My liberal friends are freaking. My delusional conservative friends are crowing. My rational conservative friends are shaking their heads in disgust. The reality? Didn’t we do this dance last week with Newt soaring in the polls? It’s not that surprising that the hard right/Tea Party crowd has coalesced around Santorum. He’s the standard bearer for the completely unrealistic vision that the fringe 25-30% believes can and should lead the country. Let’s assume for a second this Santorum Surge (Google and Dan Savage have truly created a disgusting visual with that term) is more than just what so far has been a typical carousel of GOP frontrunners.
What needs to happen for Republicans who want a realistic shot at the WH in November is this. Mitt Romney needs to convince enough frothing Tea Baggers he’s conservative enough to be passable (Yes I think Newt is toast). Ron Paul needs to quietly go away (not likely). Of course, there’s extreme danger in Mitt Romney trying prove he’s as far right as the farthest right can imagine. But it’s a risk he may have to take. You don’t save your ace pitcher’s arm in game 7 of the Pennant if it means you won’t get to the World Series. It might be all-in with the Tea Party. That’s potentially really bad news for Republicans in the Fall. Santorum is the monster created by the GOP hitching their wagon to the Tea Party. They might very well get a candidate who is certifiably unelectable. Remember, this is a guy who lost his Senatorial re-election bid by 17 points. Oh, and in a crucial swing state.
Santroum is instant gratification to rabid ant-Obama/anti-left/anti-secular ideologues. Do they really think he can win? Do “regular” conservatives really think he can win? You know who doesn’t? The Obama re-election team. They are loving this. Barring a huge unforeseen scandal for the president, or another humungous economic downturn that would essentially really lead to a 2d great depression (before November), this is a softball candidate. It’s Dennis Kucinich winning the nomination. It’s Reagan/Mondale, only Mondale wasn’t a lunatic. It’s hopeless. That’s why I still don’t think it will happen. It’s Romney or bust for Republicans. But maybe they’ll just go bust before we get to that.