AS MARCH MADNESS morphs into April insanity, the presidential primaries will only draw us still closer to the conclusion that the Republican Party - from top to bottom - has offered us the worst collection of maniacs, misogynists and liars of the modern political era.
Their desperate four-year effort to return a white guy - any white guy with the sort of friends who can pay for it - to the Oval Office demonstrates the party has lost its conscience and its soul. It began on the day Barack Obama walked into the office and has gotten so much worse with abusive accusations from candidates who ought to be an historic embarrassment to the entire electoral process. And if there are any local diehards who wish to disagree, let me see a show of hands. Thought so.
True, there have been crackpots and dead-enders in the past. But none of them hung around long enough to be remembered. This time, after months of combat, there are still four stiffs on the GOP primary ballots.
Among the most shameful utterances of the season was Newt Gingrich's ugly reference to Obama's mournful reaction to the savage killing of Trayvon Martin. Newt, the Crazy Guggenheim who seems to be staying in the race for the hell of it, said it was "disgraceful" that Obama remarked that if he had had a son, the boy "would have looked like Trayvon"
Newt, of course, is on the edge of derangement, and enjoying every minute of slandering the president. Eh, in his words, the biggest food-stamp president in history. And we know what underlies that notion. Ha. Ha. He also repeats that Obama likes Muslims more than Christians.
Meantime, Rick Santorum has been sustained by voters who broadly believe that Obama is a half-breed or worse with an illigitimate claim on the office. He also thrives in the heated atmospherics of Catholic bishops and evangelical protestants - a rather combustible mixture of religion and politics. Listen to Santorum and you can sense the ecstasy that drives him to his denunciations of birth control and other secular excesses.
Then we have Mr. Romney, who was pictured in today's New York Times signing his Massachusetts health care reform law with well-wishing Ted Kennedy at his side. Now, of course, he says Obamacare is a bad way to look at the Masschusetts law.
Even at the state level, we have the Republican State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate , Josh Mandel, who at 34 seems to sample his next political job the way Florentine tourists salivate in choosing their next flavor of gelato .
The PD's Ohio PolitiFact noted the other day that the whiz kid has already been caught in blatant falsehoods a half-dozen times. And it's only March. One will do for all of them: His charge that Sen. Sherrod Brown, who has played a leading role in trying to keep jobs in America, is in the forefront of shipping those jobs to China.
I've asked this before: As a once-thriving major political party, is this all the GOP has to offer in 2012. The answer is undeniably yes.
We can't even cheer about Gringrich's promise to reduce gas prices to $2.50 a gallon. Not even if the counters on the gas pumps were replaced with Etch a Sketches.
P.S. In the interest of offering visuals to illustrate the state of politics today, I have offered this painting titled "The Scream", by Edvard Munch. Don't you agree?