Even so, his remarks about science, Perry, and the debt ceiling all suggest a man who doesn’t think compromise is, to use Perry’s word, treason. It would be such a good thing for the country if some GOP legislators came down with a case of the Huntsman flu. Maybe if Huntsman can survive a while on the stump—and since he can self-finance to a large extent there would seem to be no reason that he couldn’t—and keep after his opponents from the perspective expressed over the last few days, he can help create an atmosphere where come 2013, if Obama is reelected, some GOP senators who know better might be emboldened to behave more maturely.
The more likely long-term scenario is that Huntsman will have negligible impact on his party. Unless the GOP does something truly self-immolating next year, like nominating a Bachmann who goes on to win 120 electoral votes, the current trajectory will likely continue for the foreseeable future. I think the Republicans, a stubborn bunch, will have to endure eight years of Obama and then eight years of some other Democrat (Hillary?) before they finally acknowledge certain realities, and even that seems iffy. So that’s 2024 at the earliest. Huntsman will be 64 then. But Sarah Palin will be just 60.