So Susan Rice has taken herself out of the running for secretary of state.
I seem to recall reading more than once that it didn't matter how much Republican opposition there was to Rice -- she could still win confirmation. I never understood why anyone believed that. As long as the filibuster exists, as long as holds exist, as long as the White House wants anything else -- anything -- from Republicans, in the House or the Senate, the party had the power to kill her chances, and that power was going to be used. Republicans are wounded, but they're still going to avenge themselves after Obama's reelection victory every chance they get, simply because that's what they do -- all of them, including "moderates" like Susan Collins. They haven't gone as far as they could in theory -- they do still feel they need a fig leaf for every act of obstructionism; they don't just obstruct and sa,y "We did it because we can." But the fact is, they do it because they can. They don't think government controlled by Democrats is legitimate -- any of them. Or, at least, they think their base voters don't think Democratic government is legitimate. So they do this.
And they're right about their base -- but something like still isn't enough to appease that base. I spotted this dialogue on Twitter and I don't agree with it:
thats all this bullshit was about RT @jmartpolitico Lindsey Graham just got a nice talking pt for his '14 primary— Tim Dickinson (@7im) December 13, 2012
What I mean is that, for Lindsey Graham, this may have been about appeasing his right flank -- but his right flank won't be appeased. If he tries to go moderate on immigration, this won't be weighed against that -- he'll just have a damning black mark against his record, which will mark him as a "RINO," and helping to kill the Susan Rice appointment won't get him off that hook. Even if he doesn't do anything moderate between now and his next election, the base will comb through his record and find evidence of RINOism, and he will be primaried. He can wave Susan Rice's scalp all he wants and it won't help. The crazies will ask why he didn't give them even more. He won't be saved.