The Establishment Caves

John Cornyn's statement that the NRSC will not fund its own candidates in disputed primaries seems to me to be a surrender to the base activists. What it means is that the same forces that purged Scozzafava will have free rein to purge others. They are already interpreting a Democratic victory in a super-safe red-state seat as a win for ... conservatives. And the threat of third party candidates against the GOP across the country has obviously spooked the national party leadership.

But that leaves an obvious question: what about Rubio-Crist?

Crist is vulnerable for being gay in the first place, although his sexual orientation is not as abhorrent as his support for the stimulus package and actually - gasp - appearing with a newly elected president of the United States who carried Florida. But the NRSC has already endorsed Crist and the Club for Growth purists are itching to back Rubio, who has the support of the netroots and the Beck-Palin insurgency. So the apparent surrender may have an inconvenient hangover from the past. And if Crist is taken down by Rubio, then the last remnants of non-movement conservatism will be fast evaporating from the GOP.

Maybe this will indeed be the real long-term consequence of last night: the acceleration of the GOP toward the Christianist right, and a platform of real counter-revolution against the post New Deal Settlement. I do find it remarkable that a Republican in New York State who is actually on the right of her own delegation is nonetheless a "socialist" and a "radical leftist" in the eyes of the base.

It's back to the 1940s we go!