Yet another bizarre example of Glenn Beck’s need to be provocative even when it makes no sense: He declares that John McCain would have been a worse president than Barack Obama.

And while that is certainly true, it is "incoherent" (as right-wing radio talker Mark Levin angrily points out) to claim that a "weird progressive like Teddy Roosevelt" would be worse than a Marxist who hates white people.  Internally consistent insanity is just too much to ask, apparently.

But conservatives slamming Beck for badmouthing McCain’s progressive streak(!) aren’t really all that interesting – what’s really interesting is conservatives slamming Beck for being so crazy and vile that he makes their movement look bad.

Commentary’s Peter Wehner worries that Beck’s "erratic behavior" and "interest in conspiracy theories" will make conservatives look like insane clowns rather than respectable sages, and Joe Scarborough absolutely goes off, saying that Beck’s race-baiting and "wallow[ing] in conspiracy theories" is "playing with fire" and could have tragic, Waco-like consequences.

Even Rush Limbaugh, who never met a race-baiter he didn’t like, seems a bit rankled by Beck’s prominent role in marshaling the teabag troops for the 9/12 Racistpalooza in DC.  Or could he be feeling a teensy bit threatened?  How many crazies can Rush mobilize?  How many Democratic scalps has he claimed lately?  Is it possible that Rush is no longer bigoted and crazy enough to lead today’s Republican Party?

I can’t wait to see if any more prominent conservatives and 2012 presidential hopefuls answer Scarborough’s call to denounce Glenn Beck’s unhinged hate speech, because it will tell us so much about which direction the Republicans intend to go.  Will they try to establish some credibility, to make themselves look like a group of Wise, Serious Statesman ready to step in and pick up the pieces if Obama fails, or will they remain hell-bent on catering to the most atavistic racist crazies?

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath either.