There is a reflexive desire among a certain species of moderate Republicans to be perceived as “civil” by liberal opponents who believe that the mere existence of free-market, limited-government conservatism is an indecent affront to humankind. All aboard the U.S.S. Lost Cause.
This disastrous, bend-over bipartisanship is a hard habit to break. In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain rode the “Barack Obama is a nice guy, but vote for me” wave to crashing defeat.