one more reason why Republicans are a mess...
Ron Paul faces this tactic [opposition to principled candidates who happen to get elected] this year. He has not had a challenger inside the Republican Party for years. He always defeats the Democrat. This year, there is a challenger for the Party's nomination. Paul has had to pull back from the national campaign until the Texas primary on March 4.
This is not random. The same phenomenon forced Kucinich out of the Presidential race last August: a challenger inside the Democrat Party.
The Republican Party supporting a primary opponent's bid against one of its own presidential candidates! Before this, North notes that the parties have quite a bit of control over who runs. (See also: Andrew Horne's short Senate "bid".)
Amazingly, the Republicans ran primary opponents against Ron Paul the first few times he had been elected. This rarely happens. For example, remember when Bush campaigned for RINO Specter when conservative Toomey was his primary opponent a few years back? The party supports party guys-- especially those who are incumbents. But they continue to fight Ron Paul.
For those of you holding out hope that the Republicans will govern conservatively anytime soon, your faith is misplaced.