"Apostate" in the political sense is just a fancy word for "traitor," although I suppose that's too strong a label for people who've never had any core beliefs in the first place:
With control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs this November, a single seat may determine who has the majority. That’s why Republicans should find it disconcerting that two of their establishment lions have broken ranks and are backing Democratic candidates in competitive races.
The latest apostate is former senator John Warner of Virginia, who announced this week he is backing incumbent Democratic senator Mark Warner for reelection. He is thus giving the back of his hand to former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, a former George W. Bush adviser, who has a decent shot at winning and is no wild-eyed radical. Last year, Warner also endorsed the Georgia candidacy of Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, who is the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, with whom Warner served in the Senate. He even attended a fundraiser on her behalf. Georgia Republicans who find themselves defending an open Senate seat in Georgia are furious since the Warner support allows Nunn to position herself as a bipartisan moderate.
Nor is Warner the only problem ex-senator the GOP has to contend with as it strives to assemble a team capable of winning a Senate majority. Former senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, who lost his Senate GOP primary in 2012 to conservative Richard Mourdock and then declined to endorse him, has also endorsed Nunn and had his political PAC send her the maximum $5,000 contribution. Nunn praised Lugar for his “collaborative approach” and pledged to “follow this legacy in the U.S. Senate.”
So, Richard Lugar is supporting a Dmocrat. My, my, couldn't see that one coming, huh? I'm sorry Mourdock didn't win, but surely the GOP is better off without Lugar as an incumbent senator. The party will never establish a clear identity, let alone be able to sell it to the voters, as long as it has elected officials so concerned about being moderate that they look exactly like Democrats.
Nunn likes Lugar's "collaborate approach" and will "follow this legacy"? Yeah, well, we'll see. How much energy do you have to put into collaboration when the other side has already come more that halfway to your position?
Hell, this isn't even a fight between "tea party" and "establishment" Republicans over ideology. It's about members of the "Good Ole Boys" (women allowed in the club) caring more about supporing one another than they do about supporting their party and its agenda.