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In a post you should read, Old Bathos offered a new definition of RINO for the age of Trump. Ol’ Bathos is making an important point: never accept the premise of the Left’s loaded questions. I submit that RINO is being redefined in a more significant way.
Before the election, Trump seemed like the one who was Republican in Name Only. After all, he was a newcomer to the party and had donated money to left-wing Democrats. In the past year, though, Trump has developed some serious conservative Republican credentials.
One reason for this is Trump’s unwillingness to accept what others take for granted, which takes forms more substantive than rejecting the premise of a mendicant question. He refuses to accept things as set in stone, such as Jerusalem being the non-capital of Israel or the polite fiction of CNN’s respectful objectivity. More than that, he refuses to accept that his role as a Republican in DC is to politely ask for a few concessions, while Mordor on the Potomac continues to gut the Constitution, along with the American Dream. He acts, oftentimes, as if a conservative Republican (or a President who governs like one) has the duty and the prerogative of achieving conservative Republican policy goals.
This is a high bar for Republicans in DC. It just may be that, in the Trump and post-Trump era, Republicans will be expected to actually accomplish substantial conservative reforms. If they don’t; if they can’t be at least as conservative as Mr. New York Values, Clinton-donor Donald Trump; they may risk being branded as the wrong sort of pachyderm.