A UNIQUE ANGLE ON NATIONAL SECURITY…. There was a classic “Saturday Night Live” sketch way back in 1988, with a debate between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. Bush was asked about rampant homelessness and poverty, and delivered a rambling, incoherent response. Dukakis, played by Jon Lovitz, said in his rebuttal, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy.”

I can only assume Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has a very similar thought just about every day.

This video shows a segment of a news broadcast from Las Vegas’ CBS affiliate, which extremist candidate Sharron Angle has refused to speak to at any point during the campaign. A reporter from the station met up with the Republican nominee at the airport, in the hopes of getting some answers about her positions on national security and military policy.

I’ll answer those questions when I’m the senator,” Angle told the reporter. When he asked about answers voters would need before Election Day, she refused to respond.

Asked about her desire to end U.S. participation in the United Nations, Angle again refused to answer, and said she wanted news outlets to help her “get out the vote.”

Noting the Nevadans involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the reporter noted that Angle hasn’t told anyone how she would vote on war-related issues. After she literally said nothing, the reporter added, “You are literally staying silent about the two wars we’re in right now?”

Angle finally turned and said, “You know, the two wars that we’re in right now is exactly what we’re in.”

First, I give the reporter, Nathan Baca, a lot of credit for doing the kind of journalism that needs to be done.

Second, if reason had any meaning, a clip like this one would be an immediate career killer for anyone seeking powerful federal office.

Just for good measure, also note that the Angle campaign, outraged that a reporter would ask a Senate candidate about her positions on two ongoing wars, announced late yesterday that the CBS affiliate would be prohibited from entering Angle’s election night festivities.

In 2010, journalists asking basic questions of U.S. Senate candidates are now punished by unhinged, right-wing campaigns. This is what’s become of our political system.

To paraphrase Lovitz, I can’t believe Reid is losing to this challenger.

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.