Are you prepared for nine more months of incessant political babbling?

There are loads of things going on in popular culture: Britney Spears is in trouble again; a big, beefy baseball player called Roger Clemens is in the crapper for allegedly using steroids; and, oh yeah, there's a presidential election coming up in November.

Keep in mind that it is February, which means we have to listen to nearly nine more months of incessant media babbling on the subject. If this fact alone doesn't make you want to pull your own head off, then you must be on drugs.

What the babbling is about right now is something called "super delegates." I don't really understand what these are, and having lived through millions of presidential elections, I can honestly say I've never heard the words "super" and "delegates" used together. I only understand that these are comprised of bigwigs like Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York, and that if Hillary Clinton hijacks them and wins the party nomination, all the Obama Democrats will cry foul, pick up their toys and go home crying.

Maybe "super delegates" are like politicians on steroids. Maybe super-delegate politicians should recuse themselves from bothering poor Roger Clemens.

On the Republican side, John McCain's going be the nominee. Mike Huckabee is just gamboling around like a media-trained monkey at this point, making it look like a competition. Mitt Romney, that handsome hunk of Latter-day Sainthood, has endorsed John McCain--no surprise to anybody, since Romney plans to run again in 2012. The Mittster knows he needs to toady up decisively and right away.

He would save himself considerable energy if he simply parked his nose in John McCain's ass crack for the duration of the campaign, or the next five years. Whichever.

I have mixed feelings about John McCain. As an Arizonan, I feel I should be proud in some boosterish, go-team way. But I'm not. McCain's just another 70-something white man with a funny jaw. He's an anti-choice, ultra-hawkish conservative who has said publicly that he doesn't have any problem with the United States spending the next 100 years in Iraq. He used to have some moderate views on immigration, but he's changed his mind and now spends his weekends hanging out on the border with the Minutemen, swilling nonalcoholic beer and talking about prostate numbers. He used to be anti-torture, but now he's waffling under political pressure, maybe waxing up his waterboard as we speak.

I don't know what these people who say he's not conservative enough are talking about. According to The Washington Post, Sen. McCain has voted with fellow Republicans 88.5 percent of the time. Maybe they're just mad because he's not screaming about Jesus all the time and doesn't hate Mexicans enough.

I suspect, however, that it's something else. I suspect that beneath all of the political posturing and the selling off of hunks of his soul cheaper than the twice-marked-down stock at the local Big Lots, McCain might still possess a microscopic thread of integrity. Lord knows we don't want anyone like that within spitting distance of the White House.

On the Democratic side, we have Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Everybody calls the former "Hillary," perhaps so we don't confuse her with her husband, although that doesn't make sense. We already had him twice, so he can't run again. I suspect it's an attempt to trivialize her because she's a woman, or maybe it's simply to demean her because she put up with her husband's philandering. That, in itself, isn't such a big deal. Many of us turn a blind eye to a spouse's occasional indiscretions. What really bugs us about Hillary Clinton is the reason she tolerated it--for the sake of her political future. It's unlikely this country is ready for a woman president. A divorced woman president? No friggin' way.

Still, lots of people support Hillary Clinton. She keeps telling us she has "experience," which is true. She's been in the U.S. Senate since 2001. But it seems that implicitly, she believes having been married to a president gives her some extra experiential oomph. So the question becomes: Does knowing where all the bathrooms are in the White House actually count?

Lastly, but not leastly, comes Barack Obama. The big problem with him is that he's persistently black. He's intelligent, charismatic, thoughtful and perhaps even cares about the poor, but on the black issue, he does not waver. Just after so-called Super Tuesday, I heard an interviewer on NPR ask a Southern Democrat whether the reason he would not vote for Obama was that Obama is an African American. The man said simply, "Yes," and that many people he knew felt the same way. To his credit, he didn't try to justify it in any way. The interviewer said, "Thank you." The caller said, "You're welcome," and hung up.

To hijack a Colbert-ism, there was an eerie truthiness about the whole exchange.

God have mercy on us all.