Hey, maybe it was time to do that three months ago.

This is conservative Stephen Moore, in the conservative Wall Street Journal, talking about GOP fears that a deal between Crist and Meek may be in the works. Indeed, a party interesting in trying to win the seat would be hard at work in trying to forge a deal. Splitting the left isn’t doing anyone but Rubio any favors. The GOP knows this. The Democratic establishment pretty much knows this.

The only question left is whether Meek knows this. His options at this point are pretty much to lose on November 2, or to not lose by passing the baton to Crist. There’s no way he’ll be in the Senate next January.

That’s not to say that Crist can win. I’m pretty pessimistic about Florida’s Senate race no matter what happens at this point. But if you’re going to have a loser in the race that’s not Rubio, I’d rather it be Crist than Meek. And at least with Crist we have a fighting chance.

Yeah, this is why I’m still — a little — nervous about this race. A Crist/Meek deal seems likely because it’s the only rational option at this point. I know it, you know it, Kos knows it, Crist knows it, the Democrats know it — everyone knows it except, apparently, Kendrick Meek. I’d love to know what his thought process is here, whether he’s refusing to drop out due to simple pride as the Democratic nominee or whether he’s thinking that he’ll run again at some point down the line and can’t afford to have the “quitter” stigma attached to him or whether he’s just trying to drive a hard bargain with Obama for an appointment. He vowed last night after the Journal piece came out that he won’t quit because he’s “taking a stand against the radical right,” which of course is insane. What he’s actually doing is gift-wrapping a Senate seat for the so-called “radical right” by making the rest of the campaign a cakewalk for Rubio, to the point where Rasmussen now has it Marco 50, Charlie 25, Kendrick 19. Frankly, with numbers like that, it may be too late for a deal to save the race for Democrats. But then, maybe they were doomed all along: Rasmussen notes that Rubio picked up nine, count ’em nine, points since last week’s poll, likely thanks to the televised debate held a few nights ago. I’ll bet a lot of Crist-supporting centrist Republicans who hadn’t paid much attention to the race tuned into that and were surprised to find Sunshine Charlie sounding a lot more like a Democrat than they ever suspected he would. Presto change-o, suddenly Rubio has a bunch of new moderate conservatives in his column. Probably inevitable.

Now then: Let’s conduct a thought experiment. Close your eyes and think of Charlie Crist in all his opportunistic careerist principle-less glory, then try to imagine the precise opposite of what he stands for. What word, if you had to come up with just one, would be the perfect antonym for the Crist ethos? Okay — now you’re ready to watch the clip below. Enjoy.