Mmmmmm... own. In one more example of how an unglued GOP has developed a taste for, well, itself, a rather high-profile primary challenger has emerged to take on John McCain in 2010... and to drag the national face of the GOP deeper and deeper into right-wing nationalism and xenophobia even as the country becomes more and more diverse.
Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and a prominent figure in the movement to clamp down on illegal immigration, will announcing tomorrow at an event on the Mexican border that he's resigned from the group to run in the 2010 Senate primary.
There have been rumors of a primary challenge from the right before; there was a brief surge in J.D. Hayworth's stock a few months ago. Still, Simcox's entry seems a bit surprising, given that he has no political resume and he's best-known for founding a group that makes many people uncomfortable, to say the least. On the other hand, Simcox has a national profile to draw on for fundraising purposes. To me, though, he seems poised to go down the same road as Ron Paul's presidential campaign: he may be good at getting wackos all over the place to pry open their wallets for small-dollar donations, but he probably won't have the skills or connections for converting that into meaningful numbers of votes against an establishment candidate.
Still, it would behoove the Democrats to start thinking about fielding a serious candidate for this race instead of handing out McMaverick's usual free pass. Their chances in this race may have improved, with McCain having to run the right-wing gauntlet before even reaching the general. The erratic McCain we saw in the late stages of the presidential race may resurface if he faces a long, tiring, disspiriting campaign, and who knows how many gaskets he may blow between now and Nov. 2010. (Discussion already underway in Chad's diary.)