Rick Santorum has an issue with women that is almost as creepy as his hang-up with gays and his fascination with fetuses in jars. On ABC’s This Week, host George Stephanopoulos questioned Santorum about a 2005 book he penned, “It Takes a Family” that blames “radical feminists” for harming the family by snookering women into believing that work is more satisfying than homemaking.

What always gets me about male chauvinist pigs (an old feminist term) like Santorum is that it is always the women who are expected to make major sacrifices. The men are encouraged to give up nothing and place all the burden on women.

Anyway, Rick Santorum spent the entire show with a loopy magic brownie smile, appearing as if he had partied Saturday evening and gone straight to the studio from a big nightclub. His smirk seemed to agitate Stephanopoulos who asked the candidate during one point in the interview what was “so funny.”

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To explain the offending passages in his book, Santorum said his once-abortion loving wife, Karen, wrote those parts, even though she was not mentioned as a contributing writer in the acknowledgements section.

According to Rick or Karen are whatever ghost writer had to channel a village idiot to write the Bronze Age text:

“Sadly the propaganda campaign launched in the 1960’s has taken root,” the book said. “The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.”

Yeah, this ought to play well with women…in the year 1345.

Commenting on the complete and utter buffoonery of the GOP contestants in this never-ending “Ugly Pageant,” New York Times columnist wrote:

Start with Rick Santorum, who, according to Public Policy Polling, is the clear current favorite among usual Republican primary voters, running 15 points ahead of Mr. Romney. Anyone with an Internet connection is aware that Mr. Santorum is best known for 2003 remarks about homosexuality, incest and bestiality. But his strangeness runs deeper than that.

For example, last year Mr. Santorum made a point of defending the medieval Crusades against the “American left who hates Christendom.” Historical issues aside (hey, what are a few massacres of infidels and Jews among friends?), what was this doing in a 21st-century campaign?

How did American conservatism end up so detached from, indeed at odds with, facts and rationality? For it was not always thus. After all, that health reform Mr. Romney wants us to forget followed a blueprint originally laid out at the Heritage Foundation!

My short answer is that the long-running con game of economic conservatives and the wealthy supporters they serve finally went bad. For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy — a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America’s defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.

Over time, however, this strategy created a base that really believed in all the hokum — and now the party elite has lost control.

Times columnist Thomas Friedman wisely adds:

The party has let itself become the captive of conflicting ideological bases: anti-abortion advocates, anti-immigration activists, social conservatives worried about the sanctity of marriage, libertarians who want to shrink government, and anti-tax advocates who want to drown government in a bathtub.

Sorry, but you can’t address the great challenges America faces today with that incoherent mix of hardened positions. I’ve argued that maybe we need a third party to break open our political system. But that’s a long shot. What we definitely and urgently need is a second party — a coherent Republican opposition that is offering constructive conservative proposals on the key issues and is ready for strategic compromises to advance its interests and those of the country.

America — and particularly the LGBT community — is in a dire situation when one of our two parties is off-the-cliff insane. I write this not because I loathe Republicans, but because I want a sane GOP to emerge so American politics can return back to some semblance of normalcy.

It is simply dangerous when one party is so brain damaged that the LGBT community has to place all of its eggs in one basket — the Democrats — which gives us virtually no leverage with either party. Now is the time for the few reasonable and rational Republicans remaining to take back control of the GOP — if it is not too late. (And it may be two beers and three ticks of the clock past last call)

Unfortunately, there are too many Republican Party hacks and soulless apparatchiks who are invested in continuing the twisted dialogue that has so harmed this nation. Instead of turning the crazy train around, they are helping to step on the gas and drive it off of a cliff.

Even in the LGBT community you have unthinking sycophants, such as GOPROUD, that are more interested in defending the indefensible policies of the modern conservative movement than working to expel the Religious Right from the party.

Until the fringe Pat Robertson crowd is returned to its rightful place on the margins of American politics, the Republican Party will continue to be a refuge for reprobates (Tom DeLay), hypocrites (Newt Gingrich), phonies (Mitt Romney), and no-nothings (Sarah Palin).

Can America afford one of our two parties to be a full-fledged circus act?