Tag Archives: RINO

Trump: classic RINO

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As we tool through the heart of Trump Country, I am struck by the sight of so many flags flying from businesses, lined up along private property lines and from passing motor vehicles.

I am aware of what the pundits say about places such as West Texas: It’s a heavily Republican region; the folks here just cannot vote for a Democrat.

Except that the argument breaks down immediately. Why and how? Well, I have maintained all along that Donald J. Trump isn’t a Republican. He’s a classic Republican In Name Only.  A RINO if there ever was one.

Why do I suggest such a thing. Let’s see …

The Office of Management and Budget announced this week that the annual federal budget deficit is going to top $3.1 trillion, the largest by far in American history. Real Republicans used to rail against deficit spending. They ran against President Carter in 1980 by vilifying Carter for presiding over a deficit of $43 billion. Trump is silent. Now, you expect silence from Democrats, because they traditionally haven’t worried as much outwardly about deficit spending. Trump never says a word about the deficit.

Then there’s Russia, the country once known as the Soviet Union, aka the Evil Empire. There once was a time when the GOP would look for reasons to condemn the Russians. No more, man. Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is Trump’s boy. Indeed, dictators were among the most hated men on Earth if you listen to Rs talk about them. These days we hear from the leading GOP pol, Trump, that he admires the “leadership” exhibited by Putin, by North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and other despots.

The GOP believed in free trade … once upon a time. Trump now believes in launching trade wars.

Republicans once were the party of “family values.” Trump is the anti-family values Republican. He admits to philandering, which cost him two marriages. His behavior is boorish, snotty, disgraceful.

He ran for president as a Republican because he figured it was the path of least resistance to the White House. It turned out to be a brilliant strategic decision. The GOP swilled the snake oil he was peddling.

Here we are. He’s running for re-election. The GOP has lined up behind its Pied Piper.

He is a classic RINO.

Time to put country ahead of party

This is no great flash, but I want to share with you a conversation I had recently with a prominent West Texas politician.

I won’t divulge his name because he doesn’t know I am going public with this exchange. So, bear with me.

My friend is a Republican through and through. He also happens to believe that Donald J. “Republican In Name Only in Chief” Trump needs to lose the November presidential election.

Trump is a disaster, according to my friend. He has led the country since the very beginning of his time as president down the wrong path. I didn’t ask my friend this, but I should have asked him whether he considers Trump to be a real Republican or just someone who wears a partisan political label for reasons only he knows.

I told my friend that he was “preaching to the choir” in expressing his view of Donald Trump. What I didn’t tell him — but wish I would have done so — was that he needs to take his concerns to the public. He needs to say what he told me out loud, in the proverbial public square.

My friend needs to speak from the heart, tell his West Texas constituents — who likely are going to vote one more time for the carnival barker — that they would make the gravest mistake possible. They shouldn’t endorse Trump’s re-election.

Does this individual need to serve in the office he now serves? Oh, probably not. He is a man of means who doesn’t need the publicly funded salary he draws. Thus, this is my way of saying he shouldn’t care whether he angers his constituents enough for them to vote him out of office.

My friend is far from the only Republican officeholder who carries that belief about Donald Trump. I haven’t spoken to many of them. I just know that others are out there who share my friend’s belief that we cannot afford another four years of Donald Trump.

My friend is a patriot. He loves this country. It’s time for him to demonstrate his love of country by telling the world what he told me.

Powell joins growing GOP parade lining up behind Biden

“I’m very close to Joe Biden in a social matter and on a political matter. I have worked with him for 35, 40 years … And he is now the candidate, and I will be voting for him.”

There you go. Another longtime Republican — a man of considerable standing in military and diplomatic circles — has declared that Donald John Trump will not get his vote for re-election this year.

Retired Army Gen. Colin Powell is going to back the Democratic nominee for president, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

I need to stipulate that Powell — who served as national security adviser, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman and secretary of state for two Republican presidents — is not a Republican In Name Only, a RINO. He’s the real deal.

Gen. Powell also is a man of high principle and honor who says that Trump is unfit to serve as commander in chief of the U.S. military. Trump has veered too far from constitutional principles, according to Powell.

I am not going to venture too far afield with this blog post and suggest that the GOP dam is breaking, that the Republican wall that has surrounded Donald Trump is caving under the stress brought by Trump’s flouting of every possible presidential or constitutional norm.

However, Gen. Colin Powell’s declaration that he’s voting once again for a Democratic opponent of Donald Trump is a big deal.

Yep, Trump has turned our politics on its ear

To my mind, the most glaring example of just how much our political world has been turned upside down occurred in the wake of a noted Republican U.S. senator’s vote to convict Donald Trump of abuse of power.

Think of it more a moment.

Mitt Romney, a Republican’s Republican — the party’s presidential nominee in 2012 — was the lone GOP senator to break ranks with the party by deciding to convict Trump of an impeachable offense during the Senate impeachment trial.

The reaction to Romney’s courageous stand? It was to vilify him by Republicans who are standing foursquare behind the man I consider to be the Republican In Name Only in chief. Yes, Donald Trump is the RINO in chief. He’s a man with no history of backing GOP policies prior to running for president as a Republican in 2016.

The president who never sought a public office prior to seeking the presidency four years ago has clamped a stranglehold on the party. Meanwhile, an actual Republican — such as Mitt Romney — is being pounded, pummeled and pilloried because he was voting his conscience.

The head of the Conservative Political Action Conference told Romney to stay away. Others on the right wing said Romney could place himself in physical danger were he to attend the CPAC event.

Trump, who embodies the phony Republican, has become the real thing in the eyes of those who are beholden to him. Yes, the man with no ideological or moral grounding except to policies that benefit him personally has become the epitome of a political party with which he has no history.

Bizarre.

What if we had a President Pence?

It makes me chuckle a bit when I consider that Republicans who are so wedded to protecting Donald John Trump are actually shunning a true-blue conservative who — in my view — would be suited much better to the agenda many GOPers are touting.

Think of this for a moment.

Suppose Donald Trump were to be convicted in the Senate trial that is about to conclude next week. He gets the boot. Enough Republican senators join their Democratic colleagues in convicting Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What then? We get Mike Pence, presuming he would escape the clutches of the scandal that at times has seemed to ensnare him as well.

If you’re a conservative Republican, wouldn’t that be actually better? I mean, Pence is deeply religious; he has a long record of supporting conservative public policies; he doesn’t even allow himself to be alone with a woman other than his wife. The guy’s as straitlaced as you can get!

Trump? Well, let’s just say he isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Pence is not my kinda guy. I don’t want him sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office … ever!

Still, the question has been rattling around in my noggin: What in the world are Republicans thinking when they stand with a Republican In Name Only like Donald John Trump when they could get the real deal in Mike Pence?

Wondering: Why are conservatives turning on Trump?

Donald John Trump talks occasionally about espousing “conservative” ideals while lambasting “liberal politicians” over their own ideals.

The president campaigned as a sort of “conservative populist,” although there seems to be a counter-intuitive tilt to that description.

Millions of Americans swallowed the bait. Millions more of us spit it out.

For me, I am left to wonder: If the president is such a conservative icon and a believer in conservative principles, ideology and principle … why are so many notable conservative thinkers turning on him?

There might be a couple of thoughts at play here. One is that Trump is not the conservative he purports to be. Another is that actual political conservatives — except for evangelical Christians — are appalled, astonished and aggravated at this man’s history of hideous behavior.

I want to reel off just a few notable conservatives who now count themselves as anti-Trumpers: George F. Will, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist; Jennifer Rubin, a noted conservative columnist for the Washington Post; William Kristol, former VP Dan Quayle’s chief of staff and founder of the now-defunct Weekly Standard; David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times; Bret Stephens, another right-wing columnist for the NYT; Joe Scarborough, a former Florida Republican congressman who’s become a virulent anti-Trump spokesman; David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush 43.

Those are just a few names. They all have significant megaphones from which to comment on the state of political play.

I continue to maintain that Donald Trump is the classic, quintessential Republican In Name Only. He is the RINO’s RINO. I get that he appoints conservative judges and names conservatives to surround him within the White House.

He’s not the real deal. Donald Trump is a panderer who doesn’t understand how government works. He built his business career with one aim, to fatten his wallet and enrich his brand. He is a serial liar who is unwilling to tell the truth at any level.

True conservatives should have nothing to do with this individual. A good many notable conservatives have been willing to speak out and to declare their antipathy to what this man is pitching.

Good for them.

RINO takes on a dangerous new meaning

We hear it with all too alarming frequency. Republican zealots face off against the more stalwart members of their party and hurl an epithet that no actual Republican wants to hear.

That they are Republicans In Name Only. They’re RINOs. They don’t adhere to Republican orthodoxy. They aren’t true believers. They waver too far off the political reservation.

Whatever the hell all of that is supposed to mean.

The term RINO these days seems to be hurled mostly at Republicans who are alarmed at the president of the United States who, in my mind, is the actual RINO. He’s the RINO in Chief.

And yet Donald John Trump has captured what used to be the soul of the Republican Party. I will continue to maintain that Donald Trump is not a Republican in the form that I have come to understand the term.

Republicans used to stand firm on national security. They detested and distrusted military dictators. They wouldn’t be caught dead calling murderous tyrants terms of endearment, such as “smart cookie” and “strong leader.” They used to believe implicitly in our intelligence experts’ assessment of national threats. They used to exercise strict fiscal discipline. They hated budget deficits and bemoaned the national debt. They once stood proudly as the Party of Abraham Lincoln, the president that sought to end slavery. Twentieth-century Republicans stood firmly against segregationist southern Democrats. They would never equate Nazis and Klansmen with people who oppose them.

What the hell has happened to the Republican Party, an organization populated by individuals and groups that speak ill of those in their party who criticize Donald Trump?

So, when a contemporary Republican accuses another GOP member of being a RINO, he or she merely is endorsing the idiocy trumpeted by the con man who got elected president in 2016.

If I were of the Republican Party persuasion, I would embrace the term RINO as high praise.

Listen to the ‘RINO’ chants regarding Will Hurd

I’m pretty sure we’ll all be able to hear the same chant from the Republican ideologues who have taken control of the Party of Trump.

It is that U.S. Rep. Will Hurd’s announcement that he won’t seek re-election from Texas’s 23rd Congressional District is no big deal, that he’s a Republican In Name Only. You know, a RINO who doesn’t stand for the wacked-out notions to which many of today’s Republicans adhere.

What utter crap!

Hurd has been a doctrinaire establishment Republican during his three terms in the U.S. House. His only “sin” in the eyes of the Trump Wing of the GOP is that he has criticized the Carnival Barker in Chief. He was one of four House Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution condemning Donald Trump’s racist tweets against the four Democratic House members, the women he told to “go back where they came from,” even though three of them were born in this country and all of whom are U.S. citizens.

His stance in favor of GOP policies don’t matter to the Trump cabal because Hurd, a former CIA officer and the only black Republican serving in the House, has been critical of Trump.

Hurd is the sixth GOP lawmaker to announce his intention to leave the House. He comes from a congressional district in South Texas with a large and growing Latino population. Hurd defeated a Democratic incumbent to win the seat and has won narrow re-election victories ever since.

He well might have thought he was done for in a district that is trending toward the Democrats.

Whatever, the House is losing a good man, a solid Republican and someone willing to put country ahead of his party.

That should be no one’s definition of a RINO.

Donald Trump: classic RINO

I know a lot of Republicans. They are friends of mine. By that I mean they’re actual friends, people with whom I’ve shared many ups and downs, highs and lows.

I haven’t yet had the nerve to ask any of them in person a question that has been bugging me ever since Donald Trump rode down the escalator in the summer of 2015 to run for president of the United States — as a Republican.

Why do they continue to support a guy who is a classic Republican In Name Only? Trump is the living embodiment of the term RINO.

He had no serious ties to the Republican Party before he declared his presidential candidacy. Those who fancy themselves as pure-bred Republicans, descendants of the Party of Lincoln, surely were aghast when he launched his campaign by invoking xenophobic rhetoric against Muslims and Latino immigrants.

Trump’s international trade policy is about as anti-Republican as any I can think of. He is a protectionist in the mold of labor-union bosses who tilt heavily toward the Democratic Party. Most GOP politicians I’ve encountered favor free trade, detest tariffs and do whatever they can avoid international trade wars; they damn sure avoid those wars when it involves our allies and strong trading partners.

Republicans used to detest federal budget deficits, let alone deficits that spiral out of control. That’s what the current GOP president is delivering with his tax cuts coupled with spending increases.

GOP politicians used to stand foursquare behind our intelligence community and law enforcement officials. Not this POTUS. He undermines and undercuts the CIA, the DNI and other spooks who say in unison that Russia interfered with our 2016 election. He blasts the FBI and the Justice Department, two agencies that usually are the darlings of GOP officials.

Donald Trump alienates our allies. He eschews virtually every normal diplomatic channel to communicate with them. Republicans normally would chafe against all of that, too.

But they don’t. They let Trump trample all over them.

Too few of them call out the president for what he is: a RINO. Yet they blast others of their own party to have the stones to criticize the president for being unfaithful to the political banner under which Donald Trump was elected as president.

Weird.

Trump admits to preferring ‘Democrat Party’ epithet

Donald J. Trump flew off the rails on one of those impromptu campaign-rally riffs in West Virginia … and proceeded to acknowledge what many of us have known all along.

Republicans like referring to their political foes as members of the “Democrat Party,” even though the party to which they refer is the Democratic Party.

Trump said he likes using the term “Democrat” as an adjective because it grates on Democrats and because their party — according to Trump and other Republicans — isn’t too democratic these days.

It’s an idiotic and feeble attempt to stick it in the eye of those who oppose GOP doctrine and the rants of the Republican (In Name Only) in chief, Donald Trump.

And that brings me to what’s so damn funny about Trump’s association with the once-great Republican Party. He’s the classic RINO, the very personification of the term that hard-core Republicans used to describe the more moderate members of their political party.

Trump had zero political grounding prior to announcing his candidacy for the presidency. He wasn’t involved in partisan politics. His entire adult life was dedicated to one thing only: Trump’s personal enrichment.

So now that he has hijacked the Republican Party, he claims to be a political purist, the standard-bearer of a party that once stood for inclusion and that once joined hands with a Democratic president — Lyndon Baines Johnson — in advancing the cause of civil rights and voting rights for African-Americans.

Listening to Trump proclaim his desire to refer to those on the other side of the aisle as belonging to the “Democrat Party” tells me only one thing: He is pandering to that shrinking, but still vocal, political base that hangs on this carnival barker’s every word.