09/04/2012 04:02 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2012

RINO Watch on Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom

I love Aaron Sorkin. He's smart, he's witty, and I align perfectly with his left-leaning political tendencies. That's why I watch The Newsroom, Mr. Sorkin's brilliant new television show on HBO that just finished its first stellar season.

Jeff Daniels plays television news anchor Will McEvoy in the series, and the news part of the finale both startled and delighted me with its summation of the RINO mentality.

The set-up for the story is 96-year-old, 75-year voting veteran Dorothy Cooper who will not be allowed to vote in the presidential election because she doesn't have a government-issued photo identification card. Ms. Cooper doesn't own a car, so she doesn't need a driver's license; she also isn't likely to go overseas, so she doesn't have a passport -- ergo no government-issued ID card, ergo she can't vote. Mr. McEvoy finds this an outrage, and so does Mr. Sorkin. So do I.

Mr. Sorkin ascribes the Republican insistence on ID cards for voting purposes as the solution without a problem. In the last presidential election, there were 86 known cases of voter fraud. Not 86,000 or even 8,600, just 86 -- or 0.0004 percent.

Mr. McEvoy calls himself a proud Republican, but the "base" of the Republican Party, the GOP, has become the Tea Party, and they would call Mr. McEvoy a RINO, a Republican In Name Only. This, says Mr. McEvoy, is actually what makes a Tea Partier, and then the screen behind him fills with words as he reads to us from the teleprompter. Follow the bouncing ball according to David K. Sutton on the political blog The Left Call:

Here is McAvoy's list of Tea Party traits and beliefs that make them the Republicans In Name Only:

 Ideological purity
 Compromise as weakness
 A fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism
 Denying science
 Unmoved by facts
 Undeterred by new information
 A hostile fear of progress
 A demonization of education
 A need to control women's bodies
 Severe xenophobia
 Tribal mentality
 Intolerance of dissent
 Pathological hatred of US government

Mr. McEvoy concludes his broadcast,

"They can call themselves the Tea Party. They can call themselves conservatives. And they can even call themselves Republicans, though Republicans certainly shouldn't. But we should call them what they are: The American Taliban. And the American Taliban cannot survive if Dorothy Cooper is allowed to vote."

Bravo, Mr. McEvoy! Bravissimo, Mr. Sorkin!

I have not yet seen a list as clear and unequivocal as this one. Maybe it's on television. Maybe it's placed in the mouth of a fictional news anchor. And maybe, just maybe it's a clear speaking of truth to the misuse of power.

The speeches at the Republican convention in Tampa have been scary to me. Ideology does not make a country great. What makes a country great is its people, especially its voters, and most especially the Dorothy Coopers.

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