I’ve been putting off my research on my 21st Century Political Nuttitude thesis for a few … umm … well, for awhile. I could make up a lot of excuses, but the truth is simply the political nuttitude had become stale. I tried toting up the ways conservatives went off the rails over the past couple of months. My calculator started using scientific notation and finally just read ERR. Which is where I’d started, really.

The fact is, political nuttitude is frustrating and often depressing to research. So imagine my delight when – ready for an hour or so of dismay before I set off in search of a winning strategy for Farmville – I tumbled across news that sent Pootie the Precious scurrying off with her tail as fluffy as mine.

It seems Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell had an all-day Oh-No-She-Didn’t yesterday:

First Sarah Palin was scheduled to attend the Tea Party of America’s Iowa rally this weekend. Then Christine O’Donnell was invited. Then Christine O’Donnell was uninvited. Then she was re-invited. Now Palin is out. Maybe.

I’m not sure anyone is entirely sure who said what to whom or when. Apparently Palin is upset about “continual lying” from the event organizers. Or that O’Donnell will be there. Or Tea Party activists are tired of O’Donnell, who lost her Delaware Senate race last year. Or it was a scheduling mix-up. Or they’ll both be there, but Palin is just “on hold” because … well … what else would you expect from someone who demands bendable straws for her public appearances?

The Wall Street Journal reports Tea Party of America organizers said they publicly un-invited O’Donnell “to avoid controversy.” To paraphrase a former Governor of Alaska: “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”

Meanwhile, Representative Allen West (R-FL) threatened to quit the Congressional Black Caucus unless they acknowledge that he’s the only member allowed to talk about race. He didn’t word it quite like that, but here’s the gist:

  • Two weeks ago, Rep. West said: “So, you have this 21st-century plantation that has been out there, where the Democrat Party has forever taken the black vote for granted. And you have established certain black leaders, who are nothing more than the overseers of that plantation. And now the people on that plantation are upset, because they have been disregarded, disrespected, and their concerns are not cared about. So I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”
  • A few days later, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said at a town hall: “I’m not afraid of anybody. This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned, the ‘tea party’ can go straight to Hell.”
  • And in a forum that same week, Congressional Black Caucus whip Andre Carson (D-IN) said: “This is the effort that we’re seeing, of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this tea party movement would love to see you and me — I’m sorry, Tamron [the MSNBC moderator] — hanging on a tree.”

Now Rep. West has demanded an apology:

It is unconscionable when a fellow CBC Member, Congressman Andre Carson, comes to South Florida and claims that some in the Tea Party would love to see black Americans ‘hanging on a tree.’ It is appalling to hear another CBC colleague, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, say ‘The Tea Party can go straight to hell.’

As Chairman of the CBC, I believe it is incumbent on you to both condemn these types of hate-filled comments, and to disassociate the Congressional Black Caucus from these types of remarks. Otherwise, I will have to seriously reconsider my membership within the organization.

Congressman Carson’s desire to generally criticize a large grassroots group as racist is baseless and desperate. When individuals believe they are defeated in a political disagreement, they normally resort to race-baiting, which in my opinion is in itself racist.

As a member of the CBC, I look forward to working with you to help end this practice. All of us, especially Congressman Carson, Congresswoman Waters and others who have engaged in racially-motivated rhetoric, should follow the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., not the example of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

In other words, talking about race is off-limits … for everyone except Rep. West.

Pass the macadamias. Or you can have popcorn.

Good day and good nuts.