Opinion writer

Folks, today is one of those days I despair of our political discourse. Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo had no choice but to introduce to the lexicon “shoe truthers.” These misguided folks actually believe that Hillary Rodham Clinton staged last Thursday’s infamous Las Vegas shoe-throwing incident.

Alison Ernst has been charged with two federal criminal charges in the April 10 incident. Ernst is accused of hurling the black and orange athletic shoe some 60 feet. It whizzed by Clinton, who asked, “What was that? A bat?”

We shouldn’t be surprised that “shoe truthers” are being egged on by professional rabble-rousers. Even though Rush Limbaugh told his legion of listeners Monday that he had not seen the Clinton shoe video, he said, “Maybe it’s because, in my subconscious, I think it was staged, or set up, or whatever. … I don’t know why anybody would be throwing a shoe at Hillary unless — maybe it’s an attempt to make the Benghazi people look like nuts and lunatics and wackos.” For the love of God.

Then Herman Cain, the front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination for an inexplicably long period of time considering he had “all of this stuff twirling around” in his head and didn’t know what he was talking about on anything, got into the mix with a tweet this morning:

Hillary Rodham Clinton (David Becker/AP) Hillary Rodham Clinton (David Becker/Associated Press)

“Is it outlandish to suggest Hillary Clinton would pull a stunt that is totally fake if she thinks it would help her political fortunes?” asks Dan Calabrese in an unhinged column on Cain’s Web site. “Only a completely naive fool or the most partisan of Democrats would think so.” Only a completely naive fool or the most partisan of Republicans would spend time analyzing that shoe-throwing video like it was the Zapruder film.

For most Republicans, looking at Bill and Hillary Clinton is like looking at a funhouse mirror. Real is fake. Truth is false. And their every action is part of some diabolical plot to [fill in the blank]. It’s at once annoying and pathetic. Would that the GOP had some fearless grown-ups willing to tell the loons to put a sock in it.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj