FRED THOMPSON….Apropos of my post yesterday, a reader emails:

I’m curious why you say “it’s nothing more than a measure of GOP desperation that Fred Thompson is considered anything but a joke.” Could you elaborate on that either in a blog post or in an email?

This is a perfectly good question, though one to which I have only conventional wisdom to offer. Basically it’s this: Thompson is a guy whose political record in the Senate was a big zero; whose only real claim to fame is being a character actor on TV and in films; who has done nothing to distinguish himself this year except deliver a few vaguely Reaganesque pastiches in a nice baritone; who is apparently not Christian enough for James Dobson’s taste; who has no known issues that he really cares deeply about; and whose most famous quality is his laziness.

That sure doesn’t sound like the resume of a guy who’s going to rescue the Republican Party to me. The fact that so many people are talking him up seems like it says more about the suicidally desperate state of the GOP than it does about the actual presidential prospects of Fred Thompson.

But hey — maybe I’m wrong. For a nostalgic look back at the first round of “Thompson for President” mania, check out Michelle Cottle’s Washington Monthly profile written shortly after his landslide reelection victory in 1996.