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I remember in the waning days of the first term of the Obama administration the left through their primary organ of communication MSNBC decided that Grover Norquist was the root of all evil when it came to taxes.

The greatest success of this campaign came when Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss decided to renounce it:

Appearing on a local Georgia television station Wednesday evening, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said that fixing America’s debt woes may require him breaking with anti-tax activist Grover Norquist‘s long-standing pledge, saying that “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”

It was a great day for the left, and the MSNBC crowd praised Chambliss and pooh poohed Norquist when he answered thus:

Norquist responded on CNN tonight, finding it odd that Chambliss would target him specifically when the Americans for Tax Reform pledge is a promise not to him, but to a politician’s constituents.

Norquist said Chambliss’ remarks were “confusing” because the pledge was not made on his behalf, but on the behalf of Chambliss’ own constitutents.

Norquist not withstanding the left continued to celebrate Chambliss’ After all they were in a no lose situation. If the GOP primaried him and he won that would simply strengthen the spine of those in the GOP willing to betray the voters consider revenues, if he was defeated in a primary, well I’ll let a commentator at Mediate explain:

This is wonderful! I look forward to the teabagger who primaries him and wins the nomination, a la O’Donnell/Mourdock, handing his seat over to the Democrats. Republicans don’t seem to realize how screwed they are after courting the crazies for short term political gains in 2010.

Edwin from NJ would have been less encouraged if he read Stacy McCain who said at the time:

Mark my word, the handwriting on the wall will become clear enough pretty soon and, by mid-2013 at the latest, Chambliss will announce that he will retire rather than seek re-election.

But the thoughts of a mere blogger (decades in journalism not withstanding) meant nothing to the real jounoalists like Mike Barnicle:

“Grover’s taken a big hit since the election, there’s no doubt about it,” Morning Joe’s Mike Barnicle said. “I’ve talked to a couple of United States Senators who said there’s at least 10 to 12 Republican senators who are willing to walk away from Grover Norquist on the tax pledge.”

and John Heilemann

“Sanity is contagious,”

And on Morning Joe they discussed Frank Bruni’s piece: Is Grover Over?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

As late as December you had posts at Morning Joe saying:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, 69, isn’t afraid of anti-tax bogeyman Grover Norquist,

Chambliss was at worst going to lose a primary and give Dems a shot at an unreachable seat, and at best Chambliss wins a primary encouraging others in the GOP to spend spend spend! Yup MSNBC & the MSM has spoken anti-tax pledge was finished, the conventional wisdom had changed

…right up until the point when it had not:

Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss said Friday he will not seek a third term next year, expressing deep frustration with Washington gridlock that he doesn’t see changing in a divided government.

…deep frustration with Washington Gridlock? Funny just two months ago the Washington Gridlock wasn’t frustrating enough for him to keep him from seeking re-election.

Let this an object lesson to every member of the GOP caucus living inside the media bubble. Reports of both Grover Norquist and the Tea Party’s political demise have been greatly exaggerated…reports of Saxby Chambliss’ political demise have not.

The media will no doubt spin this as an indictment of gridlock and bemoan Sen Chambliss departure in the same way they did Olympia Snowe. As for the hoped for victory in GA I regret to inform Edwin from NJ that GA is not Maine.

John Heileman was right. Saxby Chambliss IS contagious and members of the GOP who catch this disease are likely to suffer the same political fate.

Update: The most hilarious piece on this story comes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “Political Insider” piece that in 777 words on Chambliss’ decision doesn’t mention his flip flop on the Norquist at all.

Move on nothing to see here