The internet stifles originality. Well, what I mean is, the internet stifles my ability to think I’ve got any originality.

On election night, mulling the debacle of the Republican presidential campaign and the party’s wrecked state, a potential GOP slogan for the next run popped into my head: “Dumb and Plumber in 2012!

I giggled and ran to Google. I typed “dumb and plumber” as fast as I could with one hand, since the other one was busy patting me on the back.

Alas: Hundreds of hits. From all over.

Commenters on big publications and blogs I’d never heard of had been using the phrase for McCain/Wurzelsomething or Palin/Wurzelsomething for days and even weeks.

And it was older than those political pairings. The Sunday Mail of Glasgow, Scotland, used “Dumb and Plumber” in a headline in 2002 for a story about a real plumber. (As of this morning, “dumb and plumber” incites 3,920 hits.)

Hell, the damn line was so prevalent, I’ve accepted the likelihood that I got it from reading one of those posts in the first place.

Crushing as this experience was, my quest for sloganeering immortality continues.

And, though Google tells me otherwise, hell if I don’t believe “Dead Balls Era” still has a shot…