Was that it when Rush decided to use about the worst possible chain of reasoning in the world to call a woman a slut? And then used an equally bizarre mental formulation to say he wanted to watch her on videotape having sex? Was that the high-water mark of the garbage-tsunami of the current conservative sense of entitlement to say absolutely ANYTHING?

I say yes. The water-skiing elephant has finally jumped the garbage-tsunami shark. Roll the credits where credits are due. The signifiers of death spiral are everywhere on the peculiar political constellation of crazy that has hi-jacked the word conservative and rebranded it to mean stupid. It was a brilliant short-term strategy with the one defect that a short-term strategy that sacrifices its long-term plausibility has to end someday. Here we are. Fun while it lasted.

Where from here? 2012 is being likened to the Barry Goldwater debacle which led to a period of conservative soul-searching that culminated in the triumph of Ronald Reagan. Is it permissible to wish that that is NOT where we are today? I’m all for soul-searching, but the “triumph” of Reagan was the beginning of this mess, not the end, starting with his selling of the Laffable Curve as real economics. A foundation of nonsense that supported a mighty edifice of mendacity, one that has culminated in despicable, desperate nastiness.

Here’s my recommendation for conservative rethinking: Start with the facts. Then stay with the facts. They matter. Do what you want after that.