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.[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] Notable examples of politicians that have been accused of being a DINO include West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.[3][4][5]

Tuomas W. Manninan regards both RINO and DINO as examples of the No true Scotsman fallacy.[6]


The phrase was used 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 don 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."[7]

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.".[8] 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."[9] 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.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Natale, Brittany (29 October 2018). "Here's Your Guide for Voting in the Midterms, for Teens and by Teens". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Edwards, Phil (29 September 2015). "A brief history of the term RINO, from Roosevelt to Boehner". Vox. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
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  6. ^ Arp, Robert; Barbone, Steven; Bruce, Michael (2018). Bad Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Fallacies in Western Philosophy. Wiley. p. 375. ISBN 9781119165798. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  7. ^ ""HE'S A SOCIALIST," IS MR. W.J. BRYAN: St. Louis Manufacturer Tells Why He Refused Financial Aid to Democrats". Chicago Daily Tribune. 27 October 1908. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Press of Georgia Enthusiastically Supporting Governor Dorsey for United States Senator". The Atlanta Constitution. 5 August 1920. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  9. ^ Kinsley, Philip (28 February 1929). "GOOD SLATED FOR WAR SECRETARY; DONOVAN IS OUT: Mitchell to Be Hoover's Attorney General". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  10. ^ "Burke Resigns His Democratic Post in Protest: Nebraska Senalor Quits Committee, Says HeGan't Back All Roosevelt Acts". New York Herald Tribune. 26 August 1936. Retrieved 10 April 2019.