Liz Cheney’s campaign is done. But its spirit lives on.

The daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney is no longer running for the Senate.

But the spirit of Liz Cheney’s campaign will live on for a little longer, and it helps explain why Congress won’t get much done for the next few months.

In July, Cheney announced she would run against fellow Republican Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, arguing it was time for “a new generation” of conservative leaders

Enzi is no one’s idea of a liberal, with a high lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. But in the current political environment, that was no guarantee that he would survive a Republican primary. 

While Enzi may be safe in November, there are many more Senate Republicans who are in danger of losing their seats over not being conservative enough. 

Conservatives such as Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader;  Sen. John Cornyn of Texas; Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas; and Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi face primary challengers from the right, while Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina may face them as well.

Those challengers mean a substantial number of Republican senators and the House can’t afford to compromise until after primary season is over. And that means Congress won’t get much done for a while.

So settle in for a long, likely unproductive 2014 — at least the first half.

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