Five mainstream Republicans are vying for Merkley's seat and they revealed that they are out of touch with reality.
Well, Jo Rae Perkins, a former Linn County Republican County chairwoman, compared the Common Core educational curriculum standards to communism. "This is what we saw happen under Mao. This is what we saw happen with Stalin. We've got to stop this."
That seems a tad "off message."
The bogeyman is no longer a communist, he's an Islamist, according to Republican orthodoxy.
And, to these folks, President Obama is an Islamist and he must be stopped. In fact, a Republican hopeful in Florida called for Obama's execution.
But, that's the Sunshine State, a far cry from the Beaver State.
Here, we have the catastrophe of the Cover Oregon health insurance website, the worst in the nation.
Naturally, the Merkley challengers jumped all over "Obamacare."
But, just as there is anecdotal evidence that the Affordable Care Act is one big headache, there is also anecdotal evidence that, hey, it's pretty good.
In fact, I've heard from some folks, who've actually called Cover Oregon on the phone, that it's a far better experience than they've heard about in the press.
Typically, the GOP senatorial candidates railed against federal regulations on anything in Oregon.
Thankfully, we have common sense leaders in this state, unlike in West Virginia, Texas and Florida to name just a few, that believe oversight of chemical companies, clear-cutters and air polluters is in the best interest of the state's residents.
And, social issues such as opposition to abortion rights and same-sex marriage are bedrock conservative principles. Nevermind, that these positions are out of step with the majority of Americans.
That's not what matters to teabaggers. What matters is standing up for principles that the majority of Oregonians do not share.
In other words, the GOP candidates embrace defeat at the polls.