Anyone who doubts how completely off the rails the Republican Party has gone need look no further than so-called “moderate” (as in, “not crazy”) Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, Tennessee’s elder statesman who supposedly left his leadership post two years ago so he could be freed from the toe-the-party-line restraints of leadership and work to “make the Senate a more effective institution” and “deal with serious issues.”
Serious issues like immigration reform? The fiscal cliff? Taxation? Indeed! That has the nut wing of the GOP calling for the fainting couches, however:
In Alexander’s case, the disgruntlement keeps alive the possibility of a primary challenge in 2014, when he will run for a third term, say Cunningham and other tea party leaders in the state.
“There is a lot of chatter (about challenging Alexander),” said Mark Herr, head of the Mid-South Tea Party in Memphis.
In addition to immigration reform, the Tennessee senators have drawn flak from some conservatives this year for supporting sales taxes on Internet purchases, accepting dinner invitations from President Barack Obama, supporting income tax increases on upper incomes in order to avoid a “fiscal cliff” and supporting a cloture motion that allowed Senate Democrats to bring up a proposal for expanded background checks on gun sales. Despite voting for cloture, Corker and Alexander opposed expanded background checks themselves.
He had dinner with President Obama? Traitor!!!
Hilarious. Alexander has high approval ratings in Tennessee, and one would think his reputation as a “moderate,” “serious” politician and growing war chest would allay any fears that his seat is threatened by mouthbreathers in tricorner hats.
Still, Alexander appears to be taking this Tea Party primary threat seriously. The election is still over a year away, but Tennesseans are being reminded of what a massive defender of freedom Alexander is, with this TV ad featuring a cameo by Tea Party darling Rand Paul. Here’s “Man of the people” Lamar Alexander, standing up to Dah Man (ahem, Army Corps of Engineers) to protect your right to fish below a dam (and possibly drown). Take that, Big Government! That’s some world class populism, and just to prove what Defender Of Freedom Alexander is, he made sure to have BFF Rand Paul’s ugly mug in the ad, too. Brush with greatness, I tell ya!
That oughta stomp on any Tea Party primary challenge, amiright? I’m sure the Freedom To Fish Act and Rand Paul will completely make up for all the other stuff Lamar Alexander did to piss off the Tea Party.
Alternately, Lamar Alexander thinks the Tea Party is that stupid? Who knows, he could be right. Why else spend the money and run the ad in the first place? Either way it sure speaks volumes about how the Tea Party has so-called moderates running scared.