This is the most troubling of election seasons. A New York Times Poll released this week underscores this tragic fact.
At a time when the Republicans are beset by Tea Party candidates whose serious behavior overwhelms the most conscious satire efforts constructed by writers of Saturday Night Live, a situation that would traditionally redound in favor of Democrats, we have instead a silly season where some of the most unfit candidates ever foisted on the public are enjoying leads in the polls.
Two recent classic cases, both from the West, jump out for inspection. Meg Whitman, a woman who has unleashed her E-Bay executive millions in a bid to buy the governorship of California, used some of her money to purchase time for an ad where she inadvertently salutes her opponent.
Whitman is seen and heard longing for the past, for that wonderful California of 1980 when she and her husband moved to the Golden State in pursuit of the good life.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to restore that period, Whitman wishes. Yes, and who was governor in 1980, the glorious period she wishes to recapture as California's governor?
Actually there was a highly familiar face serving as governor then, Meg. It was Jerry Brown. Remember him? He is that same candidate you are fervently running against, the target of all those mega million bucks your hired guns have been attacking non-stop.
In the neighboring state of Nevada we have one of the Tea Party's most celebrated favorites, Sharron Angle, who seeks to unseat Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Angle is emerging as a good candidate running for sprint champion of Nevada. Her sprinting is to avoid contact with a reporter seeking to ask her about her foreign policy views. As the local television reporter seeks to keep pace running after the fleet-footed Angle at McCarran Airport, he persists.
With America currently engaged on two war fronts, he asks her views about Iraq and Afghanistan. Alas, after being long ignored Angle finally responds to the reporter. The candidate that, according to recent polls, Nevadans prefer over Senate Majority Leader Reid concedes that the wars are both "there."
In short, Angle concedes that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan actually exist. Such, apparently, is her succinct analysis of two costly wars in which the U.S. is currently engaged. They truly exist, a kernel of wisdom we have gleaned from the pristine foreign policy mind of Tea Party favorite Angle.
There is one more example of another Tea Party celebrity, this time on the East Coast, whose sparkling wit has also been in evidence. Christine O'Donnell in a recent debate with Delaware senatorial opponent Chris Coons knew nothing about the First Amendment and its free exercise clause regarding religion and the state.
Coons was shown patiently explaining to O'Donnell about the First Amendment as he would to a young daughter early in her civics class study. In place of being appreciative for Coons' assistance, O'Donnell put her later spin on the experience for media consumption. O'Donnell had lectured Coons, she insisted. She had been the informed party.
With such ill-suited candidates exhibiting a string of gaffes, we have the results of the New York Times Poll explaining preference of a large segment of the nation's voters for such candidates as those described and others such as senatorial aspirants Rand Paul in Kentucky and Joe Miller in Alaska as embodiments of arguably the silliest national campaign season on record.
One would expect that voters preferring such Tea Party candidates locking horns with the traditional system that there would at least be a consistency revealed in the poll regarding President Obama. It would be expected that such voters would hold Obama primarily responsible for America's current economic malaise.
This was not the case. Instead the rebelling voters, a significant number of those seeking fundamental change who have been resonating to the messages of Tea Party candidates, believe that the nation's economic malaise is the fault of George W. Bush.
If this is the case then why prefer Republicans? If they, as Obama put it, drove America's economy into the ditch, then why vote for them now?
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