Why Santorum wants another shot at the nomination

He will be back there while trying to change the perception of him as a one-note crusader on social issues. The achievements of which he is most proud from his 16 years in Congress concerned other matters — he was floor manager of the most important legislation of the 1990s, welfare reform, and helped create term limits for Republican committee chairs.

Today he speaks to the approximately 70 percent of Americans “who don’t have a college degree and are competing with the unskilled workers who are coming into this country.” Americans whose incomes have been stagnating for many years deserve a spokesman, but one with better ideas than Santorum’s proposal to reduce legal immigration by 25 percent. Santorum is, alas, not alone in speaking for a timorous America in a defensive crouch: Scott Walker, too, is questioning current levels of legal immigration.

Furthermore, Santorum also flinches from free trade. This is another consequence of subscribing to the “lump of labor” theory — that there is a static supply of jobs, so immigration and foreign competition is a zero-sum transaction.