After the recent wildfire ignited by the Obama White House but fueled by barrels of gasoline provided by Catholic Bishops and CPAC zealots, it's starting to look like an ominous future world--the one envisioned by today's boxing-themselves-in republicans: not dissimilar to Margaret Atwood's HANDMAID'S TALE where one doctrinaire party ran a nation like a massive theocracy that had, as its central idea, the subjugation and devaluing of women. But what made Atwood's dystopian masterpiece work so well was that it seemed plausible. After the wrap-up in Washington of CPAC's convention, it seems even more so. Does the Republican Party really expect to win on a platform that would seem to deny something as simple and popular as contraceptives? Is the Church going to continue to create its hysterical and histrionic campaign (probably in an attempt to look valiant enough to cast a covering shadow over the stain of the sex abuse scandals, a stain that continues to grow)? I don't believe the American people will buy it. But time will tell. While Americans continue to suffer through the worst economic "recession" in 80 years, conservatives are getting hopping mad about medications to prevent pregnancy. That's either a supreme madness or a strange recipe for political success.