Now that it's over, the first thing we should do to recover from our close-call with the electoral process, as a state, is kill that groundhog.

Run him over with the pickup truck. Shoot him with one of those guns we cling to. Have God miracle his furry butt to groundhog heaven.

We need to get rid of the groundhog.

Every news anchor, pundit and nitwit has used Groundhog Day as a metaphor for the results from Tuesday's excellent adventure in democracy. CBS, ABC, CNN, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Time magazine, and even an Australian newspaper referred to Groundhog Day in reports about the primary. CNN reporter John King even interviewed a resident of Punxsutawney, asking which candidate Phil supported, and the guy said, "Don't matter to him. He's only a groundhog."

The conventional wisdom was Hillary saw her shadow and we get six more weeks of this crap -- six more weeks of attacks and counter-attacks and character assassination and having to listen to MSNBC's Chris Matthews do his Rainman-on-crystal-meth schtick on national TV. (Chris Matthews, by the way, is insane.)

Pennsylvania -- home of Ben Franklin, cradle of our democracy, the place where Jimmy Hoffa may have been killed -- is now best known to the rest of the nation as the punchline to some kind of joke involving a narcoleptic marmot. (Anyone wants to name their rock band Narcoleptic Marmot, feel free.)

Punxsutawney Phil must die.

Blame Bill Murray and that stupid movie, which does bear some reproach because Matthews said Tuesday's primary was like the movie because some stuff kept happening over and over again. His point wasn't exactly clear. (Remember, he's nuts.)

Blame Punxsutawney Phil.

Blame the pundits who kept dragging out the Groundhog Day metaphor and beating it so senseless that it can't even be identified with dental records.

Yes, Hillary was the big winner Tuesday. And Obama, the experts were all saying, didn't really lose because he still has a big lead and Hillary's big win didn't really change anything. And Chris Matthews was the winner because he got to refer to Philadelphia as "America's Paris" on national TV. (Both Philadelphia and Paris have rivers and both have overly hostile residents, but other than that . . . well, I told you he was insane.)

In the world of political spin, the Special Olympics of politics, everybody was a winner.

The big loser?


And by us, I mean the people of this great commonwealth who are best known, at least for now, for having some kind of bizarre marmot fetish.

That was just the beginning of it. Just sampling the expert analysis of the primary, Pennsylvania is such a terrible, awful, depressing place, who in their right minds would want to live here? (Chris Matthews, by the way, is from Pennsylvania, speaking of people not in their right minds.)

Hillary won, the experts said, because Pennsylvania is a lot like Ohio.

I've been to Ohio.

That's not a compliment.

Now before all of you Ohioans, or Ohioites, or Ohioanoids, or whatever you're called, get all bent out of shape and pummel me with e-mails and phone calls and letters and whatnot telling me that Ohio is the best place on the face of the earth because you have the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame and the Toledo Ballet and the Bull Semen Hall of Fame, I'm joking. Ohio's not nearly as terrible as Utah. (And if you're ever in Columbus with a couple of hours to kill, I highly recommend the Bull Semen Hall of Fame. The gift shop kills.)

What they meant is Pennsylvania is some kind of post-industrial wasteland, sort of like "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" without Tina Turner, void of industry and jobs and people who have all of their teeth. They all described Pennsylvania, over and over again, as "hardscrabble."


What are we? West Virginia?

They made it sound as if, between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is populated by a bunch of inbred Ned Beatty rapists, retarded banjo players and the Amish.

Always with the Amish.

And then, they pointed out that in certain counties - the ones where deer outnumber people - Hillary beat Obama by wide margins.

The experts did helpfully point out these counties were something like 99.9 percent white and Hillary got something like 99.9 percent of the vote, seeming to indicate that the people were some kind of bigots. (For example, look at Fayette County in western Pennsylvania - Obama got 6,167 votes, Clinton got 23,057. Fayette County, I think, has only three black people.)

Why else did Hillary win?

Well, let's see. All of the media experts said Hillary won because Pennsylvania's population is older, less educated and makes less money than states where Obama's been successful, such as Utah, South Carolina and Mississippi.

Old, hardscrabble, dumb, poor rednecks apparently love Hillary - at least that's what the experts were saying.

And lucky for her, Pennsylvania has lots of those.

I guess it says something that the candidate who was peddling hope was beaten here.

Look on the bright side. It gives us a new state motto.

Pennsylvania: Where hope goes to die.

Mike Argento's column appears Mondays and Fridays in Living and Sundays in Viewpoints. Reach him at or 771-2046. Read more Argento columns at his blog, Argento's Front Stoop at