This morning I was watching a video that a friend sent me on my iPhone as I walked around my house. As I wandered into the dark kitchen, I hesitated to turn the lights on—I just stood there for a few seconds with my hand on the switch. And then I realized why I was standing in the dark: because I wanted to hear better.

When I became aware of what I was thinking I was shocked! How could I be so crazy? How could I think something so stupid?

And then it occurred to me that this was actually a pretty familiar feeling. This is not the first time I’ve noticed that my mind was doing something dumb. I can’t remember specific examples, but this kind of half-unconscious idiocy must have happened dozens of times—and those are just the times I’ve noticed! How many times has my brain done something colossally moronic without me noticing?

Does this happen to you? Have you felt the sinking feeling that you’re being an idiot? Do you think it happens to everyone?

And if so, why doesn’t it happen to Rick Santorum?