A recap of the contest for the Republican nomination as of Jan. 8:

Newt Gingrich called Mitt Romney a liar. Newt later denied calling Romney a liar, stating that he merely responded "yes" when he was asked if Romney was a liar. Newt also said he would not vote for Ron Paul if he won the nomination, and he'd be happy to team up with Santorum to stop Romney.

Rick Santorum called Ron Paul `"disgusting," and Santorum believes that any problem in America can be solved by repressing gay rights, denying a woman's right to choose, and reinstating DADT. He also said he'd be in favor of a law banning contraception, and he's itching to start a war with Iran.

Ron Paul called Newt Gingrich a "chickenhawk," and he hurled at Rick Santorum, the highest insult a conservative can hurl. He called Santorum a iberal. (Santorum a iberal? Maybe, on the Planet of the Opposites.)

Rick Perry was quickly exposed as empty-headed, giving new meaning to the term "all hat, no cattle." Perry hopes to regain traction by fabricating a claim that President Obama is conducting a War on Religion. And oh yes, there's this . . . Perry wants to send our troops back to Iraq.

Michelle Bachmann, is obsessed with repealing the healthcare reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Her aspirations landed on deaf ears in Iowa, where she came in dead last and dropped out.

Herman Cain insisted there's a conspiracy against him. As proof, he said that for every woman who accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior, there were thousands of women who wouldn't.

Mitt Romney, well, he'll say anything you want to hear, as long as he believes it will get him a vote.

Tim Pawlenty, the hope for moderate Republicans, folded his campaign in a heartbeat when he proved to be too cowardly to stand up for his convictions in the very first debate.

Jon Huntsman's last in the polls. It's no shock given that the primary has been driven by Republicans who've elevated the status of the shallow, the empty-headed, and the rightwing extremists.

A debate featuring former front runner Donald Trump as the moderator proved to be such a dumb idea that it was quickly cancelled. The Donald then resigned from the Republican party, saying he's paving the way for a possible run as an independent. (This would be great for America because it would mean the cancellation of Celebrity Apprentice.)

All the candidates would like to deregulate everything, repeal the healthcare reforms, destroy Planned Parenthood, eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy, the EPA, and the National Endowment of the Arts. And their simple-minded foreign policy (except for Huntsman and Paul) is "bomb-bomb Iran" and "we love Israel".

While all this is going on, Christian conservatives are in a panic, scrambling around to find a successful anti-Romney candidate.

Richard Ross

Fairfield