I haven't written about the Republican presidential primaries. I've even tried to ignore the eeriest pronouncements spouting from the candidates, which include such classics as "Corporations are people" and "By the end of my second term, we'll have a permanent colony on the moon."
I have avoided writing about the GOP Primary Lollapalooza for the same reason that people don't pick on the elderly, children and the enfeebled. It's mean-spirited, too easy, and ultimately not much fun.
Now, I'm sure there are Republicans crying out how their candidates are oh-so much, much better than the sitting President of the United States, Barack Obama. But that misses the point entirely. What's at issue here is one thing only - how crushingly dismal Republicans must feel about their candidates hoping to be their standard bearer of their party.
Any Far Right Republican who enthuses, "We have great candidates running for president, and I couldn't be happier!" either has a longer nose than Pinocchio or has imploded into self-deception more impenetrable than a Black Hole.
Let's consider the reality:
On his way to heading the GOP is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts - a state so liberal it's used by Republicans as the poster child for their fund-raising. Under Mr. Romney, Massachusetts created a health-care law that was a blueprint for the Affordable Health Care Act. He once even voted in a Democratic primary, as an independent. And he belongs to a religion that some Far Right evangelical Republicans have thoughtlessly described as "a cult." Don't even try to convince me that the Far Right Republican Party is happy with Mitt Romney.
In fact, there is only one reason the Far Right tolerates Mitt Romney - because he's not Newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich carries more baggage than American Airlines. He was pressured to quit Congress by his own Republican colleagues, after an ethics violation. His one-man assault on the sanctity of marriage violates every genteel temperament of the supposed Party of Values.
And these two are the top candidates. It goes downhill from there.
Rick Santorum? A one-term, defeated senator who has literally campaigned on "the dangers of contraception in this country." Is this who "keep government out of our lives" Republicans (let alone rational ones) feel good about heading the ticket of their party?
For all those in deep love with Ron Paul - he's at a paltry 13 points in the national polls and stands as much chance of getting the Republican nomination as Barney Frank. Given that those who he's so far behind are disliked so much, that speaks volumes about what the Republican Party overall thinks about Rep. Paul.
Republicans think even less of Michelle Bachmann. After focusing all her resources and spending an entire year campaigning in Iowa, they gave her 5 percent of the vote. She dropped out.
Jon Hunstman is a bright, accomplished man. But Republicans are so profoundly uninterested in him - for his scary moderate views and his scarier proximity to Barack Obama - that he couldn't poll above "Others." He dropped out.
Anyone who dares contend that Republicans are happy with their candidates is disingenuously ignoring that a pizza company CEO and a TV game show host were both the leading choices of GOP voters for President of the United States. No one grasps for a Herman Cain or Donald Trump to head their party unless they're so desperate from everyone else on the ballot.
And even now, Republicans still talk about finding someone good to come in at the last minute.
It must be pure agony for Republicans looking at that list of all their candidates and seeing that "This is the best we could come up with."
But here's the thing - this meager list of GOP candidates is not "the best we could come up with" simply because The Really Good People aren't running. This group of candidates all ran because...this is who the Republican Party has become.
For the past three years, through all outlets, the Republican Party has pounded into its constituents that Barack Obama is a Nazi Socialist terrorist devil. It has voted near-unanimously on a stated agenda of trying to make the U.S. president fail, even if that means prolonging a depressed economy. It has systematically courted the most radical of the Far Right and brought the "Tea Party" corporations into the GOP. It has convinced its base that health care is bad for them. And this has all been unrelenting and a concerted, knowing effort.
Who else do you think the Republican Party would end up with as its presidential candidates?!
This isn't an accident that such an empty assemblage is running to lead the Republican party. This is precisely who the GOP has been pushing to the forefront as its loudest voices for the past three years.
The old adage has never been more true - you make your bed, and you lie in it. (No pun intended.) Or, you dance with who brung you.
For the past three years, the Republican Party has made its bed and waltzed with its lovers. And that brought it Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman and Donald Trump. It couldn't have brought anyone else.
And now it's stuck with them on its dance card. And taking them to bed.
And in the end, the party know that it's the one getting screwed.
Follow Robert J. Elisberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/relisberg