As Chris suggested, Michael Steele is very much off his rocker if he thinks knocking off moderate, Republican incumbents in blue states is a winning strategy.

But the most interesting thing Steele said in the interview, I think, is that his "responsibility is to follow the lead of the state parties." As I found out this weekend at the California Republican Convention, that is exactly what Steele should not be doing. California Republicans are pledging to withhold funding from their own band of traitors, but at least those legislators will have decades of gerrymandering to cushion their re-election chances. U.S. Senators have no such luxury.

Second, and more importantly, this is a sign that party leaders are having serious trouble placating the base. Normally, one would expect the grassroots anger to be tempered as it filters up the decision-making process to the national level. But if the RNC is taking cues from the state parties, which are being hijacked by bloodthirsty activists, then the influence truly is spiraling down to the most extreme elements of the party. Good news for Sarah Palin, perhaps, but bad news for just about everyone else.

--Eric Zimmermann