Blogs start the post-mortem early: What if GOP nominee had been Norton?

If you’re a Republican, and you look at Ken Buck’s troubles, you can’t stop your mind from wondering back to the comforting image of-.Jane Norton.

Except it’s not so comforting, of course, because you wake up and see Ken Buck trying to talk about rape and incest, and you know Norton would have faired much better than Buck on numerous fronts, like the flip-flop front and the women-front, to name a couple.

This discussion, of whether Norton would have been a better candidate, will undoubtedly emerge in the media after the election.

At least that’s the way it used to be, before the advent of blogs.

Nowadays, the public soul-searching, among respected commentators and partisans, begins before the election.

For example, on the topic of Norton versus Bennet, one conservative, the prolific Rossputin blogger, Ross Kaminsky, has already weighed in.

In an Oct. 18 post that looks a bit like it was written by the Michael Bennet campaign, Kaminsky laments that Norton isn’t the GOP nominee because she’d be doing better:

Kaminsky: But I can’t help remembering the heated online discussions I had with the Buck faithful when I supported Jane Norton, my argument being essentially that “these two are almost identical on policy, but Norton will be much harder for the Democrats to demonize in the general election than Buck will be and therefore, I’ll back the person I think more likely to win the general election.”  Those words still ring true, even prescient, to me.

He went on to deliver some harsh words about Ken Buck. To be fair, Kaminsky wrote that he’s still planning on voting for Buck, and he emphasized this again in a subsequent blog post.

Still, this is some pretty harsh stuff coming from a conservative like Kaminsky:

Kaminsky: Ken Buck needs to stop putting his foot in his mouth and stop saying ridiculous things which turn him into a caricature of the narrow-minded bible-bound old white guy which Democrats use with great success against the GOP.  Sadly, when Republicans say things like Ken Buck said on Meet the Press, it’s hard to argue that that caricature is far off the mark.

Kaminsky doesn’t labor in obscurity. He shares a radio show with former CO Senate President John Andrews. His blog has a national audience, and he’s a fixture on the most prominent conservative blog in Colorado, the People’s Press Collective. He carried the conservative torch on The Denver Post’s blog for a number of years, outlasting his liberal counterparts who failed to post much toward the end.

Even though Kaminsky writes that he sees the GOP as imperfect, seeing it as the only serious vehicle to implement his favored policies, he’s actually good weather vane for the Republican establishment. For example, during the financial crisis in the fall of 2008, Kaminsky gave reluctant support for the bailout, which was supported by a Republican president, the Republican nominee for president and vice president (yes, Palin supported the bailout), the Republican Treasury Secretary, and by Republican members of Congress. Then, within days of supporting the bailout, Kaminsky reversed himself.  To be fair, Kaminsky was up front that he was changing his position, but it came almost immediately after we were hearing noises in the conservative intelligentsia that Republicans should oppose the bailout and use it for political leverage down the road.

That’s why when I read posts from him critical of Republican candidates, I have to wonder if he’s channeling the thoughts and feelings of Republican power brokers who would never dare air them in public.

So, when Kaminky starts wishing for Jane Norton, it means something.

In the days before blogs, uncomfortable conversations among respected commentators like Kaminsky would have taken place over the kitchen table.

But today, the speculation about what could have been begins now…-and in public.

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