We have Nobel prizes for peace, literature and physics, Pulitzers for reporting, Oscars for acting and directing, Olympic medals for athleticism, Darwin awards for suddenly unnatural acts of self-selection, the Presidential Medal of Freedom for what amount to existentialist triumphs, countless humanitarian awards--some even for humanitarianism, you get the idea, but where, I ask, just where are the nationally televised, nationally uplifting awards to honor and celebrate the awesomely heroic, impossibly accelerating lunacy of contemporary American conservatism?
True, we do have the formal opening of Congress every two years, which, since 1995, has yielded banner crops of whackjob finalists and thus might in itself be regarded as a kind of national awards ceremony honoring our most politically depraved. But what of January 20, 2001 and January 20, 2005? What of 2008's morbidly delusional PalinFest? What of 2012's Republican presidential primary process--what with its moralizing adulterers and chickenhawking neocons?
And then there's the sprawling psychiatric ward of Fox News and the Weekly Standard and Breitbart.com and, well, it both sprawls and spawns.
So clearly, as a ceremonial salute the opening of Congress won't do. Nonetheless the United States Congress remains contemporary conservatism's most promising greenhouse of blowhard gasses; a sort of tropic of right-wing pixies who simply never fail in showering us with once-unimaginable, once-unthinkable, once-impossible preposterousness.
Normally for any given week one can justifiably say, in the way of nominating the very latest in Platonically Ideal lunacy, "Just two words: Michele Bachmann." But she is no universality; no, she can't be, not when she has as competitors such giants of pseudoconservative quackery as ... obligatory drumroll ... Texas' U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert, who last Friday again unveiled the Archie Bunker Solution to gun violence: "It does make me wonder, with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?"
It makes him wonder.
Right back atcha, Louie.
Anyway, as you can plainly perceive, the proposed Bachmann-Gohmert Prize for Wink-Wink 'Conservative' Grotesquery is, in any given year, never a given. The vast and fertile depths of far-right fanaticism must be plumbed, sorted, assessed and weighed--then, and only then, may a real winner be declared. Yet we've nothing like it, and no nationally televised ceremony in which to award it, the prize, that is, and by God we should.