Opinion: The voters will only tolerate so much

This week’s GOP primary defeat for U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., was a reminder that while voters like to shake things up in Congress, they can also pull the rug out from under someone who tests their patience.

For months, Cawthorn’s district seemed ready to overlook his multiple speeding tickets, citations for driving on an expired license, and the two times he was stopped at airport security with a gun in his carry-on bag.

But after saying his GOP colleagues in Congress were doing cocaine and having sex parties, Cawthorn was buried in an avalanche of opposition research — mainly from conservative media sources — ranging from allegations of insider trading to an especially weird naked video involving the 26-year-old Congressman.

Compare that to some of the oppo that Republicans have been sending me in recent weeks about U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome — and you can understand why no one is really talking about Greene losing in her May 24 primary.

Greene may be controversial — she may say and do things which are absolutely repugnant and politically asinine — but she has not turned herself into a lawmaker who is also seen as a law breaker.

There is one other important difference between Greene and Cawthorn. In North Carolina, state Republicans led by U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis publicly opposed Cawthorn, and helped fund his defeat. In Georgia, no senior GOP leader has stepped forward to oppose Greene, who still has the strong support of Donald Trump.

As for Trump, the latest primaries brought mixed results. He notched a big win in the race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina, where his endorsement led to an easy primary win for U.S. Rep. Ted Budd.

That scenario may play out in Georgia as well, as UGA football star Herschel Walker has been coasting in the GOP Senate race — seemingly secure with the ‘complete and total endorsement’ of Trump.

Out in Idaho this week, Trump was trying to get rid of the incumbent GOP Governor — but Gov. Brad Little easily turned back a challenge from his own Lt. Governor, even though Janice McGeachin had the backing of the former President.

A week earlier, Trump’s preferred candidate for Governor lost in Nebraska as well.

Next up on Tuesday May 24 is Georgia, where Trump’s effort to defeat Gov. Brian Kemp seems to be faltering. Ex-U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s campaign has limped toward the finish line, holding few campaign events, and making no big TV ad buys.

It could be Perdue’s second straight statewide defeat – even with the backing of Trump.

The voters seemingly will only tolerate so much.

Jamie Dupree has covered national politics and the Congress from Washington, D.C. since the Reagan administration. His column appears weekly in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. For more, check out his Capitol Hill newsletter at http://jamiedupree.substack.com