Earlier this summer, David Vitter was on a RINO hunt.

The Republican U.S. senator from Louisiana said his political action committee would be active in state elections. Not only would it be seeking to win Democratic-held seats in the Legislature, but he archly talked about replacing “Republicans in name only.” Vitter said those are thick on the ground in the state Senate.

The senator named no names on the RINO list of his Louisiana Committee for a Republican Majority. There was much speculation about the names of the RINOs, and what Vitter’s group would do to bring them down.

Apparently, RINOs need not fear Vitter taking aim at their thin hides.

The senator said his group would target 10 state House seats and four Senate seats in the Oct. 22 primary, hoping to switch them to the GOP.

Vitter told The Associated Press that his group would steer clear of races involving Republican incumbents, including those some more-ardent Republicans might consider too moderate.

If the RINOs now can venture more freely out on the political savannah, the Vitter committee likely still will use Washington-style campaign strategies on behalf of its favored candidates. Vitter’s organization is separate from the state GOP apparatus, but by any reasonable standards either group is far in advance of the disorganized and demoralized Democrats.

Maybe donkeys were hoping RINOs would take some of Vitter’s bullets. It certainly might enliven the fall for political junkies.

But Vitter in a bush jacket tracking the RINO is for the moment not expected to be part of the fall political scene.