This is what comes of trusting men in hats. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. And now we’ve got six more weeks of winter on our hands.

But what does he know?

He’s a groundhog, for Pete’s sake. How can he tell if winter will endure or spring will appear?

Then again, Americans spend a lot of their time listening to hairy individuals making predictions that they are in no way qualified to make. Were that not the case, most AM radio hosts would be out of a job. Cable television would go dark.

I’m down on the whole human side of prognostication after months of being told that the GOP race was in its final two-candidate stage every time a butterfly flapped its wings somewhere in the Andes or Ron Paul blinked especially hard. Six weeks of winter pale in comparison to the prospect of four more months of Gingrich. That’s the sort of shadow that makes you want to return to your burrow, never to reemerge.

What’s Punxsutawney say about the race? He probably knows as much as anyone.