A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 24, 2009
RINO (Republican In Name Only)

A “RINO” is a “Republican In Name Only.” The Republican party is symbolized by the elephant; RINO is symbolized by the rhino. A RINO is someone who is a registered Republican but who holds liberal views, such as supporting bigger government spending on more government programs.

THe term “Republican in name only” was used in the 1920s and the 1950s, then in the Ronald Reagan-era 1980s. The term “RINO” appears in print in December 1992 in an article from Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1993, Los Angeles (CA) conservative activist Celeste Greig handed out “RINO” buttons to protest Richard Riordan, who was elected Los Angeles mayor from 1993-2001. It is not known if Greig coined the term “RINO,” but she helped popularize it.

A 2009 alternative for the term “RINO” is “DIABLO" (Democrat In All But Label Only). A popular joke is “What do you get when you cross an elephant with a RINO?”


Wikipedia: Republican In Name Only
Republican In Name Only, or RINO, is a neologism created by Los Angeles conservative activist Celeste Greig. It is considered a disparaging term for a member of the Republican Party of the United States (the GOP) whose political views or actions are perceived as insufficiently conservative or otherwise outside the party mainstream.

Origin
Celeste Greig, a long-time Los Angeles conservative Republican and leader of the California Republican Assembly, created the acronym RINO and designed buttons that bear the epithet. In 1994, she named former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan the “chairman” of the RINOs and former Congressman Michael Huffington the “vice chairman” of the RINOs. At this time, she bestowed each of them with the RINO button helping the term to become widely popular.

General criteria
The term implies that, despite party affiliation, RINO politicians are not “authentic” Republicans. The label is usually acquired because a politician’s political actions, policies, positions on certain issues or voting records are considered to be at variance with core Republican beliefs or Republican partisanship. The term is pejorative and no Republican has ever self-identified as a RINO. It is used by those who believe that the party’s core beliefs are conservative (or right) and therefore that politicians are not true Republicans unless they adhere to conservative (right wing) beliefs. The targets of the term argue that there is no litmus test for being a Republican, but rather a commitment to the party organization, especially support for party candidates. The targets argue that conservatives from outside the party who use the term are not true Republicans because they do not support the whole ticket.

The term does not imply that the Republicans in question are Democrats, Libertarians or independents; they are still recognized GOP members. Note that Senator Jim Jeffords (VT) was called a RINO until he left the party in 2001 and became an independent. The term is often used to describe politicians at the congressional level, but can be applied to members of any governmental branch or electoral constituency.

RINO and GOP policy
With regard to electoral strategy, the Republican National Committee (RNC) will usually lend support to an incumbent member in a primary election, even if their beliefs are outside the Republican mainstream or if they are criticized by some members of the party as being a “RINO”. The rationale is that the incumbent is more valuable to the party than the newcomer because he or she already represents a core GOP constituency and may have achieved seniority in office. Conservative activists outside the RNC contend that it is better for the party to lose the seat—and even risk political clout or a legislative majority—rather than retain elected officials who are seen as too liberal.

Regional differences and political history
The word was introduced nationally in an article by Gardner Goldsmith, which appeared in Investor’s Business Daily in 1998, and came into widespread usage around 2000, particularly during the election campaigns of that year. While the term is new, the concept of being a member of a party but not representing its mainstream is not uncommon in American political history. In 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt, then-President William Howard Taft and Senator Robert LaFollette fought for ideological control of the Republican Party and each denounced the other two as “not really Republican.” The Taft faction went on to control the national ticket until 1936.

Word Spy
RINO
(RY.noh) n. A member of the Republican party who is viewed as being too liberal. Also: rino.
(...)
Earliest Citation:
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,” The Union Leader (Manchester, NH), December 31, 1992

21 November 1922, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “No Room for Radicals,” pg. II4:
Among Republican Senators in the upper chamber is a sprinkling of radical marplots, Republicans in name only. Their chief aim is not to better the country, strengthen the party or support the administration, but simply to promote their own personal ambitions. As Republicans they don’t belong—they are freaks, not true to name.

1 January 1926, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Fair Enough,” pg. 16:
A number of republican senators are republican in name only. They are disloyal to President Coolidge, they do not support republican measures, and they defy the republican leaders.

Time magazine
NEBRASKA: Sheep and Goat
Monday, Oct. 19, 1936
(...)
The party scramble began last summer when 75-year-old George William Norris. veteran of ten years in the House and 24 in the Senate, announced his desire for retirement. Relieved were Nebraska’s regular Republicans to be thus rid of a man who, Republican in name only, had returned from Washington every six years to snatch their Senatorial nomination, disrupt their party ranks. Quickly and quietly they marshaled their forces, gave the Senatorial nomination to a longtime 100% Republican Representative, Robert G. Simmons, who had lost his House seat in the 1932 Democratic landslide.

Time magazine
THE CONGRESS: Chair-Pullers
Monday, Nov. 27, 1950
Oregon’s falcon-faced Repubican Maverick Wayne Morse figured that in the 82nd Congress he deserved a seat on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He had been after it since 1946, and had lost out in 1949 because the Democratic majority had denied Republicans a sixth seat on the committee. But in organizing the 82nd Congress, Republican leaders apparently had other plans.

The New York Times front-paged a story quoting “the most competent authority” on the subject as saying that the Republicans would probably pick someone other than Morse for the seat. The unnamed “authority” was obviously Mr. Republican himself, Ohio’s Robert Taft. He indicated that party leaders considered Fair-Dealing Wayne Morse a Republican in name only, and would rather choose Californian William F. Knowland, unrelenting critic of Dean Acheson, and at the moment, off on Formosa breakfasting with Chiang Kaishek.

9 September 1951, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pt. 1, pg. 26:
REPUBLICAN IN NAME ONLY
Sen. Wayne Morse of Oregon, who calls himself a Republican, is the only one of 26 senators, Democratic and Republican, to give unqualified approval to the ouster of Gen. MacArthur, which the group investigated.

New York (NY) Times
A Shaky G.O.P. Hunts in Vain For Rival to Moynihan in Race
By CLIFFORD D. MAY
Published: Tuesday, March 22, 1988
(...)
Mr. Mahe noted that the same could be said of Connecticut, where the only Republican elected to statewide office is Senator Lowell P. Weicker, a staunch liberal who, he said, ‘’is a Republican in name only.’’

New York (NY) Times
Weicker, An Outcast, Runs Again
By CLIFFORD D. MAY, Special to the New York Times
Published: Wednesday, April 13, 1988
(...)
To Mr. Weicker’s supporters, he is a maverick, a gadfly, an iconoclast, an independent thinker, a champion of principle over partisanship. To his detractors he is a one-man Fifth Column within the Republican Party, a dove in hawk’s clothing, an annoying burr under the political saddle.

‘’Weicker is a Republican in name only and barely that,’’ said Eddie Mahe, a Washington-based consultant to Republican politicians.

Google Groups: alt.politics.usaa.republican
Newsgroups: alt.politics.usa.republican
From: (Donald E. Hatfield)
Date: 15 Jun 93 13:57:24 PDT
Local: Tues, Jun 15 1993 3:57 pm
Subject: Both of you, leave us alone! was

>Which party has owned the House of Representatives for the last 40 years and
>the Senate for all but 2 of the last 30(?) years? THE DEMOCRATS, joined by
>LIBERAL RINO’s (Republican in Name Only).

14 November 1993, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Riordan Losing Republican Voters Through Neglect” by Harry Eiler, Metro, Part B, pg. 17:
As a result, many Republicans denounce Riordan as a R.I.N.O. (Republican In Name Only), and certainly his appointment of Kramer confirms this accusation.

5 December 1993, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), “Tipoff” by Rick Orlov:
Added to that was his appearance before the Los Angeles County Federation of Republican Women where one former supporter presented him with a campaign button that had the red international slash through it and the initials RINO.

“It means Republican In Name Only,” said Celeste Griego (Greig is correct—ed.), who was passing out the buttons. “We’re giving them out to all the politicians who pretend to be Republicans.

The RINO List
The Original RINO
Posted on March 19th, 2009
The acronym RINO was coined by Republican Celeste Greig, who applied the term to the Los Angeles Mayor, Millionaire Richard J. Riordan, the original RINO. Mayor Riordan was a “Moderate Republican” who used his millions to finance his election effort to become mayor of Los Angeles, while accepting and giving moral and financial support to Liberal Democrats throughout his career.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Saturday, October 24, 2009 • Permalink