Satire is dead; the Republican Presidential contest killed it, stone-cold dead.  And we don’t even have to recite all the outrageous things they’ve said, or things others have said about them, just in the last 24-48 hours.  It’s too depressing, too mind-numbing to relate.

When months ago I first called the group of GOP presidential wanna-bes a bunch of ridiculous clowns, I never imagined how absurd, how vicious, how dishonest, how clueless, how unprincipled, how thoroughly rotten . . .  they really were.  Good grief, what a repulsive, offensive collection of underdeveloped humans they are. And the more we watch, the worse they reveal themselves to be.  Tonight’s debate may cause our televisions’ protective circuitry to burst into flames.

The pathetic organization called the Republican Party has proved beyond any doubt that America’s declining hopes depend first on the Party’s demise and humiliating rejection.  The GOP voters have now managed to whittle the candidate list down to three perfect representatives of everything that’s cringe-worthy about that party.

Mitt Romney: To represent the greedy moneyed  interests of the Party’s economy-destroying financial sector, we have a highly successful practitioner of government-facilitated corporate looting, a man who’s made himself not just appallingly rich but appallingly indifferent to the suffering of the real people his actions affect. And there’s nothing, nothing he won’t say to get elected.

Rick Santorum: The fundies are represented by a man totally comfortable with the subjugation of women and so morally self-satisfied, he’s never even sat on a bench with anyone who might actually have experienced the real human suffering his positions create.

Newt Gingrich: And for the residual racists and know-nothings, we have a man so glib, so arrogant, so dishonest in his dog-whistling demagoguery that none of his cheering supporters can tell he’s essentially an unprincipled con artist and hustling influence peddler.  We didn’t need an ex-wife to tell us the man’s unfit to be President.

Rick Perry: And alas, stupid people have lost their once favored representative, a religious nutcase and ignorant jingoist who “suspended” his campaign today against the diplomatically silent wishes of the Greek Ambassador.

Oh course, there’s still Ron Paul to appeal to a curious mix of libertarians and those who find the rest of the field too imperialist in the world, too criminal in its warlike conduct, or too intrusive in your bedroom, unless it’s the state intruding.  But of course, the Republican “elites” don’t recognize his legitimacy, so he doesn’t matter and must be ignored.

But credit where credit is due:  how did Colbert/Stewart figure out that the best choice for South Carolina Republicans would be Herman Cain?  That’s impressive.

[Editor's Note: Eli is hosting the debate thread at 8:00p ET.]