The Rhinoceros and the Dinosaur
Forget elephants and donkeys as U.S. political mascots, they’ve been replaced by the rhinoceros and the dinosaur.
Moderate Republican Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) recently decided not to run for reelection because of the political gridlock gripping this nation.
In today’s political climate there is no room for moderates like Snowe or Joe Lieberman. Every single vote on every single issue within the ideological wars have the political thought police in both parties tracking offenders with computerized precision.
Senator Snowe is relentlessly harassed within her own party ranks as being – GASP! – a rhinoceros… a RINO… a Republican In Name Only!
The rhinoceros is the new Republican mascot.
RINO – Republican in name only – is the term used by one Republican to describe another Republican whose political voting record or views are not considered “conservative enough”.
RINO is a relatively new concept in the political lexicon. According to Wikipedia, the term RINO was invented in the wake of Bill Clinton’s sweeping Democratic presidential victory in 1992 when journalist John DiStaso described changes in New Hampshire’s Statehouse saying:
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.
– John DiStaso,”Merrill Taps Scamman, Strome and a Thomson”, New Hampshire Union Leader, 12/31/1992
But who decides what is “conservative enough”? There is no accepted definition you can look up in Merriam-Webster.
The extremists in the Republican Party decide what is “conservative enough”. They decide who the RINOs are. Their influence is stamped all over the 2012 Republican primaries.
The dinosaur is the new Democratic mascot.
Democrats, not to be outdone by Republicans in the ideological witch hunt game, call their turncoats DINOs.
A DINO, of course, is a Democrat in name only. They are Democrats not of the purist progressive faith. They are electronically exposed and politically hanged by extremist progressive ideologues within the Democratic ranks.
Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is the most commonly slandered DINO. As an incumbent Democrat in 2006 he was even ousted as his own party’s nominee for reelection. He ran and won as a 3rd party candidate before being reluctantly accepted back into the fold.
There is political gridlock in the United States. We see it every day.
Democrats blame Republicans for all problems and Republicans blame Democrats. Finger pointing is rampant. Its found from the lowliest city council meetings all the way up to the President.
Bipartisanship is the joke of the day.
Its got so bad in recent years that Republicans and Democrats have turned on their own party memberships, accusing them of ideological impurity. Republicans are not conservative enough or Democrats are not progressive enough for the extremists within their party’s ranks. The extremists are calling the shots now.
Until this country can overcome its own ideological divisions, we don’t stand a snowball’s chance of solving the nation’s real problems.