Hopefully you can remember the crazy days of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Outrage over the polices and actions of Bush was so deep and so widespread that Democrats and Independents wanted anything but Bush. The biggest concern was the debacle in Iraq. Taking this country to war without cause and lying in the process alienated significant sectors of the American electorate.

That alienation created an opening for the likes of Barack Obama. Americans desperate for “change” and looking for “hope” embraced an unknown Senator with an undistinguished legislative and life record as the answer. Barack look good on TV and gave good teleprompter, but really had no clue how to work in Washington or how the economy operates.

I will concede that many on the right are convinced that Barack is a commie plant and is intent on destroying the US economy, but I think that is silly. Barack is not that smart. Please. If he was that devious and clever he would never have embraced a universal contraception policy that would enrage the Catholic Church and the religious right. But I digress.

My point is simple–Democrats desperate to get rid of Bush made a really dumb decision by embracing Barack Obama and refusing to fully investigate his past.

(Cue PPAA and Marvin Marks) Obama has not released any of his school records. He has stonewalled on his adoption records. He has covered up his trip to Pakistan as a young man. You know the drill. Oh yes, and he was really good at voting present as a legislator rather than actually stand for anything.

So now we have growing numbers of Americans enraged at the reality of Barack Obama. Let’s set aside for the moment the conservative right that did not like Obama from the outset. Obama’s support among Jews, liberal Catholics and economic libertarians has eroded dramatically because of Barry Soetoro Obama’s policies in office (I use Obama’s real first name and the name of his adopted father just to piss off the Obama-bot true believers).

The anger about Obama has coalesced and the desire to get rid of him is intense. This is the equivalent of a political erection. Why? With an erection, blood that would otherwise carry oxygen to the brain is diverted to the penis. The oxygen deficit in the brain of a male with an erection is the big reason why guys with a hard-on do incredibly stupid things. A hard dick is not a brain.

The political erection theory explains for me why incredibly flawed candidates like Gingrich, Cain, and Santorum are being treated as serious prospects. In the real world, none of those three would have any chance whatsoever of prevailing in a national election. It does not matter how enthusiastic the conservatives are. Any candidate must also be able to attract independents.

While I believe that Romney is the best of the worst and offers the best chance of garnering the support of independents (he did it well in Massachusetts), he has his flaws as well. I am very troubled by his blind embrace of the notion that the Federal Government can hold indefinitely anyone accused of terrorism without access to a lawyer or a court. But that just puts him on the same page as Obama.

He also has shown a willingness to surrender individual choice to the greater good. Hence the insurance mandate in Massachusetts. I concede that the majority of the folks in Massachusetts support Romney care. But that does not placate conservatives.

What I like about Romney is that he is not a blind ideologue. He does not have a vision to remake America or the world. He does not have a passion to remake the world. The last thing we need as President is a deluded visionary (e.g., Gingrich) who wants to proselytize their political religion and impose their utopia on the masses.

I also admit that I am most comfortable with Ron Paul’s commitment to the Constitution and its limits. I can easily live with Ron Paul as President. I have had the privilege of sitting in Ron’s office and briefing on issues of terrorism (this was in the fall of 2007). He is a gentleman and genuinely believes what he says on the stump. But his message does not resonate with the middle.

It will be an interesting period over the next three weeks. If Santorum beats Romney in Michigan and Ohio, Romney is damaged goods and won’t be an effective national candidate. At that point the Republicans are in trouble. Why? Because Rick Santorum is a social conservative nut. His views on contraception and homosexuality alienate a majority of Americans.

This is a classic symptom of Obama Derangement Syndrome–embracing a flawed candidate just because you hate the opponent more. Does this stir the pot enought for a Friday?

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.