A dismal entry in the glorious annals of pols caught by hot mikes. Their basic point is sound, of course — at some point, Mike Gravel will have to take his metaphors and exit stage left so people with a chance to win have more time to speak. Why that time needs to be now, or even soon, with 16 months to go until the election is a separate question. If I were Mike Bloomberg and sitting on 12% of the vote, I’d be anticipating the second-tier purge and organizing a series of independent debates for minor candidates of both sides. Him, Paul, Gravel, Kucinich, Duncan Hunter, maybe, if he’s really daring, Ralph Nader: the media would love it, it’d give him an instant platform to introduce himself to the public, and it would bolster his already irritating reputation as someone who transcends partisanship. What’s not to love?

Thanks to the clip-cutting dynamos at BTN, as usual.

Update: Tough couple of days for “people-powered politics,” huh?

“Candidates, no matter how important or influential they perceive themselves to be, do not have and should not have the power to determine who is allowed to speak to the American public and who is not,” said Kucinich.

“Imperial candidates are as repugnant to the American people and to our Democracy as an imperial President.”