Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Can Rick Santorum Shock the World?

Some of the wiser political observers ranging from Ed Schultz to Charlie Finch are predicting a victory tonight for former Pa. Senator Rick Santorum in the Iowa Caucuses.  His politics might be toxic to most of us and certainly in a general election (he would give Goldwater and McGovern runs for least competitive) but Santorum is the most authentic candidate in the GOP field and he doesn't have all the personal baggage that some carry, and he can put together a coherent world view while speaking.  This is the year the Republican Party should nominate a Rick Santorum.

Republicans who pride themselves as the Daddy party and the tough guys  are just as wussy as Democrats when it comes time to nominating a presidential candidate.  Time after time they never nominate the truest right-winger.   Only in 1964 and 1980 did they do that.  Otherwise, it's been the conventional mainstream choice and not a movement conservative that has gotten the nod--Ford, Bush 1, Dole, McCain.  It's been mostly a losing proposition.  

Despite the state of the economy, Obama will be formidable in 2012.  Romney would be a watered down version of the GOP brand in 2012.  The GOP brand stands on the infamous three-legged stool of  the religious right, wall street plutocracy, and endless neo-con war. That is the short version.  Santorum epitomizes the three-legged stool better than anyone.  He has a little bit of W's profligate spending, but otherwise even the Tea Baggers would love him.

And then late last night I saw the waterworks.  It always helps at moments like these (except if you are Ed Muskie).  Santorum told a compelling account yesterday in Iowa of his controversial decision to keep his wife's miscarried baby around for two days and have each of his other 7 children hold the premature  dead baby. Both the Senator and especially his wife who was at the event cried.  It will be like gold to evangelicals.  And even someone like myself who had heard the story second-hand now felt that any attack on the Senator over the matter is wrong.  In our country, these are private matters and no one else's business.  It's too bad the Senator can't do the same when it comes to the rights of women and gays.  


And then there was his eye-opening unsolicited comments on blacks and welfare also from yesterday in Iowa.

Answering a question about foreign influence on the U.S. economy, the former Pennsylvania senator went on to discuss the American entitlement system - which he argued is being used to politically exploit its beneficiaries.
"It just keeps expanding - I was in Indianola a few months ago and I was talking to someone who works in the department of public welfare here, and she told me that the state of Iowa is going to get fined if they don't sign up more people under the Medicaid program," Santorum said. "They're just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That's what the bottom line is."
He added: "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money."
"Right," responded one audience member, as another woman can be seen nodding. 


So please Iowa, do your thing. 

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