The GOP's Ticket to November.

You've probably been asking yourself, "What do the candidates running for City Council in Grand Forks think about the Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero?" No? You haven't been asking that? Well why the heck not?

It's not quite the Grand Forks City Council, but Rick Scott, a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor of Florida, who thinks folks have been dying to know what he thinks about the issue:

What's remarkable about this is that Scott doesn't make even the most perfunctory attempt to tie the issue to Florida itself, much less the Florida governorship. Nothing. It's just that he doesn't like "Muslim fanatics," and "the fight against terrorism isn't over." Not even a "We need a leader in Tallahassee who understands that."

While Scott may be a particularly repellent figure, you can feel Republicans everywhere deciding that this issue is the shot of extra speed that will carry them over the finish line in November. Kind of a last PowerBar of hate to chew on when the legs are beginning to tire at the marathon's 20th mile.

For a while people were thinking Republicans would have to come up with something resembling an agenda, a remix of 1994's Contract With America or something. But maybe not. And who are the loneliest people in America right now? Muslim Republicans. They must be looking with jealousy at how included and appreciated the Log Cabin Republicans are.

-- Paul Waldman

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