So we've had a few Republican debates now, enough that we can begin to get a feel for the specific mental health problems facing each of the candidates -- not to mention Rick Santorum's "Google" problem -- but I think the more important thing we've learned is that the Republican activists sitting in the audience at these fiascoes are truly barbarous lunatics. Let's review:
At one debate, the crowd cheered when Texas Governor Rick Perry spoke of his state's liberal (I use the term loosely) use of the death penalty. Perry has signed the death warrants for 234 men, and apparently that's cause for celebration in Republican quarters.
At another debate, audience members shouted "Let them die!" when Ron Paul fielded a hypothetical question about what should be done for a man chose not to buy health insurance and then became deathly ill. Interestingly, that hypothetical closely paralleles the real-life story of one of Ron Paul's key campaign aides, a man in his 30s who died for lack of adequate health insurance.
Last night, when a soldier on a Skype call from Iraq asked candidate Rick Santorum if he intended reinstate "Don't Ask Don't Tell" should he become president, audience members gave him a lusty round of boos when he mentioned he is gay.
These people live among us.