More than one year ago, before she became a Big TeeVee Cablefest Host, Rachel Maddow produced a revelatory segment of her "Campaign Asylum" series.  She featured the GOP presidential candidates’ appearance among the Wingnutty Wingnuts of Wingnutville — the Values Voter Summit, where a choral group performed the lovely re-purposed composition "Why Should God Bless America?"  Full of reasons why He never would and shouldn’t anyhow, since we Americans are full of sin and tarnation, the song has special resonance, I think, in light of the featured role played by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright later in the campaign.

As Rachel points out, why does the Right always get a pass on this craziness?  

Why is okay for rightwingers to sing out — in newly written words to a national hymn no less! — all the reasons why God shouldn’t be expected to bless America in our blasted and damned state?  But let one African-American preacher in Chicago challenge American foreign policy hegemony launched into other peoples’ holy places with the barrel of a gun on behalf of the nozzle of a gaspump, and all hell breaks loose for weeks on cable.

But a whole song expounding on why God shouldn’t bless America, and no one even makes a peep except our Rachel? 

And when one candidate talks about the threat posed by "this problem of transvestites who want to be schoolteachers," no one breaks out laughing?  I mean, who knew?  This is an urgent problem Values Voters are concerned with?

And why is okay for a creepy right-wing visigoth/ghoul to ask all the candidates what they intend to do to "counteract the homosexual agenda?"  I get the feeling that the survey-says high-score answer has something to do with pink triangle badges, boxcars, and quarantine camps.

I like the rocking-back-and-forth motion Alan Keyes gets going as he says that "the government is obliged. to. respect. those. natural. rights."  It’s really a shame that subsequent GOP debates excluded John Cox and Alan Keyes.  But we can see why: these two made Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, and Duncan Hunter look too middle-of-the-road on the great grassroots GOP highway.  The big-money men who (used to?) control the GOP needed to trim around the edges so that the acceptable alternatives ended up who they were.

As Democratic nominee Barack Obama sorta-kidded John McCain only one year later at the Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, "That’s a tough primary you had there, John.

(Enjoy the humorous stylings of President-Elect Barack Obama’s Al Smith Dinner speech from just last month here and here.  Our next President is really funny, not just heh-heh Jon Stewart funny.  And enjoying every minute of it.)