Murkowski says DeMint advancing GOP ‘civil war’, claims she was victim of Tea Party ’smear campaign’

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is not going away quietly. Aside from her probably futile write-in campaign after losing the primary, she’s pointing fingers at others for her loss. On CNN this morning, she claimed the she was the victim of a Tea Party “smear campaign”:

“What happened in my particular race, you had the Tea Party Express, this California-based group, come in at the last minute in a campaign, run a mudslinging, smear – just a terrible, terrible – campaign with lies and fabrications and mischaracterizations,” Murkowski told CNN’s Candy Crowley in an exclusive interview. “They came in, dumped $600,000 into a small market here in Alaska, and they absolutely clearly influenced the outcome.”

From a Tea Party persepective, it seems to me that the most damaging charges you could level at Murkowski are that she is the quintessential Republican establishment politician who practically inherited her seat from her father and is closely tied to lobbyists. That’s more than enough reason for Republican primary voters to toss her overboard this year. But in case you weren’t convinced Murkowski’s complaints are sour grapes, here’s what she has to say about conservative hero Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.:

Murkowski also suggested that DeMint – who has repeatedly supported Tea Party-backed candidates over establishment picks this election cycle – may be waging a civil war within the GOP.

“I think he has made people uncomfortable. I think that he has kind of rattled the cages, whether it advances to a full-on civil war, I don’t know. What I’m looking at right now is what’s going on in my state.”

If DeMint is advancing a civil war in the GOP, I don’t think too many people are going to be upset that Murkowski is one of the casualties. Is it too much to ask  she accept the will of the voters and resign herself to the ridiculously high-paying lobbying job that’s no doubt waiting for her — and do it with a modicum of grace? Apparently the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.”

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