Are they RINOs or simply shrewd politicians?  RINO stands for Republican in name only.  It’s used by many in the party to describe people they believe are closet liberals or weak conservatives.  On the national level, it’s frequently used by Trump Republicans to describe guys like Mitt Romney.  Closer to home, Mike Simpson is often called a RINO (he keeps getting re-elected by large margins).

When a list of well-known Idaho Republicans endorsed the Marxist organization Reclaim Idaho and its effort to create open primaries, the Republicans were denounced by many in the party as RINOs.  The Marxists would also like ranked-choice voting.  They claim it will remove extremists (the pot calling the kettle black) from political offices.

If you can’t win elections, then try and change the rules, however.  One of the state’s most powerful Democrats claims there’s something else going on here.  House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel.  She believes the change would almost wipe out her party’s small footprint in elected offices.

Registered Republicans currently hold 85 percent of all elected offices in Idaho.  She predicts that the number will become even smaller.  Rubel believes Republicans see this as a means to enshrining a single-party state.

Rubel is a member of an odd coalition.  It crosses GOP factions.  Some Republicans who disagree on some major issues are unhappy with some old friends now allied with Reclaim Idaho.  Rubel does believe there are extremists among those she agrees with on this issue, but she doesn’t want to gamble with the future of her party.

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