At what point does dysfunctional politics cross the line and become a parody of the real thing?
Perhaps, we reached that point last week when comedian Bill Maher effectively blackmailed Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell, by threatening to release old clips of O'Donnell advocating any number of whacked out positions on his 90's show "Politically Incorrect" until she agrees to a reprise visit to his current HBO show, "Real Time with Bill Maher".
Last week, to underlie his threat, Maher released a clip of O'Donnell - who comes off as a "born-again" Roman Catholic, advocating the contentious positions espoused by the most radically-right wing Christian evangelists in the Bible Belt (imagine Jerry Falwell in lipstick and heels) - vociferously warning against the influence of Satanism, and admitting that she herself had dabbled in witchcraft.
And that isn't even the weirdest of her too-public dysfunctional campaigns for a better America. In 1996, she waged a campaign on MTV against masturbation. Against masturbation??? You can only shake your head. . . . Statistically speaking, masturbation is far more American than singing the Stars and Stripes, or even eating apple pie.
This week Bill Maher following through on his campaign of political blackmail. Maher treated us to a clip of Ms. O'Donnell disputing evolution, calling the theory underpinning all of modern biology, "a myth,." Her argument? If evolution isn't a myth, "why aren't monkeys still evolving into human beings?"
Seriously, folks. . . How can you believe in witchcraft and call evolution a "myth?"
Pre-empting Maher,online muckrakers Talking Points Memo compiled their own video of Ms. O'Donnell's finest, dysfunctional moments, including a bizarre claim that scientists have cloned "mice with fully-functioning human brains."
Marshall McLuhan was right, Ms. O'Donnell clearly makes the point that the medium has become the message in this era of dysfunctional politics, and that she will say anything to get herself in the public eye. All of this would be relatively harmless, although still humorous, of course, if the perennially perky Ms.O'Donnell hadn't blazed a path for whacked-out media mavens that actually have a chance of getting elected to high office.
Check out the infamous clip of Sarah Palin receiving a blessing against withcraft (seriously, witchcraft) at her Wasilla, Alaska church. Lord, help us all. . . .