Now Alexander’s just another Republican cowering at the prospect of crossing President Donald Trump, one of the many people I don’t recognize despite having covered and followed them for years or even decades.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is another. We first met on Sen. John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign, when Graham and Thompson were all in with the McCain brand of “straight talk,” rebellious independence and cross-party relationships.

There’s also Florida’s Marco Rubio, who was instrumental (with Graham) in getting a landmark bipartisan immigration bill through the Senate in 2013. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, whose primary loss to a Tea Party candidate in 2010, and subsequent win as a write-in candidate, should have meant she’d never owe her party anything, and who played key roles in bipartisan negotiations I wrote about in “The Art of the Political Deal.” There’s even Susan Collins, who with her moderate Maine colleague Olympia Snowe was so notorious in conservative circles for occasionally going her own way, she evinced disgust from an Arizonan fed up with both McCain and “those two women who vote with the Democrats all the time.”