The way the Republican Party leadership was talking about poor old Charlie last weekend in the wake of his apostasy, you’d think he was the guy who left the SUV full of explosives in Times Square.
Some senator on Meet the Press huffed about how Charlie, by resolutely ignoring the Voice of the People, had been beaten fair and square by Marco Rubio, and instead of being man enough to bow out of the race had decided to become the skunk at the garden party.
What made the comments ugly and cynical was that, up until Thursday, the GOP establishment would have been perfectly happy to support Charlie’s candidacy with money, staff, and boots on the ground had he won the primary.
As I alluded to in a cartoon on Switcheroo Day, he was still the same old Charlie he’d been the previous week. Nothing about him had changed except his label.
For his part, Charlie⎯who was given his own Meet the Press segment⎯ allowed as how it wasn’t he who had changed, but rather his beloved Republican Party whose primary voters had moved so far to the right that ordinary Americans couldn’t compete anymore.
I tend to agree with him. If Charlie actually had principles, I’m guessing they’d be more along the lines of the fiscally conservative, yet socially laissez-faire Rockefeller Republicans who may still inhabit Tri-State Area country clubs. If there are any left alive, they can probably be found hunkering in the Men’s Grill over their Wild Turkey manhattans, wondering what the hell happened to their party.
It gives a whole new meaning to "mourning in America."