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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with businessman and real estate developer Donald Trump at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada February 2, 2012. Trump re-injected himself and his wealth int
Today appears to be the day the Republican Party goes out of their way to remind us all that yes, they are indeed completely nuts. Nearly lost in all the Mourdock news: Donald Trump's latest Biggest Announcement Evah, which turns out to be very bold offer from Dr. Evil Trump to pay five million dollars if Barack Obama releases the college transcripts that Trump is absolutely convinced will show that Barack Obama is really not very bright, and therefore never really got elected president, or maybe is in reality a shady character named Buford T. ForeignGuy who travelled from college to college, during those years, collecting bad grades and becoming president of the Harvard Law Review and such. As blockbuster stories go, this one ranks somewhere in the category of "I will pay somebody $5 million to come up with a blockbuster story for me. Or an average story. Or to merely validate my worn-out existence for a while longer."

A reminder: Mitt Romney has had to absolutely kowtow to this man. When last any non-Republican, non-reality-show watcher gave a damn about Donald Trump, Trump was deeply engaged in the publicity stunt of pretending he might possibly run for the presidency himself—a pretense that, Lord help us all, a goodly number of Republicans were actually excited about. Because Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, Cain and Ron Paul were not nearly crazy enough, or were crazy, but not in the right way, or merely because in the current era Republicans seem to not be able to tell the difference between a political contest and a three-ring-circus filled from bleacher to crowning flag with nothing but clowns. So here was Donald Trump, making a good Republican name for himself by (1) being rich and (2) stoking racist-premised theories about how the black president was probably not even a true American after all, and here was Mitt Romney, seeking his endorsement in front of a Trump-branded podium. Romney and Ryan then went on to happily use Trump as one of their many cash cows, holding private fundraising events with the clown, and saying nothing at all about Donald Trump's sole political or campaign policy position, which was that the black man was unqualified for an ever-shifting set of reasons. The Republican Party did not need Donald Trump to push their little racist conspiracy theories, but Donald Trump became the self-declared king of them and, in exchange, holds the position he holds today.

Does Mitt Romney—or any Republican, for that matter—care in the slightest that Trump is a rotten boil on the political landscape? Do they give a damn that the Republican brand has so thoroughly been reduced to pandering to the lowest common denominator of their base, all the rest of reality be damned? Of course not. No matter how big a fool this dimwitted, Palinesque publicity hound makes himself, Mitt Romney will still shake his hand, and Paul Ryan will still hold private fundraisers with the man.

Just like Mourdock. Just like Akin. And Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the ridiculous Steve King, and Paul Ryan himself, the king of unicorn-based math and fleecing the poor to make the rich a bit fatter, and just like Mitt Romney himself, the poster child for the very sons of bitches that wrecked the economy by putting casinos within casinos, shoving those casinos in bigger casinos and claiming the whole thing was so goddamn patriotic and freedom-loving that you were practically un-American if you chastised them for it.

Welcome to the modern Republican Party. These are the people who are chosen not to be shunned, but to speak for the party, and guide the party, and raise money for the party, and appear on television for the party, and hold the reins of party leadership. Congratulations, Republican Party. Whatever depths of vapidity and grifting you might have been aiming for, I'd say you've managed to get there and then some.

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