New acronym: “Republican As Team Sport” (or “Team Supporter”)

Olympia Snowe is a RINO. A Republican In Name Only caucuses with the Republican Party and votes their way when it’s easy or trivial, but when the clinch is on and Republicans need a vote to block some Democratic outrage, he or she votes for the other side.

Karl Rove is not a RINO. He’s a loyal member of the team and works hard to support it. Trouble is, he has no fundamental loyalty to the (putative) aim of the Party — he sees it strictly in terms of “us vs. them”, and is just as happy with the ground game as with passing, as pleased to see real grass as Astroturf®, provided he can get the ball downfield and points on the scoreboard. And he has lots of friends among the other players; when interlopers come along and try to displace his buddies and shove their way into the game, he gets hot. He is Republican As Team Sport: RATS.

Ms. O’Donnell of Delaware isn’t having trouble with RINOs. She’s being nibbled to death by RATS.

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