Dumb fun via HuffPo, made newsworthy only by the fact that Rendell was one of Hillary’s staunchest backers and thus this will inevitably be seen by some as the Clintons sending up a flare. Simple question per his point about “deterioration”: How far, realistically, would conditions in Afghanistan have to deteriorate for left-wingers to decide that it’s worth tearing the party apart with a primary fight? I could understand someone like Howard Dean launching a symbolic candidacy in order to turn up the pressure on Obama to start pulling out, but … an honest to goodness bid for the nomination? Never happen. There’s no draft and no real risk of catastrophic battlefield defeat, so there’s nothing to galvanize widespread support for an insurgent peacenik Democrat. If Obama stays the course, we’re likely to just keep muddling through, and while no one’s thrilled with that idea, it ain’t enough for a Hillary 2012 campaign when progressives are already wetting themselves about losing the White House to the GOP. The racial politics would be poisonous too, of course. George Bush got reelected in 2004 while muddling through in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and yet Democrats are going to bounce the first black president after a single term for doing the same — when he’s already committed to some sort of token drawdown next summer? Not a chance.

If you’re looking for political intrigue, forget the primary challenge and start thinking about a third-party candidate. Ron Paul will never have a better opportunity: The country’s trending both anti-war and fiscally conservative, and Paul can easily sell himself as the only candidate who’s serious on both points. He’ll still lose big, but he’ll take plenty of votes from the Republican nominee in the process. In fact, ironically, by keeping the war going Obama may inadvertently end up encouraging Paul to jump into the race, which will only end up benefiting … Obama. A neat trick.

Rendell-related exit question: Is the best TV show evah really on par with “Jerry Springer”? C’mon.

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Update: Is the RNC trying to stir the pot a little here? Hmmmm.