It occurs to me that the posts below about Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio show that these men have one thing in common: they are both terrified of being seen as moderate or even — horrors — liberal in the eyes of the GOP base. And that would be the end of their careers.
Mr. Graham is being challenged in his re-election bid next year by four conservatives in the primary, which will probably ensure that he survives because the voters will splinter between them. Nonetheless, he still faces fire from the right.
Marco Rubio already lost some support from the Tea Party in Florida by being a part of immigration reform when it was being written, and even now that he’s flip-flopped on it, he’s seen with suspicion among the ranks of the Scooter patrol because he’s not showing the proper amount of brown-bashing that goes with being a true patriot. There’s already grumbling about finding someone to replace him in the pantheon of the cranks. Allen West, the former Congressman from Broward County who made Michele Bachmann look like Abbie Hoffman, has been mentioned as a challenger.
It’s seven-layered richly ironic that both of these senators are being threatened by the very groups that they egged on to get into politics in the first place. They both stirred up the base, sucked up to the Tea Party, gladly took their money in their campaigns, and now face Kremlin-like purges because they’re not seen as pure enough.
As Charlie Pierce might put it, they’re the ones who went to the shed and got the rake in the first place. And now they’ve stepped on it full force.