Democrat In Name Only

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Democrat In Name Only (or DINO) is a pejorative term for any member of the United States Democratic Party elected as a Democrat but who governs and legislates like a Republican would.[1]

The term was created as an analogous opposite to the acronym RINO, Republican In Name Only.[2]

Terms including Blue Dog Democrats and Yellow Dog Democrats have been more popular than DINO for describing heterodox Democrats.[2]


The phrase was used in 1908 by Alven B. Goodbar, a Democrat and president of the Goodbar Shoe Manufacturing Company of St. Louis, who replied to a request from the Democratic National Committee to make a donation to the Democratic Party candidate, William Jennings Bryan, by saying "I do not recognize Mr Bryan as a democrat or as a true expounder of democratic doctrines and principles. He is a democrat in name only, while in fact he was originally a populist and by process of evolution has become a socialist."[3]

In his 1920 run for one of Georgia's seats in the United States Senate, Thomas E. Watson was denounced by the Valdosta Times newspaper as a "Democrat in name only.".[4] When William DeWitt Mitchell was appointed United States Attorney General in 1928 by President Herbert Hoover, the Chicago Tribune described Mitchell as a "Democrat in name only," arguing that "his record of the last few years has been Republican."[5] In 1936 United States Senator Edward R. Burke of Nebraska resigned his position as a member of the Democratic National Committee stating that he could not support "any candidate masquerading as a Democrat but who was a Democrat in name only," referring to Terry Carpenter, a Representative from Nebraska then running for the Senate.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Natale, Brittany (October 29, 2018). "Here's Your Guide for Voting in the Midterms, for Teens and by Teens". Teen Vogue. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Edwards, Phil (September 29, 2015). "A brief history of the term RINO, from Roosevelt to Boehner". Vox. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  3. ^ ""HE'S A SOCIALIST," IS MR. W.J. BRYAN: St. Louis Manufacturer Tells Why He Refused Financial Aid to Democrats". Chicago Daily Tribune. October 27, 1908. ProQuest 173465415.
  4. ^ "Press of Georgia Enthusiastically Supporting Governor Dorsey for United States Senator". The Atlanta Constitution. August 5, 1920. ProQuest 497772540.
  5. ^ Kinsley, Philip (February 28, 1929). "GOOD SLATED FOR WAR SECRETARY; DONOVAN IS OUT: Mitchell to Be Hoover's Attorney General". Chicago Tribune. ProQuest 180960548.
  6. ^ "Burke Resigns His Democratic Post in Protest: Nebraska Senalor Quits Committee, Says HeGan't Back All Roosevelt Acts". New York Herald Tribune. August 26, 1936. ProQuest 1240263926.