So why are conservatives so quick to throw a Republican Senator -- even a liberal one -- under the bus? There are a few reasons for this:
It's also important to note that our tolerance for squishy Republicans was probably higher when we were holding on to the majority by a string. Back then, if keeping a Ted Stevens in the Senate meant our Supreme Justice nominees would face a Republican Senate, rather than a Democrat Senate, many conservatives were probably willing to look the other way. But we don not currently hold the majority -- and the prospects for re-gaining the majority don't look so good, either. Now is the time ...
In addition, I see this time in history as sort of a rebuilding period for the GOP (at the Congressional level). When a sports team is rebuilding, they usually decide to bring in some fresh talent to develop for the future -- and that's just what the GOP needs. It's hard for any team to accept that they have to take a step back before they can take a giant leap forward. But from a branding perspective, how can we become the face of change when people associate us with a man who has been in the Senate since 1968 - and whose claim to fame is how much federal spending he can command?
As you can see, it's a very dangerous time to be a squishy Republican. The conservatives don't like you -- and the Democrats want your seat. It will be interesting to see if this leads to some retirements ...
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