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."