“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” – Ronald Reagan, the 11th Commandment.
Rhinoceros are some of the largest remaining species of mega-fauna on the planet. They have a unique adaptation that allows them to ferment fibrous food in their hindgut, which allows them to subsist on more woody and fibrous plants. This special adaptation also accounts for up to fifty pounds of daily feces. It’s safe to say that much of the time, rhinos are full of crap.
The aptly named RINO, or Republican In Name Only, refers to one who claims to agree with the conservative values of the Republican Party but consistently fails to uphold these values in government. Unlike the communal elephant, another mega-fauna species whom RINOS claim as their identity, RINOS are solitary creatures that exist only to further themselves. Much like their ungulate namesake, they’re also full of crap.
In 2012, I was elected precinct chair of the Republican Party in my community in Salt Lake City, Utah. I didn’t do too bad for a non-Mormon in a Mormon stronghold. As precinct chair in Millcreek, Utah, I was tasked with running the local caucus, organizing local functions and disseminating candidate information, etc. One evening I received a call from a local candidate who asked when she could bring her campaign information by so that I might knock on doors and distribute them for her. I knew nothing of this person, but there was certainly the expectation that the party comes first, including representatives of the party.
There is and has always been the expectation that Republicans are team players. Perhaps this isn’t always the best thing to put party above policy, but if we all upheld the values that we claim to in the Republican Party platform, this would not be an issue. Unfortunately, at some point, the RINOS got lost among the elephants, and today we find a smattering of RINOS in our midst. The RINOs use the party label to get elected and then proceed to serve only their own interests henceforth.
We’re all aware of the most notorious RINOs on a national level, such as Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Liz Cheney. Most recently, Lisa Murkowski, who spearheaded a ranked-choice voting system in Alaska to dilute the Republican base and elevate her own moderate campaign, chose to endorse the Democrat Mary Peltola for Alaska’s lone US Representative seat. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky threw all of his PAC money behind Murkowski, shunning the popular Trump-backed challenger Kelly Tshibaka. For his decision to throw a national weight into local elections, he was censured by the Republican Party of Alaska.
Last week, I was driving down the road and listening to the radio. I caught a commercial by Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad endorsing the local Democrat Candidate Jim Ruchti for State Senate. To my astonishment, Mayor Blad had actually endorsed the Democrat in the race rather than swallowing his pride and endorsing his former challenger for mayor, Republican Candidate David Worley. It’s unlikely that he is unaware of Ruchti’s abysmal ratings on the conservative Idaho Freedom Foundations’ freedom, spending, and education indexes. It’s more likely that Blad agrees with the big government policies of Democrat Jim Ruchti.
If Mayor Blad had disagreements with Worley, he could have said nothing at all. One would be within their rights as a Republican to ask for a reasonable explanation from Blad. If the Bannock County Republican Party were worth its salt, it’d take immediate steps to censure his action. Call me skeptical that they hold their elected officials to the same standards that we hold unpaid volunteers.