IF you are a West Virginia Democrat, as an estimated 107 percent of our voters are, this week presented big-time confusion.
What is a West Virginia Democrat anyway?
Camels, zebras and platypuses, that's who.
If there were an ark, three of our political animals would decline the ride.
Those guys are U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, lifelong Democrats who do not want to go to the Democratic National Convention.
This is like Baptists who don't want to go to church or astronauts who would rather stay home.
Used to be, a political party was shorthand for values, goals and a shared vision of what should be.
You'd get together at a convention to agree on all that. Each idea was the platform.
Now we're bringing new meaning to unconventional. The platform? Might as well be the plank.
Can we at least agree on a motto? "It's my party, which I'll deny if I want to."
Manchin, Tomblin and Rahall say they would rather stay in West Virginia, among their constituents.
They seem like they'd rather jump off the New River Gorge Bridge, sit alone atop Spruce Knob or get lost in the Milton corn maze than root, root, root for Barack Obama.
Then there's Jay Rockefeller.
The cheese stands alone.
While Manchin, Tomblin and Rahall huddled in the boys room with their leather jackets and sneaky cigarettes, Rockefeller jumped - all 7-foot-5 of him - into the deep end of the pool.
This week, Jay-Rock went on the Senate floor and chastened coal producers.
He is from a coal state.