The Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln, or even the party of Eisenhower. What was once a fairly reputable political organization started hitting the skids with Nixon's "southern strategy" in the 1960's when he decided the Chamber of Commerce strong arm of the party could accept and co-exist with angry racist whites from the south. And it worked - for awhile.
The southern whites, bible-thumping evangelicals, and other hillbilly riffraff who rushed into the waiting arms of the vote-hungry GOP soon began to figure out how to infiltrate the party machinery, control the ballots by storming the primaries and caucuses, and wreak havoc on the once venerable old party. The stodgy elephants who had run the party for more than a century cowered in political impotence before the invading cockroaches.
Obviously (and laughably) they brought the mess on themselves. As Gramma used to say, "Lie down with dogs and you wake up with fleas!"
Senator John McCain, Lindsey Graham's right hand, has taken full advantage of the nut-bag element of the Republican Party before - most noticeably when he selected Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008. He appreciated their support - just as long as they stayed in their place and didn't interfere with the adults, like himself, who had responsibility for governing.
But McCain, who lost that Presidency - thanks, Sarah - represents Arizona in the Senate, and Arizona is unlike most of the other states in the Union. The Scorpion State is filled to the brim with old, white, sun-dried, golf cart-driving miscreants who take their political cues from people like Joe Arpaio, Jan Brewer, and Russell Pearce. An Arizona politician who shows any shred of human decency, particularly toward immigrants from Mexico, does so at his or her own peril.
Last year the state Republican Party censured McCain because they perceived him as being too tolerant of immigrants. He drew a primary challenger in his 2010 re-election campaign, and it now looks like he has another Republican challenger in next year's primary - again from the far right wing of the party. But Johnny Mac hasn't been too worried. He figured with his wife's money, Lindsey's warm support, and the general apathy of voters in Arizona in August, he ought to be good for another six years. The secret to his success would be to not do anything to stir up the malcontents.
Then Donald Trump announced that he wanted to be President. Then Donald Trump issued a savage and racist attack on immigrants from Mexico. Then Donald Trump rushed to Arizona to hold hands with Joe Arpaio as he again slimed Mexican immigrants. And then Johnny Mac got pissed!
McCain said that Trump's speech in Phoenix was "hurtful," and that what he did was to "fire up the crazies." McCain, of course, has fired up a few crazies himself over the years.
Hey, Johnny Mac, how did that whole Sarah Palin thing work out for you?