Saturday Night Live's Jim Downey tells Maureen Dowd:
I don’t think it’s going to be as much fun as 2000 and 2008.... [B]ecause of the long Republican primary debate stretch, I’m already tired of Romney. I wish there could be a crazy brokered convention with someone we’ve never heard of to keep it fresh.
From a kind of humorous horror-movie point of view, I think Downey speaks for all of us.
In our innocence of 2000, we couldn't know the abnormal psychology, war-criminal mentality and sociopathic behavior yet to materialize in the Bush administration of 2001-2009, so somewhat philosophically did we watch Florida's carnival hijinks and then grudgingly accept the Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore decision. And 2008? Eight years of madness were about to be swept away, and no one of any real political instincts ever really believed for even a minute that a President McCain would be doing the sweeping; so again, with immense good humor we could watch the horror and hijinks of a Republican ticket going nuts.
By now, though, we've been there too many times, we've done that once too often. What had seemed like the GOP's temporary breakdown -- culminating in its Thorazine-worthy snap of 2010 -- now appears as clinical evidence of a morbid, irreversible condition. Sure, these zany primaries were fun for a while, what with their madcap Cains and Bachmanns et al; but in rather short order one began to feel like our spectators' role was not unsimilar to making fun of the developmentally disabled.
At any rate, fast forward to the grim present and we find Downey's sentiment having prematurely morphed into a national consensus: "[We're] already tired of Romney." Political diagnosticians everywhere thought we'd wait at least until summer before getting good and sick and tired of Mitt Romney. But this man is so plastic, turns out he was instantly disposable, although, unfortunately, not biodegradable.
And it's just not funny any longer. It's pathetic. It's sad and pathetic and distressing.
Did I add pathetic?
In the course of roughly 150 years the United States has suffered and survived a vast civil war, global wars, not-so-great depressions and domestic strife of all manner -- and from each crisis we emerged reasonably intact and essentially triumphant, due in no small part to the pressure-valve-released synthesis of a healthy, enduring two-party system. Now we possess something more akin to a 1.5-party system; and in time, the weaker and unstable half will degrade the stronger and stable whole. The Democratic Party cannot develop dialectically in the absence of a healthy and vigorous opposition.
And it hasn't one. Doubtless, its opposition may be vigorous in a manic sort of way, but that of course cannot be coupled with health. In sum, the GOP is cracking up and it could well take others down with it. And it's just not that funny anymore.