Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s victory in the Texas primary makes it official: He’s the GOP’s man to beat President Obama.

My reaction, in a word, is: Oof.

Or depending on my mood: Ugh.

New Hampshire Public Radio / Flickr

It hit me recently why I loathe Romney to the point of clinical derangement. He combines Bill Clinton’s mendacity with Al Gore’s charm. There’s simply nothing endearing about him as a person; and nothing appealing about him as a pol.

My Republican friends often ask me, incredulously, “But don’t you want to beat Obama?”

Beat him with what? A candidate who promises to close the deficit but whose budget plan will only make it worse? A candidate who’s pushing for yet more tax cuts for the wealthy when there’s no evidence that such cuts will spark more or faster growth than they did the last time they were tried? A candidate who compensates for ignorance on foreign policy with pointless bellicosity? A candidate whose general-election victory would at least marginally increase the chances of war with Iran?

No, thanks.

The choice between Obama and Romney is no choice at all. It can be summed up in that famous two-word review of Spinal Tap’s Shark Sandwich album.