THE KIND OF ‘WIN’ NO ONE SHOULD WANT…. The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto believes Sarah Palin must be brilliant. In fact, he thinks he has proof — voluntary Medicare-reimbursed end-of-life counseling is off the table in Senate Finance Committee negotiations, and it wouldn’t be if the former governor hadn’t launched a baseless attack.

If you believe the media, Sarah Palin is a mediocre intellect, if even that, while President Obama is brilliant. So how did she manage to best him in this debate?

This would be amusing if it weren’t so serious. Consider exactly what we’ve seen over the last seven days: a confused conservative didn’t understand a modest, common-sense idea that had already been endorsed, promoted, and approved by other conservatives. This person’s ridiculous claim was then embraced by other confused conservatives. Eventually, another conservative decided to drop the modest, common-sense idea because a lot of people, he said, find it confusing.

James Taranto sees all of this and concludes that the confused conservative who helped bring the ridiculous claim to national prominence must be intelligent. Indeed, the sub-head on his piece read, “If she’s dim and Obama is brilliant, how did he lose the argument to her?”

In the world of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, if a right-wing voice is wrong, but manages to get others to believe nonsense, that right-wing voice “wins” the argument, and is necessarily clever.

Our mind-numbing political discourse is a constant source of frustration.

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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.