The RINO Label

In a U.S. News Readers' Letters and Comments blog titled Is There Room for Moderates in the GOP? readers voiced a few opinions about the question. Some commenters believe that moderate republicans are really Republicans In Name Only (RINO) and others feel the party should be inclusive.. here are a few excerpts from their feedback:
  • We don't need RINOs like Collins, Snowe, or
    Colin Powell.
  • There is no such thing as a moderate
    Republican anymore.
  • What's the difference between a part-time Republican and a Democrat ... not much.
  • It takes more than calling yourself a Republican to be one.
  • Republicans, like Democrats, reflect their constituents. Otherwise they do not
    get elected.
  • No more moderates to admire like Bob Dole or Jack Kemp.
I do not like the RINO label. I think that it is a way that some marginalize and minimize people with opposing views. Interesting that one of the comments mention another Kansas Bob.. former senator Bob Dole was a great Republican leader even though he was a moderate.

The truth of the matter is that Republicans are losing national elections because they are not attracting centrists and moderates. Loudmouth squawk tv/radio entertainers are alienating the folks that swing elections. In an attempt to coalesce around right-wing ideology these folks are ceding elections to many moderate Democrats.

I think the GOP is at a crossroads.. I hope they can find their way through all the rhetoric and emerge as the big tent party that they used to be. They desperately need people like Colin Powell.


  1. Amen. I know you and I have talked a lot about this lately; I think MY answer to the U.S. News question is yes - or the GOP is going to find itself a very small party indeed.

  2. It is my hope that the GOP will moderate itself so the likes of Powell can find a voice within the party. It is my fear that if the country gets worse the political landscape will become increasingly radicalized and both the radicals of left and right will co-opt political power because of the fear of the masses.

  3. Moderates and republicans does not equal elections won. What moderate has won an election. When they win, what has been the result.

  4. If Collin Powell is a Republican but votes for Obama, how does his Republican party differ from a Democrats. What's the point of two parties if everyone is trying to be left of moderate.

  5. "What moderate has won an election."

    ..maybe the question is more like what candidate appeals more to a moderate? Each party has it's conservative or liberal base which seldom crosses over.. so the issue to me anyway is how do you not alienate the moderate voters.

    About Colin Powell endorsing and voting for Obama.. I think it says more about the GOP than it does Powell.

  6. As one person recently wrote... having a 25% share is great for a network like FOX News but not too good for a political party.

    In terms of comparison to the Democratic party, those who have won elections tend to be more towards the middle (Bill Clinton, Obama) while those who are more liberal (Dean, Kerry, Kucinich) rarely win on the national stage.

  7. Powell got the candidate he wanted in John McCain. If he got McCain and then voted for the Democrat, then how can he call himself a Republican in the first place?

    I'm of the opinion that the Republican party does not need people like Powell and is in fact harmed by them. Bush was a social conservative, and he won two elections. If I recall correctly, the mid-term congressional elections where the Republicans gained control of both houses was historic.

    Things have not changed that drastically since 2004. Obama won because the public was tired of the war in Iraq. Period. There will be ups and downs as there always have been. Who knows, 2012 may be another year for the Democrats, but if it is, then the tides will turn towards the Republicans in 2016.


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