, anti-democratic, anti-science, anti-tax, anti-vaccine, anti-public health, anti-regulation, Trump worshiping cult, unfit to hold any elected office at any level of government. Use of the word “conservative” is now an oxymoron. It use to mean keeping things as they are, not regressing and reversing to make things worse or evil. The Republicans”have no legislative agenda,for the rest of the next session of the Congress, except blocking Biden and his agenda.” Senator Mitch McConnell. Not even aid for tornado victims in his home state of Kentucky. That is not governing or representing the people to ” provide for the general welfare,”of all’ not just the 1% or ” building a “more perfect union.” That is obstructionism. That is not compromising. Vote all of the Republicans out, except for Liz Cheyney!

    1. The idea that ANYONE in the house or senate is in a Trump loving cult is one of the dumbest things I’ve heard lately. With a possible exception or two our government is a bunch of self serving politicians that would happily watch most of America die of starvation than risk their gravy train.
      Wake up and smell the coffee fella.

  2. If the RINOs and DINOs got together they would actually be a new majority party. Progressive Ds are hunting DINOs as well.

  3. In Pennsylvania, the RINOS have dominated the Republican Party there for such a long time. Since there are so many RINOS running for statewide office, it seems like they are not going to win anything. History is repeating itself, which the Republicans in 2016 had trouble finding a RINO alternative to Donald Trump. None of the RINOS will win against Democrats this coming November. That is why I am going to support Kathy Barnette in May for the nomination.

  4. it’s simple. If you aren’t a Trumpster who questions the legitimacy of the election, you’re a RINO.

    Everything else flows, including illegals, afghanistan, inflation, cheena.

    this eliminates the three carpetbaggers running for senate, based upon lotsa negative ads already aired; Bartos personally told me he wouldn’t challenge 2020, so he’s “history.”

    The purity of Mastriano/Daniels/Barnette will capture the base.

    1. And they will go down to Historic losses in the General Election. In the Gov. Race about 62-38. Senate a bit closer.

        1. If the R’s get lucky and draw Fetterman as a candidate, then perhaps there is a chance. The only scenario I see for a R win is Bartos squeeking over Fetterman. If Connor Lamb gets the nomination all bets are off. If Mastriano goes against Shapiro he will get slaughtered. Barletta would do a few points better but still lose badly. Good luck.

    2. Sure, let’s question the legitimacy of the election. Let’s spend a lot of taxpayer money to re-analyze Pennsylvania’s results – just like Arizona where they spent millions of dollars only to find out that Biden won by a bigger margin than what we thought. Yeah, let’s do that!

  5. The problem is that candidates who appealed to the Bucks and Montgomery Counties Republicans like Sen Corman are being overwhelmed by this title wave of Trumpers who are going to lose Gov this Fall. Oz is superficial but more of a problem for Dems. Pa is not a politically progressive state and is not Alabama ether. It’s centrist and driving Rhinos out of the party hurts R’s.

  6. I remember a day when being a Republican meant you believed in personal responsibility and it was the other side that encouraged you to not take responsibility – to identify with being a victim. Strange that there are some who now are in thrall to a man who has never taken personal responsibility for anything in his life. A man who some claim is a “great businessman” but has declared bankruptcy 21 times in his life and doesn’t want anyone to see his real financials. Who feels that military service is for chumps and apparently feels its ok to assault law enforcement officers. Good luck to you all in the future.

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