A “DINO” is a “Democrat In Name Only.” The Democrat party is symbolized by the donkey; DINO is symbolized by the dinosaur. A DINO is someone who is a registered Democrat but who holds conservative views, such as supporting smaller government spending on fewer government programs.
“RINO" (Republican In Name Only) was coined in 1992-1993. “DINO”—an alternative term to “RINO”—is cited in print from 1998. “DINO” has been much less popular than “RINO” because of many other similar terms, such as “blue dog Democrat” or “Fox (News) Democrat.”
Wikipedia: Democrat In Name Only
DINO stands for Democrat In Name Only, a disparaging term for a member of the modern-day United States Democratic Party whose words and actions are thought to be too fiscally or socially conservative. The term “Fox News liberal”, “Fox Democrat,” “Fox News Democrat,” or “D-Unot” has also been used in this context. “D-Unot,” a parody of rapper The Game’s phrase “G-Unot”, stands for “Democrat You Not.”
The term was created as an analogous opposite to the acronym RINO (Republican In Name Only), which refers to more liberal members of the United States Republican Party.
“DINO” is used by more ideological (politically speaking) members of the Democrats to challenge fellow party members for their heterodox or relatively conservative positions.
Dixiecrats were conservatives of southern states. Most members of the Dixiecrat party switched to the Republican party. Some, however, became DINOs of the Democratic party.
Regional differences and issues
As with the term RINO, regional variations between party constituencies are a factor. Many “DINOs” come from more socially or fiscally conservative states or districts where a more liberal politician would face difficulty. Some of these politicians are descendents of the Southern-based Dixiecrats, a once prominent faction within the Democratic Party, but that shrank rapidly following the party’s support of civil rights legislation in the 1960s.
Senate members Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, and Joe Lieberman have all been called DINOs, as has former Senator Zell Miller.
16 February 1998, Chicago (IL) Sun-Times, “Don’t miss out on voting”:
We have a lot of ‘DINOs’ here, Democrats in name only, Pelto said.
10 March 1998, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “‘Populist” Poshard even more popular with Republicans” by Eric Zorn, Metro Chicago, pg. 1:
...we are witnessing some serious Uncle Remus politicking on the part of Republicans, Republican sympathizers and DINOs (Democrats In Name Only).
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From: Eric Chomko
Subject: Re: Shrub and the Texas Rangers
I think he’s a DINO...Democrat In Name Only.
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Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 04:24:15 GMT
Local: Thurs, Apr 11 2002 11:24 pm
Subject: Re: House GOP Loses Ally As D.I.N.O. Traficant Convicted
“Rep. Jim Traficant, the maverick Ohio DINO (Democrat in name only), is praising the Republicans for ‘getting rid of a lot of bureaucrats’ and boasting that he voted for ‘more of the GOP Contract with America than 90 percent of the Republicans.’
“The House Republicans liked Jim Traficant (Rush Limbaugh’s favorite Democrat) even before the House Democratic Caucus blackballed him for voting against Richard Gephardt as speaker. And the feeling seems to be mutual.”
1 December 2002, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), “Democratic Math,” pg. AA2:
When given a choice between a self-declared Republican and a DINO (Democrat in name only), most people will go with the real thing.
September 22, 2004
Red State revolution
By Lisa Fabrizio
Speaking as one who was born a DINO (Democrat In Name Only), I’ve seen many of my dyed-in-the-wool Democratic friends coming out of the electoral closet. First there was Don, a high, state-ranked muck-a-muck who campaigned for favorite son Joe Lieberman then refused to even attend his party’s convention. Why? Three words: Osama bin Laden.
Running on Empty:
How the Democratic and Republican Parties are bankrupting our future and what Americans can do about it
By Peter G. Peterson
New York, NY: Picador
Senator Joe Lieberman, a thoughtful reformer, has been labeled a “DINO” (Democrat in Name Only) by party activists — in abject imitation of the GOP’s “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) label.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Sunday, October 25, 2009 • Permalink