Dana Milbank (who’s opinions seem more odd the further into Obama’s term we get) suggests that Crist is being “crucified” by the GOP.
But the Crist crisis is a whole new level of Jacobin excess; in the case of Lieberman, Democrats at least waited until he lost the primary to purge him.
Not so the Republicans, who are in a dogmatic race to the bottom as they drop Crist for his far-right challenger, Marco Rubio. Sen. John McCain, who defied the Viet Cong but cowers before the wing nuts, had this to say in 2007: “Gov. Crist has set an example for the rest of the party in a variety of ways, but certainly in bipartisanship.” In 2008, McCain, who probably owed the Republican presidential nomination to Crist’s endorsement in the Florida primary, hailed Crist’s “principled, conservative leadership.”
But now McCain has nothing supportive to say about his “dear friend” Charlie. “I support Republicans,” he told the Hill’s Molly Hooper when asked if he would back an independent Crist.
Um. McCain is saying exactly that he supports whoever is going to win the primary and run as a Republican. No one is getting kicked out of the party or crucified. Crist is just going to lose the primary and it’s suggested he not run as an independent.
Milbank suggests Republicans should keep Crist because he offers the best hope to retain the seat. 48-34 vs 42-38. LOL. It sounds like Rubio will be fine.
Now, if you can, read Kim Strassel (WSJ) on this same race. [bold is mine]
Marco Rubio appeared on a Sunday talk show this month to say something remarkable. The Republican running for Florida’s Senate seat suggested we reform Social Security by raising the retirement age for younger workers. Florida is home to 2.4 million senior citizens who like to vote. The blogs declared Mr. Rubio politically suicidal.
The response from Mr. Rubio’s primary competitor, Gov. Charlie Crist, was not remarkable. His campaign slammed Mr. Rubio’s idea as “cruel, unusual and unfair to seniors living on a fixed income.” Mr. Crist’s plan for $17.5 trillion in unfunded Social Security liabilities? Easy! He’ll root out “fraud” and “waste.”
Let’s talk Republican “civil war.” Not the one the media is hawking, that pits supposed tea party fanatics like Mr. Rubio against supposed “moderates” like Mr. Crist. The Republican Party is split. But the real divide is between reformers like Mr. Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who are running on principles and tough issues, and a GOP old guard that still finds it politically expedient to duck or demagogue issues. As Republicans look for a way out of the wilderness, this is the rift that matters.
And it’s the divide playing out in Florida, even if that’s not the press’s preferred narrative. In conventional-wisdom world, Mr. Rubio is the darling of an angry grass roots, surging at the expense of the postpartisan Mr. Crist.
And woe betide the GOP, goes the storyline.
I hate it when I simply approve of the person I agree with, but seriously, reading their arguments, it sounds to me like Strassel has it right and Milbank has become a tool.