There you go again, John. Trying to turn everything into a partisan attack and undermine Dems for behaving like the political party that they are. You lose your credibility when you do this. A political party represents a range of political and ideological beliefs, with some variance for geographic or demographic differences but if someone strays far from the range on a bucketload of issues, not only do you have no meaning left to the label, it can actually be deceptive. That's how you get that RINO or DINO dynamic. People may claim to be a Republican or Democrat with virtually nothing remotely in common with the core values and beliefs of the party. The question becomes how far from orthodoxy on how many issues is too far away for 'truth in advertising' purposes. I don't think the dynamic is any different if you are a Dem, a Pub, a Libertarian or a member of the Green Party. There are benefits to being a member of a party. You get the support system it provides, the cred behind the label, some fund-raising opportunities, the voter and donor lists, some protection from internal primary attack, and access to volunteers . But its not free. It comes with strings attached. The party has expectations that the loyalty will be returned during some important partisan votes. There will be times you will be pressured to conform and protect your party and its leaders. That's fair. If you want to be totally independent of any party , then don't identify with a political party, and don't accept those benefits.