In scanning my social media posts today, the disturbing amount of pollution emitted by the 2012 GOP Clown Car choked up my feed.

I can’t decide which one of these items is more gut-wrenchingly craptastic (or fantastic, depending on your point of view). I can safely say I’ve not seen such a pathetic bunch of pols running for President of the United States in years, maybe ever.

Please pick which one of these items is the most-off-of-the rails and embodies a ride in the Clown Car.

1. Newt Gingrich: Congressional Budget Office Is ‘A Reactionary Socialist Institution’.

According to CNN Money, the Republican contender described the CBO as “a reactionary socialist institution which does not believe in economic growth, does not believe in innovation and does not believe in data that it has not internally generated.”

The agency, which in its own words is “nonpartisan,” is described on its own website as follows:

CBO’s mandate is to provide the Congress with:

-Objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget and

-The information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.

Gingrich’s comment drew criticism from various sources. Per CNN Money, “Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former CBO director and Republican, called the Gingrich allegation ‘ludicrous.’” Stan Collender, whom CNN describes as “a former Capitol Hill aide who worked for the House and Senate Budget Committees,” had some harsh words for Gingrich, saying that the candidate “should know better, and he should be ashamed of himself.” Collender called the CBO “bipartisan” and said they are “the best group of analysts I’ve ever met.”

2. Michele Bachmann Serves Water at GOP Debate. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) serves water to host Frank Luntz and her rivals at the 11/19 Republican debate in Iowa — the “Thanksgiving Family Forum”.

RT @rightwingwatch: Of course the GOP would make the woman serve the water…

3. Mittens: Romney Backs Away From Plans To Privatize Veterans Health Care.

ROMNEY: I have no proposal of that nature [to privatize the VA]. We had a group of veterans and said, ‘tell me about the quality of your care.’ Some were concerned about the quality of their health care. I said, ‘what kind of options do you have, what do you think about a system that let you go to private as well as VA hospitals?’ The response was mixed, but I don’t have any proposal of that nature. We have a VA system that needs to be improved and I’ve got no plans to change that other than to make it better and to invest more money in providing for our veterans.

4. Mittens on his wild past:

“I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once, as a wayward teenager, and never did it again.”
– Mitt Romney, in a forthcoming People magazine interview.

5. The GOP Is So Insane That Ron Paul Is Their Foreign Policy Voice Of Reason. This is actually less a statement from the Clown Car than about it. PoliticusUSA:

Bob Schieffer pushed Rep Ron Paul to explain the difference between his critique of George W Bush’s foreign policy and it’s possible impact on terrorists and the notion that he was “with the terrorists.” From this moment, we get a moment of pure absurdity wherein Paul mentions the Republican candidates’ lust for bombing Iran, as seen in their last debate on foreign policy. No, the absurdity isn’t Ron Paul; it’s the other Republican candidates.

6. Santorum: God’s Law And Civil Law Must Be That Same. Rick Santorum, speaking at the Thanksgiving Family Forum, says that our civil laws must reflect God’s law … but that is totally different from Sharia.

Now, unlike Islam where the higher law and civil law are the same, in our case, we have civil laws but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.

Our civil laws have to … and that’s why, with the issue of abortion, as long as abortion is “legal” – at least according to the Supreme Court, “legal” in this country – we will never have rest because that law does not comport with God’s law which says that all life has value, all life is created by [God,] I knew you in the womb.

And as long as there is a discordance between the two, there will be agitation.

7. Bachmann: A Seven-Foot Doctor Told Me Obamacare Requires The IRS To Pre-Approve Medical Treatments.

– “One man stood up, he was over 7-feet tall. He was a physician in the community. And he said, ‘I had a little lady in my office and because of Obamacare, I had to call the IRS and I had to get a number to put on a form before I could see her.’”

– “When I was a little girl…There were people who could not pay [for health care]. I mean they just did not have any money at all. And so the doctor would just write it off. [...] It’s very different today. Now, doctors don’t feel like they can do that…they worry about liability.”

8. Mittens, again: Romney Admits He Destroyed Government Records To Keep Them From Political Opponents.

Last week, a Boston Globe investigation uncovered that former Gov. Mitt Romney’s administration destroyed emails, purchased hard drives, and otherwise obliterated all digital records of his time as governor of Massachusetts. This happened as Romney was leaving the state to campaign for president (the first time), and observers immediately speculated that the systematic destruction was politically motivated to hide embarrassing data.

His excuse??

ROMNEY: Well, I think in government we should follow the law. And there has never been an administration that has provided to the opposition research team, or to the public, electronic communications. So ours would have been the first.

9. Damn. Mittens again! Think Progress: First Romney TV Ad Falsely Presents McCain Campaign Quote As Obama’s.

The Romney campaign’s very first television ad, released this evening, dishonestly presents a 2008 McCain campaign quote as the words of President Obama. The ad features a voice-over of Obama saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Then-candidate Obama indeed said those words, perhaps dozens of times during the closing month of the 2008 campaign. The only problem? Obama was actually quoting the words of a strategist from Sen. John McCain’s campaign.