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Lindsey Graham’s epitaph: Nothing in his political life will become him like the leaving it

I suspect that Ted Cruz is correct. The “fix” is in on the Senate immigration bill. It will pass. And no one will more to blame than Lindsey Graham. And for that one fact, (though by no means am I ignoring a whole litany of other offenses) Graham must be primaried, and defeated next year.

For unlike the other GOP members of the “gang of 8,” as well as those GOP senators inclined to support the bill, Graham is up for election in 2014. His stance on immigration is anathema to the overwhelming majority of the Republican party, if not the country as a whole. Elections do indeed have consequences, as do votes, and Graham must be held accountable for his.

Defeating Graham will serve two purposes. He will be made to pay the political price for his actions. Unlike McCain, who tracked hard right just to get elected in 2010, and then immediately went off the reservation, Graham will have to answer to the voters. His primary defeat will shape the 2014 elections. Conservatives across the county should openly nationalize the primary, throw money and volunteers at Graham’s opponents. Do anything possible to ensure his defeat.

It is likely that the GOP will win the Senate in 2014. And a Graham-less GOP majority will be emboldened to heed its conservative tenets, and remind McConnell ( the putative majority leader) that “uneasy indeed lies the head.” It will force him to behave. And it will also be a direct, and deserved slap down of McCain, and neuter whatever influence he has for the last two years of his term. And force him to retire after 2016. He won’t be able to fool the voters of Arizona again. And we’ll finally be rid of Meghan’s insipid Tweets.

And isn’t the mere thought of Graham importing McCain to campaign for him in the Palmetto State, well…it’s too, too delicious to even contemplate.

But more important than the 2014 election, defeating Graham will be a decisive first strike in the 2016 race for the White House. It will all but tell Rubio to forget it, don’t even bother trying.

I write this sadly, as one of Rubio’s first supporters and volunteers. When I heard him speak early summer of 2009, at a rally at a sports bar in St. Pete, taking questions for hours in front of several hundred enthusiastic ABCs (Anyone But Crist) I came away 100% convinced that I had just shaken hands with a future president of the US.

But Rubio’s support of the Senate immigration bill..indeed..it could not even exist without his participation, and the complete reversal of his stated position on illegal immigration from when he was running for the Senate, have ended that dream.

I will always cherish Graham for his brilliant performance as one of the House managers of Clinton’s impeachment. Sadly he is not that same conservative voice today. He must go.

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