Senator and former GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stunned quite a few people when he announced his support for fellow Senator Ted Cruz after joking about killing Cruz just a few weeks earlier.
Graham qualified his support for Cruz by saying he's the only realistic alternative to Donald Trump, but Graham now says he doesn't necessarily expect to win even if Ted Cruz somehow becomes the GOP nominee.
Graham predicted that Republicans "probably will" lose in 2016, saying Trump would be defeated by Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton while Cruz represented "a fighting chance" for Republicans.
"I'm not going to stand behind a guy that gets David Duke's support," Graham said of Trump. "So it's no longer about winning the election for me, it's trying to salvage a party that I love and conservatism as I know it."
What Lindsey Graham, Paul Ryan, and many other Republicans don't seem to understand is it's not their party anymore. If Donald Trump or Ted Cruz become the nominee, it's their party. You could argue the party is already theirs.
Today's GOP is more radical than it was in the previous cycle, and the cycle before that, and the cycle before that. For as long as I've been alive, the party has only grown more radical. It has never moderated.
I can't think of anything short of a total, historic blowout in November that might break the GOP's fever, but there's no guarantee even that would do the trick. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senator Lindsey Graham have already seeded the idea that Trump does not represent conservative values and thus conservatism cannot lose in November because it won't be on the ballot.
They may be right. Conservative values, whatever the hell that means at this point, may not be on the ballot but the Republican party will be and it's set to go down in flames thanks in large part to their own base of voters who winnowed the field of presidential candidates down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.