Looking for Mr. or Ms. 'Perfect Republican'

If I were a politician, I hope I'd be ruthless.

If I weren't, I'd be a certain loser. Everyone I ever met it in that profession was far from a choirboy.  The village priest is not likely to be able to stand up to the likes of, say, Harry Reid, which is only about a couple of degrees short of standing up to Saddam. I wish it were otherwise, but that's the truth.  You don't have to be David Axelrod or Karl Rove to know that.

That famous remark attributed to Truman -- "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen" -- is famous for a reason.

So, egotistical as I may be, on the very few occasions people have talked to me about running for office, flattered as I may have been, I have just rolled my eyes. I have to be honest. I couldn't take it.

But speaking of rolling my eyes, that's what I did when I read an article here on PJ Media about Eric Cantor, alleging  the minority leader's campaign people were threatening (not actually doing, as far as I know, but threatening) to bankrupt Republican coffers in Cantor's Virginia district to weaken his Tea Party primary adversary.

In other words, as they say in Casablanca, I was "shocked, shocked" to learn there was hardball being played by a professional politician.

(Well, minor league hardball anyway, because that's what it was here. Actually I'd be really shocked to learn that hardball wasn't being played by politicians from any party -- Democrat, Republican or Whig.  I wish Romney had played more in 2012. We wouldn't be in the pickle we're in.)

Which leads me to a larger point.  Coming into this epochal political season, how do we judge politicians and candidates?