WAITING PATIENTLY FOR SANITY…. It’s hard not to watch a clip like this and think that Fox News’ Glenn Beck really is deranged.

Here we have a highly-paid, self-described “rodeo clown” scrawling nonsense on a chalk board, concocting bizarre conspiracy theories. Watching the clip, it’s tempting to feel kind of sorry for Beck, the same way one might feel sympathy for a man shouting bizarre conspiracy theories on a street corner, scrawling nonsense on a cardboard box.

But here’s the kicker: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has seen Beck’s lunacy, and she’s extremely impressed, lauding the Fox News lunatic for doing an “extraordinary job” this week.

“FOX News’ Glenn Beck is doing an extraordinary job this week walking America behind the scenes of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and outlining who is actually running the White House,” Palin wrote on Facebook. The strange former governor proceeded to encourage “all my friends to watch” Beck’s show.

That’s right — Sarah Palin has begun doing promotional work for a deranged television personality.

I so desperately wish Republicans could become sensible again. As Joe Klein asks, “How can you sustain a democracy if one of the two major political parties has been overrun by nihilists?”

Or as Michelle Cottle recently wrote, “I have given up hope for a loyal opposition. I’d settle for a sane one.”

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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.