Never has talk radio looked so silly. “Herman Cain’s swift rise to the top of the GOP presidential field was fueled in no small part by the stalwart support of conservative talk radio. . . . Talk radio’s biggest stars seem to have a special affection for Cain as one of their own, a guy who shares their contempt for Beltway politics and indifference to the minutiae of governing.” At least Laura Ingraham has grown weary of defending ignorance.

Never has Cain had a better idea. “Herman Cain’s campaign will no longer allow videotaping of the Republican presidential candidate’s meetings with newspaper editorial boards.” He should think about dumping the debates as well. Smile. Wave. “9-9-9!” That’s all he can handle.

Never has it been said that Cain doesn’t know how to make a buck. “A political action committee formed by Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain to help GOP contenders in the 2010 elections raised more than $220,000 but donated only $2,000 to the party’s candidates last year, federal election records show.”

Never have so many conservatives put their faith in such an ignoramus. . “Herman Cain suggested Friday that the Taliban were playing a role in Libya’s new government, adding another foreign policy misstep to his stumbling presidential campaign.”

Never has Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) been so close to placing in the money in a primary. “Texas Rep. Ron Paul is emerging as a significant factor in the Republican presidential race, especially in Iowa. He’s been long dismissed by the GOP establishment, but the libertarian-leaning candidate is now turning heads beyond his hard-core followers — and rising in some polls — just weeks before the state holds the leadoff presidential caucuses and four years since his failed 2008 bid.” Especially if Newt Gingrich falters for insufficient fidelity to the Tea Party agenda, watch out.

Never has Gingrich’s Washington insider-dom been so evident. Not a headline he wants to see in the Wall Street Journal: “Freddie’s Friend; Newt Gingrich was on the wrong side in the housing fight, but, hey, he needed the money.”

Never has a president walked away from victory like this. “Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have been given an opening to revive operations in former strongholds by the U.S. pullout from Iraq’s northern and western provinces, a senior Iraqi official said. Nearly nine years after the U.S.-led invasion, the American military has handed the Iraqi government most of its military bases around the country, and the remaining 23,000 American troops will leave by the end of the year. Iraq says its forces are now able to contain insurgents. But with U.S. troops leaving, weaknesses in Iraqi forces are already coming to light in hotspots like Diyala province and the Mosul area, senior Interior Ministry official Adnan al-Asadi told Reuters in an interview.”

Never has Teas Gov. Rick Perry struggled this badly. “When Gov. Rick Perry held a revival-style day of prayer in fasting in Houston in early August, he seemed certain to become a dominant contender for the support of politically engaged Christian conservatives as he headed toward his entry into the 2012 presidential race. But Perry’s misfortunes on the campaign trail have changed the equation. Just as he is no longer a front-runner for the Republican nomination, the Texas governor is also facing stiff competition in the race to corral social conservatives and evangelical Christians who will play an influential role in the selection of the eventual nominee.”

Never has the Gray Lady’s coverage of the GOP looked so lame. The New York Times has discovered all of the sudden that “exceptionalism” is a big deal for Republicans. “In the context of the 2012 campaign, however, it has taken on a much more partisan edge, invoked by Republicans as a way to define President Obama as weak, lacking in core American values and almost unpatriotic.” Really, has anyone there been following the Republican Party for the last few years?

Never has a candidate worked harder to win Iowa. Rick Santorum’s staff told the Des Moines Register “he was also the only candidate to show up at the Iowa State Association of Counties meeting [Friday], even though all were invited. Not only smart on Santorum’s part but a missed opportunity for the others.”