The Corner

Politics & Policy

Henry Olsen’s RINO Hunt

I have enormous respect for Henry Olsen’s analytical skills at parsing the electorate. I am sure his number-crunching is right, or as close to right as anyone’s. But I am at a loss to understand his introductory set-up for his essay today. I can’t quite get what the point of his tone is. It certainly seems he’s raining contempt on “RINOs” or at least appealing to the contempt others have for them. Again, analytically, he’s probably right. But it seems to me a clearer and more accurate way of stating his case is that Trump and Trumpism hurt the GOP in traditionally Republican districts and among traditionally Republican voters, many of whom share a lot of Henry’s policy goals.

In other words, Trump is not only failing to grow the coalition he inherited — which he needs to do to get reelected — but he’s also failing to hold on to parts of it that the GOP once counted on. And declaring open season on RINOs doesn’t seem like the best way to win them back.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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