Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sarah Palin Warns Alexander to Watch His Back

Posted By on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM

The crisis has ended in Washington, but it’s only just beginning for Sen. Lamar Alexander and other so-called establishment Republicans who dare to defy their far right wing. Already Sarah Palin has thrown down the gauntlet, singling out Alexander’s seat as one of the big tea party targets for 2014. From Palin’s Facebook page:

Friends, do not be discouraged by the shenanigans of D.C.’s permanent political class today. Be energized. We’re going to shake things up in 2014. Rest well tonight, for soon we must focus on important House and Senate races. Let’s start with Kentucky — which happens to be awfully close to South Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi — from sea to shining sea we will not give up. We’ve only just begun to fight.

Alexander voted yesterday to reopen the government rather than cave to the crazies and implode the economy. It was the only reasonable thing to do, of course, but in this absurd environment the senator almost comes across as courageous.

“I voted in September against shutting down the government, and today I voted to reopen it and to make sure that the United States pays its bills on time,” Alexander said. “We need to redouble our efforts to fix our country’s $16.7 trillion federal debt.”

That vote's only one more big reason for tea partiers to hate Alexander as a sellout and compromiser. To add fuel to the fire, Alexander sponsored some of the pork-barrel spending in the final bill in an insiders' deal on behalf of his buddy, Kentucky's Mitch McConnell. That's just the kind of thing that really riles up the tea party.

Alexander’s tea party challenger, Joe Carr, isn't raising much money but that hardly matters. The success of his candidacy never has depended on his fundraising prowess, his campaign's organizational abilities, or even his popular appeal.

Conservative super PACs will supply the cash. The tea party will put the boots on the ground. The old rules of political campaigns don't apply. Carr is almost irrelevant. It’s all about beating Lamar.

Alexander, on the other hand, is a cash machine. Unfortunately for him, it almost doesn't matter how much he raises. Tea partiers just might make up a majority of the state GOP electorate, and there's nothing Alexander can say or do to win their votes. They aren't persuadable.

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