Olympia Snowe, one of the few remaining moderate Republicans, has left the race in Maine. Her decision to pull out is troubling, since her favorability rating (as of just a few months ago) was nearly 74%. Paranoid types may feel inclined to look for signs of the blackmailer's art.
If you are less paranoid and more optimistic, you may see Snowe's decision to leave politics as a protest against the Jesus junkies and Ayn Randroids who have commandeered the GOP. She reminds me of Jeb Bush, who recently offered a startling critique of the conserva-gonzo media that served his brother so well. Jeb ain't the only one talkin' that kind of talk: Yesterday, Skydancing
directed our attention to Ross Douthat's recent NYT op-ed lauding Eisenhower
-- a piece which I consider a deliberate provocation. These days, Ike is not well-regarded by many Republicans. Most of the political real estate on the right is a fetid territory called Glenn Beckistan, which is simply a new name for John Birchland. And the Birchers called Ike a commie.
(As most longtime readers know, I like Ike -- although I probably would have voted for Adlai. If only we had such candidates nowadays!)
In short: The non-insane reactionaries are reacting against the insane reactionaries. It'll be fun to watch how that conflict plays out.
So what happens now in Maine? The likely Republican will be a tea-stained businessman named Scott D’Amboise. Could he win? Sure -- especially if Obama does something very unpopular.MI first:
There has been a lot of talk about the Kos-inspired "Operation Hilarity" -- a Democratic "crossover vote" scheme to deliver Michigan to Santorum. See here
. We will know within hours, maybe minutes, just how hilarious this contest truly is.
I don't favor this type of "Operation." Any brew with that orange-y Moulitsas tinge has gotta be bad for you.
Santorum may indeed prove weaker than Romney in a general election scenario, but so what? if you don't like Santorum's impersonations of Mel Gibson at his maddest, you don't want to see that guy get the nomination. Period.
Could Santorum win? Sure -- especially if Obama does something very unpopular.Update:
Romney has won Arizona; Michigan remains too close to call, with Romney slightly ahead
Romney is projected to win Michigan, although the currently available tallies are so close as to be rather humiliating for him. So much for hilarity.