“When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” –– Sinclair Lewis.

Speaking of Rick Santorum, do we think he’s a serious possibility as the Republican nominee or is he just the latest clown the G.O.P. has trotted out in a forlorn, desperate attempt to make Romney seem human? Questions such as this, once the province of satirists and other hangers-on, are now real. That’s the state of American politics.

I’ve been battering Obama a lot lately and will no doubt do it some more, which in my opinion he richly deserves, but to be perfectly fair there are other useless fill-in-the-blanks out there and they’re entitled to proper recognition as well.

My God, Rick Santorum. Let’s face it, he’s really just Michelle Bachmann with a sweater vest and a dick. Same depth of intellect, same personality disorders.

This is a guy who brought a dead fetus home in a jar to show his children, plunked the thing down on the dining room table. Try to imagine the salutary effect that had on the appetites of the Santorum family at the evening meal thereafter, images of dead babies floating in their little minds. I’m surprised he didn’t braise it and bake it and serve it up with a little catsup as an object lesson on cannibalism.

The fetus was the result of an abortion induced chemically to save Mrs. Santorum’s life, something they now deny and which Santorum would forbid to women in the U.S. A lot of votes in misogynistic self-righteousness these days. Flag and the cross. This guy’s a perfect avatar for fascism. Humorless, depraved, mean-spirited and stupid.

I don’t know where we get them. Santorum was actually defeated for re-election to the Senate from Pennsylvania. His own constituents, having seen his work, didn’t want him no more. On the other hand, his record and accomplishments are the equal of some of the others. Herman Cain, who ‘suspended’ not ended his campaign so that he can keep receiving and spending campaign bucks. Bachmann, who has returned to Minnesota to look for lesbians to be afraid of. Rick Perry, who kept forgetting the names of countries. Gingrich.

Jesus, Gingrich is a treat. A dim bulb who fancies himself an intellectual which I guess he is if he hangs around the rest of these people, who was run out of the Speakership on about fifty ethics violations and whose marital hijinx make Cain look sober and faithful, this is a candidate beloved of a large chunk of ‘Christian fundamentalists,’ according to the polls, which makes one wonder about both Christianity and fundamentalism.

Saw a short clip of Gingrich lecturing Ron Paul on why it was necessary to torture, spy on everybody, and engage in racial profiling because Muslims are our enemy, at which point Paul wondered whether we ought to racially-profile suspects who looked like Timothy McVeigh. There was one of those brief ‘oh shit’ moments as Gingrich’s brain went into panic mode before he blurted that he wanted to “stop” those things “before” they happened, and the audience, no doubt relieved, applauded.

Gingrich, another one of the flag-wrapped, cross bearers. I still like Bill Hicks’ observation that people that far to the right are harboring some deep, dark secrets.

America’s electoral problem does not look solvable to me. Any direction looks hopeless. Readers of this post know my feelings about Obama by now. Obviously, things would not improve with any of the possible Republican nominees. They’re all nitwits and thugs. Those who are considering that one might live with a Romney election –– since he clearly has no principles and thus could track toward the mythical center –– had better reconsider since his running mate will certainly be crazier than he is.

Third parties, well, the last one which had a shot was Teddy Roosevelt a hundred years ago, and even that didn’t work, plus they tried to off him, and Teddy was some serious shit. There’s the Greens, who are so useless on the electoral level people don’t know they exist. There’s Rocky Anderson and his new Justice Party, so disorganized that they missed the California ballot; Anderson has raised about ten grand so far. And then there’s the weird internet nominating process which mysterious unnamed people are financially backing and which promises to ‘nominate’ a candidate online.

Are we levitating yet?

And then there’s Ron Paul, the half wise, half crackpot semi-Republican who says the best things about war and peace that I’ve heard since McGovern got slaughtered forty years back. He’s also right about the drug war, and about the Patriot Act and NDAA, and the domestic police state ushered in by the Bush-Obama combination. But as my grandson Jake remarked, watching a video in which Paul attacked the CIA for ‘killing people’ and called Bradley Manning a ‘brave soul’ and ‘an American hero,’ “they’ll kill him.” And probably they would.

Hey, I’m open to suggestions here.