Is Mickey Kaus running the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board? Ron Brownstein? In a May 25 editorial, the Inky drops hints about a centrist third party -- the Brownstein/Kaus meme -- and adds Kaus's assertion that John McCain would have won the presidency last year as a third-party candidate:
In a real cliffhanger, 14 U.S. senators, seven from each party, announced a compromise on judicial nominations that pulled their institution back from the precipice to which it had been driven by baying packs of ideologues.
It was great to see that the Senate still includes people who don't view all issues as iron-cage death matches between good and evil. The moderates won a victory, however temporary. Their civil good sense shamed partisans on both sides.
Looking at the group as it announced the deal, you could almost - but not quite - glimpse the outlines of a third party of the center. A key architect of this compromise, John McCain of Arizona, likely would win a presidential election today if he ran against any of the probable nominees of the two parties. By standing up for principle here, though, he's probably forfeited any shot at the GOP nod in 2008.
Disclosure: The Inquirer ran a weekly Spinsanity column from January-November 2004.