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Hiccuping volcanoes - Will Durst

You got to love The Right. Every single study and poll, every one, shows independents turned off by cultural-values wars; the same way chalk sidewalk drawings dissolve in a thunderstorm.

And they try and they try and they try, but they just can't help themselves. Like active moral volcanoes with a bad case of the hiccups, conservatives erupt and spew; and god help any innocent bystander that gets in the way of their lava of virtuousness.

That includes themselves.

Upon waking, bright pink Post-it Notes have got to be stuck to the bathroom mirror: "It's the economy, stupid." And for a fleeting moment, folks stick to the script.

But all it takes is the merest hint of a whisper of a rumor of suspected aberrant behavior, and Boom! All hell breaks loose. Banding together, they rain down with exalted anger to smite evildoers.

Never mind the deficit, the wages of sin must first be paid.

Oh, they talk about getting the government out of people's business. But when it's bedroom business or women's body businesses, an infatuation with perceived iniquity overcomes them.

Especially businesses into which tab A is not destined for slot B; which could possibly offend some busybody. That's when their business becomes the business of judging other people's business. And business is good.

I imagine all 23 potential Republican presidential candidates -- cowering at the side of the candidate pool in their red-white-and-blue bathing suits, waiting for spring to turn to summer and the nominating waters to warm up -- would rather juggle a dozen flaming marshmallows over a broken crate of alligators on stilts than be nailed down on abortion or gay marriage right now.

But deep down, this enforced silence is eating away their innards, because their hungry desire for rapturous conduct burns hot inside as well.

Like junkies fresh out of rehab, the self-righteously righter-than-right can smell mendacity three states away and, being good, god-fearing people, go ballistic when the rest of society refuses to twitch into the same twisted noble contortions as they.

Then, as avenging angels, they swoop, sometimes in packs, sometimes plunging solo.

Knowing better, but unable to control his compulsion, Speaker John Boehner (R-$$$) swoopingly interrupted his budget putsch, hiring a law firm to argue on behalf of the Defense of Marriage Act.

President Obama declared it unconstitutional and indefensible, so Boehner is taking it unto himself to ensure equal rights are denied to same-sex relationships.

Apparently, certain people's happiness makes him miserable.

Previously, the GOP tried lathering their moral superiority onto the budget bill. That's when Jon Kyl (R-Wackyville) went on the floor of the Senate to say abortions "are well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." And he was close. Off by 87 percent. Just a bit outside.

Later, Kyl's office recanted, saying "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement." Of course. Who would ever think it was? After all, he is a known politician.

With no innards left, leaping onto the anti-abortion bandwagon with talons extended, Michele Bachmann called Planned Parenthood the LensCrafters of abortion, which by all rights allows you to call the Heritage Foundation the Orange Julius of the death penalty.

Congresswoman Bachmann, the Home Depot of ridiculously overwrought indignation. Making the Republican Party itself the Luigi's Shoe Repair of self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the chest.

The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst "is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today." Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail him at durst@caglecartoons.com.