In reference to the R presidential candidates, Paul Krugman distilled something around the bush of which I'd been beating for a long time: To keep repeating and clinging to disproven beliefs and discredited policies, he wrote, you have to either be clueless or a liar. It's true, of course, of their followers as well.
...This disposition flows naturally from the disconnect between the Mitt Romney presidential campaign and Mitt Romney the man. Romney is running a campaign as “Mitt Romney,” an Obamacare-hating, tough-on-immigration, climate-science skeptic. Now, obviously, all the Republican candidates are running on a similar theme. Most of them actually believe it. But Romney is acutely aware of the disconnect between the character of “Mitt Romney” and the actor portraying him. Because Romney is too intelligent to fall for his own ruse, his campaign is one large Potemkin facade, designed to shield him from the interjection of reality.[...]It seems strange that a candidate as intelligent and articulate as Romney would require such diligent shielding from questions. But it’s precisely because of his intelligence that Romney must stay within his antiseptic bubble. Unlike Rick Perry or Herman Cain, he isn’t a dolt. Unlike Newt Gingrich, he doesn’t exist in a constant state of childlike romantic self-delusion. He has a precise, calculating mind. To his credit, he seems all too aware of his own lies and requires constant protection from them.
Me, I don't waste a lot of time wondering which of the band of blunders are the liars and which are the clueless. For one thing, it's pretty obvious. What keeps me stumbling down the path to despair is that there are evidently so many voters out there willing and able to be so easily deceived. To approve of their combination of proud cluelessness and unrepentant lying.
And now, as if to underscore their abandonment of self-respect and to remove any doubt that they've given up on even the pretense of seriousness, there's going to be some sort of R candidate forum hosted by Donald Trump. Donald Fricking Trump!! This is beyond parody. If George Orwell could have imagined such a thing, he had the good sense not to write it: who'd believe it of a purportedly serious political party? In the world's greatest, most fantabulously exceptional democracy.