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Opening Arguments


The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto on Scott Brown:

If Scott Brown is a RINO, any conservative with a semblance of sanity should drop to his knees and say a prayer of thanks for the creation of RINOs. If the species didn't exist, Sen. Martha Coakley would be the 60th vote in favor of ObamaCare. No, scratch that. She'd be the 62nd vote for ObamaCare, the 60th and 61st coming from the Maine Democrats who would have soundly defeated whatever "real" Republicans ran in place of Snowe and Collins.

Incidentally, what is it that makes a lawmaker a "real" Republican, or a RIMTON (Republican in more than only name), as opposed to a RINO? Opposition to excessive spending? By that standard, given their record during the Bush years, we're pretty sure the vast majority of congressional Republicans would qualify as RINOs.

Or perhaps we're not being literal enough. Maybe RINO is just what it sounds like--a partisan appellation rather than an ideological one. That is, maybe a RINO is one who is willing to go along with Democratic overspending, while a RIMTON is scrupulous about wasting tax money only when it is a GOP initiative.

If Brown is a Rino, is Evan Bayh a Dino? Brown angers his base by going from the right to the middle (or beyond) to keep his Massachusetts constituents happy. Bayh's path to the middle from the left came as he tried to keep Hoosiers happy. Gov. Mitch Daniels had an interesting take on Bayh's departure. He reportedly told a group of Washington-based journalists that the country needs people who are "groping for the middle" and Bayh did that occasionally.

Of course it's much nicer to have someone from our side groping for the middle occasionally than someone from the other side.