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Well, first, I want to praise Carl’s doing so well in making so much out of THE RAMONES. He’s not yet ready for the cover of THE ROLLING STONE, but he has been linked by the magazine’s website, apparently. I saw the Ramones live in Baltimore in 1978. I enjoyed the crowd. But they really were boring. All the songs did sound the same, after all. Individually, on the radio, those songs can make me smile, but more than an hour of that stuff . . . .

Poor Tim Pawlenty didn’t come to Pistol Pete for advice. He just dropped out. Obviously, he acted too soon. We’re still months from any voting that actually counts. And the candidacy of Bachmann, as Pete has explained, is pretty darn precarious.

But by taking Tim out, Michele probably killed her own chances. The TEA PARTY buzz is already that switching to RICK PERRY is the right thing to do. He has a better chance of beating Obama, and he’s almost as principled as Michele. That makes sense from a certain view.

Michele now has to turn her verbal guns against Perry. I wish her luck (because I’m not a Rick fan at this point), but surely it’ll be clear quite quickly she’s met her match.

So we’ll very likely be very quickly in a PERRY vs. ROMNEY situation. Some conventional wisdom give the edge to Romney—because Republicans like to nominate seasoned moderates who’ve lost at least one contest for the nomination: Bush the elder, Bob Dole, even John McCain.

But the unconventional wisdom seems more like real wisdom: The TEA PARTY has changed the game. It’s true they want a winner, but not the Romneycare flip-flopper. Romney’s campaign is much better this time, but he’s actually doing worse. It’s hard to see how he wins a one-on-one against the aggressive, highly ideological (and highly evangelical) Rick.

I could be wrong, though. I, for one, am quite likely to vote for Mitt.

The best reason for Tim dropping out: Why should he waste his time with people who overwhelmingly believe that both Michele and Ron Paul would be a better president than he would? With all his shortcomings, Tim, after all, was the most plausible president (except maybe Romney) among the active candidates. And now he’s gone.

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