Steele: I'm open to supporting primary challengers for Collins, Snowe, and Specter

Not as exciting as it sounds. All he’s doing, really, is punting the matter to the state GOPs. If they want to force a primary showdown by backing another candidate, he’ll follow their lead at the national level — or so he says. And why not? He has almost nothing to lose by saying it. They’re the three least popular politicians in America right now among the base, The One excepted, and the likelihood that he’ll ever have to act on it is low. The idea of Republicans in Maine, of all places, trying to unseat not one but two moderate incumbents only to have Democrats crush their handpicked hardline conservative replacements in the general election is comical. A Republican challenge to Specter is trickier since it’s more likely and Steele will be worried about the big picture in the Senate. Would he really oppose Benedict Arlen, an incumbent, if he’s the last thing standing between the Democrats and 60 votes? The only way, I think, is if the party’s positioned for gains in 2010, in which case he might do something bold to prove to his critics that he’s a “true” conservative after all. Short of that, no way.

Then again, punishing Republicans who don’t toe the party line is all the rage, suddenly. Look out, turncoats! Click the image to watch.

Update: The only one who’s up for re-election next time is Specter. Unless you think the stimulus vote will still be reverberating in 2012 or 2014, you can forget about this sinking Snowe or Collins.