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The GOP's Shrinking Tent



Joined: 4/14/2013
Posts: 13
awdavis2014
When you hear the word “rhino,” you might think of a large tusked mammal roaming the savanna of Africa. But lately, certain members of the American Right have given the term a new spelling and a new meaning.

For those of you who don’t share my enthusiasm for the Far Right and all of their hilarious little sayings and slogans, that new spelling is “RINO,” and it stands for “Republican in name only.”

The directions for using this buzzword are quite simple really: Apply liberally to those who don’t share your conservative stances on every single issue and to those who want to do unspeakable things like talk to Democrats and work towards compromises-you know, Un-American stuff.

Most recently, my own Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick came under fire on social media for being a RINO. The reason? An aide of his told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Congressman would support a clean continuing resolution bill to end the government shutdown.

This shutdown-the latest stunt by the GOP’s Far Right hardliners to go after the Affordable Care Act-has caused 800,000 federal employees to be furloughed. If it is allowed to continue past October 17- the date at which the federal government exhausts its ability to borrow money- the ripple effects for the American economy could be catastrophic. One would think that the right thing to do for a representative of the people would be to work to end the shutdown, but that’s just the kind of thing that makes a Republican a RINO now.

Republican strategists like to talk about building a “big tent” and accepting diverse viewpoints as a way to revive a party that has lost the popular vote in five of the last six Presidential elections. But if Republicans keep letting Tea Party types determine the direction of the party and drive out moderates with terms like “RINO,” all they’re doing is alienating moderate voters.

You can say what you want about the Democrats, but the term “DINO” remains unused.
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