DINOs (Democrats in Name Only)

We’ve all read a great deal about RINOs. Whether the term is always accurately or judiciously applied, the acronym for Republicans in Name Only has become an oft-used one. Yet, I have never heard of DINOs, though I have met many of them in the past year. 

Who are the Democrats in Name Only whose paths have crossed mine? They are more the mirror image rather than the counterparts of their Republican brethren. While the most basic definition of a RINO might be “a politician, pundit or establishment leader who frequently betrays conservatism and the conservative base,” the DINOs I know are in no way connected to the leadership of the Democrat Party. Instead, they are registered Democrats who ideologically side with the Tea Party more than they do with President Obama or Nancy Pelosi. 

These voters reside in cities and or states that are painted a deep, relentless blue on the electoral map. Despite anomalies such as Republican Larry Hogan’s election as governor of Maryland, these citizens feel that their only chance to influence local elections is to vote in the Democrat primary. They reluctantly and somewhat embarrassedly register with that party, while consistently supporting Republicans and voting for them in November. That is, unless they are dispirited by the supremacy of RINOs in the Republican Party and consequently stay home.

Therein lies the rub. I have no idea how many DINOs exist across the country. I doubt that they rival soccer moms or immigrants in numbers. However, the more that Republican Party poobahs  demand that the party lurch to the left because so many localities fall into the Democrat Party’s column, the less likely conservatives are to attract these voters’ enthusiasm and support. 

Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm. Even the most ardent RINO surely would admit that support for Mitt Romney was muted. One defining characteristic of a completely out-of-touch Republican today would be someone who thinks the antidote to Jeb Bush’s appalling poll numbers is to recruit Mr. Romney to the race. 

DINOs have relatives, friends and co-workers whose insurance premiums have skyrocketed as their choices of doctors has shrunk, who are disgusted with the Iran deal and the inability of President Obama to acknowledge Islamic terrorism, who think that allowing sixteen-year-old high school boys to declare themselves female and shower with the girls is outrageous. They can’t imagine themselves as anything but Democrat, but many of them even believe that increased gun control is an idea that only those who can afford personal, armed security guards should love. These friends, relatives and co-workers could vote for the Republican candidate in 2016. They could be encouraged to do so by DINOs who are excited about the race. DINO excitement is predicated on a candidate who actually believes in, articulates and is proud of conservative principles. A candidate who will not shrink from attacking the Democrat candidate and who won’t be embarrassed by the Republican base. What a shame if the underground presence of these DINOs contributes to nominating someone in the image of John McCain or Mitt Romney, men whose personalities and candidacies depress conservative eagerness and suppress conservative willingness to openly and vocally support the Republican nominee.  

21 thoughts on “DINOs (Democrats in Name Only)”

  1. Convention of States (COS)will be a step in the right direction by bringing control and power back closer to home by returning power to the states which has been eroded over many years. Mark Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments, explains it well,but you can also find much info online. A few days ago Gov Abbot of Texas came out encouraging it. Term limits would be a part of it, not just for congress but also for Supreme Court justices. Our Founding Fathers wrote COS into our constitution (Article5)as they knew at some point the federal government would become bloated, overgrown and drunk with power. They set it up as a remedy for the people to use if and when it that happened. I believe we are at that point. Most people today do not realize that senators were originally not elected by the people of their state but appointed by the state legislatures. Woodrow Wilson who had a disdain for our constitution changed that. Hope you will scope out COS and help with supporting it. Just trying to elect people we hope will do the right thing hasn’t been working. Conservatives as a whole have been asleep at the wheel for to long.

  2. I missed responding to Karen, so thanks for bringing it up again Lynn. I saw it also. People tell their brains to go where their emotions want them to go. Committed Democrats who would say that they love God and Israel tell themselves that since the resolution wasn’t adopted, they can ignore the fact that the floor vote was for it. They even convince themselves that Obama has not caused great death and destruction in the Middle East.

  3. A redefining of the political right and clarifying what we stand for and don’t stand for would be a good thing! But we are still left with the two party system. I’m supporting a Convention of States. How do you feel about that Susan?

  4. I saw it also Karen and was horrified. I saw that moment as perhaps the final turning point for our country. I didn’t agree with Mr Romney in many areas but knew he would not take our country down that road as quickly as another four years of Mr. Obama. When so many conservatives stayed home and refused to vote for Mr. Romney it completed the circle that the booing of God also contributed to. Donald Trump has a lot of fans but he has done nothing to convince me he will truly accomplish all he says he will. To place our hope in empty rhetoric is dangerous but we’ve done it over and over with RINO politicians. That being said, if Donald Trump is the GOP candidate, I will vote for him, once again holding my nose as he would be far better than a Hillary or Bernie presidency. Sometimes hanging on is better than simply letting go and falling I guess.

  5. I want to add my observation to that: what is defined as centrist or moderate tends to shift to the left as well. What is considered moderate these days was pretty liberal a couple decades ago.

  6. In election years, many Democrats tend to talk centrist and then move to the left once in power. Many Republicans tend to talk conservative in election years and then move centrist.

  7. Interesting ideas. I hadn’t gone very far with this myself, except to wonder that if there were RINOs, then might there be DINOs. I suppose that the answer is ‘well of course there are’. Another commenter above expressed my initial question about a DINO- how would they be allowed to even remain in the party? The democratic party appears to be so rigid. Now I can see a little more clearly that the media helps the deomcrats keep their own in line. And that the regular citizenry within their ranks may not be so rigid or so liberal. I hadn’t considered this well enough. One step beyond that: maybe the democratic party has a better understanding of trends and their own branding, so to speak, than republicans do. I think you’ve commented on that in revious posts.

  8. And, of course, there are JINOs – Jewish in name only. Sometimes demographic counts of Jews are done by looking at last names, a completely unscientific way of doing thing.

  9. Hi Susan:
    Short of a brokered convention, I see little chance of the Republicans nominating a MCain or Romney in 2016.
    In February of 1980, Geo. W. Bush declared that he had “Big MO” (momentum) on his side after winning the Iowa primary. Ronald Reagan’s campaign knew that if Reagan were to lose the next primary in New Hampshire, it would likely be over for him. Then came the fateful debate in Nashua NH where Ronald Reagan had a flash of temper in declaring “I’M PAYING FOR THIS MICROPHONE, MR. BREEN”. At that the crowd erupted in applause, and suddenly “Big MO” had shifted to Ronald Reagan who went on to win the Republican nomination.
    In so doing, he also gained the attention of a huge number of Americans that fit the description of what you are calling DINOS. For the entire decade of the 1980s, these people were called Reagan Democrats. We have many of them in the south, by the way. Culturally, Americans with roots in the ante-bellum south have always registered as Democrats. To do otherwise would be to dishonor their heritage and their ancestors.
    I had a uniquely wonderful experience last evening. A native southerner friend and I along with his youngest son (a senior at Univ. GA Athens) attended the Donald J. Trump rally at Winthrop University in Fort Mill, SC, only twenty minutes from Charlotte, NC. The arena holds 6,500 and a great many were turned away due to the capacity crowd. In the 45 minutes or so that I was waiting in line I had the opportunity to converse with other attendees. Many were “country” as we say here, not folks who live in and around an urban center.
    Like him or not, Donald Trump is appealing to a fascinating mix of Americans – many of whom I would characterize as Reagan Democrats, or DINOS. Bearing in mind that Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat, there’s nothing like a convert when it comes to passion for their new found faith. The phenomenal energy and consistency of Donald Trump is fueled by just such passion. Hearing his unfiltered message last evening has reinforced my sense that Trump’s passion is genuine American patriotism. Whether the Republican nomination ultimately goes to Trump, Cruz, Rubio, or Carson, the credit for the awakening, if this is truly what we’re witnessing, has to go to the man with the guts to take the PC gloves off and punch back just as hard as the Democrats do. Calling all DINOS — please take notice.

  10. Amen to Karen Boswell , I watched that happen , shocked as I saw God boo’d 3 times , as a conservative Christian my breath was taken away, and tears came to my eyes. When I mention it though, it seems no one else saw it. Karen Jones

  11. I risk having too much fun with this. Winners in-name-only (WINOs) surely fits into the mix somewhere here. I am an AMINO, Asian minority in-name-only. I tend to be a bit acidic but aid in the recovery process and in building muscle nevertheless…Okay, on three… one..two..three…, Go Saints!

  12. You’re right. That’s why the DINOs I know are the regular citizens, not the elected officials or influential people. But my guess is that there are DINOs in cities across the country.

  13. One of the reasons we don’t hear much about DINOs is that they are not allowed to exist. Look at the drubbing former senator Joseph Lieberman took when he agreed with President Bush’s foreign policy! He was run out of the Democrat party despite a previous record of voting pretty well left of center on social policies. Not one of today’s Democrats mention JFK’s tax cutting initiatives or his antipathy toward Communism. Today’s Democrats are ideologically rigid – you must toe the (socialist-humanist) party line or risk losing funding, stature or even Democrat credentials. They have adopted Stalin’s policy of making those disloyal to the Communist party “disappear” – on paper, at least.

  14. I actually thought CINOs – conservatives in name only – is more accurate for many we call RINOs. I think those often labeled as RINOs may represent the true Republican Party and those of us who are more conservative should have the acronym. This election cycle is bringing all this to the fore.

  15. Karen, I have met a number of DINOs who have switched party registration in the past few years because of what you cite. However, they now feel that they have zero influence on who becomes mayor of their city, etc.

  16. RINOs and DINOs: what a useful paradigm! The larger issue: removing masks, to determine what human values really lie beneath labels of convenience or facades of expedience. Maybe one day we will have JINOs and CINOs (Jews-in-name-only and Christians-in-name-only), AINOs (Americans-in-name-only), for starters? Any others out there?

  17. The hard truth is this – if you claim to be a Christian or a Jew, you cannot also be a democrat.
    At the 2012 DNC convention, the crowd boo’d God 3 times (BIG significance to Christians)
    God will not be mocked
    And also as He tells us in Joshua –
    “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

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