The past couple of weeks have been hell for the stampede of GOP presidential candidates who complained that if it's not one damn thing, it's another.
How could the devout among them safely respond to Pope Francis' challenge to their empty notions that climate change is not supported by overwhelming scientific proof?
Rick Santorum told the Pope to mind his own business.(It got even worse when Bill Donahue, the manical president of the Catholic League, accused the Holy Father of being a Socialist sympathizer!)
Then there was the Charleston massacre, which produced insistence among political right-wingers that the slaughter was not a hate crime but rather an attack on Christians and religious liberty with Christmas still six months down the road.
That, in turn led to a lot of fumbling and stumbling by some southern race apologists over that Confederate Flag. Most of the Republican candidates shimmied back at an assured safe distance until South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who had earlier passed on the question in 2014, , effectively rose to the occasion to call for the removal of the flag from the Statehouse grounds.
Her talk drew a round of applause from her audience as well as from lawmakers from both parties who lined up behind her. Prez. candidate Sen Lindsey Graham, pale and expressionless, stood nearby. He, too, had said earlier that the flag is "who we are" . He apparently was emboldened by Haley to forsake his earlier loyalities to now agree that it it should be taken down.
The sideshow leading up to Haley's statement ranged from Mike Huckabee 's dismissal of the Confederate flag as a national issue to Rudy Giuliani's profound vision that the shooter may have "hated Christians". And for comic relief, Rick Perry called the bloody assault on African-American churchgoers an "accident" before scrambling later to say he really meant to call it an "incident"'. The horn-rim glasses haven't helped.