I've mostly ignored commenting on the rise of Rick Santorum within the GOP primaries. Occasionally divesting some time into demonstrating the problems with some of his more repugnant social convictions, or the social convictions of his fellow travelers, is not the same as commenting on his political fortunes.
This is mostly because I am quite certain that one of two things will happen:
a) Romney will end up with the nomination and not Santorum. (or a split convention will block Santorum with a similar result). Meaning Santorum isn't worth talking about because he won't be the nominee.
b) If he is somehow the nominee, he will lose anyway because his candidacy will assure a much stronger liberal-independent vote turnout than would be the case if say, Romney, were the candidate of the GOP. While I'm sure there are Obama fans who would turn out to vote against Romney, this would be true regardless in that case. What we're talking about is the legions of advocates for social causes that Santorum despises, including independent libertarians who are putatively Republican voters (and whom Santorum despises) and who all have built-in networks for dispersing the vitriolic reaction that they will all have to virtually any statement on social values that Santorum makes (his base of supporters can do likewise, but they were always likely to vote for him with or without his candidacy). In this instance, the story isn't Santorum either. The story is that the Republican base went AWOL and lost by "sticking to their principles". For which I'm dubious that Santorum is the appropriate vehicle for their stated principles, things like "limited government" have nothing to do with Santorum. But he might well be the right vehicle for the unstated assertions they put behind them in the same way that Bush the second became the same also a "team affiliated leader". The effect of all that is defeat at the polls. And thus requiring them to get new principles in order to win elections at the national level.
Personally, at this point I'm not quite rooting for this as the improbable outcome, but it would settle a lot of our political problems in one fell swoop with the unfortunate consequence of placing more years in an Obama Presidency (something I'm not exactly sympathetic to either, for foreign policy and civil liberties issues especially). One possible outcome for example is a much stronger turnout for the libertarian candidate and a general fracture of the strange political alliance that has sustained over the last several decades between libertarians and conservatives, despite all manner of bizarre violations of libertarian philosophy inherent to conservative principles (aggressive policy abroad in foreign affairs and aggressive moralizing policies at home, as but the strongest examples)
The Soviets are gone fellas. You can come out of the closet now and leave them behind.
As far as Santorum personally, I still maintain the principle reason for his candidacy was to get his google search results changed, in the same way that Cain or Gingrich were trying to sell books and increase speaking fees. I will change my mind on that only if he somehow manages to run a campaign that wins the nomination for himself. And I'm not sold that he can garner enough delegates to actually win or that he could win in a split convention if he were to fail in that vital task.
Tonight's Democratic Debate: Your Guide to the Also-Rans
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