RUSH LIMBAUGH: [Ken Cuccinelli] is a Reagan conservative. He's a genuine conservative. He really is. There's no RINO about him, is my point, and I think the Republican establishment wouldn't mind him losing because if Cuccinelli loses, what do they get to do?Limbaugh is probably partly right: When Cuccinelli loses, establishment Republicans will point fingers at the tea party. But that's not because they wanted Cuccinelli to lose, that's because pointing fingers is what losers do. Look no further than Rush Limbaugh: Cuccinelli hasn't even lost yet, and he's already pointing fingers at the GOP establishment. When you lose races like this, civil war is what you get.
They get to blame the Tea Party, they get to blame conservatives, and they get to say, "See? Conservatives just can't win! You people are killing the Republican Party, you Tea Party types and you people insisting on conservatism. Conservatives are just too small a minority. There's no way you can win. You're losing elections for us." I think that's what they want to say. [...] I think there's very little doubt that the Republican Party's not happy with its base, Tea Party and conservatives. I don't know this, but a lot of people have this theory, and I think it's got a lot of credence.
But whatever they say after the election, before the election the GOP establishment clearly wanted Cuccinelli to win. That's why the Republican Governor's Association spent $8 million trying to help him win. That's why so-called "RINO moderates" like Rep. Scott Rigell endorsed Cuccinelli's campaign.
To be clear, saying that the GOP establishment wanted Cuccinelli to win isn't a defense of them: It's an indictment. We keep on hearing how "GOP moderates" are trying to steer the GOP back from the brink, but it never seems to result in anything tangible. During the shutdown, lots of Republicans said they didn't support the shutdown—Rigell was one—but up until the very end, on every vote that mattered, they voted in favor of the shutdown.
And tomorrow when Republicans start whining that only reason Ken Cuccinelli lost is that he's right-wing conservative lunatic, people should keep in mind that while they might be right, the follow-up question is this: If you think Cuccinelli was such a toxic right-winger, then why did you support him?