Well, I can’t blame the Cleveland Plain Dealer for trying, but unfortunately that ship has already sailed given Grendell’s comments in this morning Columbus Dispatch.

“Good thing Geauga County Republican Timothy Grendell chairs the Ohio Senate’s Judiciary-Criminal Justice Committee: Every circus needs a ringmaster, and Grendell is a pro.”

When you haven’t even started your hearings and the media is already calling it a circus, you’re in trouble.

Were another Republican in the chair, it would be easier to believe the hearings will be fair and even-handed.

Grendell and his fellow Republicans must run this week’s hearings with dignity and scrupulous respect for everyone’s rights. If the committee instead tries to compete with Barnum & Bailey, Collins-Taylor won’t be the only officeholder behind the Statehouse eight ball.

Grendell has already become a liability for the GOP.  He’s an imperfect messenger on this because he’s publicly appeared all too eager to politicize this matter by spinning it to try to maximize the partisan advantage.

The problem is that Tim Grendell is strutting to his hearing table holding a great hand for gin rummy, but he’s at a poker tournament.