“One may smile a smile and be a villain…” -Kevin Costner, “JFK” (1991)

Despite my recent torching of Fox News Channel’s annoying, bombastic, self-absorbed Bill O’Reilly, I must admit, he sometimes makes sense. An example is how he concluded one of his own recent nationally syndicated newspaper columns. To wit:

“Remember the old song ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’? That’s what’s happening in America right now. Political machines are blowing so much smoke that it’s almost impossible for voters to know the truth. Gone are the days when a Harry Truman could look the country in the collective eye and tell the truth about what he wanted to accomplish. Now professional pamphlet writers parse every word in their quest to deceive.

“This year’s presidential election, perhaps the most important since the Great Depression, is shaping up as an epic class-warfare battle. Propaganda will be a big part.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, especially the “propaganda” part. How better to explain Herman Cain’s endorsement of Newt Gingrich for president, and then Donald Trump doing likewise for Mitt Romney? The next thing we know, pigs will fly. And in the epitome of bad taste, the chairman of the Republican National Committee compared Barack Hussein Obama to the captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia Italian cruise ship. Appearing on CBS-TV’s “Face the Nation,” Reince Priebus said this:

“In a few months, this is all going to be ancient history, and we’re going to talk about our own little Captain Schettino, which is President Obama, who is abandoning ship here in the United States.” Ugh!

In other items of interest, the day before Florida’s Republican primary-won decisively by Romney-a USA Today/Gallup poll showed Romney leading Obama 48 percent to 47 percent in the most competitive swing states. The two were tied at 48 percent overall.

Romney then trounced Gingrich in the Florida primary and Nevada’s caucuses. And what did the sore loser ex-speaker of the House do? He said he plans to fight Florida’s “winner take all” system for awarding convention delegates. Under it, Gingrich receives no delegates despite getting a third of the popular vote. Could this mean he may mount a floor fight at the GOP convention this summer? Stay tuned.

Around that same time, a number of pointed letters to the editor appeared in big city newspapers, with the writers leaving no doubt as to their feelings about Obama’s airport dustup with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, the president’s State of the Union address and his stance on the Keystone pipeline. Here are excerpts from two on each subject:

“Forget about Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich running against Obama. Let Brewer run. She would win hands down, as she is the only one in this country with guts.”

“It’s about time someone took Obama to task regarding disingenuous lecturing, and who better than Brewer, whose state is on the Justice Department’s hit list for its tough new immigration law. Brewer’s one tough lady.”

“I thought I saw President Obama’s nose grow so much during his State of the Union address that it was coming through my television.”

“After watching Obama blame everyone but himself with a straight face, I believe he is the polar opposite of Ronald Reagan. He’s going to have a stellar career as an actor after he’s done with politics in November.”

“I would like to thank Obama for killing the Keystone pipeline. By so doing, he gave the American public another reason not to re-elect him. The pipeline would not have cost American taxpayers a dime, while creating 100,000 U.S. jobs.”

“Does anyone wonder if Obama would have denied it if it ran through battleground states? Never has a president governed so transparently in his own best interests at the expense of the good of his country.”

A few days later, Obama unwisely put his foot firmly in his mouth at the annual National Prayer Breakfast by telling the 3,000 attendees that God serves as his top adviser for pushing higher taxes on wealthy Americans. The president said:

“For me, as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required…’ If I’m willing to give something up-as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed-and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.”

Whoa! You heard it, but can you believe it? Does he believe it? Yikes and triple erk!

It’s clear that the land is rife with much political unrest shared by many independents as well as Republicans. And if you’re a Democrat, you’d better hope that Obama starts getting his act together or he will, indeed, be a one-term president.

Finally, Chris Wallace-host of “Fox News Sunday”-captured the essence of the presidential campaign recently with one of the best-ever sight gags on TV news. And I’ve seen a whole lot of them in countless years of observing politics and politicians.

After presenting U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) with a big white cake emblazoned with a large green dollar sign on his 42nd birthday, Wallace handed him a knife and quipped: “It’s the federal budget deficit. Feel free to cut into it, but you don’t have to eat it.” And that’s the name of that tune.