This is heartening.
UPDATE: Says John Podhoretz:
The horrid irony of this whole election is that if Bibi hadn’t decided to challenge Ariel Sharon — the most popular politician in Israel’s history — last fall for leadership of Likud and almost pull it off, Sharon wouldn’t have left Likud to form the new Kadima party. Had Bibi just been patient and less greedy, he would have been in place when Sharon was felled by his stroke. He would have gracefully taken up leadership of Likud due to Sharon’s incapacitation, and would have sailed into the prime minister’s seat for a second time. Instead, he has been squashed like a bug, brought down by his own hubris.
I love stuff like this. For example, consider what would have happened if Rudy Giuliani stuck out the 2000 New York Senate race and defeated Hillary Clinton. Next in succession for the mayoralty was Mark Green, the arch-liberal “Nader’s raider.” Assuming that he performed with any degree of competence in the aftermath of 9/11, he would have become a hero, and the landslide winner of a full term two months later. The two political he-men of the crisis would have been George W. Bush and the left-wing “America’s Mayor,” who presumably would take center stage in all of the Left’s arguments about post-9/11 war and national security issues. As for Rudy … well, there would have been some use for a liberal Republican senator from New York. A future HUD secretary, maybe?