Even though one species (1960s style moderate Republicans) is extinct, some of the Republican Party is still RINO hunting even though one species (21st century perceived-as-moderate Republicans who’d be considered traditional conservatives 20 years ago) is greatly endangered. Clearly the goal is to purify the party. The latest target: Arizona Sen. John McCain who the AP reports has been censured by the state party for being too liberal:
The Arizona Republican Party formally censured Sen. John McCain on Saturday, citing a voting record they say is insufficiently conservative.
The resolution to censure McCain was approved by a voice-vote during a meeting of state committee members in Tempe, state party spokesman Tim Sifert said. It needed signatures from at least 20 percent of state committee members to reach the floor for debate.
THE IMMEDIATE MEANING: McCain has been taken to task, as if that will have any impact whatsoever on what he says or does.
THE LONGTERM IMPACT: It continues to feed the ongoing image of the Republican Party as a party that’s intolerant to those who don’t echo the sound bites of talk radio hosts, Fox News and conservative media writers. It’s a big: NONCONSERVATIVES ARE NOT WELCOME sign hung on the GOP’s tent (which increasingly resembles a pup tent).
FOOTNOTE: Reportedly no other action was taken. The party just wanted to let everyone know that McCain is too liberal to be a “real” Republican, just as voters will likely tell the GOP it is too intolerant to be a “real” winner in future national elections.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.