TAX BREAKS FOR BIG OIL…. Economic growth may have fallen into negative territory*, but there’s at least one company that’s doing very well: ExxonMobil’s third quarter profits totaled $14.83 billion, the best quarter any U.S. company has ever had.

Like practically everything else, this has campaign implications. The AP reports, “Republican presidential candidate John McCain seized on reports of record oil company profits Thursday to criticize Democratic rival Barack Obama for favoring tax breaks for the oil industry.”

That’s not a typo or an editing error. The McCain campaign saw ExxonMobil’s record-breaking profits as grounds to go after Obama for support tax breaks for Big Oil.

Honestly, how does one respond to something like this? By pointing out the $1.2 billion tax break McCain wants to give to ExxonMobil? By noting the $4 billion in tax breaks McCain supports for America’s largest oil companies? By highlighting the fact that McCain’s energy policy reflects Big Oil’s wish list? By reminding folks of McCain’s abysmal record on alternative energy solutions? By mentioning that McCain’s campaign is being run and financed by lobbyists for the oil industry?

An astute reader named chrenson raised a good observation yesterday.

Steve, I think I’m sensing some desperation in your closing comments on these posts. Coming up with new ways to express how very f***ed up the McCain campaign has become must be one hell of a burden. Especially since each instance of bulls**t way outdoes the one before.

Chrenson’s right. It’s one thing to point out some of the absurdities of the presidential campaign, but it’s altogether more challenging to find different adjectives that sufficiently capture the madness emanating from McCain campaign headquarters. Reading today that McCain is going after Obama on tax breaks for Big Oil is just the latest evidence that the Republican presidential ticket is engaged in some kind of satirical performance art, and I’m just not in on the joke.

* Corrected

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.