Santorum could be the trial by fire the GOP needs

posted at 3:40 pm on February 10, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

As we sit back and watch the looming CPAC showdown between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, I have a column up at PJ media which was difficult to craft, but has me seeing another side to the idea of having Rick Santorum as the GOP nominee for President of the United States in 2012. This is a conclusion Ed Morrissey reached earlier, though for far different reasons. While it is a bit lengthy and sure to draw criticism, I would appreciate it if you gave it a read once we finish with this discussion, which I could only describe as “part two” and a conclusion to the process.

We have a number of candidates who are each, in their own way, problematic for various conservatives and members of the Republican Party. It’s a combative process by design, built to eliminate the weaker members of the herd and produce the strongest candidate in the fall, as it should be. But if we are to look through the long lens of days to come, I have arrived at the conclusion that winning one race may not be as important as boiling down this balancing act which goes on between various conservative factions when fashioning a national election strategy.

The fact is that I feel the coming presidential election will be anything but a cakewalk for the Republican nominee. That’s not to say that we should begin composing a eulogy for conservatism by any means. The domestic agenda of Barack Obama, particularly in terms of regulatory overreach, energy policy and taxation are nothing short of disastrous, and should give pause to enough voters to make a Republican victory possible. But it is not assured, given recent improvements in the jobs numbers and the President’s personal appeal. At best, this will be a tight race which depends in large part upon the political skills and messaging of the teams arrayed on each side.

But victory or defeat will not, as I see it, settle the larger challenge facing the Republican Party. As I noted in the aforementioned column, the real battle is being waged inside the tent, not on the front lines, and it involves how heavily the social conservative wing of the party (the Socons) influence the selection of the eventual nominee.

One of the chief sources of internecine scrapping and grumbling among Republicans has come from the ranks of the social conservatives, or Socons as they are frequently known. We have already spent time speculating what would happen if Mitt Romney becomes the nominee. If he loses to Obama in November, the Socons will once again say that it was because cowardly, establishment party leaders failed to push forward a sufficiently conservative warrior who would fire up the base as a champion of socially conservative principles. If he wins, the Socons could quietly grumble that he’d simply gotten lucky against a deeply flawed President running on a failed record and bide their time until the next open seat in the Oval Office came up for grabs.

Similarly, if Newt Gingrich were to lose to Obama, the blame could be heaped on his own shortcomings and extensive, frequently controversial biography. After all, his three marriages and “complicated” history didn’t exactly make him a darling among evangelical Christians. The same excuses could be applied with slight modifications.

But Rick Santorum is a horse of an entirely different color who could serve as the ultimate test of this theory and put the question to rest once and for all. Is the secret to electoral success truly found in a take no prisoners, hard core, rock ribbed conservative? Is this truly what America is pining for?

As I go on to point out, I don’t think that’s where America stands today. I cite a number of positions which Santorum takes which are near and dear to the hearts of Socons around the country, replete with archived video clips of quotes he repeated on these subjects.

These include filmed statements where Santorum comes out in favor of incarcerating doctors who perform abortions on women diagnosed with ectopic pregnancies, claims that the legal availability of birth control technology is “dangerous” and should be outlawed by the states, and proclamations that biological evolution is not only inferior to creationism or intelligent design, but is essentially bunk. These, along with other comments about gays and such are the feature reel items which I predict Team Obama will use to shift the electoral battle from an indictment of the President’s failed policies to a referendum on Rick Santorum’s “radical social conservative agenda.”

This could be precisely what the Republican Party of the 21st century needs. Either these are the true set of values which represent a winning combination for national electoral success or they are an anchor which will hamper the ambitions of fiscal, small government conservatives for years to come. The problem, as noted in the PJ Media column, is that we have never had the opportunity to perform this experiment in real time. Mitt Romney may win in the fall if he is nominated, but that won’t satisfy the social conservatives. They will simply say that nearly anyone could have snuck by when running against a crippled incumbent with a failed domestic agenda, and we could have had much better. And if he loses, they will loudly proclaim, yet again, that the candidate lacked the certifiable, social conservative bona fides required to win over the nation. No… what is needed is a tsunami of social conservative awesomeness.

Socons have been complaining for ages about the propensity of the establishment GOP to back social conservative geckos when they seek a Komodo dragon. With Rick Santorum we could, at last, put forward the social conservative Godzilla, destroyer of worlds. And when the dust settles in November we would finally have the answer to the question once and for all.

So this is it. Perhaps the time has come. We could settle the “big tent” issue once and for all. If the Socons are correct and this is what America wants, then Republicans should continue to cleave to the banner of Leonidas, standing steadfast against the Persian hordes. (Or the RINOs, at least.) A clear, resounding victory by Santorum in November would prove the naysayers right and show us where the GOP’s priorities should lie going forward. But if they are not – as I personally suspect – and Santorum is utterly destroyed in the general election, then the alternate answer will be made clear. It will be time for the social conservative leg of the stool to be kicked out from under the seat, (specifically speaking in terms of presidential elections) converting it into a two-legged walker. This would still allow Socons to focus on winning local elections and single district races, building support of their views for the future, but ceding some ground in the presidential nomination process in the present so that more “big tent” interests can take the helm for national battles.

If Rick Santorum is nominated, it could finally be the end of this debate, and rather than bandying it about in the empty halls of social media we will have put it to the test at the ballot box. Then and only then would we have the hard data to help us find the right “fuel mixture” when building a winning presidential ticket.

Yes, the cost wwould be high if it turns out that America is not ready for that social conservative Godzilla. I have no wish to see four more years of Barack Obama’s destructive and dysfunctional energy and regulatory policies, nor his visions of “fair” taxation. But in the long view of history, we’re only talking about 48 months in a nation which has thus far survived for centuries. We would still endure. And with the knowledge we gain from either a horrific beating or a spectacular victory, we could be better equipped to make high percentage selections in the future.

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Santorum and Obama are the same person with different views, both want government to intrude to solve problems they percieve.

Last I checked the GOP was supposed to stand for free market principles and individual liberty. Neither of the candidates (Obama vs Santorum) would promote that sentiment.

Tater Salad on February 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Santo is Amabo. Obama’s right wing mirror image. Two sides of the same wooden nickle. What one tells us is the biblically moral thing to mandate, the other says is the biblically moral thing to illegalize. Both agree that their bible trumps trifles like our Constitution.

MJBrutus on February 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM

LOL, the Mittbots are getting increasingly desperate and incoherent.

Santorum is a moderate
No, Santorum is a leftwinger
No, Santorum is like Obama
No, Santorum is wore than Obama!!eleventy!!

Sounds to me like Santorum is winning…hehe

Norwegian on February 10, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Norwegian on February 10, 2012 at 6:36 PM

If he were, America would be losing. Fortunately all he has to show for himself are some (mostly non-binding) caucus wins.

MJBrutus on February 10, 2012 at 6:45 PM

This is the problem with the crazy fanatics.
joana on February 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Wow, a personal insult. Strong argument.

joana on February 10, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Let me get this straight…you can throw out an insult, but no one can defend themselves with a counter insult? Okay, I know the rules now, thanks.

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Are you sure you aren’t Aslan’s Girl 2.0? You sound just as nasty and shrill as she did.

kim roy on February 10, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Don’t insult her…she can insult you, but you are not allowed to insult back…don’t you know the rules?
They can lie about Rick, but do not bring up facts about Mitt, unless they support him…I don’t think you are on the “program”…and no, I don’t think she is Aslan’s Girl, I think Aslan’s was a little more intellectual…

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:51 PM

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

What the heck? Who did I insult? The crazy fanatics? Well, some people are indeed crazy fanatics. Noting that is quite different than going around insulting commentators with ad hominem arguments. If you cant’ see the difference, I can’t explain it any better than this.

joana on February 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Tater Salad on February 10, 2012 at 6:12 PM

NAMBLA feels the same way as you…

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

McCain lost because he was a Republican, A Lincoln/Reagan ticket would have lost that one.

FuzzyLogic on February 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Odd. I certainly don’t recall John “FIGHT WITH ME!!!” McCain’s diehard apologists — whether here, or elsewhere — advancing that particular argument, prior to November 2008.

What I do clearly recall, instead, was their idiotically squawking the word “Electable!” over and over and over again, as if it were a magical charm or mantra.

Hmmmmmmmmmm… now, which candidate’s fanatical message board mullahs does THAT most remind me of, I wonder…?

Kent18 on February 10, 2012 at 6:56 PM

joana on February 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Honey, throwing out derogatory comments, than whining about them coming back is par for the course for someone who supports the whining beta candidate Mitt.
If you toss it out, than stand there and take it, otherwise be civil and people will be civil back to you.
Otherwise you are just another whining Mitt supporter who is sad about him getting his @ss kicked while throwing away all of the Wall Street money he collected for supporting the TARP, which (coincidentally) ended up back in his campaign pocket…surprise!!!

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Why are social and fiscal conservatism irreconcilable in our current circumstances? Our current fiscal crisis derives largely from our ongoing social pathologies. For example, four of every ten children born in the United States today are born out of wedlock, with the number of white children so situated actually outnumbering the number of simlarly situated black and latino children combined. The vast majority of these children begin their lives on public assistance and very few ever manage to free themselves for the remainder of their lives because they more readily fall prey to social/behavioral problems that keep them in poverty.

Want to know why Medicaid costs are going through the roof? The population of those eligible for benefits keeps growing, both as a product of the incidence of out of wedlock births and by the continued expansion of eligibility by the Democrats through the federal beaurocracy. You cannot even remotely address the spending problems created by “entitlements” like Medicaid without addressing the social pathologies that drive up the costs.

Someone has to make this argument. Of the remaining candidates, the only one who is even remotely addressing this issue is Senator Santorum, but even he is not making the explicit connection between our social pathologies and the growing deficit. We simply cannot continue to subsidize behavior that leads to nothing but poverty and dependence, but if you try to make that argument even among conservative Republicans, all of a sudden those who define themselves as fiscal conservatives get uncomfortable and demand that social conservatives sit down and shut up.

Since you rarely hear social conservatives arguing for fiscally liberal policies, the reluctance to address the social pathologies driving our fiscal crisis appears to come from the fiscally conservative, socially liberal and moderate wing of the conservative coalition, who want the individual benefits of social liberalism, but balk at the prospect of paying for the social pathologies inevitably resulting therefrom. We are quickly reaching a point where that position will no longer be fiscally tenable. Either we return to a more socially conservative culture, and thereby reduce the fiscal strain on our social fabric, or we eventually collapse the system altogether in an everyman for himself conflagration.

Within ten to twenty years, over half of all children born in America will be born out of wedlock, and that generation of children will never know the liberty the Founders intended them to experience because they will owe their very existence/subsistence to Big Brother and, by voting accordingly, will enslave their more fortunate brothers and sisters by voting themselves ever more government assistance. If we actually reach that point, we will be lost. We have to address it now. There is no other choice.

I’m looking for the candidate who appears to recognize this reality and proposes to do something about it. A candidate who will defend both social and fiscal conservatism, and who will make the case to the nation that you cannot have the latter without the former.

Mongo Mere Pawn on February 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Is the secret to electoral success truly found in a take no prisoners, hard core, rock ribbed conservative?

Well, maybe, but you’ll never prove it with Rick Santorum because he’s not a “take no prisoners, hard core, rock ribbed conservative.” Perhaps you should strip away his social conservatism and have another look.

SukieTawdry on February 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Santorum won the caucus states with record low turnouts! He lost his senate seat to a liberal by a huge margin and has never been responsible for running anything. Wake up people Obama is going to destroy this guy and put his sweater vest on a pike in front of thee white house.

1984 in real life on February 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

McCain lost because he was a Republican, A Lincoln/Reagan ticket would have lost that one.

FuzzyLogic on February 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM

No McCain lost because he “deserved” to have his turn at running for president, he felt entitled…just like Mitt feels entitled.
Well, surprise, Mitt can’t buy this campaign after all…the “anyone but Mitt” campaign has been in full swing, and it won’t stop…it’s been like that for years.
He can’t win a general election, last primary he spent record amount of money, and he got trounced by the guy who got trounced by the man that Mitt thinks he can beat…

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I’m looking for the candidate who appears to recognize this reality and proposes to do something about it. A candidate who will defend both social and fiscal conservatism, and who will make the case to the nation that you cannot have the latter without the former.

Mongo Mere Pawn on February 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

His second and third debates he tried to focus the panel on that issue…when the subject from a Hispanic came up, he again addressed it saying that a strong family, strong work ethic, and moral conviction, is one of the fastest ways to move away from more and bigger government…the rest of the panel looked like fools as they dodged the Hispanic question, and it was the first indication that Rick was the one that gets it…just cutting the budget won’t do it, it needs to come from many levels of our society.
The rest of the panel duck and dodged…it was an interesting exchange, and showed that he didn’t “duck” the tough questions.

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 7:05 PM

No McCain lost because he “deserved” to have his turn at running for president, he felt entitled…just like Mitt feels entitled.

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 6:59 PM

wow, you’re at it again with your in-depth analysis of McCain’s campaign…nothing to do with the fact that there was an economic meltdown happening on the watch of a standing rep president, nothing to do with the fact that an erratic and inchoate mccain announced that he suspended his campaign in order to return to Washington to achieve exactly what…while his opponent kept his cool and looked more presidential than ever in his life as an elected president :)…nothing to do with nominating as VP someone who has been insufficiently vetted and who got a series of scandals exploding in her face while stumping… no, of course, these are just anecdotes worth glossing over…

jimver on February 10, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Academic questions about the Republican party won’t matter after 8 years of Obama. America will never fully recover.

Romney will win and put the US back on track. I’m a conservative and I like Mitt a lot. He’s going to be a great President.

Buck Turgidson on February 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Still waiting for Romney’s CPAC speech. Santorum’s speech was expressed out immediately, and put on top of the page. Talk about bias…

Chudi on February 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

You notice it too. Obama 4 more years…more ‘hits’, more ad revenue…I don’t know which is worse the liberal sites or the pretend conservative sites. It’s all about $$

Maybe conservatives have not thought ahead what Obama will do unleashed for 4 more years. Perhaps he’ll choose a few Supreme Court judges like the ones he has chosen so far….2 conservative judges are slated to step down during his 2nd term

Redford on February 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I’m looking for the candidate who appears to recognize this reality and proposes to do something about it. A candidate who will defend both social and fiscal conservatism, and who will make the case to the nation that you cannot have the latter without the former.

Mongo Mere Pawn on February 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

His second and third debates he tried to focus the panel on that issue…when the subject from a Hispanic came up, he again addressed it saying that a strong family, strong work ethic, and moral conviction, is one of the fastest ways to move away from more and bigger government…the rest of the panel looked like fools as they dodged the Hispanic question, and it was the first indication that Rick was the one that gets it…just cutting the budget won’t do it, it needs to come from many levels of our society.
The rest of the panel duck and dodged…it was an interesting exchange, and showed that he didn’t “duck” the tough questions.

right2bright on February 10, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Delusional thinking. Ricks holier than thou family crap supposedly cutting our budgets is at best pseudo science and at worst a load of crap

1984 in real life on February 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I’m looking for the candidate who appears to recognize this reality and proposes to do something about it. A candidate who will defend both social and fiscal conservatism, and who will make the case to the nation that you cannot have the latter without the former.

Mongo Mere Pawn on February 10, 2012

This is what a Republican nominee should look like. And, your argument pretty much makes Jazz Shaw’s article moot.

JonPrichard on February 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Buck Turgidson on February 10, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Not only that Buck, but he’ll close the mine shaft gap :-)

MJBrutus on February 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Jazz says:

These include filmed statements where Santorum comes out in favor of incarcerating doctors who perform abortions on women diagnosed with ectopic pregnancies[...]

What the heck? An ectopic pregnancy, aka ‘tubal pregnancy’, is a non-viable pregnancy. It can never become a baby, any more than a case of appendicitis can become a baby. If not treated, an ectopic often causes the death of the woman who has it. It must be removed surgically, or killed with medication.

I have worked most of my life at a Roman Catholic hospital. This is how that hospital treats ectopics, and they treat them like every other hospital. The Roman Catholic church is not under any delusions that ectopics are viable. This is universal medical knowledge. It is not in the least controversial.

If Jazz’s statement is true, then Santorum is so out of touch with reality that he shouldn’t be allowed to tie his own shoes, let alone command the world’s only remaining superpower. Believing that ectopic pregnancies can be saved is the equivalent of believing that the moon is made of green cheese and the earth is flat. It’s just… dumb. Crazy. Disconnected from reality.

If we nominate this nutball, the Republican party will be the laughingstock of the nation. We will lose 50 states in November.

Well, maybe only 49 if South Carolina turns out not to be too large to be an insane asylum after all, but we’ll lose a lot, and we’ll lose the presidency. And we’ll deserve it.

Bartrams Garden on February 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I think that you make a mistake by characterizing “Socons” as all being part of the Jerry Fallwell/Pat Robertson cadre. To be sure, many are, but a vast number are folks that are dismayed with where the progressives long march through the institutions have taken us as a nation. And these folks not only share in the values of the small government and fiscal conservatives, but do so with “classical liberals” and libertarians as well.

Santorum’s belief in the enlightenment ideals of our nation’s founders, individual autonomy and liberty granted by their creator and by virtue of their very existence, his message reinforced passionately by his personal belief in civil and religious freedoms that come straight to us all from God, might just be the right vehicle to expose the increasingly encroaching statism that is trying to be passed off as merely benign social democracy

All of the “exhibits” you allude to, the ones the Obama bunch would use against Santorum in the general election, to try and paint his as a racist, mysoginistic, gay hating bible thumper, are not always contextually complete; and for their part the public is onto the progressive left/MBM’s attempt to portray people of faith in an exaggerated and caroonish fashion (Tina Fey’s line about seeing Russia from her front porch being attributed to Palin and such). I firmly believe that, much like Reagan did, Santorum would give voice to people’s concerns about unfettered abortion, the welfare state, and the tyrrany of an over-reaching federal government, but would limit any legislative agenda to the latter two points-and that just as with Reagan the American people would recognize that bearing

If Santorum is the nominee, and Obama and his Marxist collective win in a landslide, than I think that instead of spelling the end to “Socons”, it will spell the end of the America that Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison helped usher into existence.

My Regards

RocketmanBob on February 10, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Redford on February 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

WEll then you haven’t been looking here, as it’s been up since just before 5 pm eastern; you know, where Romney claims to have been severely conservative…

Maybe you were reading “Hot Gas” by mistake :)

RocketmanBob on February 10, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Where do I begin? If you like a santimonious,arrogant SOB then you will like him. When he comes on the screen my skin crawls and I turn the channel.
As others have pointed out, he is no conservative. He is a social conservative, but a big labor guy who loves ear marks and was anti-tea party.

bopbottle on February 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Well, I don’t have quite that visceral a reaction, but yeah. I find sanctimony and smugness very unattractive qualities and have always thought Santorum had them in spades. He’s also lifeless, glum and boring. And just wait until the opposition starts running tapes of him explaining how birth control enables an immoral society and harms women because it allows them to do whatever they want without having to accept responsibility. No thanks.

When Santorum lost his Senate seat, I was sorry to see the seat go to the Democrats but not sorry to see Santorum go and even took a certain satisfaction in the walloping he got because in addition to his conservative failings, he was also a party hack. In any event, I don’t want any more presidential candidates to come from the Senate unless they also have been a governor and/or had executive experience in the private sector. I have little regard for the Senate and a majority of the people in it. I understand perfectly why Rudy Giuliani wanted no part of it.

SukieTawdry on February 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Santorum feels that homosexuality is wrong.
That is normal.

anotherJoe on February 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Not really. Not anymore. It’s certainly not an EXTREME view, in terms of numbers. But it’s not the majority position anymore.

Most Americans don’t really think homosexuality is immoral any more. It’s a losing debate.

Cordell on February 10, 2012 at 8:10 PM

If Santorum is the nominee, and Obama and his Marxist collective win in a landslide, than I think that instead of spelling the end to “Socons”, it will spell the end of the America that Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison helped usher into existence.

My Regards

RocketmanBob on February 10, 2012 at 7:27 PM

This a bazillion times!!!

pannw on February 10, 2012 at 8:19 PM

McCain…”FIGHT WITH ME!…FIGHT!…”

JugEars…”Fight each other!” HA!

KOOLAID2 on February 10, 2012 at 8:26 PM

And another thing: I don’t know if I can trust Rick Santorum. I don’t know if I can trust him to not take a leaf out of Obama’s book and succumb to the siren of the executive order. I don’t know if I can trust him to not use his executive order power to shape a society more to his liking.

SukieTawdry on February 10, 2012 at 8:37 PM

The failing of your logic Mr. Shaw is the declaration that Santorum is the perfect litmus test for what conservatives – or even social conservatives – are after.

All of the remaining candidates are deeply flawed. I don’t think many would argue, and that is the position I am taking for the purposes of this debate. Santorum is one of the least flawed, (faint praise I know), but he is by no means the conservative “dream” candidate people have been waiting for.

I would say that Palin, Thompson, RAND Paul, or DeMint would be a true referendum. (Yes, they are not on the ticket, but I am telling you what we’d need to produce any sort of a valid result.)

Conversely, Mitt Ken-Doll Romney is a democrat in everything but name – again my opinion, but it’s not difficult to defend this position. How can we judge the validity of the “moderate” branch when the man being offered up as the barometer of moderation would make the Democrat Governor Brian Schweitzer look like Palin’s lost brother?

I’d say Christie, Salamander, Huntsman, and Tpaw were more truly representative of the “moderate” position within the party. Also, yes, many of these people’s hats are not in the ring, but they are far closer to the moderate middle of the Republican Party than a guy that created Romneycare, trashed gun rights, spent like crazy, and apponted more liberal judged than king Juggears has.

So we are having the referendum on “moderate” and “conservative” based on two men that are neither?

Does not compute.

SilverDeth on February 10, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Jazz.. using your logic, what did the nomination of McCain tell you about RINOS and their electability? Nothing, amirite? Yet if SoCons run and lose, we have to kick out that “third leg”? gmafb

nootch on February 10, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Hmmm: Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum are pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage of one man/one woman….exactly what extreme position is Santorum in that is soooo different from the other two candidates?

As someone stated, is Santorum extreme if he believes that all should obey the speed limit even though a possibility of most do not?

This is a foolish argument. Why is it that only conservatives are split into three groups? Do we have fiscal, social, national security liberals? The point is that you cannot truly be fiscal without being social. It does not work that way and it never will.

PuritanD71 on February 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Chudi on February 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Is there anything that HotAir does right? I can understand an objection here or there, but you just keep whining and whining. Do you have any other purpose than to whine?

PuritanD71 on February 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM

There’s one big problem with this hypothesis. We already know the answer. George Bush won, twice, running on the same issues and he wasn’t shy about them.

Rocks on February 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Jazz, this sounds like more of the same bullshit we heard from Mike Castle RINOs after 2010 when they refused to support McDonnel the actual nominee and then claimed “you purists cost us the Senate!!!eleventy!!”

We hate Mittens not because of his position on abortion but his position of doubling down on Obamacare and his other bleached-Obama positions.

SDN on February 11, 2012 at 12:30 AM

MJBrutus on February 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Heck yeah! Flyin chickens in the barnyard!

Buck Turgidson on February 11, 2012 at 12:36 AM

The point is that you cannot truly be fiscal without being social. It does not work that way and it never will.

PuritanD71 on February 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM

What absolute nonsense! To be a social con means forcing teenage girls into motherhood. To deal with this consequence means supporting the welfare state. Social con always means fiscal lunacy.

thuja on February 11, 2012 at 12:42 AM

There’s one big problem with this hypothesis. We already know the answer. George Bush won, twice, running on the same issues and he wasn’t shy about them.

Rocks on February 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Why do the words “compassionate conservative” haunt me when I read what Rocks has to say?

thuja on February 11, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Remember the Terry Schiavo issue? Bush and Delay were so sure the country would be on their side when they intervened. It wasn’t. The backlash to their intrusion into the case was immense. In other words, they miscalculated how socially conservative Americans were. In fact most Americans are tepid on the social issues–except in Red State America. Everywhere else pragmatism reigns. Santorum won in the Rust Belt for his blue collar credentials, not because he’s a socon admired by fellow socons. That’s what’ll sell him–if he’s able to get the nod, something I doubt.

I still don’t get the Romney hate, though. Why are we focusing on an adverb he used to describe his conservatism? Why not listen to what he said–that his roots are conservative, that he’s rooted in Mormonism and free enterprise? What’s not credible about that? It’s obviously who he is.

writeblock on February 11, 2012 at 1:38 AM

See what a mess Sarah has left us with. Maybe she’ll fix it in the keynote speech and tell the kids to stop throwing the sand out of the box. She’s already told them once to keep the main thing the main thing. Keep the heat on Obama.

Kissmygrits on February 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Personally, I’m not very interested in testing some idiotic theory in the next election. Too much is at stake. What we most need is someone who can defeat Barack Obama. It won’t be easy for any nominee. But I am convinced that Mitt Romney will be the strongest challenger. I honestly believe that if he loses to Barack Obama that would only mean that Santorum and Gingrich would have lost by larger margins.

And that’s a theory I’m willing to test in the next election.

rogaineguy on February 12, 2012 at 9:39 AM

DeMint is against earmarks too. Earmarks are terrible because they are the gateway drug to out of control spending.

Are you seriously stating that the guy who enthusiastically supported the Medicare and Medicaid expansion bribe – the biggest single expansion of entitlements since FDR – is against entitlements? In fact, McCain voted against Medicare part D expansion.

So yeah, McCain – who was always solid on spending -
is much more credible in earmarks than Santorum and it’s not even close.

This is the problem with the crazy fanatics. Against all evidence – Santorum is basically a Christianized Socialist – they’ll try to paint a guy who doesn’t have a fiscally conservative bone in his body as a “conservative”. And they aren’t trying to be deceptive or intellectually dishonest – to them, being conservative is talking a lot about God, sodomy, abortion and birth control.

joana on February 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Christianized Socialist? Where do you people even come up with this crap? We know that the whole time you’re criticizing Santorum’s conservative bona fides, you’re pushing the Romneycare stick-a-finger-in-the-air-to-decide-my-principles RINO as a conservative.

It takes more than code words and made up insults to sell Romney.

tom on February 13, 2012 at 7:16 PM

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