There are those out there - mostly party Republicans - who cannot fathom the fact that the Tea Party singles out certain of their brethren for retribution on occasion. With all those stinking liberals out there, they go after us?! These days that effort shows up in the news with names attached of either "Indiana's" Dick Lugar or - this morning - Utah's Orrin Hatch.
But here's what those Republicans need to understand: We hope to gain the support from Democrats on the occasional issue when it comes up for national debate. James Webb and Joe Manchin on ObamaCare, Joe Lieberman on taxes (he's a Democrat in all but name), Jay Rockefeller on the EPA. Kirsten Gillibrand on the 2nd Amendment). We enjoy their support when we can get it. And work to have them defeated on election day when they prove to be vulnerable (see, as a good example, my former congressman, Rick Boucher, who is enjoying retirement as of the last election thanks in large measure to the work of an active Tea Party).
Republicans, however, are expected to be with us at all times. It's a non-negotiable.
So when one votes with the Democrats on limiting free speech (Mr. McCain), or votes with the Democrats on gay issues (Lisa Murkowski), or votes with the Democrats on "financial reform" (Scott Brown and Olympia Snowe), or votes with the Democrats on a host of other liberal issues (Snowe again and Susan Collins), we are disappointed. And resolved. With long memories. And a lust for vengeance.
It may seem odd. We are pleased with ourselves when a Democrat leaves office (how's that defeat feel, Alan Grayson?) (Russ Feingold?) (Arlen Specter?). But we are delirious when a RINO gets bounced (Lincoln Chafee) (Jim Jeffords) (Nancy Johnson). (Mike Castle) (Jim Leach) (I wish I could add my own former senator, John Warner, to the list of those liberal Republicans kicked out of office but he had the good sense to retire before we retired him).
The rule to live by: We accept the fact that there are liberal Democrats in this country. We don't accept the fact that there are Republicans who vote with the liberals EVER.
Now, let's talk about Lugar and Hatch ...