If you’ve noticed an absence of over-the-top posting by our favorite foaming at the mouth RABid boy Matt Naugle, it could be because he got called on the carpet. Word on the street is that Matt has made some in the GOP party ranks a bit nervous because of how far out there he gets. I’m hearing he was called and told to ratchet it down a notch. Maybe even two. Some are even hoping that when he goes back to school he’ll just go away for good.

This would be good advice – and wishful thinking. Maybe the GOP is getting smart and reading tea leaves as well. The fact is that they show an inability to moderate at their peril – and they KNOW this. 2006 was not a fluke and the boys that do the polling are figuring this out. It’s the reason we see Husted and company becoming willing to reign in the religious right. They MUST or they see even bigger losses in 2008 – and they may still. Republican fatigue is real and the only way to avert more losses is to come back from the wingnut ledge. Smart Republican politicians know this. Matt is not one of them. Hell, he’s still pimping the now defunct Ken Blackwell. One of the first rules in politics is to know when a politician is no longer viable. Ken is in that category given the thumping he got by Ted Strickland. Again, smart political players know this. Matt would miss this by a mile.

The bad thing for Republican leaders is that the Plain Dealer has already called RABid (and by extension mainly Matt as he is the only one who regularly posts) “Ohio’s most popular and influential Republican website”. That’s gonna take some distancing.

There are other reasons the GOP might be trying to distance themselves from The Naugster, but we won’t go into those right now.