It's like the second coming of Ron Paul, only better...if you're a teabagger:
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Front-runner Rand Paul said in a U.S. Senate debate Monday night that he may not support Kentucky's other senator, Mitch McConnell, for minority floor leader if he's elected.
"I'd have to know who the opponent is and make a decision at that time," Paul said in a sometimes testy televised debate, the final face off in what has become an increasing acrimonious race to replace Sen. Jim Bunning.
His chief Republican opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, said he "proudly" would vote for McConnell. McConnell endorsed Grayson in the May 18 primary. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, who endorsed Paul, has been mentioned as a potential McConnell opponent for minority leader, though DeMint has said he has no such intention.
Paul took a hard line against congressional earmarks during the debate, saying he is philosophically opposed to pork barrel projects that have been used to pay for programs across Kentucky unless Congress has the money in hand to pay for them. Grayson said some of the earmarks, like those used to fight drug trafficking, are vitally needed and he would support them.
The amazing thing about Rand Paul's willingness to throw McConnell overboard in favor of a right-winger like DeMint is that his motivation doesn't appear to be retribution for McConnell's endorsement of Grayson. Rather, Rand Paul actually thinks McConnell is too liberal. So he's open to supporting Jim DeMint for Senate Republican Leader, even though Mitch McConnell represents Kentucky and as the Senate Republican Leader can deliver more for the state than Jim DeMint ever could.
It's not just the Senate Leadership race -- Rand Paul's position against earmarks for his own state is another example of teabagging extremism. Even Ron Paul (Rand's father) requests earmarks for his district in Texas. As long as there is earmarking, Ron Paul thinks his district should get its share. But not his son, who represents such a pure brand of teabaggism that he'd happily throw his state overboard to stay faithful to his hard-line ideology.
Kentucky Republicans choose a nominee next Tuesday, and all signs point to a victory by Rand Paul. If he does win, the GOP nominee for Senate in Kentucky will be a more conservative version of Ron Paul, a hardliner's hardliner, without even the faintest scent of pragmatism. The tea party crowd will be thrilled, but for the GOP, a Rand Paul victory will represent teabaggism run amok, not only giving the Democratic Party a much better shot at winning the seat, but serving as a symbol of the Republican Party's turn towards the far-right fringe.