What we need more of

is conservatives who are actually grown-ups and call out the embarrassing nuttiness from members of their own party who are actually running for president.  George Will can certainly be a hack at times (and damn, does he just need to get over the fact that, yes, science shows pretty convincingly that global warming is man-made), but boy does he have a great column today.  Some excerpts:

Republicans should understand that when self-described conservatives such as Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans do not recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured. As it is directly when Newt Gingrich, who seems to be theatrically tiptoeing toward a presidential candidacy, speculates about Obama having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” mentality.

A magazine article containing what Gingrich calls a “stunning insight” is “the most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama.” Gingrich begins with a faux question: “What if he is so outside our comprehension” that he can be understood “only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior?” Then Gingrich says this is not just a question, it is “the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”…

So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.

As for Will’s “plausible” candidates:

Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

I tend to put these more on the “sane” dimension than the plausible dimension.  Daniels and Huntsman will have a very tough time cutting it with social conservatives.  Haley Barbour is a former lobbyist with an affinity for the KKK who looks like Boss Hogg.  That leaves Romney and Pawlenty.  Though, I still would not entirely count out Palin and Huckabee, plausible or not.

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