The current crop of Republicans has me longing for that nasty, tricky Dick (I'm not-a-crook) Nixon. On today's spectrum he would be left of Ben Nelson and Joseph Lieberman.
The trajectory since then is alarming. The G.O.P. calculated that electability was the name of game and they needed a less shadowy figure. We were presented with Ronald Reagan, the bad actor in his greatest role, who needed breadcrumbs to find his way out of a sentence.
Then the C.I.A. moved into the Oval Office and we got Bush the Elder who must share the blame for his offspring.
Dubya, ever affable, made Reagan seem like a scholar in epistemology. G.W. Bush was equal parts Forest Gump and frat boy. It as said that he couldn't find Europe on the map when he was offered the job by the Supreme Court.
From scoundrel to imposter to dangerous fool...just when we thought it couldn't get worse it has. All the aforementioned would have to take their place to the left of the Tea Baggers who are now steeping in the hot water we find ourselves in.
The recently nominated candidates from Sharon Engle to Christine O'Donnell to Carl Paladino to Rand Paul represent the voice of inchoate anger and frustration. Indeed there is much to be angry about. But starting a bar room brawl or cheering on the lynch mob does not a solution make.
To the extent this movement is anything more than a hired busload from corporate headquarters it is the rage against an economy which has left them behind and a changing demographic which taps into their latent fear and hatred.
Noise is not discourse. If they had a program for structural change the dots would lead to the very source of their own funding. Out-sourced jobs and institutionalized greed have been displaced by racism and nativism.
This field of candidates may be nothing more than an aroused fringe group among a slumbering electorate. I can only hope the Obama constituency from 2008 will be equally aroused and turn up in November or we may be in for the darkest moment in American history.