Not that we could even muster a minute of enthusiasm to pay attention to the Iowa caucuses last night — wake us up when they decide to make California an early primary state — but at least the cast of insane characters is dwindling. An aide has announced that gay-hating, vitriol-spewing Michelle Bachmann has decided to end her bid for the Republican nomination (hoorah!), and Governor Rick Perry has returned to his home state of Texas to "determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race."

To be completely clear, Perry has not yet formally announced his dropping out, but the writing is clearly on the wall after a few thousand Iowans made up their minds last night, and he finished sixth. As you may have heard, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finished in a virtual tie with Romney eeking out just eight more votes than Santorum. But seriously folks, after Dan Savage did his damage, could we honestly, ever, have a President Santorum? Let's just end this charade early can we please?

Update: Somewhat inexplicably, Rick Perry decided to stay in the race, either because he was embarrassed about his showing in Iowa and wants to end on a better note, or because he's a fool, or because Republican strategists still think he has a shot to beat Romney in some key states. [NYT]

[Christian Science Monitor]
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