*** Updated Below ***
Speaking of Rand Paul, Master Gamesman, have you seen the ads that RandPAC is running? This piece on Business Insider sums up the politics, pointing out that while Paul is targeting Democrats who disagree with him on foreign spending, it's pretty unusual for sitting Senators to target each other directly and so harshly. Here's one example:
Now my take on all this? First, that's an odd race for Paul to spend money on, because Democrat Manchin is a moderate who is currently leading the race by quite a bit. But I have a hunch that foreign policy spending could be a popular discussion in moderate circles, so watching the polls to see if these ads have any effect in the race will be interesting. If this message gains traction, look for other politicians to adopt it.
What else made this ad buy especially interesting is Lindsey Graham's reaction: in one of those moves that would cause wailing and hostility from the GOP if a Paul had dared such a thing, he went way over a line. He joined the Democrat Manchin on a campaign conference call to support the big spending colleague.
Did you get that? He is campaigning for a Democrat. Against a Republican. I suppose he knows that the media and the party won't question this, it's obviously putting policy over politics, and is for the public good. Right?
OK, enough snark. Next question: Do you know who Senator Tom Davis is? The force is strong in this one, and speculation is that he might be preparing a primary run against Graham in 2014. It certainly isn't hard to imagine that Graham could leave the GOP and join the Democrats rather than face an actual fiscal conservative in a primary election.
And while I wouldn't want to predict a winner in that race, I would point out that Jim DeMint is retiring in 2016, so even if we can't oust Graham in 2014, Davis certainly has a chance at 2016.
Heh! Came back home, and saw that Rand Paul has now apparently noticed Graham's shenanigans. According to Politico:
“I don’t see myself campaigning against a Republican in a general election ever, that’s why I think it’s extraordinary that Graham is supporting a Democrat in a general election,” Paul told POLITICO. “That’s fairly extraordinary to do that.”
Never fear! The Democrat quickly rushed to Graham's defense:
(Manchin) accused Paul of a “callous” act that put “politics over your country.” Manchin also accused Paul of acting as a partisan while portraying himself as a bipartisan rabble-rouser. Manchin said Paul was “putting more gasoline” on the partisan fires in Washington. “He showed me his true colors, and it’s a shame,” Manchin told POLITICO. “That’s not how we’re going to move this country forward with that type of an attitude and mentality.”
Silly me. I didn't realize that Republicans were supposed to be bipartisan in the general election. Gee, I wonder which side of this argument the Republican in the race will come down on?