It is hard to know if the Party of Eisenhower has become the merriest of pranksters or has simply lost its collective mind. It seems to be taking the putative candidacies of the serial adulterer Newt Gingrich and the Alaskan Elvira Sarah Palin seriously, but I keep waiting for a responsible adult to jump out and shout "You've been punked!" before introducing a real candidate.
Now, Michele Bachmann, a premillennial Congresswoman from Minnesota, seems poised to throw her hat in the ring and extend the punch line even further. Ms. Bachmann is a sure winner among Westboro Baptists and Citizens Concerned about the Tri-Lateral Commission, but the GOP will surely have a hard time selling her to voters who are not regular consumers of anti-psychotic pharmaceuticals.
Watching these candidates reminds me of the old days when Democratic lefties nominated George McGovern for the presidency, thereby assuring the election of The Dark Prince, Richard Nixon. Clearly, neither party is exempt from hubris, nervous breakdowns, or bad luck, but we all hope they don't make them habits.
The main concern of Arkansas Republicans these days is to assure that we can carry a concealed weapon into church on Sunday. There are consequences to this idea. For example, my own little congregation has taken on the herculean challenge of putting up a new sign out in the yard.
It is herculean because no one can agree what the sign should say. Ideas range from a simple declaration of who we are and when we meet, to lots of chatter about love and rainbows. Now we'll have to add "check 'em at the door, boys" to what will certainly be an over-busy sign.
Still, Arkansas' Republicans are probably safe in the next few elections--no matter how much they complicate church life--unless Party bigwigs allow the joke to become a shaggy dog story and they nominate one of these mutts.
Then, all bets are off and voters may forgive the banality of the Obama administration and favor candidates who know that the US Constitution is comprised of more than the 2nd Amendment and a bunch of annoying suggestions.