A thoughtful look at why this even coalesced the right more than past conflicts; The Kavanaugh hearing has united the GOP for now. But why?
The outrage and anger from both wings of the Republican Party was tremendous. But the far right of the party is often outraged and angry at what Democrats do. It’s the moderate wing that usually shrugs its shoulders or gives in. This time, that was not an option. Kavanaugh was their man, and he was being trashed.
They suddenly discovered that the rules they thought they’d been playing by all this time, the ones they thought at least some of their Democratic colleagues shared, meant nothing to the opposition. They either had never held them at all, or were more than willing to abandon them—and all sense of decency—in their lust for power.
And that’s why it was the moderate side of the right that stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods in the Kavanaugh fight. Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, all of them harshly vilified in the past by the more conservative wing of the party, found themselves uttering words that those who had previously reviled them were now cheering.
Those words from the RINOs had more power to rally the base than if the same messages had been delivered by senators further to the right. The factor of surprise made for a much more attention-getting story. Lindsay Graham’s tirade was much more newsworthy because it came from Graham rather than, for example, Ted Cruz. But in addition, because one of the biggest beefs the far right had previously had with the RINOs was the latters’ lack of courage and fight, the experience of actually seeing and hearing those RINOs fight, and fight hard, did much to evaporate the base’s former reasons for despising them.