In a press release, Jeb Bush said, “As we continue to face tough challenges both at home and abroad, America needs leaders like Senator John McCain in the United States Senate. John has devoted his life to service and sacrifice for our nation, and demonstrated time and again that he is beholden to no interest other than what is best for America. John is a proven conservative leader committed to reducing taxes, fighting wasteful spending and keeping America safe. We need John’s continued leadership in the United States Senate, and I am proud to support him.”
Hayworth, who as recently as few months ago, looked like he might be able to provide McCain with stiff primary challenge has faced the brunt of a full on assault from the Republican Party establishment. Sarah Palin angered the right wing when she endorsed and stumped for McCain, and their tea party movement’s newest darling, Sen. Scott Brown added to the anger by using his new found status to stump for McCain in Arizona.
In the case of McCain’s primary, the right wing activists who thought that it was going to be easy to unseat the old guard and take over the Republican Party are learning a difficult lesson. Leaders of the old regime are not going to go away without a fight, and when push comes to shove, McCain, and incumbents like him, have more resources and political favors and chips to cash in than the new kids on the block can compete with. McCain was never really in any danger, just like Arlen Specter isn’t going to be very threatened by Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania.
It will be interesting to see what the tea party’s next move will be if they continue to be shut out by the Republican establishment. Since many in the tea party movement will settle for nothing less than a complete takeover of the Republican Party, their only option may be to strike out on their own as a third party. Republicans like Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are already warning that such a move would keep power in the hands of Democrats, but the current civil war in the Republican Party is about who holds the keys to power and decision making, and you can be certain that neither side is going to give up without a fight.