I haven’t been completely disappointed by the GOP primary circus these past several months.
In the fall, things seemed so promising. We had the likes of Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry still in the race–with Sarah Palin not yet totally out of it. But Ms. Palin proved no more than a chimera (go figure), and the other three, along with Mister 999–Herman Cain–each disappeared after one hot minute under the kleig lights of honest-to-goodness fact-checking and reasonably clear-eyed analysis that sometimes infects media coverage in a major political campaign.
So we’ve been left for months with just Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney trying to muster a challenge to Barack Obama from the disparate yearnings of, as Hendrick Hertzberg recently put it in the New Yorker,
[the] excitable, overlapping assortment of Fox News friends, Limbaugh dittoheads, Tea Party animals, war whoopers, nativists, Christianist fundamentalists, à la carte Catholics (anti-abortion, yes; anti-torture, no), anti-Rooseveltians (Franklin and Theodore), global-warming denialists, post-Confederate white Southrons, creationists, birthers, market idolaters, Europe demonizers, and gun fetishists
who make up the Republican “base” today.