We have reached a point in the 2012 campaign when you long for a referee -- someone with a whistle to call foul and declare that one side has so discredited itself that it must forfeit points or be otherwise disqualified.

Nancy Pelosi, the leader who warned that we were losing "500 million jobs a month" without the stimulus bill and who said "God bless them" regarding Occupy Wall Street but condemned the tea party as "AstroTurf," has declared that the Republican Party supports E. coli. True, it's not news when Pelosi mangles the facts. But until her colleagues demote her, she remains the leader of House Democrats. Speaking at a fundraiser, she described the Republican Party as follows: "It's an ideology. We shouldn't have a government role. So reduce the police, the fire, the teachers -- reduce their role." As a mother, she continued, "You could depend on the government for one thing -- it was about, you had to be able to trust the water that our kids drank and the food that they ate. But this is the E. coli club. They do not want to spend money to do that."

In an ideal world, a loud buzzer would issue from the heavens. Foul! The Democrats have presided over an expansion of the welfare state to the point where 1 in 3 American households now receive some form of welfare. That's 100 million Americans receiving benefits -- excluding those receiving Social Security, Medicare and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Yet to suggest that the federal government must reduce the rate of increase in federal spending -- or even to cut back to the comparatively sane levels of spending that prevailed under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- is to be the party of E. coli. Maybe Pelosi should stick to theology. She once explained that the Catholic Church didn't oppose abortion.

Don't look to the other body for relief. The Senate majority leader, who holds a post usually associated with at least a minimal level of dignity, has descended into outright McCarthyism -- claiming that "the word is out" that Mitt Romney hadn't paid taxes in 10 years. How did the "word" get out? Some anonymous caller supposedly told it to Harry Reid. Where's that buzzer? An equivalent accusation would be for John Boehner to announce that "the word is out" that Barack Obama quietly and illegally gutted the work requirements in the welfare reform law passed in 1996. Oh, wait ...

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