Tag Archives: RINO

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.

Donald J. Trump: classic, quintessential RINO

The chatter now about Donald J. Trump’s disgraceful performance this week in Helsinki deals with how Republicans in Congress are finally — finally! — beginning to condemn the president’s conduct.

It all seems to circle back to a question I keep asking myself and occasionally pose it publicly on this blog: How does the president command the loyalty of Republicans when he is the quintessential Republican In Name Only.

These same GOP loyalists are so damn quick to hurl epithets at other Republicans who deign to speak out against Trump. Sens. John McCain, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker and, yes, Mitt Romney are now considered RINOs in the world according to the Trumpsters.

Two of the men I mention — Romney and McCain — were the party’s presidential nominees in 2012 and 2008, respectively. They aren’t RINOs.

As for Trump, I’ll refer to a point that one of my sons made this week. The president, he said, once was a pro-choice Democrat and a member of the Reform Party before he became a Republican.

My own view is that Trump lacks any ideological grounding. He doesn’t speak with any knowledge or eloquence about his party’s ideology. He has no moral basis.

So, he blathers in Helsinki about how he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin and disbelieves U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment about Russian election interference. Democrats, quite naturally, are quick to condemn the president.

Republicans? They pull their punches. They speak in milquetoast terms: Trump’s remarks were, um, unfortunate, they were ill-advised.

They continue to rally around a guy who isn’t even a real Republican.

Go … figure.

Donald Trump: RINO in chief

Donald J. Trump keeps proving that he’s a Republican In Name Only, but the real Republicans aren’t buying it. They remain attached to this guy as if it doesn’t what he says or does.

A trillion-dollar-plus infrastructure plan? Is that “fiscal conservatism”? Hardly.

How about the latest example? He has imposed protectionist tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Classic Republican ideology is supposed to oppose this kind of classic liberal protectionism. For the record, I am a free trade advocate, even though I am no GOP guy.

We keep hearing the roar of potential trade wars developing between the United States and our leading trading partners. China? Mexico? Canada? Western Europe? There might be retaliatory measures enacted to respond to the president’s desire to “protect American jobs.”

The president is a classic, categorical RINO. There can be no denying that he is the RINO in chief. I just cannot understand how his “base” keeps insisting he’s the real deal, when he clearly is not!

I have accepted the notion that Trump is succeeding in reshaping the Republican Party into a party of his own making, his own definition and of his own “ideology” — if we can just figure out what it is.

The president’s penchant for disclosing policy via tweet creates even more chaos than he brings simply through his revolving-door personnel changes. He is inclined to say one thing via Twitter, then change his mind when he talks to someone — anyone! — with a different point of view.

A true Republican — as well as a true Democrat — would stick to a set of governing principles and then perhaps tinker around the edges in the quest for common ground with the other party.

Trump’s trade war threats and constant berating of his foes tell me he doesn’t stand for the principles under the party banner on which he was elected to the presidency.

Has the GOP gone on to its great reward?

I fear the time may have arrived to say goodbye, farewell, adieu to a once-great American political party.

The Republican Party may be drawing its last breath in the Age of Donald John Trump Sr.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake has announced he is leaving public office at the end of next year. So is Sen. Bob Corker. They are two standup up guys. They represent the traditional Republican Party. They have sought during their Senate careers to work within a political system that includes Democrats. I don’t recall hearing them use the kind of language that’s become the apparent norm these days during the Trump Era.

Sen. John McCain is no friend or political ally of the president. And no matter how many smiley faces they make in Trump’s company in front of the camera, I do not believe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Sen. Lindsey Graham, or Sen. John Cornyn are actual Trumpkins.

And the members of the Trump brigade need to stop denigrating their service by referring to them as RINOs, Republicans in Name Only. The RINO in chief, Trump, fits that description to a T.

We’re seeing more and more “establishment type” Republicans facing primary challenges, which is what drove Flake to the sideline.

As the Politico article attached to this post indicates, Trump is driving these people away and turning the GOP into a party in his image.

What an image it is, too.

Trump “tells it like it is,” his fans say. No, he tells it like he wants it to be. And for the life of me I cannot understand how a once-great party tolerates someone speaking of others in the manner that he does.

Donald Trump has defied every norm not just of political convention but of personal human decency since announcing his presidential campaign in June 2015.

A man with no public service experience ascended to the most exalted public office on Earth and nearly a year into his term has next to zero to show for it. His response has been to blame others time and again for his failure.

So here we are. The Republican Party — which once prided itself on being the Party of Abraham Lincoln — has become the Party of Donald John Trump.

Rest in ever-loving peace, GOP.

What do we make of this strange new alliance?

Donald J. Trump might have validated what some of us think about him: The president is a Republican In Name Only.

I’m shaking my noggin in disbelief at what happened in the White House today.

The president said in a room with congressional leaders of both parties. There was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan; also there was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

What does Trump do? In the presence of his fellow Republicans, McConnell and Ryan? He sides with Schumer and Pelosi, two of those dreaded Democrats in accepting a plan to fund the government for three months and providing immediate federal relief for Hurricane Harvey victims along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast.

McConnell and Ryan were furious; Schumer and Pelosi were gleeful.

What does this mean for Trump’s ability to govern? Beats me, man.

Read the story from The Hill here.

I am a bit baffled, though, on why Trump accepted the Democrats’ shorter-term debt limit while Republicans had pitched a longer-term deal.

My own Democratic-leaning preference tells me the president is open to negotiate with the “other side,” which many hard-core GOP leaders have been unable or unwilling to do. That’s not a bad thing, in my humble view.

I’m left to wonder whether Donald Trump has just inflicted a potentially mortal wound in his already-tenuous relationship with leaders of his own party. I also wonder if he is able to mend the wound in time for the 2018 mid-term election.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has become big-time pals with “Nancy and Chuck.”

Are mainstream Republicans wising up to Trump?

Peter Wehner is no Republican in Name Only.

Neither is John Danforth, or Mitt Romney, or Jeb Bush, or John McCain. They are among an increasing number of serious-minded individuals — some of whom have been in public service for decades — who are speaking out finally against another prominent member of their political party.

I refer to the president of the United States of America, Donald John Trump.

I mention Wehner in this post because I want to include an essay he’s written for the New York Times.

Here it is.

The overarching issue for the president seems, in my mind, to be fairly clear cut. He’s not a Republican. He’s a classic RINO. He attached himself to a political party because it suited his personal ambition. Besides, he had spent years defaming a Democratic president, Barack Obama, suggesting he wasn’t a “natural born” American, that he was born overseas and, therefore, wasn’t qualified to hold his high office.

It didn’t stop there. He questioned President Obama’s academic credentials. He suggested that the president really didn’t earn Harvard law degree, or that he didn’t excel academically. He said Obama was a fraud.

So, he sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Then, of course, he was elected.

But he’s no Republican. Wehner, who has served under three GOP presidents, laments the wreckage that Trump has brought to the presidency. It’s almost as if Trump has formed a sort of de facto political party that is neither Republican or Democratic. As Wehner writes in the Times:

“The more offensive Mr. Trump is to the rest of America, the more popular he becomes with his core supporters. One policy example: At a recent rally in Phoenix, the president said he was willing to shut down the government over the question of funding for a border wall, which most of his base favors but only about a third of all Americans want.”

Yes, his base — even though it is shrinking — still loves the guy. They cheer his idiotic rants. They proclaim their adherence to an individual who “tells it like it is.” They dismiss any notion that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, that he doesn’t understand how government works, that he has spent his entire adult professional life with one mission only: to enrich himself.

I have conceded many times that this guy has defied the laws of conventional political gravity. The idea that he could be elected after hurling the insults, defaming his foes, and lying virtually daily is in itself a stunning testimony to the national mood — which Trump managed to mine.

Peter Wehner’s essay, though, is worth reading. It reminds us — or at least it should remind us — that governance requires a depth of knowledge and an understanding of history that the 45th president has demonstrated repeatedly that he lacks.

Just think, too, that this criticism is coming from a member of the president’s own political party.