A rare point of agreement between him, Huckabee, and Rush Limbaugh: If only NY-23 had had a primary, all this unpleasantness would have been avoided. Maybe, maybe not. Ace and I have been arguing by e-mail about whether the third-party dynamic being championed by Beck is merely a bluff to scare the GOP into moving right (Ace’s theory) or whether GB and his fans are serious when they say they’ll no longer vote for the lesser of two evils (my theory). Certainly primaries are a better way to handle intraparty warfare than third-party challenges, but they’re not perfect. My sense of the looming Crist/Rubio battle in Florida is that it’s going to get nasty and that Crist will likely end up being just as demonized as the eventual Democratic nominee, if not more so. And if that happens — and Crist wins the primary anyway — I’m not sure how the fences end up being mended in time for a unified party-line vote in the general election. It’s hard to go from “this guy’s a scumbag RINO who’s no better than the Democrats who are destroying the country” to “this guy represents most of my interests” in a few months. I don’t know what the solution is to that, but I think Ace is smart in trying to build bridges between “pragmatists” and “maximalists” long in advance. The nastier things get, the more likely hardcore supporters in the primary loser’s camp end up staying home for the general, and the more likely a Democratic Congress becomes. Click the image to watch.

steele-process