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Santorum Surges From Behind!
February 7, 2012 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Rick Santorum predicted winner in Minnesota & Missouri. Mr. Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator best known for his feud (and subsequent google-bombing) with Dan Savage over his comparison of homosexuality with bestiality, is the predicted winner of Republican primaries in Minnesota and Missouri, and is currently leading in the third, Colorado.
posted by leotrotsky (510 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good, let him win. Let him go up against Obama.
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [34 favorites]


Also: ewww.
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [14 favorites]


Mitt Romney's team recently slammed a poll that showed Santorum outperforming Romney in a match-up with Obama.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:49 PM on February 7, 2012


God, this is the worst GOP field I've ever seen, rivalling '96.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:49 PM on February 7, 2012 [38 favorites]


There are no delegates at stake in any of the contests today. His win will be symbolic, and might provide him with some momentum, but unless he's actually gathering delegates, it doesn't forward his campaign to be the candidate at all.
posted by hippybear at 7:49 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Got into a pizza place. Saw this on TV. Made audible groaning noise. Cashier looked at me confused ly, because that's not a kind of pizza.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:50 PM on February 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


Looks like the GOP is ....

you know what, i don't have the energy for another pun...

The guy is a shitstain, though.
posted by empath at 7:50 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


It makes me wonder how likely it is that Santorum would be, you know, a real contender had Dan Savage not demolished him. And then I say a little thank-you to Mr. Savage in my heartiest of hearts.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:51 PM on February 7, 2012 [59 favorites]


There are no delegates at stake in any of the contests today.

Not true. Only Missouri.
posted by empath at 7:51 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


It bodes kind of shitty if you ask me, since we have a marriage equality amendment on nthe ballot this fall.
posted by padraigin at 7:51 PM on February 7, 2012


1) Minnesota: caucus, not primary.

2) Probably won here because of the Bachmann factor. The two seem to be two peas in a homophobic pod, and a lot of people in the northern suburbs, it would seem, want to join them in that pod.
posted by jiawen at 7:52 PM on February 7, 2012


You know it's bad when little Ricky is the least objectionable candidate runnning.
posted by octothorpe at 7:52 PM on February 7, 2012


With predicted Santorum wins, I don't know whether I should continue to enjoy watching the Republican party bumble and split, or be concerned about the potentially destabilizing effects of a fractured, traumatized, and angry conservativism.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:53 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Most politicians can smear their opponents. Santorum can smear anything.
posted by Dasein at 7:53 PM on February 7, 2012 [13 favorites]


Wow, it just gets curiouser and curiouser. I'm somewhat surprised that support hasn't coalesced around one candidate by this point. So what, we've got Gingrich, Romney and Santorum as legitimate candidates now?

Good thing Huntsman dropped out, because he probably could have mounted an actual challenge in the general. Romney has too much baggage, although I did see a piece the other day trying to rehabilitate him.
posted by wierdo at 7:53 PM on February 7, 2012


Rush Limbaugh all but endorsed Rick Santorum a week ago.
posted by crunchland at 7:54 PM on February 7, 2012


Conservatives' hatred of Romney continues to astound me in its depth.
posted by Diablevert at 7:54 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Conservatives' hatred of Romney continues to astound me in its depth.

His health care reforms were the model for "Obamacare," and he said he thinks abortion should be safe and legal. That's enough to get you hated in a lot of circles.
posted by Dasein at 7:56 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know it's bad when little Ricky is the least objectionable candidate runnning.

I knew it was bad when I realized that Giuliani would have been a totally reasonable and comparatively inoffensive candidate.
posted by elizardbits at 7:57 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


This truly is such a depressing field of candidates. Quite similar to '04 for the Dems or '96 for the Republicans. They're going to go with Romney in the end, and just like John Kerry, he'll flap around and people will vote for him because he's not the other guy, and he'll lose. The end. Let's eat.
posted by workingdankoch at 7:57 PM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


The thing is, Santorum is a real movement conservative, he's been married once, and he walks the walk (they've got a daughter with trisomy-18). The fact that he's been smeared heh by Savage makes him all the more appealing. That he's utterly and completely unelectable, and dumb as a brick matters not a whit.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:57 PM on February 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


The longer this primary race goes on and the more times another candidate unexpectedly pulls ahead of the pack in the GOP, the more obvious it becomes that the party is struggling to coalesce around a fractured set of ideals that don't match what the country is about anymore (anti gay marriage? anti-abortion? financial ultra-conservatism?) and the easier I can breathe during this election.

That's not the best place to be, either, because I certainly don't want liberals holding back and thinking Obama has it in the bag.
posted by xingcat at 7:57 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have a friend who's an armchair pundit amongst his friends; periodically I get his take on each of the caucuses and primaries as they've been going on. And with this guy, you ask a simple question and you get a full-fledged rundown with statistics, quotes from pollsters, odds-brokering and other exhaustive commentary (it's kind of like if THE DAILY SHOW met THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP).

Still, he REALLY didn't see this coming, I don't think, and I cannot WAIT to hear his take on this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:01 PM on February 7, 2012


I'm sure he's tired of being the butt of all your jokes.
posted by chairface at 8:02 PM on February 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


Wow, his speech was... entirely empty.
posted by unSane at 8:04 PM on February 7, 2012


I actually made a $50 bet a few months ago that Romney would not be the nominee with a friend of mine. This whole fucking primary has been a roller coaster since then..
posted by empath at 8:04 PM on February 7, 2012


“I’m sort of the guy at the dance, when the girls walk in they sort of walk by, and they take a few turns at the dance hall with the guys that are a little better looking, a little flashier, a little more bling,” he told about 300 Nationwide Insurance employees in Des Moines this past week. “But at the end of the evening, old steady Eddie’s there. He’s the guy you want to bring home to mom and dad.”

Folks, if you can't otherwise muster the will to vote against Santorum in any political contest he happens to enter, just think about what's likely to happen if you elect the type of guy that speaks only in metaphors that would have sounded dated even in the 1950s. Fuck you, Santorum; take the remainder of your campaign funds and buy a vocabulary.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:06 PM on February 7, 2012 [18 favorites]


I actually made a $50 bet a few months ago that Romney would not be the nominee with a friend of mine. This whole fucking primary has been a roller coaster since then..

Just like being part of the politically active 1% and corporate hidden donors to SuperPACs, there's nothing like having money involved to make elections interesting, eh?
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I predicted weeks ago that Santorum would surge from the behind...
posted by thewalrus at 8:10 PM on February 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


I actually made a $50 bet a few months ago that Romney would not be the nominee with a friend of mine.

Romney will be the nominee and Obama will beat him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:12 PM on February 7, 2012 [27 favorites]


It's a slippery slope to say that Santorum surging from the rear position will be a problem. Other candidates need to take a long and hard look at their positions. The dog days of summer are over!
posted by thewalrus at 8:12 PM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


By the way, it's worth linking to the verbatim transcript of that infamous Santorum interview with AP from 2003 to get a sense of just how antediluvian this man's thinking it.

I think it's worth noting that Santorum's thinking threatens every single Americans' freedom: he explicity attacks the notion that invidivuals have a right to privacy when it comes to consensual acts between adults:

And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home?

What would Santorum outlaw? Gay sex, for one, among consenting adults. What else? Adultery. Contraception. That's right - contraception. (They're not your bodies after all, ladies. Those unfertilized eggs belong to the state.) Have a read:

I have a problem with homosexual acts....We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion.

Again, he's quite clear: the state has the right to outlaw private consensual sexual acts that undermine what he sees as the moral fabric of society:

And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire.

Rick Santorum isn't just hatemonger. He's a theocrat.
posted by Dasein at 8:14 PM on February 7, 2012 [137 favorites]


His health care reforms were the model for "Obamacare," and he said he thinks abortion should be safe and legal.

That has little to do with it.

He's Mormon. That's not Protestant. There's only two things worse than Mormon -- Catholic and Muslim.

Seriously. Romney is damn near the Antichrist to many people.

That's not the best place to be, either, because I certainly don't want liberals holding back and thinking Obama has it in the bag.

Don't worry. No liberal is voting for Obama. Fortunatly for you, there are damn few liberals in the US.
posted by eriko at 8:14 PM on February 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


Romney can't lose. Republicans respond to expensive attack ads because, to them, aggression is synonymous with truth, and Romney has the bucks.
posted by Brian B. at 8:15 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Still, he REALLY didn't see this coming, I don't think, and I cannot WAIT to hear his take on this.

Sounds like he'd make a great contributor to Metafilter. Any chance you could convince him to join and share his armchair analysis?
posted by ahzee at 8:15 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Look, part of me is glad to see the GOP nomination stay a total shitshow. But Santorum doing well in Minnesota makes me pretty damn nervous about the upcoming marriage equality amendment vote here, so I'm really not up for celebrating.
posted by Sfving at 8:16 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


What will be your ace in the hole now, Gingrich? Can Gingrich take a firm grip from his dominant position above Santorum and choke out the competition? I'm sure that when it comes to VP selection time, Romney will be beating off many different contenders for the job.
posted by thewalrus at 8:16 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder if today's court decision in Cali changed any votes tonight. Santorum is really the only choice for the "terrified-of-queers" crowd.

Anyways, I'm happy with the results so far. My personal desire is to see Romney suffer immediately. I'm too impatient to wait until November. So the best case scenario is enjoying Romney being crushed now, and then seeing the remaining Republican imbecile demolished later.

And there's no comparison really to 1996. Bob Dole wasn't a good campaigner but he was a decent and moderate guy by Republican standards, and definitely far better for the country than any of these scoundrels. Comparisons to 2004 aren't really valid either. The Democratic field, other than Dean, had little excitement but they were all sane and were recognizably human.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:16 PM on February 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


To me this is all a show. The money is overwhelmingly behind Romney. The Republicans are trying to drag things out as long as possible, because as soon as it is clear there is just one contender, the sooner that person gets attacked and their numbers go down, and the skeletons come out and their weaknesses get exposed, and they have gaffes and say too much or say too little or reveal ignorance or a wild viewpoint.

Feels to me this is about all the roaches running around so it is hard to stamp any single one of them.
posted by cashman at 8:16 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm loving watching them carve the cake up into smaller and smaller pieces. In the end it's just a bunch of people voting along party lines (i.e. in the actual election) but until then the schisms that get opened up are just beautiful.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:17 PM on February 7, 2012


He's Mormon. That's not Protestant. There's only two things worse than Mormon -- Catholic and Muslim.
This assertion seems strange, given that Santorum is Catholic.
posted by Flunkie at 8:18 PM on February 7, 2012 [12 favorites]


This assertion seems strange, given that Santorum is Catholic.

I know. Want to have the same fun I've had last week? Tell eager Santorum supporters that he's Roman Catholic. Watch their face. It was even *more* fun in Missouri today doing that.
posted by eriko at 8:22 PM on February 7, 2012 [37 favorites]


I'll tell you one thing, the bottom competitors in this wrestling match are going to wish for the smooth, slippery rhetorical style of Santorum very soon. It's one thing to spread yourself too thin underneath an indefensible position, but to open yourself wide to attacks on a myriad of issues means that you'll have no choice but to grin and bear it. Withdraw from the heated competition too soon, and the pundits will accuse you of not being a hard enough man to finish the job...
posted by thewalrus at 8:25 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


"If you all were exactly like me — rich, white, homophobic, and Catholic — everything in America would be great!"
posted by deanklear at 8:26 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


God, this is the worst GOP field I've ever seen, rivalling '96.

Politics gets much more fun/interesting the longer you're around. When I was a kid, I never understood why my Grandma was so into politics; now I know!
posted by sfkiddo at 8:26 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Intrade is now showing obama at 60% to win the election and romney at 80% to win the nomination.

That is a lot of movement; the last time I looked it was 51% & 90%.

Also I just learned you have to let them javascript your browser to see their stuff.

I don't much care for Intrade or Obama or Romney.
posted by bukvich at 8:27 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


this writes itself:

KY Santorum
posted by thewalrus at 8:28 PM on February 7, 2012 [11 favorites]


You know, it's hilarious how utterly loathsome all of the Republican standard-bearers are -- the three that are currently in play and the dolts and scumbags that have dropped by the wayside -- but part of me wishes that they weren't such cartoons and horrifying examplars of how corrupt the system has gotten.

The reason I wish this is that if Obama actually had a credible opponent in the upcoming election -- someone who actually had a shred of integrity, who was able to run on actual ideas, workable ones that weren't just red fucking meat for the idiocracy, and who was able to explain those ideas in an engaging way, who had a few brain cells to rub together in the service of actually bettering the country rather than just getting into power -- that might force him to follow up a bit better on the ideals he talked about so eloquently before he was elected. It might actually make him into the president that we thought he'd be when he was just the candidate.

Still, the Republicans are (bleak, black) comedy gold, so there's that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:30 PM on February 7, 2012 [21 favorites]


eriko: "I know. Want to have the same fun I've had last week? Tell eager Santorum supporters that he's Roman Catholic. Watch their face. It was even *more* fun in Missouri today doing that."

Here's what's become confusing about the Republican South's feelings towards Catholicism:

1960: JFK distances himself from his Catholicism, telling a group of southern ministers that the Pope and the cardinals doesn't speak for him.

2004: Democrats nominate another Catholic (John Kerry). His religion plays little to no role in the campaign.

2008: Democrats nominate a Catholic for Vice President (Joe Biden). Catholicism becomes far more an issue for Biden than it was for Kerry.

2008: Rick Santorum, a conservative senator popular among the Religious Right, calls George W. Bush, a Methodist, "our nation's first Catholic president," and means it as a compliment.

2009: Newt Gingrich, a Southern Baptist, converts to Catholicism, a move by many seen as bolstering his electability given his history of adultery.

2012: The top three candidates for the Republican nomination for President are Newt Gingrich (Catholic), Rick Santorum (Catholic) and Mitt Romney (Mormon). One of the Catholics is against legal birth control; one of them almost surely had to use lots of legal birth control to keep his mistresses from becoming pregnant. Of the candidates, Romney is seen as the least palpable choice for religious conservatives; Santorum is practically their patron saint. The Democratic incumbent is a Protestant who goes to church more often than Ronald Reagan did, but whom a sizable portion of the electorate believe is ether an atheist or a closet Muslim.

Amidst all of this, self-identified Catholics tend to vote roughly in proportion to how the country votes. Statements from the bishops implying how to vote, though numerous, seem to fall largely on deaf ears. Oh, and did I mention that Congress' ostensibly most liberal member (Dennis Kucinich) identifies as Catholic, and that the Democratic Senate majority leader (Harry Reid) identifies as Mormon?
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:34 PM on February 7, 2012 [51 favorites]


I don't think Mormonism has all that much to do with Romney's failure to connect, really. It's a distant last place of the complaints I hear conservatives making about him. They dislike him because he's too elitist and deliberately moderate instead of being ideological. You don't hear him talking about shutting down parts of the government or making massive changes the way the other candidates do.

As for Santorum's unexpected success, I'd say he benefitted from both the gay marriage decision in California and (more so) from the affirmation that religious employers like Catholic charities can't opt out of covering contraceptives on health insurance etc. Conservatives loathe the idea that they can be made by the government to pay for things their religion disapproves of, and Santorum is the most avowedly religious candidate remaining in the field. It helped him too that gingrich wasn't on the ballot in Missouri...though it should be noted that none of tonight's results are binding on delegates at the GOP convention, so the real action is in the delegate selections.

Poor Mitt. At this point he must feel like going on TV and withdrawing from the race, just so he can come back after the election in November and say 'I TOLD YOU SO.'
posted by anigbrowl at 8:34 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


if Obama actually had a credible opponent in the upcoming election -- someone who actually had a shred of integrity, who was able to run on actual ideas, workable ones that weren't just red fucking meat for the idiocracy, and who was able to explain those ideas in an engaging way, who had a few brain cells to rub together in the service of actually bettering the country rather than just getting into power -- that might force him to follow up a bit better on the ideals he talked about so eloquently before he was elected. It might actually make him into the president that we thought he'd be when he was just the candidate.

Nah, that's just a pipe dream.

If life were truly fair, we'd have a viable contender for Obama as a primary candidate in all 50 states so people like me who feel he hasn't lived up to his promise but who can't stand any of the other likely candidates would have someone to vote for in November who isn't a third party spoiler candidate. But that hasn't happened, and so I'm stuck voting for the guy who has proven to be a real false promise over the really abominable candidate the other side would put forward, simply to keep the horrible out and keep the tolerable awful in for the next four years.

Oh, for a parliamentary system where we have true proportional representation and we vote for a platform instead of a person. Then third (and fourth and fifth) party candidates for any office wouldn't be useless, and we'd have the ability to remove people from office who don't live up to our expectations.
posted by hippybear at 8:39 PM on February 7, 2012 [22 favorites]


that might force him to follow up a bit better on the ideals he talked about so eloquently before he was elected. It might actually make him into the president that we thought he'd be when he was just the candidate.

Credible candidates from the right pull you chosen candidate rightward.

Credible candidates from the left pull your chose candidate leftward.

If you want Obama, or any politician for that matter, to move in your direction, you need to meaningfully threaten them from that direction.

Political power comes from two things in America : Votes or Money.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:43 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


it should be noted that none of tonight's results are binding on delegates at the GOP convention

In Missouri, no, but Colorado and Minnesota are awarding delegates tonight.
posted by dw at 8:44 PM on February 7, 2012


if Obama actually had a credible opponent in the upcoming election -- someone who actually had a shred of integrity, who was able to run on actual ideas, workable ones that weren't just red fucking meat for the idiocracy, and who was able to explain those ideas in an engaging way, who had a few brain cells to rub together in the service of actually bettering the country rather than just getting into power -- that might force him to follow up a bit better on the ideals he talked about so eloquently before he was elected.

Isn't this the point where the pseudoliberals start talking about how wonderful Ron Paul is?
posted by happyroach at 8:45 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Nah, that's just a pipe dream.

Of course it is. But we can still dream.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:46 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing is, Santorum is a real movement conservative, he's been married once, and he walks the walk (they've got a daughter with trisomy-18). The fact that he's been smeared heh by Savage makes him all the more appealing. That he's utterly and completely unelectable, and dumb as a brick matters not a whit.

First, let me be clear: I think Santorum's views on a lot of things are completely reprehensible. I'm progressive & would view Santorum's election -- or even nomination -- for President would be a disaster.

That being said:

He does have a huge advantage over both Newt and Mittens, in that he's clearly very, very sincere about what he believes. His wife is about the most sympathetic character ever to be dragged into politics, and it is very clear when you see them together or hear either of them talk about their family that they devoutly, devoutly believe the views they espouse. Had Dan Savage not worked his magic, I firmly believe he'd be a much more successful candidate. In that way, he's oddly like Obama, who also draws some support from his family man/loving husband/geeky dad persona.

So, in a weird way, I have a lot of admiration for this man and his family, who are willing to put themselves and their beliefs out there for us to mock. I wouldn't in a million years vote for him, mind you, but I see him as a much more ... noble ... figure than either Romney or Gingrich. Santorum wants to save our souls. The other two just want to be President.
posted by anastasiav at 8:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh, for a parliamentary system where we have true proportional representation and we vote for a platform instead of a person. Then third (and fourth and fifth) party candidates for any office wouldn't be useless, and we'd have the ability to remove people from office who don't live up to our expectations.

It's not all roses in such systems, you know. I'm from Ireland and have also lived in the Netherlands, where there are two different kinds of PR (multiseat STV and party list, respectively). Although I think it's much better than the straight vote system, it's still difficult to get incumbents out, you can get stuck with a crappy government/representatives for years on end, and money still matters despite public financing and subsidized broadcast airtime. So while I certainly advocate more PR here and urge you to keep making the case for it, don't fall into the trap of having unrealistic expectations for what it does.

Faraway hills look green, as we say in Ireland. The Netherlands is flat, but they have Geert Wilders as political kingmaker which is the opposite of awesome.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


In Missouri, no, but Colorado and Minnesota are awarding delegates tonight.

Oops, so they are. My mistake.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:50 PM on February 7, 2012


I'd expect Romney can staunch this Santorum outpouring, sure he'll take a pounding in some states, but ultimately he'll wind up top. Santorum won't succeed in painting America brown.

I hope the situation remains fluid because I love the flow of witticisms in santorum threads, butt ..

We should remember that religious conservatives like our frothy Rick Santorum are often incredibly corrupt as politicians, presumably their religion gives them an excuse.

Santorum himself was found among the top three most corrupt senators in 2006.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:52 PM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sfving: But Santorum doing well in Minnesota makes me pretty damn nervous about the upcoming marriage equality amendment vote here, so I'm really not up for celebrating.

Actually turnout looks down to me compared to 2008. Currently about 74% of all precincts have reported in with 39,432 total votes. The major population centers have already reported, the remaining precincts/counties are are heavily Republican but also sparsely populated. For comparison, turnout in the 2008 Republican Caucuses was 62,828.

I wouldn't start celebrating just yet, but a low caucus turnout in a contested primary race might be a sign of a changing political climate in MN.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:02 PM on February 7, 2012


Yeah, Santorum, honestly, is a decent guy compared to Mr. Thrice Divorced and Mr. Wait There Are People Who Actually Make Less Than A Million Dollars.

That said, as the Komen PR fiasco showed last week, Middle America is very pragmatic when it comes to social issues, so it's hard to say how Santorum is going to win the middle with nothing more than a sympathetic wife and a middle class life story when he's also burdened with some virulently anti-gay and anti-contraception statements.

I look at tonight as an aberration. Santorum bypassed Florida to put all his chips on three states where he had three advantages -- the Christian conservative base in Colorado Springs and the southern Denver suburbs, Michele Bachmann in Minnesota, and no Gingrich on the ballot in Missouri. He's still lacking the money for the long run, as is Gingrich.

The GOP wants to stretch this out as long as possible to make this their Hillary vs. Obama. But with Hillary and Obama you had a top-shelf Democrat vs the Bright Young Future Of The Party. With the GOP in 2012 you have the Republican John Kerry vs the Tired Old Past Of The Party (along with The Earnest Stuffed Shirt and GOOGLERONPAUL). The longer we go through this nightmare, the more likely Obama will win.
posted by dw at 9:03 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rick Santorum: The Crusades Get A Bad Rap!
(Found googling for Santorum KY lube oddly enough)
posted by jeffburdges at 9:06 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


The reason I wish this is that if Obama actually had a credible opponent in the upcoming election -- someone who actually had a shred of integrity, who was able to run on actual ideas, workable ones that weren't just red fucking meat for the idiocracy, and who was able to explain those ideas in an engaging way, who had a few brain cells to rub together in the service of actually bettering the country rather than just getting into power -- that might force him to follow up a bit better on the ideals he talked about so eloquently before he was elected. It might actually make him into the president that we thought he'd be when he was just the candidate.

The problem with this fantasy is that if it was capable of happening - if the current GOP was capable of producing such a credible opponent - then Obama would have had a nigh-godlike first term. Let's just go with the smallest concession the GOP could have made - not using the filibuster routinely and instead allowing the majority to govern. In this scenario, Obama

- passes a larger, more ambitious stimulus
- passes health care reform with a public option and substantially greater cost controls
- passes cap and trade legislation
- passes much more rigorous financial reform with far more oversight
- nominates many more federal officials and judges and has them confirmed
- possibly manages an immigration reform bill
- and still manages to do everything he actually did in real life, which is actually a hell of a lot: student loan reform, the Ledbetter Act, DADT repeal, etc.

You would be campaigning for him like an idealistic teenager in that scenario. Your GOP fantasy candidate would be crushed.
posted by mightygodking at 9:07 PM on February 7, 2012 [15 favorites]


1) Minnesota: caucus, not primary.

So? That's how the Minnesota GOP picks its delegates, through a caucus. It counts. Please do a little research before belittling the impact here.
posted by raysmj at 9:07 PM on February 7, 2012


I actually made a $50 bet a few months ago that Romney would not be the nominee with a friend of mine.

The Republican establishment made clear in Iowa that, if necessary, primaries will be rigged to ensure the Romney nomination. He's the Great White Hope of high finance. You're going to lose that fifty dollars.

Romney will bet $10,000 on it.
posted by clarknova at 9:10 PM on February 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm surprised to hear this about Minnesota. I know we have crazypants Bachmann, but still. I would have guessed Romney, Gingrich or even Paul before Santorum.

My formerly staunchly progressive state is drifting in a weird direction and it breaks my heart.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:14 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm watching intrade right now, Romney's chance to win Colorado has plunged from 95% to 20% in about an hour. I don't think I've seen intrade so volatile before.
posted by bobo123 at 9:16 PM on February 7, 2012


Credible candidates from the right pull you chosen candidate rightward.

Credible candidates from the left pull your chose candidate leftward.


Cite needed. [Joke. I'm not exercised about it.]

I don't have a chosen candidate -- I'm not American. I personally don't care about left or right, Rethuglican or Demorat (or whatever the current pejoratives are). What I do care about -- merely because halting America's collapse is in the interest of the stability of the rest of the world, and I have a lot of American friends -- is striking at the roots of the corruption and decay. Men and women who are smart, honorable and dedicated to public service and the ideals that your nation has espoused for so long (I know, it sounds ridiculous these days, more's the pity), regardless of their political affiliation, are what's needed. I actually still believe that Barack Obama, even with his failings, is smart, honorable and dedicated to public service. I don't believe that for an instant about any of the Republican candidates -- although I might allow that Gingrich is cunning, or perhaps even clever.

Regardless: 'right' and 'left' have ceased to be signifiers of anything that adds to understanding these days -- hell, they were meaningless buzzwords 20 years ago or more, only marginally useful as shorthand. Same thing with 'liberal' and 'conservative' for that matter. The words have been subverted and repurposed to the extent that we might as well be talking about Red Vs Blue.

Oh, wait. We already do that, don't we?

Yeah, Santorum, honestly, is a decent guy

Well, yeah, but Santorum is also a bigoted, blinkered, horrifying monster wrapped inside a Ward Cleaver skinsuit. That he could be characterized as 'a decent guy' -- relatively speaking, compared to the vileness of his peers -- shows how low expectations of American politicians have sunk in this post-W era, I guess.

Part of me still wants to see Gingrich or Santorum somehow become the American president, though, out of schadenfreude and a perverse, lingering apocalypse-fetish. And partly because I think things may be too far gone to be fixed, so why not start rooting for the most (sadly, sadly) hilarious outcome?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:17 PM on February 7, 2012 [20 favorites]


The Republican establishment made clear in Iowa that, if necessary, primaries will be rigged to ensure the Romney nomination. He's the Great White Hope of high finance.

If they were willing to do that, they don't seem to be any more. I think they're headed to a brokered convention.
posted by empath at 9:21 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney, Gingrich or even Paul before Santorum.

My formerly staunchly progressive state is drifting in a weird direction and it breaks my heart.


However, I'd bet $100 that no matter who the eventual R nominee is the actual State will vote for Obama in the genral.
posted by edgeways at 9:23 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Had Dan Savage not worked his magic,

I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks Dan Savage's silly Google campaign to redefine "santorum" has had the slightest negative effect on whether Republicans would vote to nominate him is completely deluded.
posted by straight at 9:23 PM on February 7, 2012 [18 favorites]


We should thank the GOP, for making it so clear who among the people I talk with are banging the drums without thought, cheering for literally anyone the Republicans put up. For example, whoever says he's for Gingrich obviously cares nothing for family values, and anyone for Romney is shilling for the rich. This is usually obvious yes, but never before has it been cast in such stark, vivid light.
posted by JHarris at 9:27 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, tonight's results are a pretty big dent in Romney's momentum, right? I haven't been following the race that closely these past couple weeks but it seemed like support was coalescing around Romney--Gingrich was flailing and Romney was "inevitable". But tonight seems to indicate that a lot of Republican voters aren't convinced.

It seems like Romney's biggest selling point is his inevitability and I feel like once again the actual results are throwing that into question. What's the tally at this point? Hasn't he lost more primaries than he's won?
posted by overglow at 9:28 PM on February 7, 2012


I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks Dan Savage's silly Google campaign to redefine "santorum" has had the slightest negative effect on whether Republicans would vote to nominate him is completely deluded.

I'm sorry, but bite me.
posted by JHarris at 9:28 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


[Butt-related pun]!
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:35 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks Dan Savage's silly Google campaign to redefine "santorum" has had the slightest negative effect on whether Republicans would vote to nominate him is completely deluded.

It's fair to say that it has pushed perceptions of him even further rightward than he was prior to being savaged. I'll bet that would affect the decision-making process of moderates who register themselves as Republicans, and not to Santorum's benefit.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:36 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


The idea that Missouri's vote doesn't matter as far as delegates go overlooks the obvious... the outcome of the later caucus will almost certainly mirror the over 2-1 margin of victory for Santorum over Romney. Presumably, that should translate into Santorum getting 35+ delegates to Romney's dozen or so, with the rest going to Paul and other candidates.

Seriously, if they allocated the delegates at the caucus far differently than at the general primary, there would be a real fracas at the state level, even if their might be a tendency at that point to unite behind someone like Romney, if he starts to pull ahead.

Also, it looks like Romney is coming from behind in Colorado too...
with 51% reporting:
Mitt Romney 7,424 36.8%
Rick Santorum 7,156 35.5%
Newt Gingrich 2,790 13.8%
Ron Paul 2,711 13.4%
Other 90 0.4%
posted by markkraft at 9:41 PM on February 7, 2012


Pushed perceptions? The fraction of Republican registered moderates who could tell you who Dan Savage is, much less know about the Santorum thing is undoubtedly tiny.
posted by Justinian at 9:41 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


empath: "I actually made a $50 bet a few months ago that Romney would not be the nominee with a friend of mine. This whole fucking primary has been a roller coaster since then.."

I'll write a swap on that.
posted by wierdo at 9:42 PM on February 7, 2012


So, tonight's results are a pretty big dent in Romney's momentum, right?


Hard to say, I think you are correct in thinking that Mitten's biggest advantage has been the projected air of inevitability, and backed up with a hell of a lot of money it takes him pretty far. Some national polls are suggesting he is dipping... again... But still.. he has a hell of a lot of money, and is pretty intent on buying this whole thing. Weather of not the voters actually want him? The thing that gets me? He has lost more states than he has won and likely is still in the lead because the other guys are splitting the not-Romney vote. If it continues on this way it well might end in a brokered convention, and I think it is fair to say on an even playing field, if all the candidates had the same amount of $... I think he would lose.
posted by edgeways at 9:43 PM on February 7, 2012


I wouldn't in a million years vote for him, mind you, but I see him as a much more ... noble ... figure than either Romney or Gingrich. Santorum wants to save our souls. The other two just want to be President.

Noble? What's noble about a candidate who thinks that women who get pregnant as the result of a rape should view their pregnancies as a "broken gift" from God? What's noble about a candidate who thinks that a right to privacy doesn't exist in the Constitution? Or who thinks that contraception is a menace? Or who habitually compares fighting gay rights to combating terrorism? I could go on, but it's pointless. Santorum may think he wants to save souls but he's as ignoble as any of them.

His sweater-vest Catholic choirboy routine is an excellent cover, though, I'll give him that. He even has folks on Metafilter tripping over themselves to call him "decent" and "noble." What a crock of shit.
posted by blucevalo at 9:46 PM on February 7, 2012 [63 favorites]


The fraction of Republican registered moderates who could tell you who Dan Savage is, much less know about the Santorum thing is undoubtedly tiny.

I'm not so sure that's a given. The story been covered in most mainstream media outlets, by now. Not all Republicans get their news from the 700 Club.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 PM on February 7, 2012


Men and women who are smart, honorable and dedicated to public service and the ideals that your nation has espoused for so long (I know, it sounds ridiculous these days, more's the pity), regardless of their political affiliation, are what's needed.

These exist beyond local elections? Half joking, but honestly, i don't see them beyond local level. There are a couple left here in Wisconsin at the state level, and they get screwed big time (told vote happens at one time while the other side is told a much earlier time, and get locked out of room to vote. not kidding). These mythical honorable people don't exist, and if they seem to, it doesn't take long to stomp them out.
posted by usagizero at 9:49 PM on February 7, 2012


That's exactly my point, usagizero, or one of them, at least. It seems like some kind of mythical-America-of-yore throwback fantasy to even think that the system could allow people of conscience to rise beyond the local level.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:50 PM on February 7, 2012


I asked my over 40 men's soccer teammates if they knew what Santorum was. This is in Seattle, mind you, where Dan Savage is from, and these are for the most part liberal dudes. None of them knew the definition...
posted by Windopaene at 9:51 PM on February 7, 2012


I suspect, btw, that they'll call Colorado for Mitt soon. The reason for the the initial perception of an upset there tonight? My guess is that small -- predominantly rural, more conservative -- precincts could complete their counts earlier and went heavy for Santorum, while precincts in Denver, etc. are still being tallied, and are breaking strongly for Romney.
posted by markkraft at 9:51 PM on February 7, 2012


For your viewing pleasure, the GOP delegate count... Romney still ahead with his win at Florida.
posted by spaceviking at 9:51 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


1) Minnesota: caucus, not primary.

So? That's how the Minnesota GOP picks its delegates, through a caucus. It counts. Please do a little research before belittling the impact here.


It's a simple factual statement that Minnesota uses a caucus system. I can't imagine a single reason why a native Minnesotan correcting a factual error in the post counts as belittling anything or shows a lack of understanding. In fact, it shows pretty much the opposite of those things.
posted by Winnemac at 9:52 PM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


Pushed perceptions? The fraction of Republican registered moderates who could tell you who Dan Savage is, much less know about the Santorum thing is undoubtedly tiny.

I just googled "santorum".

Spreadingsantorum.com was the first result. That website was established as part of Savage's campaign.

The second result is Google's news digest of recent articles mentioning Santorum.

The third result was the Wikipedia article about Savage's campaign to redefine 'santorum'.

So, do you contend that Republicans just don't use the internet, or what?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:54 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama wants astronauts on an asteroid.

Gingrich wants a state on the moon.

If Santorum runs, the best we can hope for is a little mopping up on Uranus.



SNAP!
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:54 PM on February 7, 2012 [26 favorites]


See also: Straws, grasping at.
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 PM on February 7, 2012


empath: "I actually made a $50 bet a few months ago that Romney would not be the nominee with a friend of mine. This whole fucking primary has been a roller coaster since then.."

I'll write a swap on that.


Are you offering to sell insurance on it?
posted by empath at 9:55 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe we can spread out the risk on that insurance by wrapping it into some CDOs! What could go wrong?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:56 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Not looking good for Romney... His hopes swing on Col. Springs - evangelical capital of the USA
posted by spaceviking at 9:58 PM on February 7, 2012


Man, Missourians really don't like Romney, do they?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:58 PM on February 7, 2012


empath: "Are you offering to sell insurance on it?"

Absolutely not! That would require regulatory capital.

However, if you pay me $15 now, I will pay your friend $50 to settle your debt should you lose the bet. For a mere $15 more I will write a credit default swap so if your friend wins the bet and does not pay, I will pay you $50.

What could possibly go wrong if I hedge properly?
posted by wierdo at 10:00 PM on February 7, 2012 [14 favorites]


I suspect, btw, that they'll call Colorado for Mitt soon. The reason for the the initial perception of an upset there tonight? My guess is that small -- predominantly rural, more conservative -- precincts could complete their counts earlier and went heavy for Santorum, while precincts in Denver, etc. are still being tallied, and are breaking strongly for Romney.
posted by markkraft at 11:51 PM on February 7 [+] [!]


I doubt it. I'm reading FiveThirtyEight's liveblog now, and things are getting dire for Romney. He's losing several "swing counties" substantially, and he's down big from his 2008 numbers in his bases of support. Meanwhile, results haven't been tallied from Colorado Springs, a strong Santorum area.

On preview: they just called it for Santorum.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:01 PM on February 7, 2012


Santorum wins
posted by spaceviking at 10:01 PM on February 7, 2012


Losing Colorado is actually a big deal. The mountain west was supposed to be a Romney stronghold.
posted by empath at 10:03 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let me tell you, tonight was a BIG night for Santorum!




That aside, what happened in that political thingy everyone's on about?
posted by mazola at 10:04 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


FWIW not sure if it was mentioned upthread by Minnesota's T "premature withdrawal" Pawlenty had endorsed Romney.

FWIW also our delegates are not officially assigned tonight, it is considered a non-binding caucus. (source)
posted by edgeways at 10:05 PM on February 7, 2012


Also also, Romney had won in Minnesota over McCain last time
posted by edgeways at 10:08 PM on February 7, 2012


Iowa is a non-binding caucus. Every caucus is a non-binding caucus, pretty much.
posted by empath at 10:08 PM on February 7, 2012


So, tonight's results are a pretty big dent in Romney's momentum, right?

They slowed it, but they didn't stop it. If anything, Santorum did more damage to Gingrich than to Romney. If this win pushes Santorum to top two in Maine, Gingrich might as well wave the white flag.

We are about to hit a three week lull, though. Next primaries are Arizona and Michigan on the 28th, followed by Washington's caucus March 3, and then Super Tuesday.

The one thing that makes the next four states interesting is that Ron Paul has a lot of appeal in Michigan, Washington, and Maine. He really could make a showing and make Super Tuesday really crazy.

I think Romney will eventually get the nomination, but my feeling about this being all but over with Super Tuesday is starting to fade. April 24 is the one spot where Romney could finish all this off -- a Northeast primary where he can win four of the five and it's winner-take-all on all of them.
posted by dw at 10:09 PM on February 7, 2012


Update:
Rick Santorum 12,995 37.7%
Mitt Romney 12,426 36%
Newt Gingrich 4,681 13.6%
Ron Paul 4,256 12.3%
Other 115 0.3%

Well... that was a big, unexpected shift. Talk about topsy-turvy race in Colorado! Having whole counties coming in all at once and only having about 75,000 voters can do that to ya.

A map of the counties that have voted so far confirms my rural vs. urban argument in Colorado, though.

There will be another swing towards Romney later, almost certainly. Denver went for Romney over Santorum about 40% to 29%... which is probably why the race shifted towards Romney all the sudden... but all of Denver's votes are counted now. My guess is that this race will depend upon how big a margin Romney can get in Colorado Springs (El Paso County) and in Arapaho county, east of Denver. If he gets big margins like he did in Denver, he'll probably scrape through a very narrow win. This will be close though.
posted by markkraft at 10:09 PM on February 7, 2012


Yeah, Santorum, honestly, is a decent guy compared to Mr. Thrice Divorced and Mr. Wait There Are People Who Actually Make Less Than A Million Dollars.

I don't think this idea should take hold. We should expect a better exemplar of decency than somebody who does not believe in the right of women to have control over their bodies or the right of gay men and lesbians to live equal lives as American citizens. Somebody who blamed the liberalism of Boston's voters for the sexual abuse in its Catholic seminaries. Who takes money from energy companies and coincidentally decries global warming as "junk science". Who is so opposed to the education of America's children that he wants to waste their time by forcing teachers to read out a list of objections to the theory of evolution.

He may be sincere, but that is very, very different from being decent.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:10 PM on February 7, 2012 [34 favorites]


This really has been a stunning night. I was actually thinking earlier today, "Please, please let Santorum edge past Romney in Minnesota and clobber him in Missouri, and at least come close in Colorado (but let's keep the wishing realistic here, it's not like he can win)." But wow, he destroyed Romney tonight, across the board.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:12 PM on February 7, 2012


I've never been so excited for the success of such a vile human being
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:13 PM on February 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


He better not ruin sweater vests for the rest of us, sometimes guys just want to look like Rupert Giles and not have people thinking he's a crypto fascist theocat werido. Some of us just like tweed and tartan.
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 PM on February 7, 2012 [15 favorites]


Given this tweet's reported results, Colorado is now being called for Santorum.

Mitt blew it badly in a major city in Colorado which he needed to win, and although he came close, he can't make up the votes, or make up for losing so much of rural Colorado.

While none of the state’s 36 delegates are actually assigned as a result of tonight’s caucuses, some level of voter preference generally carries over to the district and state conventions, where delegates are selected.
posted by markkraft at 10:22 PM on February 7, 2012


The Whelk: He better not ruin sweater vests for the rest of us, sometimes guys just want to look like Rupert Giles and not have people thinking he's a crypto fascist theocat werido. Some of us just like tweed and tartan.

Sorry, but I think you might be hosed. He's basically the bastard child of Mr. Rogers and the Taliban.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:22 PM on February 7, 2012 [7 favorites]




Mark my words: Ron Paul will "win" Maine, with less than 40%. He beat McCain here in 2008 and he just landed some interesting endorsements.

posted by anastasiav at 10:25 PM on February 7, 2012


All the Romney has going for him is presumed electability. But the latest Rasmussen polls say Santorum is running better against Obama than Romney is. And he has the momentum. The GOP base is coalescing behind him.

Romney's people will have to spend a lot of money on a lot of destructive advertising to win this.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:28 PM on February 7, 2012


CPAC is coming up this week, entertainment value will be high.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:33 PM on February 7, 2012


Is there some place on the web that lists the various GOP candidates and their positions on various issues? A conservo-meter of sorts, perhaps. It is hard for a non-USian like me to keep track of these people.
posted by vidur at 10:34 PM on February 7, 2012


I'm gonna hafta start a gurellia sweater vest based anti Sanatorum campaign.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 PM on February 7, 2012


vidur, here's a thing
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:39 PM on February 7, 2012


But the latest Rasmussen polls say Santorum is running better against Obama than Romney is.

Yes, but man, that looks like an outlier. A poll showing Santorum, a guy with low name recognition, beating Obama when the other three candidates are -6 to -11 against him? 1000 LV vs 1500 for Romney?

Even if it is true, this election cycle has shown that the last place you want to be is in first place. Now Santorum is going to get all the Romney money pointed at him AND whatever Gingrich has left in the bank for three weeks. And this at a time when Santorum is going to need to hit 14 states really hard to stay in the race.
posted by dw at 10:44 PM on February 7, 2012


Thanks, EMRJKC'94.
posted by vidur at 10:48 PM on February 7, 2012


Even if it is true, this election cycle has shown that the last place you want to be is in first place. Now Santorum is going to get all the Romney money pointed at him AND whatever Gingrich has left in the bank for three weeks. And this at a time when Santorum is going to need to hit 14 states really hard to stay in the race.

Ah yes, Mario Kart politics.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:48 PM on February 7, 2012 [44 favorites]


it's all "blue shell vs. red shell" out there nowadays
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:56 PM on February 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


A poll showing Santorum, a guy with low name recognition, beating Obama when the other three candidates are -6 to -11 against him? 1000 LV vs 1500 for Romney?

Why would you think that Americans would be more likely to vote for those two if they know more about them? Generic Republican always polls better than Specific Asshole.
posted by empath at 10:58 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm done making Santorum jokes because I'm beginning to see it as symbolic of the whole American political system. We're all covered in it and no amount of cleaning is going to get it off.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:02 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


All the Romney has going for him is presumed electability. But the latest Rasmussen polls say Santorum is running better against Obama than Romney is.

Rasmussen polls say a lot of things. But as per dw, they are consistent outliers, and not by accident. As I said about them last year:
FiveThirtyEight takes serious issue with their methodology, concluding folks should ignore the poll and "view their work with extreme skepticism going forward," following up with a tweet saying "Rasmussen should probably just drop the pretense that they are non-partisan."

Rasmussen, the same pollster whose current approval numbers for Obama undercut the next-most-negative outfit by 16 points, who whiffed on their forecasts for the 2010 midterms with a significant GOP bias (including one poll that erred Republican by 42 points, the least accurate polling result in 12 years), and who are headed by a former Bush consultant and WorldNetDaily columnist.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:02 PM on February 7, 2012 [19 favorites]


Besides being strategically terrible for the GOP, Santorum's resurgence also reflects poorly on the states in which he has been successful. A natural implication of his victory is that a disconcertingly large number of people support Santorum's views on social issues, including his reprehensible comments about rape victims. His electoral success is a gauge of how prevalent such social conservatism truly is in the country. Y'all should be concerned. Very concerned.
posted by identitymap at 11:03 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


They're probably going to go after Santorum on his fairly solid pro-middle class, pro union and anti-poverty economic stances. Which is just going to be great for the general election.
posted by empath at 11:04 PM on February 7, 2012


>The Republican establishment made clear in Iowa that, if necessary, primaries will be rigged to ensure the Romney nomination.

>All the Romney has going for him is presumed electability.

Barring a late entry from some prominent conservative non-existent white guy on a white horse, Romney will still pull it out-- the only candidate who had a genuine chance against him was Perry. That Perry proved so shockingly inept at non-Texas-centric debate as to disqualify himself from the race doesn't invalidate the basic structural point: He was the only one with the combination of money, rank, relative youth, big state machine, jutting jaw, and red-meat fervor that would be required to successfully take on the Bank of Mitt. In retrospect, I'm still surprised that even the GOP proved to have a kind of hidden minimum for articulacy, and that this bar knocked Perry out of contention.

Obviously, all the remaining guys will drive up Mitt's negatives, but none of them has a genuine chance of winning.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:06 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


A natural implication of his victory is that a disconcertingly large number of people support Santorum's views on social issues, including his reprehensible comments about rape victims.

I wouldn't assume that. A large number of Republicans hate Mitt Romney. That's pretty much the only take away from this.

I think Santorum's social views are weird and out of the mainstream, even among republicans. They're voting for him because he's the only candidate left in the race that isn't a cartoon supervillain.
posted by empath at 11:07 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]



Barring a late entry from some prominent conservative non-existent white guy on a white horse,


People keep saying this, but at some point, he has to convince real people to vote for him.
posted by empath at 11:08 PM on February 7, 2012


Just when you thought that he'd been squeezed out.
posted by Artw at 11:10 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


*Republican voters cup hands* WE DON'T LIKE YOU MITT! WE NEVER REALLY DID!
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:12 PM on February 7, 2012


>People keep saying this, but at some point, he has to convince real people to vote for him.

I dunno. If the negative ad wars succeed in depressing turnout enough, Mitt should probably be able get by just on the small but well-heeled coterie of Investors in Mitt.
posted by darth_tedious at 11:12 PM on February 7, 2012


I think you could argue that Santorum is also a cartoon supervillain.
posted by overglow at 11:15 PM on February 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


A large number of Republicans hate Mitt Romney. That's pretty much the only take away from this.

They find Romney's Mormonism and "cartoon villain" tendencies to be so unpalatable that they would rather vote for a guy who thinks female rape victims should be forced to carry their pregnancies to term? This hypothesis doesn't make Santorum voters seem any better.
posted by identitymap at 11:17 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Santorum: damn near rectum.
posted by isopraxis at 11:18 PM on February 7, 2012 [10 favorites]


Albert Einstein, a noted political analyst, said that there are two kinds of people in this world; those motivated by fear, and those motivated by longing. The entire Republican field has placed its bet on fear. Under those conditions, when it comes right down to how people feel about these things, the candidate who expresses fear, but is himself the least frightening, will triumph.

As long as Santorum isn't taken seriously, as long as he's credible in a sweater vest, he won't be frightening.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:23 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Santorum, honestly, is a decent guy compared to Mr. Thrice Divorced and Mr. Wait There Are People Who Actually Make Less Than A Million Dollars.

He's a Catholic of such a conservative strain that he squicks out staunch Catholics. His adamant opposition to a right to privacy trips the common-sense filters of the fuddiest of duddies. And his utter obsession with prattling on and on and on about sexual perversion is embarrassing even to those who agree with him.

I've got conservative Catholic, Tea Party, homophobic, bigoted, ammo-gifting relatives barring their upper-middle-class suburban windows against "the Mexicans," but nevertheless think that Santorum is too weird with his sexual hangups.
posted by desuetude at 11:41 PM on February 7, 2012


Super PACs are making the republican primary a complete cluster fuck. This is what you get when a few billionaires can keep completely unelectable candidates afloat long after everyone else gives up on them.
posted by stavrogin at 11:53 PM on February 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


Man, Missourians really don't like Romney, do they?

Fits to some extent with history.
posted by weston at 11:58 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


a few billionaires

*chants* THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE! THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!

*cries*
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:01 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you aren't in Santorum's target demographic you probably have no idea how this lunatic can win anything. But take a look at the ad Santorum's PAC was running in these States. Think about it. The ad opens with an apocalyptic scenario, a tragedy of chaos and pain. A systematic destruction of all that is Good. The world has splintered, and Only One can be the Only One who is the Only One.

Makes you feel safe, doesn't it? All that complexity has become simple. Only One.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:06 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I realized today--not that I did already know, but in order to keep living, day in, day out, I think I have to forget that I know--that there really are millions of people who honestly believe that Rick Santorum, or Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich, or any one of them is a good candidate for President. And more than that, that any one of them is a good person, who has the best interests of the average American at heart (or even knows how an 'average' American lives).

I wish I had the ability to be ignorant of the utter lobbyist/"special interest"/PAC corporation/Koch-Brothers clusterfuck that all of American politics has become--and I wish that that ability came bundled with the added-value superpower of not understanding how detrimental it is to the world around us that the majority of U.S. citizens are, in fact, that appallingly ignorant.

I've made the joke a few times in casual conversation that the Republican hopefuls should all show up to the debates/primaries/caucuses in a clown car, but that's pretty much just me laughing to keep from running amok, tearing my skin off with my own fingernails and setting my hair on fire.
posted by tzikeh at 12:57 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


^ I realized today--not that I did already know,

"not that I DIDN'T already know"
posted by tzikeh at 1:26 AM on February 8, 2012


Santorum rushes from behind after dislodging Romney by 3483
I cannot wait till this reaches KY, vigorous action ahead in the lube state.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:44 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Santorum opposes birth control so he's going to be our next president. Because if there's one thing consenting adults hate, it's having sex.
posted by bardic at 3:07 AM on February 8, 2012


A brief Musical Interlude.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:34 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


sorry
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:38 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Seriously. Romney is damn near the Antichrist to many people."

Some people. This notion that evangelicals won't vote for Romney because he's Mormon is a good example of knowing only enough to get into trouble.

Sure, evangelicals think that Mormonism is a cult. They don't consider it Christianity. But, as you wrote, a lot of evangelicals think Catholicism is a satanic institution and that [insert current Pope here] is literally the Antichrist.

Yet they vote for conservative Catholics over liberals. Just as they will do so with Mormons. In fact, this is especially true of Mormons, as they are more reliably and extremely culturally conservative than any other religious group, aside from evangelicals themselves, in the US. For that matter, they may even be more reliably and extremely culturally conservative than evangelicals. And evangelicals know this.

The US has long ago moved beyond sectarian passions. Now, it's about the culture war writ large, conservative versus liberal, full stop. Evangelicals don't really want to be in bed with Mormons, but they sure as hell prefer them to secular liberals.

By the way, in the Gingrich thread I said that he wouldn't win Florida, that Romney would get the nomination, and that Santorum was a more credible threat to Romney than Gingrich.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:46 AM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


You don't quite realize just how unpleasant Santorum is until you have it all over your thighs.
posted by the noob at 3:47 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I blame Iowa for causing this Santorum mess everywhere.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:54 AM on February 8, 2012


You'll all be humming a different tune when they're carving sweater vests onto the torsos of all five of the Presidents on Mount Rushmore - yes, that's right, five Rick Santora.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:10 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


his utter obsession with prattling on and on and on about sexual perversion is embarrassing even to those who agree with him

I don't understand how a "normal" or self-assured heterosexual could care so much about this. Can he really hate homosexuality as much as he seems to, and to have it right on the front burner as the most pressing issue, without something pretty strange in his own internal wiring? I am not saying there is anything wrong with being gay, but there is something very wrong with strongly repressing and hating a part of who you are, and taking that out on the people who are "free".

My guess is that it is only through the strongest force of will and most sincere prayer that Santorum remains on the straight and narrow path. Some day he is going to be caught with a rentboy. We've seen it so many times before, it would seem the exception if it turned out that Santorum was really a confirmed and happy heterosexual in his heart of hearts. The fact that he is so sincere about this, that it is a lifetime thing and not just his political expediency for this election cycle, makes it even more likely that this is an internal struggle that he has been fighting all his life.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:14 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a difference between having good intentions and being a good person. If your idea of making America more wholesome involves denying women the rights to their own bodies, making life even more miserable for people who love the wrong kind of people, and pushing the country further into "white people've got it good, fuck all y'all" territory, then I don't care if you genuinely think you're a good person in a way that the other two dudes don't, because you would do monstrous things if you're given a chance and that means you're a monster.

Doesn't matter if you don't mean to be a monster. As somebody said in that MetaTalk thread about the 50-year-old guy and the 15-year-old girl, being a monster means you do monstrous things. It's hard to reconcile the nice guy you think you see with the monster who does such terrible things, but that's usually how monsters are. Very few of them puke slime the way Gingrich does.

I'm fine with a religious candidate, in theory, but it would have to be a religious candidate who's spent his life seriously asking himself what the Bible means, what Jesus was trying to say, and what's the best way to go about properly going about doing God's will. Santorum strikes me as nice but kind of dim, and religious fanaticism doesn't go with dimness none too good. Anything that thick with metaphor and symbolism requires a potent mind to get anything meaningful from the text, so you avoid all the stupid millenniums-old stuff and focus on the deeper messages. I don't see anything deep coming out of Santorum. He is a monster who feeds on the Bible and breathes fire.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:30 AM on February 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


The idea of Santorum continuing to run for president over the next eight months makes me want to invent a time machine so I can go back to 2003 and give Dan Savage something else to write about that week.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:14 AM on February 8, 2012


"the latest Rasmussen polls say Santorum is running better against Obama than Romney is."

Yes, but man, that looks like an outlier.


And a Rasmussen poll, too.

Basically, their custom "likely voters" model favors those who are older, whiter, and have higher social status. And that's pretty much what you are looking for in a Santorum voter.

Nate Silver gives them an average 6% slant to the GOP side... and that can lead to some pretty big outliers. Basically, they call landlines for phone samples, without correcting for it.

(Question: How many of you primarily use landlines, as compared to your parents / grandparents?)

I also think the lack of voter knowledge of Santorum, if anything, gives him higher poll results than he deserves. All you have to do is explain to voters that he disagrees that you have any right to privacy, and they should have the right to arrest you if you have oral sex or use a condom, and, well... good luck with that election, GOP. Obama would clean the floor with him, especially since he is the least well funded of all the GOP candidates.
posted by markkraft at 5:15 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


The media coverage of this election season seems to paint GOP primary voters as a herd of cattle, careening wildly from candidate to candidate while being cattle prodded by SuperPAC dollars towards Mitt Romney.
posted by cacofonie at 5:20 AM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


DON'T GOOGLE SANTORUM!
posted by spitbull at 5:21 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, Santorum has not been certified to appear on Indiana's primary ballot.
It seems he did not get the required 500 signatures in every county.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:23 AM on February 8, 2012


raysmj: "So? That's how the Minnesota GOP picks its delegates, through a caucus. It counts. Please do a little research before belittling the impact here."

What? I wasn't belittling anything; I was pointing out an error in the FPP ("...Republican primaries in Minnesota and Missouri..."). Your snark is unnecessary.
posted by jiawen at 5:24 AM on February 8, 2012


a few billionaires


The word is "Oligarchy." And I think those of us on the reasonable side of American politics need to start using it loud and proud.
posted by spitbull at 5:25 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


one of them almost surely had to use lots of legal birth control to keep his mistresses from becoming pregnant

This is a brilliant observation. Oh if only I lived in a world where John King or Wolf Blitzer would actually ask Newt Gingrich, "as a devout Catholic, do you and Callista rely on withdrawal and natural family planning, or do you abort your embryos with hormonal birth control?"

Because you know Newt Gingrich doesn't use a condom.
posted by spitbull at 5:33 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh if only I lived in a world where John King or Wolf Blitzer would actually ask Newt Gingrich, "as a devout Catholic, do you and Callista rely on withdrawal and natural family planning, or do you abort your embryos with hormonal birth control?"

Oh come on now. Everybody knows that the Gingrichs rely on the power of hate as a contraceptive.
posted by mightygodking at 5:39 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


From a Catholic perspective, Santorum strikes me as the type who wishes Catholicism was an evangelical religion. The most depressing thing about his prominent election position is that it might give people the wrong idea that Catholics are as full of hate and bad ideas as he is.
posted by drezdn at 5:49 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Callista is clearly an android so the point is moot.
posted by unSane at 5:51 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rory Marinich: "I'm fine with a religious candidate, in theory, but it would have to be a religious candidate who's spent his life seriously asking himself what the Bible means, what Jesus was trying to say, and what's the best way to go about properly going about doing God's will. "

You mean, Thomas Jefferson?

Snark aside, some of the most Christian (as in, following the love-your-neighbor, turn-the-other-cheek teachings of Jesus) people I know are atheists.
posted by notsnot at 5:53 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm surprised to hear this about Minnesota. I know we have crazypants Bachmann, but still. I would have guessed Romney, Gingrich or even Paul before Santorum.

My formerly staunchly progressive state is drifting in a weird direction and it breaks my heart.
posted by triggerfinger at 23:14 on February 7


Minnesota's always been more of a populist state at heart. Some decades, that means that everything leans progressive. Other decades, not so much. Governor Dayton had a very very narrow win in 2010, the year that MN Republicans won the state legislature very convincingly.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:59 AM on February 8, 2012


Actually turnout looks down to me compared to 2008.

With the numbers this morning, it looks like Republican caucus turnout is down about 25% this year compared to 2008. So the activists and true believers were less inspired to participate this year, as opposed to four years ago, when they turned out for Romney.

Of course, this doesn't indicate anything about how the much larger pool of casual voters and independents will swing, although the conventional wisdom is that things look fairly good for the DFL: Obama isn't in any trouble here, Amy Klobuchar is walloping the Republicans in the Senate race, and the Republican legislature is taking most of the blame for last year's bungled session.

The anti-marriage amendment continues to poll around 50/50, outcome of that is unknown. Generational issues could come into play if older people turn their ballots over and vote yes on it, in spite of voting for Amy, etc. on the top races.
posted by gimonca at 6:00 AM on February 8, 2012


I know Americans generally don't prioritize world opinion when making decisions, nor should they have to.

But I don't know if anyone in the States can truly appreciate how, to the rest of the world, Santorum is a joke.

In the States, he was at least on peripheral radar as a politician before his spat with Dan Savage. There was a bit of a profile there, but nothing that anyone outside of the USA would have noticed.

And since it was nothing that non-Americans took note of, the only exposure that the vast majority of the planet has had to Santorum is as either of two things:

1. The Dan Savage definition. Period. People that have never heard of the politician have heard this word. They may vaguely understand that it was connected to Googlebombing some douchebag years ago, but there's a higher probability that they know the "anal lube" etc. definition and aren't even aware that this guy is running for the nomination for President.

2. As a punchline. As the abject, humiliated loser of an online argument in which somebody shamed him and literally destroyed his name. And also the Dan Savage frothy mixture etc. definition.

The Great Jokes of American politics have all, to date, turned themselves into jokes while in office. Nixon was a crook. Dubya was moron. Regan was the doddering "Teflon Man". Clinton was a philanderer. But these were results of their actions and media noise about those actions while they were in the White House.

Santorum -- not that I think he has a whisker's chance of making it -- is a joke now. He is exclusively a joke to literally 95% of the world. It's kind of mind-blowing that he's even mentioned in the same breath as "Republican candidate", even if the odds are vanishingly slim.
posted by Shepherd at 6:01 AM on February 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


Oh if only I lived in a world where John King or Wolf Blitzer would actually ask Newt Gingrich, "as a devout Catholic, do you and Callista rely on withdrawal and natural family planning, or do you abort your embryos with hormonal birth control?"

Obviously option 3, "we've been trying but it's hard to get pregnant at 45"
posted by smackfu at 6:05 AM on February 8, 2012


The only reason I know that Dan Savage exists is that I hang out here. And I read most if not all of the major news sites online because I like news.

For some reason my husband seems to think he is soft on gun control, which might matter more to some GOP voters.

But with Romney having the rep of being an extreme RINO and Gingrich having the rep of being a crazypants.......
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:06 AM on February 8, 2012


It's kind of mind-blowing that he's even mentioned in the same breath as "Republican candidate", even if the odds are vanishingly slim.

Well, I think it just makes people realize "wait, I don't actually know anything about this guy beyond some internet LOLs."
posted by smackfu at 6:06 AM on February 8, 2012


(Santorum on gun control, not Savage. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:07 AM on February 8, 2012


Hmmmm. Romney came in 3rd in MN. Ron Paul was 2nd.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:21 AM on February 8, 2012


The Republican establishment made clear in Iowa that, if necessary, primaries will be rigged to ensure the Romney nomination.

Initial reports said that Romney won the Iowa caucus, but Santorum edged him out in the end. The outcome was sketchy--"results from eight precincts are missing... and will never be recovered and certified" and "GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts"--so if it was rigged, it was rigged against Romney.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:24 AM on February 8, 2012


Santorum -- not that I think he has a whisker's chance of making it -- is a joke now. He is exclusively a joke to literally 95% of the world.

Literally 95% of the world doesn't know who Dan Savage is and has never heard the word Santorum before.
posted by empath at 6:26 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Normally I'd be looking forward to dicking around in the Republican primary when it comes time in Ohio, but this year I've bigger problems on my mind. Like the gerrymandered liberal Democrat Thunderdome our state Republicans set up for us. I love Dennis, but Marcy is across the hall and I've gotta give her my support.
posted by charred husk at 6:29 AM on February 8, 2012


We should start a campaign to post drippy looking brown signs around appropriate appropriate towns :

Cumming for Santorum
Cumming, Georgia.
(similar around Climax, Georgia)

No KY Santorum for Beaver Lickers
Beaver Lick, Kentucky
(similar for Big Beaver, Pennsylvania)

Big Bone Lick & KY Santorum
Big Bone Lick State Park, Kentucky

Ballplay with Santorum
Ballplay, Tennessee

Oh Cocksgag on Santorum
Cocksgag, Ohio

Santorum in Gayville
Gayville, South Dakota

Santorum Onacock
Onacock, Virginia
posted by jeffburdges at 6:29 AM on February 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


He is exclusively a joke to literally 95% of the world.

None of whom seem to be Republican Primary voters. If you only ever consume news from Fox, Newsmax and Rush Limbaugh, you'll never hear those jokes.
posted by octothorpe at 6:30 AM on February 8, 2012


I like that on the KY Santorum Facebook linked earlier, one of the campaign staffers is apparently named Shane Bias ...
posted by FlyingMonkey at 6:35 AM on February 8, 2012


On the basically snowball's-chance-in-hell of Santorum getting the GOP nomination, the Dan Savage thing would hurt him slightly in the general election. Not too badly, probably; and it's entirely possible that once the general election campaign started, the Dan Savage stuff would be made tiny and unimportant relative to the constant coverage of a Presidential campaign.

Most GOP primary voters aren't aware of it and, if they are, it probably makes them much more sympathetic to Santorum rather than less.

Ironically, the only way in which that whole thing matters is with regard to how much the media and the power brokers share the sense we see in this thread that the Dan Savage thing makes Santorum a joke and therefore not a viable candidate. It's probably hurting him, and will hurt him, more with the gatekeepers than with actual voters.

At any rate, he won't get the nomination. The GOP rank-and-file will hold their noses and nominate Romney in the end. It won't be a brokered convention.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:36 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obviously option 3, "we've been trying but it's hard to get pregnant at 45"

Yeah, but she was around 30 when they started making whoopie.

So the only other answers would have to be interesting and embarrassing to Newt. Except he seems incapable of embarrassment.
posted by spitbull at 6:42 AM on February 8, 2012


So actually, the correct response (you're welcome Team Newt/Callista) is "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Bisek."
posted by spitbull at 6:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The GOP rank-and-file will hold their noses and nominate Romney in the end. It won't be a brokered convention.

What would possibly be their motivation for doing this?
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on February 8, 2012


This current field of Republican candidates make me miss the level headed rationalism of George W. Bush.
posted by gagglezoomer at 7:02 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


This GOP rank and file will write in a candidate before she votes for Romney.

(By the way all the vile jokes about Santorum will likely get him sympathy votes. Come on, that stuff is juvenile.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:02 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Five Thirty Eight - Political Geography: Minnesota

Minnesota has a reputation as a liberal bastion, the only state that voted for Walter Mondale over Ronald Reagan in 1984. But that reputation obscures the fact that Minnesota’s Republican Party is deeply conservative, and has grown more so over the last decade, a shift catalyzed and solidified by the rise of the Tea Party.

I still like to think that MN will go to Obama in the general election but the fact that it has become so close that we are essentially a swing state makes my stomach drop. I probably shouldn't let so much of my identity get tied up in being from a great, liberal state that has always enjoyed such a high quality of life, but there ya go.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:06 AM on February 8, 2012


What would possibly be their motivation for doing this?

None. If Romney can't get votes in primaries, among his base, he's not going to have a chance at the genearl election level.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:07 AM on February 8, 2012


If you only ever consume news from Fox, Newsmax and Rush Limbaugh, you'll never hear those jokes.

My 75-year-old mother is not a Fox News person at all--in fact, she's basically dropped some friends over an excess of Fox bs--but I had to explain to her about the Santorum googlebomb (not in too much detail, just that it was gross and had to do with anal sex). It's not just right-wingers; it's anyone who gets their news from mainstream TV, which means a lot of older voters.
posted by immlass at 7:13 AM on February 8, 2012


I don't mind the vile jokes. It's part of what makes the political season magnificent. I've been slightly depressed about things since Florida.
posted by angrycat at 7:17 AM on February 8, 2012


(By the way all the vile jokes about Santorum will likely get him sympathy votes. Come on, that stuff is juvenile.)

St. Alia, you know why Dan Savage started the campaign, right? Because Santorum compared men who have consensual sex with other adult men to child rapists and dog-fuckers. Would you like to tell me again who's being vile, and who you sympathize with?
posted by Dasein at 7:18 AM on February 8, 2012 [23 favorites]


"None. If Romney can't get votes in primaries, among his base, he's not going to have a chance at the genearl election level."

I didn't say that he'd get that many votes in the general. He won't. This will be a low-turnout election.

I'm not surprised to see Santorum nudging Gingrich off the stage, as that was inevitable. I am surprised to see him doing this well. But, then, this is how this GOP primary season has been going. The GOP voters are unhappy with Romney and they keep looking for an alternative. It's not as if none of them had heard of Santorum before this week. If he had a lot of enthusiastic voters, he'd have already had them before now.

Most likely, he'll have a short-lived run, like the others, and then he'll fade away, too. It's been more possible that he could somehow get the nomination than it ever was for Gingrich, but I think it's extremely unlikely. Don't underestimate institutional inertia and the power and money that Romney and the establishment bring to bear on this. The GOP establishment really wants someone who is viable in the general. Romney, for all his flaws, is the most viable. Obama's improving numbers have more to do with positive economic news and the overwhelming negative news about the GOP candidates than it does with Obama's intrinsic strength. Obama isn't an unusually weak incumbent, but he's not a strong incumbent, either. If the GOP has any hope, they need someone that can actually beat Obama. Santorum or Paul or Gingrich isn't that person. So, it's close to a foregone conclusion that eventually support will coalesce around Romney.

And then he'll lost the election to Obama. Even if the economy doesn't improve. But especially if it does.

The GOP is in disarray, it's that simple. What happened in 2010 wasn't the sign of a revitalizing party. It was the sign of a struggling party, a party torn in multiple directions where the extreme anger of a portion of its base was used for short-term gains at the cost of long-term strategic strength. They're beginning to pay that price now.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:27 AM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney, for all his flaws, is the most viable

Not according to the most recent general election polling. That has always been a bullshit justification.
posted by empath at 7:32 AM on February 8, 2012


So, I have to admit that I don't actually understand how caucuses and primaries work in Minnesota (the DFL seem to have both; I can't tell about the Republicans--it's not a good day to Google for these details), but Minnesota Republican caucus results are nonbinding.

This article sort of explains the not-actually-collecting-delegates thing that is happening in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. Minnesota and Colorado are going to go through some process of sorting out their delegates (presumably the caucus results influence this, but how, I don't know). Missouri is going to have a caucus in March and then sort out their delegates through a similar mechanism. (It sounds like the national Republican Party ordered Missouri to move their primary to March, but that would have required legislative action that they couldn't pull off, so they had to have a primary, but to avoid pissing off the national party, they're having a caucus as well. Or something.)
posted by hoyland at 7:32 AM on February 8, 2012


Minnesota Republican caucus results are nonbinding.

That is how most caucus states work, including Iowa.
posted by empath at 7:39 AM on February 8, 2012


I'll tell you exactly what the GOP cattle-herding is reminding me of. With its wildly fluctuating sympathies, and completely unlikeable lead characters and shady marital affairs, and a clear disdain for characters who speak non-English languages, it reminds me of the movie/ musical, Chicago.
They had it comin', they had it comin'
They had it comin' all along
'Cause if they used us and they abused us
How could they tell us that we were wrong?
posted by the cydonian at 7:46 AM on February 8, 2012


"Not according to the most recent general election polling. That has always been a bullshit justification."

You're wrong.

Here are the RealClearPolitics Polling Averages (Dates, D, R, Spread):
Obama vs Romney:    1/12-2/7, 48.1, 44.3, Obama +3.8
Obama vs Paul:      1/12-2/5, 48.2, 42.0, Obama +6.2
Obama vs Santorum:  1/12-2/3, 49.8, 41.2, Obama +8.6
Santorum is going to get a boost from these wins. He'll probably temporarily poll about three points better against Obama than he has, but he won't get as close to Obama as Romney does. All along Romney's polled better against Obama for the general election than have any of the other candidates.

Now, polling is complicated. We all know this. There's a big difference between registered voters, likely voters, and all that. This can make a big difference in low-turnout elections because there can be a big difference between registered voters and likely voters and in a low-turnout election, it's the likely voters who will show up. So because Romney is low-enthusiasm while Santorum is high-enthusiasm with a certain segment (cultural conservatives), that will help him with registered versus likely voters. But, ultimately, Romney has been and still is the only viable candidate against Obama...and he's not very viable.

As long as the economy keeps improving and the GOP voters feel the way they do, I'm pretty sure that we'll see Romney consolidating a polling lead amongst all voters but Obama will pull away from him as his popularity goes up while Romney's will drop.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:02 AM on February 8, 2012


St. Alia, I'd be curious to hear you expand on why rank and file Christian republicans like yourself are so opposed to Romney. I'm being sincere, in case it isn't clear. Few of us are as well positioned as you to add insight to this conversation. I'd be especially interested to hear your thoughts on how Romney's Mormonism influences the thinking of your fellow Christian conservative Republicans (I am always tempted to say "members of the Republic Party" har har). And if it's not that, what is it, and how is Romney actually any worse on any other measure than Gingrich or Santorum? Presumably, Gingrich's moral record must give you pause, if I know your views at all. And presumably you're a Santorum supporter, based on your comment above.

So we hippie mefites should quietly listen to your report from the field, and I'm eager to hear it. So few actual Republican voters are being interviewed or given any voice in the media frenzy over all of this, which has struck me as odd all along given how much they paid attention to the views of specific anti-Obama and anti-Clinton voices among regular voters during the 2008 Democratic Party primaries.

Thanks!
posted by spitbull at 8:03 AM on February 8, 2012


Here are the RealClearPolitics Polling Averages (Dates, D, R, Spread):

I said the most recent polling.
posted by empath at 8:06 AM on February 8, 2012


> I just googled "santorum".
>
> Spreadingsantorum.com was the first result. That website was established as part of Savage's campaign.

I'm guessing that google safesearch might as well not exist for most of the folks here, and they have possibly forgotten about it. Potential Santorum voters OTOH will likely enough have safesearch turned on full blast as one more way to shove all the nasty back in the closet. For them the Santorum For President site www.ricksantorum.com is the first search result and it's spreadingsantorum.com that might as well not exist.
posted by jfuller at 8:08 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I said the most recent polling."

A single poll by Rasmussen, of all firms? Please.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:09 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Minnesota Republican caucus results are nonbinding.

Sorta like the 2000 popular vote for POTUS?
posted by Danf at 8:13 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


If you aren't in Santorum's target demographic you probably have no idea how this lunatic can win anything. But take a look at the ad Santorum's PAC was running in these States. Think about it. The ad opens with an apocalyptic scenario, a tragedy of chaos and pain. A systematic destruction of all that is Good. The world has splintered, and Only One can be the Only One who is the Only One.

Not watching network TV in the US I miss most of these ads.

I am so thankful for Netflix and Hulu existing.
posted by Talez at 8:15 AM on February 8, 2012


LOL Danf. Good one.
posted by spitbull at 8:15 AM on February 8, 2012


Having spent time in an actual DFL caucus last night, let me explain to you what's really happening here. The rules may be slightly different on the Republican side, but the basic principles should be the same.

You go to your caucus. This is not an election, it is a meeting convened by the political party. You sign in affirming that you're a resident of the precinct (or other unit) that the caucus is being held for, and that in general you agree with the principles of the party.

During a presidential year, when you walk in, you get a little slip of paper where you can "vote" on your preference for the party's nominee for president. These are the "votes" that get reported by the media. Delegates are not allocated based on these. However, the same people that submit these preference ballots are the ones who elect delegates to the next level, so there is an indirect correlation--but only an indirect one.

The caucus has an agenda, it's the local unit of the political party conducting its business according to the rules adopted by the party (and/or Robert's Rules of Order). One of the items on the agenda is to elect delegates to the 'next level up' out of the people attending the caucus, usually a State Senate District convention. If there are candidates contesting the presidential nomination (or Senate, or Governor, or anything), you might make a decision to vote for one of your neighbors as a delegate because you support a candidate and so do they. (This is done through the 'subcaucusing' process, which I won't go into in depth--basically, you and your fellow-supporters gather in one corner and get to elect a number of delegates based on your percentage of people attending.) These delegates then go to the District Convention about a month later.

Usually, it's easy to get elected to the district convention if you want to go. This convention is typically a Saturday morning and afternoon spent in a high school auditorium. Not all delegates selected at the precinct level will show up. If you're a candidate in a contested race, there is work for your campaign to do to encourage your short list of supporters to show up at this convention and support you. This convention will choose delegates to the statewide party convention. It is not as easy to get selected to go to the state convention, demand exceeds the supply of available slots, and you have to convince your fellow convention-goers to support you.

The state convention is where final endorsements for U.S. Senate, Governor, etc. will be made, and where delegates to the national party convention will be chosen. Those delegates are the ones who voted at the national level for Obama or Clinton in 2008, or who will vote for Romney/Paul/Santorum among Republicans in 2012.

So, there are two levels in this process where support for presidential candidates can shift: at the district level, and at the state level.
posted by gimonca at 8:21 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


This GOP rank and file will write in a candidate before she votes for Romney.

So I can count on your vote then?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


You have to think that if Santorum some how did become the GOP nominee that Dan Savage would have to either bring every fiber of his being into making sure the GOP was defeated or leave the country to avoid the possibility of an extraordinary rendition.

Also as a Minnesotan I can confirm that our state republicans have indeed been heading in the more crazy pants conservative direction for a while now.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 8:28 AM on February 8, 2012


(By the way all the vile jokes about Santorum will likely get him sympathy votes. Come on, that stuff is juvenile.)

Nah, you know what's juvenile? Santorum's grasp of science.
"If you leave it to Nature, then Nature will do what Nature does, which is boom and bust," Santorum said at an energy summit in Colorado. "We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth's benefit." [. . .]

"We are the intelligent beings that know how to manage things and through that course of science and discovery if we can be better stewards of this environment, then we should not let the vagaries of nature destroy what we have helped create," Santorum said.
Now, that is literally juvenile. By which I mean my six-year-old has a better understanding of the basic foundations of science and reason than Santorum does.
posted by gompa at 8:37 AM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


A single poll by Rasmussen, of all firms? Please.

We're talking about what it is going to be a convincing argument for Republican voters, right? As soon as any body but Romney polls better than romney for a head to head match up, they'll leave romney in droves..
posted by empath at 8:42 AM on February 8, 2012


LOL. New Quinnipiac poll shows Obama beating Romney by 4 in Virginia, including good leads with independents and women. Santorum by 8. And this is with Obama still net unfavorable in Virginia (but Romney collapsing in favorability) and trending upwards as he is nationally.

Obama takes Virginia and North Carolina, he wins going away.
posted by spitbull at 8:43 AM on February 8, 2012


gompa, that Santorum is wrong does not make the treatment of his name any less juvenile.

Two wrongs, still, do not make a right.
posted by oddman at 8:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama takes Virginia and North Carolina, he wins going away.

I'm calling it now, Obama wins in the biggest electoral vote landslide since 1984. He wins every state except the deep south, and probably takes texas (depending on who the GOP nominee is).
posted by empath at 8:45 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


gompa, that Santorum is wrong does not make the treatment of his name any less juvenile.

Juvenile? Maybe. But so what? If you stake your fame, wealth and power on a brisk trade in hate, fear, anger and ignorance, if your entire political career is built on the systemic demonization of the marginalized and powerless, well then whatever froth blows back at you is your own damn fault.

I read this great line in a book once, something about how what you reap is what you sow.
posted by gompa at 8:50 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm calling it now, Obama wins in the biggest electoral vote landslide since 1984. He wins every state except the deep south, and probably takes texas (depending on who the GOP nominee is).

Depends on the economy. If the unemployment rate creeps back up, it's a squeaker, with vote counting dragging on into the night and possibly a few days.


If the unemployment rate stays where it is or drifts down, the race will be called by 9 or 10pm on election night.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:51 AM on February 8, 2012


If Romney is a sad robot or one chemical accident away from becoming Dr Doom, then Santorum comes off as someone who has just awoken from some long and cruel coma and trust in front of cameras. He sounds so bewildered and confused, struggling in any Un scripted conversation as if English was a new and shocking experience for him and these horrible people with thier bright lights and infernal Image Boxes keep hounding him. The best thing we could do is find away to send him back to his own time, around 1690 or there abouts.
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Umm, defining the word santorum as "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex" cannot be not wrong in any reasonable world view.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:54 AM on February 8, 2012


Also, Rasmussen has a virtually proven Republican bias (it's systematic in their sampling methods, the only debate is whether it is used strategically to drive headlines at the command of the GOP establishment, or just a transparent perspective). So one Ras poll showing Obama doing well is worth 5 neutral polls as far as I am concerned.

You feel it. Now watch, the payroll tax fight about to happen will drive the Republicans even deeper into the ditch.

I think that by October we will be talking about this as the long awaited crackup of the modern Republican party, which is splintering before our eyes. No one dares say it yet in the media, but you hear talk of it on far right sites like Red State and Free Republic. I had always hoped I'd lived to see it, and I am going out on a limb here -- hold me accountable in November -- and predicting that all the money in the world, which they will have, will not save the GOP from devouring itself in a frenzied rage. This will be a disastrous election for them despite all their efforts to rig the voting system, light fires under hot button social issues, and demonize and other the President and a majority of Americans, not all of whom supported the President in 2008. The Dems can still screw it up. We have to hold out breaths. But really, when was the last time Barack Obama really screwed something political up? Europe or Syria or Iran could still screw it up too. And the right wing media assault to come will be breathtaking, but ultimately ineffective and offputting to many Americans who the right has made bank by demonizing, including union workers, city dwellers, women, minorities of all stripes, the list goes on.

What we must have is a youth vote. That needs to be the front and center project of the Obama administration (along with women and Latinos and union folks of course). I know it approaches co-optation, but I really wish Occupy Wall Street would Occupy the Election by committing itself to driving up the youth vote. Wall St. is now 90 percent behind Mitt Romney. Where else can OWS voters go (maybe Ron Paul?) if they want their movement to have lasting power? Our movement, I should say, and admit my commitments.

We turn out 18-30s in anything close to the numbers of 2008, Wall Street starts to quiver.
posted by spitbull at 8:54 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Grompa, perhaps, you shouldn't let others dictate how you behave.

When someone tempts you to be juvenile and hateful and you acquiesce because you think they deserve it, you are still being juvenile and hateful. Be a better person than your enemy, it's the only way to ensure a lasting victory.

A read a great line once about what happens when you wrestle with pigs.
posted by oddman at 8:55 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Empath,

That's a bold statement, my friend, but one that I would like t see come true!

I was thinking more along the lines of Bush, Sr. In '88, if, and only if, the economy really gets rolling.
posted by JKevinKing at 8:55 AM on February 8, 2012


There were probably people who thought Charlie Chaplin was juvenile, too. There were also wrong.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 8:56 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


And, thanks for the Godwin!
posted by oddman at 9:00 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that by October we will be talking about this as the long awaited crackup of the modern Republican party, which is splintering before our eyes.

The reason the GOP is going to get destroyed is that Obama is sitting so squarely in the center politically. They're giving no room on the right to oppose him except with paranoia and batshit crazy radicalism.

The only thing that can stop it from happening is if 'progressives' throw a tantrum over Obama not being a liberal messiah and stay home.
posted by empath at 9:01 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The one thing that could really shake things up is that Israel may very well start a war with Iran this Spring.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:02 AM on February 8, 2012


Grompa, perhaps, you shouldn't let others dictate how you behave.

I have no clue what you're getting at here, but as a Canuckistani I'm not only not wrestling with that froth-encrusted pig, I don't even have a dog in this hunt.

That said, I think people who choose to participate in the public discourse and then use that forum to spread ideas that are false, hateful, hurtful and ignorant deserve to be treated with mockery, ridicule and derision, because there is simply no reasoning with someone like Rick Santorum who refuses to even agree to play by the basic rules of what we know to be observable facts and measurable truths and what we know to be falsehood, belief and superstition.
posted by gompa at 9:04 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, there is a strong "anyone but Romney" thing going on, but that has more to do with the fact that all of the GOP candidates suck and Romney has been pegged as the front-runner. If Santorum or Gingrich had been placed in that position, there'd likely be a big "anyone but Gingrich" or "anyone but Santorum" motivation (and spin).

The fact is the GOP field sucks this year. Last night's success for Santorum won't get him the nomination. For better or worse, he's just not seen as viable against Obama and Romney can be sure that remains the case.

Because no matter what you think about Romney, he's got the money behind him (in his personal bank, in his campaign, and in his Super PAC). That will buy him out of this trouble and, eventually, buy him the nomination. What last night did, was give Santorum a good argument for the VP nom so that Romney can use him to buy the evangelical vote.

Last night didn't crush Romney near as much as it crushed Gingrich.
posted by imbri at 9:05 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ever here of the Streisand effect? Ignoring lunatics is more effective than stooping (close)* to their level.

*Obviously mocking him is not as bad as his homophobia, misogyny, et al.
posted by oddman at 9:06 AM on February 8, 2012


I think the explanation for last night's results is pretty obvious:

More frequent and vigorous poling produces greater amounts of santorum.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:10 AM on February 8, 2012


St. Alia: (By the way all the vile jokes about Santorum will likely get him sympathy votes. Come on, that stuff is juvenile.)

All the vile jokes about him are the only thing that keeps me sane, given his current (likely temporary) success in contrast with the fact that he lost the last election that he ran in by 16 points.

This man is someone who would laugh the roaring laughter of righteous triumph if there were a way to sign an executive order that would start the inauguration festivities off with gay people being rounded up and herded into massive communal bonfires with "Onward Christian Soldiers" playing on PA systems all over the country. I have nothing but solidarity with the vile jokes, whether it gets him "sympathy votes" or not.

oddman: Be a better person than your enemy, it's the only way to ensure a lasting victory.

I don't think that me making vile jokes about a completely insane unhinged public figure who richly deserves eternal ridicule and condemnation are a measure of whether I'm a "better person" or not. You're free to think whatever you want, no matter how patronizing it is.
posted by blucevalo at 9:12 AM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


The GOP is in disarray, it's that simple. What happened in 2010 wasn't the sign of a revitalizing party. It was the sign of a struggling party, a party torn in multiple directions where the extreme anger of a portion of its base was used for short-term gains at the cost of long-term strategic strength. They're beginning to pay that price now.

I'm not a hugely astute political junkie, but I've been thinking it'll be interesting what the Republican party does if/when they lose this election. Because this is it, right? This is the test of whether the fundamental conservatives can win in an election when the rest of the country's against them? If it fails, then it's proof that fundies aren't a big enough swing block to carry an election. And that means the Republican party's going to have to find another tack.

I kind of hope they swing towards free-market-ism, but not libertarianism, more of a "the purpose of government is to stop non-government entities from becoming the Big Brother we were scared the government was." Compromises on what the government's allowed to do that let them rah-rah capitalism and rah-rah government as the thing that lets small fishes beat the big fishes when the big fishes are being meanies. I'm not entirely hopeful that the result would be that sane, but there could be a chance of that, right?

(In my dreams they also embrace the ideas that gay people should be free to be gay and hurting the environment counts as being an oppressive Big Brother, but once I get there in my thinking I wake up and the blanket's all sticky.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:12 AM on February 8, 2012


Ever here of the Streisand effect? Ignoring lunatics is more effective than stooping (close)* to their level.

"Ignore that bully and he'll go away" was barely effective even at playground level. Once the bully's an ex-senator who's won a couple of GOP presidential primaries and has ready access to the vast echo chamber of the right-wing media, it's ridiculously naive.

This, in the end, is what makes Dan Savage's Santorum prank so brilliant (and juvenile, if at all, only on the surface). It uses the notoriety of the bully against him. It plants a trap in a ubiquitous public forum (the internet) that can't be removed or rebutted or buried through his better access to power. Even evangelical wingnuts use Google. It's fiendishly subversive.

Also, given that Dan Savage's other big public meme is the "It Gets Better" campaign, which anyone who's actually read the Gospels with an open mind would recognize is a beautifully compassionate work of charity completely in keeping with Jesus' core teachings, he's already won so much more moral credibility than Rick Santorum ever can that Savage could literally fling shit at Santorum at a campaign stop and still occupy the higher ground in my accounting.
posted by gompa at 9:16 AM on February 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


If Romney gets the nod and loses to Obama, the party will veer to the right. (as happened 2008-2010)
posted by drezdn at 9:21 AM on February 8, 2012


++hilarity!
posted by Theta States at 9:22 AM on February 8, 2012


...but I've been thinking it'll be interesting what the Republican party does if/when they lose this election.

"Interesting", as in the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times".
If the Republicans get routed (and, by "routed", I mean losing not just the Presidency, but also losing seats in both the House and Senate) I think that will be the trigger for the true crazies to go completely off the deep end.

I'm more worried about what will happen on the state level. This is where the tea-party and evangelical camps holds some real power. Here in Indiana, we face the absolutely real prospect of Mike Motherfucking Pence!!! being our next governor. Mike. Pence. The guy makes Mitch Daniels look like a pro-labor Democrat.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:28 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spreadingsantorum.com was the first result. That website was established as part of Savage's campaign.

The third result was the Wikipedia article about Savage's campaign to redefine 'santorum'.

So, do you contend that Republicans just don't use the internet, or what?


I think Republicans, like everyone else, have learned there's gross stuff on the internet that you have to learn to ignore.

1. Someone made a gross website about the word "santorum"
2. ???
3. Conservative voters decide not to vote for Rick Santorum.

Step 2 is where you lost grip on reality. I suppose you guys think the existence of porn parodies making fun of Sarah Palin has made a big dent in her support base as well?
posted by straight at 9:33 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yahoo! people search suggests there are at least 130 families in the USA with the last name Santorum, most of whom have nothing to do with this candidate. Surely some of them have kids in middle school and high school who would like to strangle Dan Savage with their bare hands, if the bullies haven't completely broken their spirits yet.
posted by straight at 9:38 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


It plants a trap in a ubiquitous public forum (the internet) that can't be removed or rebutted or buried

Most internet filters remove / bury it just fine.
posted by straight at 9:42 AM on February 8, 2012


Conservative voters decide not to vote for Rick Santorum.

There are folks who vote Republican but aren't conservative. No one's going to decide not to vote for him based on someone deciding to associate his name with lubey shit. But some people might decide not to vote for him if they google his name, see the page, and then read exactly why this was done. If someone's an actual conservative voter, this won't dissuade them, and if they're a liberal voter, it won't change much, but if they're undecided about it, then who knows?

It's a kind of puerile way of getting the word out about the man's loathsome values, but it does get the word out. Years ago, I myself had barely heard of the guy until attention was called to the horrific shit he's said.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


He better not ruin sweater vests for the rest of us

Perhaps you have not heard of Stephen Harper.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:51 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


A read a great line once about what happens when you wrestle with pigs.

Luckily, the entire point of the 'santorum' redefinition is just pointing out that the pig is covered in shit, and not worth touching, let alone wrestling. The real problem is the fact that a large portion of the electorate thinks that a shit-covered pig is exactly what should be rummaging through every American's bedroom.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:55 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think enough people are paying attention to all that President Obama and the Democrats have done for the average American. There's been far too much uninformed cynicism, which is predictable enough from the right, but completely destructive from the left.

The real destructiveness, though, would be reelecting a Republican candidate. They've been consistently, uniformly awful at reducing the deficit ever since Nixon, and have done a huge amount to erode Constitutional protections, traditionally overspend on the military, hand out government largesse to businesses that don't need it, at the expense of the middle class who would actually spend the money and help grow the economy.

The differences are tangible. During the Bush Administration, I saw my personal savings for retirement shrink about 35%, and the deficit explode. Indeed, he left this nation in a completely avoidable recession that has further expanded our deficit.

Thankfully, my lifetime savings have recovered during the past few years. My taxes have gone down significantly. My wife and I aren't rich, but we have probably saved over $5000, thanks to the efforts of this administration.

All I can say is... it's time to for the mainstream of America to realize that although things aren't great, that we are far better off for having had President Obama as opposed to McCain, based both on his proposed tax policies, and his willingness to start, extend, and expand on our conflicts around the world.

It's time for the Middle Class to start voting their pocketbook, and to volunteer and donate to President Obama's campaign again.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were . . . The road ahead will be long. The climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year, or even in one term... but America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you, we as a people will get there."

- President Elect Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

Really, can't say we weren't warned that it would be hard. Change only comes for those who continue to show up and fight.
posted by markkraft at 9:55 AM on February 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


Dasein: By the way, it's worth linking to the verbatim transcript of that infamous Santorum interview with AP from 2003
SANTORUM: I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual. I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who's homosexual. If that's their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations. The question is, do you act upon those orientations? So it's not the person, it's the person's actions. And you have to separate the person from their actions.

AP: OK, without being too gory or graphic, so if somebody is homosexual, you would argue that they should not have sex?

SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.
Summary: gays are A-OK, as long as they have monogamous, hetero sex and have babies. Think of the children our future! Because once the gays have their way, society is doomed to no more babies. And dammit, babies are our future.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:59 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm more worried about what will happen on the state level. This is where the tea-party and evangelical camps holds some real power. Here in Indiana, we face the absolutely real prospect of Mike Motherfucking Pence!!! being our next governor. Mike. Pence. The guy makes Mitch Daniels look like a pro-labor Democrat.

I tried to find out what the guy stands for. He doesn't have any policy on his page at all.
posted by Talez at 10:01 AM on February 8, 2012


straight: Step 2 is where you lost grip on reality. I suppose you guys think the existence of porn parodies making fun of Sarah Palin has made a big dent in her support base as well?

First, Sarah Palin does not exist within reality. The ability to warp reality is a power held by certain politicians and charismatic/wealthy leaders. Second, Palin's sex appeal is one of her traits for some folks, so porn parodies only bolster that aspect of her persona.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM on February 8, 2012


Rick Santorum is a horrible person, but I am personally sick of the anal sex references for the same reason I don't care for endless poop jokes. Also, as pointed out above, many other people habe that same surname without being part of his political campaign or sharing his views. Enough already.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:02 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Santorum jokes are stupid and juvenile, but more importantly, they're just not funny. It's like the entire Left went back to fifth grade and keeps telling the same Johnny Deeper joke over and over.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:05 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, as pointed out above, many other people habe that same surname without being part of his political campaign or sharing his views.

Collateral damage. A regrettable but necessasry part of the war on bigotry.
posted by Dasein at 10:06 AM on February 8, 2012


Minnesota Republican caucus results are nonbinding.
Sorta like the 2000 popular vote for POTUS?

LOL Danf. Good one.


I'm not bitter, though.
posted by Danf at 10:07 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My idea for an awesome Obama ad, and I've been shopping it around for a while, is a silent video montage, starting with a long slow shot of George W. Bush's face, up close and smiling like Alfred E. Neuman or Herman Cain, and then very, very gradually morphing into Mitt Romney's face, like over a full 30 sec or a minute (ad budget depending). End with the employment chart showing the last year of Bush and the first 3 of Obama on the screen and the words "your choice."

I have been debating how the audio would work. Silence, perhaps, might be very powerful. So would a bush speech morphing into a Romney speech if you got just the right quotes. But lately I'm leaning toward the Nyan Cat theme song.

Team Chicago, you have my blessing. I cede all intellectual property rights to this in advance. Go!
posted by spitbull at 10:09 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Rick Santorum deserves every joke made of him, anal sex related or otherwise. He wants to legislate sexual freedoms in the bedrooms of all consenting adults whether they are heterosexual, homosexual or anywhere in between. The following quote of his is one of my favorites:

"I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military."

- Rick Santorum, regarding his opposition to gay soldiers.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:11 AM on February 8, 2012


The Santorum jokes are stupid and juvenile, but more importantly, they're just not funny.

So they're required to be funny? By whom? Why is it particularly important that they be ha-ha hilarious?
posted by blucevalo at 10:17 AM on February 8, 2012


It's not about what he deserves. It's about some of us being sick of the same groty jokes in every discussion of the GOP nom race. The point was made a long time ago, nobody here supports him, but it is still juvenile and it turns every political thread into a NSFW one. Nobody's asking you respect Rick Santorum, but it would be nice if you could show some respect for other people here in MeFi.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:19 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Every political thread is not about Santorum, so it doesn't follow that it turns every political thread into a NSFW one. Whether every thread about Santorum is somehow being hijacked or derailed by the NSFW jokes is a separate matter.
posted by blucevalo at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2012


If Romney gets the nod and loses to Obama, the party will veer to the right. (as happened 2008-2010)

If it goes any further right they'll need black armabnds with a red elephant silhouette a white circle.
posted by clarknova at 10:29 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I gotta tell ya, this time I'm pretty well stuck on not supporting the party even if it means eight years of Obama and we all stand in bread lines for five hours for a sack of potatoes," Garberson said.

Five hours and no one told him he was in the wrong line.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:30 AM on February 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


Collateral damage. A regrettable but necessasry part of the war on bigotry.

Really? It's necessary that we fight the war on bigotry with stupid poop jokes?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:32 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was joking.
posted by Dasein at 10:35 AM on February 8, 2012


I can't see how the Dan Savage's google-bombing campaign would do any damage to Santorum at all. It might conceivably alert a progressive voter to Santorum's anti-gay stance, but surely Santorum's own words do a better job of that.

Instead, the google bombing can only strengthen the resolve of conservatives who would vote for Santorum in the first place. Its like a really good "get out the vote" campaign for anyone who feels instinctive disgust when confronted with homosexuality.

I'm truly afraid that unless Savage takes down his site and apologizes he is creating a potential cause for conservatives to really rally around.
posted by TreeRooster at 10:38 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forgive my lack of understanding of the GOP candidates and the differences of their respective bases. But does anyone have thoughts on the likelihood of something like a Romney/Santorum ticket? Or Romney/Gingrich? Individually I (kind of, not really) get the allegiances, but would such combinations help or hurt the main Republican Presidential candidate?
posted by raztaj at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2012


His chances of getting elected president are zero, Savage letting everyone know he's *that guy* is a contributing factor to that.
posted by Artw at 10:41 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm truly afraid that unless Savage takes down his site and apologizes he is creating a potential cause for conservatives to really rally around.

I seriously doubt that any true hardcore evangelical or conservative voter really gives a shit about Dan Savage or his pranks, if she's even heard of them.
posted by blucevalo at 10:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're going to go with Romney in the end, and just like John Kerry, he'll flap around and people will vote for him because he's not the other guy, and he'll lose. The end. Let's eat.

The funny thing is that we all knew this 2 years ago.

Politics gets much more fun/interesting the longer you're around.

I dunno. I think at some point you realize it's all a gigantic circle jerk and move on to something productive.

I suppose I've always hated politics as spectator sport. I think it's how we end up with such bozos as politicians.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I get the purpose of the Santorum rebranding, and I think the guy is a jerk, but it feels like anyone who would be swung by it has already been so.

If anything, it feels like its other major effect is inform people who already think gay people are gross that slimy, foamy shit is a by-product of the thing they already want outlawed.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:43 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


> "I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military."

- Rick Santorum, regarding his opposition to gay soldiers.


Continuing, he said "And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country."

When you're in the military, the only thing you can do is defend our country. Sure, you volunteered for the job, but that job requires you to be a loveless robot.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:49 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney for Commander in Chief!
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I seriously doubt that any true hardcore evangelical or conservative voter really gives a shit about Dan Savage or his pranks, if she's even heard of them.

I doubt all conservatives are truly hardcore, so some not-insubstantial number of conservatives probably have changed how they vote because of Savage's prank, whether or not they are personally acquainted with Dan Savage, himself.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:52 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


And when you're in the military, the only thing you can do is defend our country. Sure, you volunteered for the job, but that job requires you to be a loveless robot.

You're ignoring the context of all of Santorum's other remarks in the past. Santorum isn't about upholding the chastity of military volunteers. He's about making sure gays and lesbians don't have sex. Period. It's his obsession.
posted by blucevalo at 10:52 AM on February 8, 2012


"This guy is REALLY homophobic - AWESOME!"
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on February 8, 2012


I've heard the case made for Romney-Santorum. Gingrich wont march in any parade he isn't leading. Of course, Rubio in Florida seems to be who everyone had slotted in as VP prior to the primaries turning into a bar brawl; some conservative commentators have suggested that Romney's RINO troubles mean he ought to pick a real fire-breather as VP, and I don't think Rubio fits that bill.
posted by Diablevert at 10:53 AM on February 8, 2012


It's necessary that we fight the war on bigotry with stupid poop jokes?

I would rather be fighting with the jesters on the front lines, than with the humorless prigs in the armchairs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:53 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I doubt all conservatives are truly hardcore, so some not-insubstantial number of conservatives probably have changed how they vote because of Savage's prank, whether or not they are personally acquainted with Dan Savage, himself.

I doubt it.
posted by blucevalo at 10:55 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Romney gets the nod and loses to Obama, the party will veer to the right. (as happened 2008-2010)

The Tea Party types are going to be spitting mad if Obama gets re-elected over Romney but what can they do? How much room to the right of them is there? There'll probably be a lot of calls to splinter away from the Republican party but I'm not sure if that could happen in a big way. The Republicans seem to have painted themselves into a corner; I'm not sure how they get out of it.
posted by octothorpe at 10:58 AM on February 8, 2012


The Santorum jokes are stupid and juvenile, but more importantly, they're just not funny. It's like the entire Left went back to fifth grade and keeps telling the same Johnny Deeper joke over and over.

I can see that. But I can also see the frightful prospect of having someone, as president, who believes that sex between contenting adults who happen to be of the same gender is on a par with raping bunnies, sheep, and children.

I shudder thinking of what havoc and misery someone like that could cause, by various and sundry executive orders, to people I know and love (including my sister and my daughter).

So yeah. Sorta puerile, but anything that helps hold this person up to ridicule, and even slightly erode the chances of this person holding a position of immense power, is welcome by me.
posted by Danf at 10:58 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


~Mike Motherfucking Pence!!!

~I tried to find out what the guy stands for. He doesn't have any policy on his page at all.


Just open a Bible and read it as if every word was literal truth. That's Mike Pence.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:59 AM on February 8, 2012


I get that we don't like conservatives around here. I'm not a big fan of their policies, myself. But not all of them live in a cave, sheltered from the world. I'm sure some of them are either aware of Savage's Santorum prank or at least are aware of the controversy and why it started. Someone would practically have to live in a bubble these days not to know about this stuff, no matter what their personal politics.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 AM on February 8, 2012


Yes, it's Still Romney.
posted by wittgenstein at 11:00 AM on February 8, 2012


Crap. Try again. Yes, it's still Romney.
posted by wittgenstein at 11:01 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, try posting your repetitive santorum jokes on Free Republic or someplace if you want to sway conservatives. They seem to go in for that sort of elementary-school humor. I can diss the guy's archaic bigotry without needing to mention anal leakage in Every. Damn. Comment.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:04 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yet, I've never witnessed an anti-santorum-poop joke mefi point out that his frothiness was labeled among the three most corrupt senators during his brief tenure, or that he lost reerection by the widest margin ever for an incumbent Republican senator? Do you suspect that only people googling for additional "brownish material" learn this stuff?

We're hardly retelling the same Johnny Deeper joke over and over again either, the whole game is finding new references. We've admittedly overplayed the word "surges", but hey.

I'd agree that posting santorum related images on reddit might have more impact upon moderates, not sure that trolling freepers achieves much though. Fox news selected brown for santorum's color all by themselves. I donno if libertarian-ish republicans could hold their nose to vote for Santorum, well it kinda stinkier than Romney, who usually comes off more solid.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:18 AM on February 8, 2012


I would suggest you could perhaps instead get used to it anigbrowl. With any luck it will be over soon and you'll have some other stupid and juvenile item to be annoyed with. American politics has an abundant supply of those, and we're going into election season.
posted by Hoopo at 11:22 AM on February 8, 2012


A friend of mine just got a commission to do some artwork--novelty portraits of Gingrich and Romney. I won't tell you what product it's for, but you'd recognize it. Having Santorum back in the running is good news for her because they might decide they could use him too, and she could use the cash. Of course, she wouldn't need the money so badly if she wasn't taxed so heavily for getting health insurance through her wife's domestic partner's plan, thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act. I'm sure the irony isn't lost on her.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:29 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


stavrogin: Super PACs are making the republican primary a complete cluster fuck. This is what you get when a few billionaires can keep completely unelectable candidates afloat long after everyone else gives up on them.

That next-door neighbor I've got who claims to be (spooky voice) FROM THE FUTURE sez it's not long before we get the first mainstream magazine article somehow claiming that SuperPACs aren't so bad at all and outlawing them will impossibly wreck things.

St. Alia of the Bunnies: But with Romney having the rep of being an extreme RINO and Gingrich having the rep of being a crazypants.......

The word RINO, yeah, I hate those kinds of vile words that Republican spindoctors invent to inject themselves into conversations.

(By the way all the vile jokes about Santorum will likely get him sympathy votes. Come on, that stuff is juvenile.)

People who would vote for a candidate out of (this kind of) sympathy are probably too far gone. This is a presidential election, not a Hallmark store. I don't think anyone is suddenly going to be sympathetic to SuperPACs because of Colbert's scathing examination of them, and I don't think anyone with half a brain is going to feel bad enough for Santorum so as to vote for him because of Dan Savage, who is after all on the outskirts of this conversation.
posted by JHarris at 11:30 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


or that he lost reerection by the widest margin

*giggles*
posted by rtha at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think you could argue that Santorum is also a cartoon supervillain.

This comment instantly put in me in mind of this scene, which perhaps says more about my thoughts on this nomination race than anything else.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2012


From "Yes, it's still Romney."...
He's presumably going to win or finish second to Ron Paul in Maine; either way, he'll pad his overall delegate lead (although those delegates won't be chosen yet). Then, winner-take-all Arizona and winner-take-many Michigan on February 28, both states that should play very well for the Mittster.

Second in Maine will hurt Romney's chances of winning in the future, as it further erodes his inevitability, while once more strengthening one of his opponents. And, as we saw last night, Colorado and Minnesota went noticeably to Santorum. Why wouldn't Arizona be like Colorado and Michigan be like Minnesota?! Yes, old polls favor Romney, but there are twenty days to go, and I would expect Santorum to eat into Romney's rice-paper thin support, as well as eating into Newt in those states.

Romney is still likely to win overall, but it's not going to be cheap or easy.
posted by markkraft at 11:39 AM on February 8, 2012


My In-Laws LOVE this guy. To be sure, they are perfectly nice people and generally treat my liberal wife and I with respect. However, every political opinion they have stems entirely from this issue of Abortion: i.e. any pro-choice politician, and any unrelated policy supported by them, by definition, supports murder. Federal Health Care is wrong because it comes from politicians who support murder. The Death Penalty is fine, because its detractors support more murders than the Death Penalty murders. This is the unshakeable belief of a very large number of people.

Make no mistake, with the united support of Catholics, Evangelicals, and the Tea Party, Rick Santorum could very easily win the nomination and subsequently the Presidency.
posted by sharkitect at 11:40 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


But not all of them live in a cave, sheltered from the world. I'm sure some of them are either aware of Savage's Santorum prank or at least are aware of the controversy and why it started. Someone would practically have to live in a bubble these days not to know about this stuff, no matter what their personal politics.

Whether they know about it or are sheltered in a cave or not, I doubt it would sway their votes. If they're going to vote for Ricky they're going to vote for him because he's the Anointed One (see sharkitect's comment above), not because some homosexual in Seattle made puerile bodily-fluid associations with his name on Google.
posted by blucevalo at 11:46 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


so some not-insubstantial number of conservatives probably have changed how they vote because of Savage's prank, whether or not they are personally acquainted with Dan Savage, himself.

Of course you have no evidence of this. And it's ridiculous on it's face. So I'll just say you're wrong.

I deny that a single person has changed their decision to vote for Santorum because of Dan Savage's prank. Prove me wrong.
posted by straight at 11:47 AM on February 8, 2012


Make no mistake, with the united support of Catholics, Evangelicals, and the Tea Party, Rick Santorum could very easily win the nomination and subsequently the Presidency.

Which would be scary if Catholics and Evangelicals were ever in united support of anything. Catholics are not a very conservative voting bloc and supported Obama by more than the national average in 2008.
posted by Justinian at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Santorum at an appearance in McKinney, TX, today: "The 9th Circuit decision yesterday said that marriage -- if you believe in traditional marriage - the only reason that you can possibly believe that is because you are a bigot .... Your belief of marriage between a man and a woman is purely irrational based on hatred and bigotry. That's what they just wrote. Four thousand years of human history. Irrational hatred and bigotry toward a group of people is the only reason you can be for marriage between a man and a woman."

For all of you who think Ricky's so noble and decent and all that jazz.

Not to be outdone, here's this from east Texas GOP representative Louie Gohmert:

"Nature seemed to like the idea of an egg and a sperm coming together because of procreation. Apparently [the judges] thought the sperm had far better use some other way biologically, combining it with something else. But the voters of Iowa came back and said you know what, if you're not smart enough to figure out actual plumbing .... then perhaps we need new judges, and that's what they did."

Good times.
posted by blucevalo at 11:56 AM on February 8, 2012


Catholics are not a very conservative voting bloc and supported Obama by more than the national average in 2008.

Catholics would definitely support a Catholic candidate like Santorum. Evangelicals will support anyone who talks the talk. Both openly dislike Obama and Mormons.
posted by sharkitect at 11:58 AM on February 8, 2012


Catholics would definitely support a Catholic candidate like Santorum. Evangelicals will support anyone who talks the talk. Both openly dislike Obama and Mormons.

Are you Catholic? Because your description of Catholics does not match my knowledge of reality. Did you miss the part where I mentioned Catholics support Obama at greater than the national average?
posted by Justinian at 12:00 PM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've mainlined so much schadenfreude this election year that I've grown a tiny pair of horns on my forehead. I can't even imagine what the fuck the actual general election is going to be like.
posted by codacorolla at 12:03 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not a big fan of poop jokes, generally speaking, but I think The Joke is informative and interesting in a couple of ways:

1. It precedes Santorum-as-candidate. There seems to be a difference, and I'm just feeling this out myself, so forgive me if this is fuzzy, but there seems to be a difference between things like nasty jokes that are created in-campaign to smear* candidates, and jokes that are already part of a person's “natural baggage” going in.

2. It's not a joke that makes fun of Santorum. It's a joke that stems from Santorum's abject failure to control his public image. There seems to be a categorical difference between making racist jokes about Obama because he's black, or ablist jokes about Palin because of Down's syndrome in her family, or mocking Cain for being old, and riffing on a joke that doesn't specifically refer to anything inherent to Santorum.

There seems to be a difference – for me – between humour that attacks something people are, and humour that speaks to something people have done.

The poop joke is distasteful, and gross, and juvenile, but it still says something about Santorum's character and ability to control a situation that his skin colour, or genetics, or height, or circumstances of birth, would not.

I can't really put my finger on it*, and I may very well wake up tomorrow morning and say "I was totally wrong about this!", but there's a nuance between this bit of mud-slinging* and others that I find interesting to parse out.


*and that's part of the problem, isn't it? The joke itself is juvenile, but it also just kind of keeps writing itself.
posted by Shepherd at 12:04 PM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


As a Missourian, I feel obligated to point out that 2.3% of Missourians voted for Santorum in yesterday's sham-primary. Not 55.2%.
posted by jferg at 12:07 PM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's a joke that stems from Santorum's abject failure to control his public image.

No, it's a joke that stems from his anti-gay bigotry.
posted by Dasein at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


My In-Laws are a very large Catholic family, with roots in Southern Europe. Their fierce opposition to all things liberal comes only from their fierce opposition to abortion. I can understand many Catholics supporting Obama in 2008, especially Hispanic voters, but with an actual Catholic candidate and a legitimate shot at overturning RvW, I think they could very easily switch sides as a bloc.
posted by sharkitect at 12:12 PM on February 8, 2012


Catholics would definitely support a Catholic candidate like Santorum.

Catholics, in general, don't care that much about their religion. It's a cultural thing. There is definitely a bloc of hard-core conservative religious Catholics who will vote for Santorum, but most of them are already Republican.
posted by empath at 12:12 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I deny that a single person has changed their decision to vote for Santorum because of Dan Savage's prank. Prove me wrong.

You made the assertion. The burden of proof is on you.
posted by JHarris at 12:13 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


(For what it's worth, the effect of googlebombing Santorum's name hasn't probably directly affect someone's vote, but the cumulative effect and damage to his name probably has had a measurable effect, in that it makes him into a figure of fun. It makes him seem less electable, for whatever value that word has.)
posted by JHarris at 12:16 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


but with an actual Catholic candidate and a legitimate shot at overturning RvW, I think they could very easily switch sides as a bloc.

Again, Catholics are not a bloc. They are not strongly pro-life. They are not AT ALL anti-birth control. They are not very socially conservative. Your Italian Catholic in-laws may be, but I can find socially conservative Jewish voters too but that doesn't mean Jewish voters are very socially conservative.
posted by Justinian at 12:17 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, it's a joke that stems from his anti-gay bigotry.

Fair and true, but there are a lot of anti-gay bigots out there whose names have not been redefined as a frothy mix, etc. etc. My point is more that there are a lot of ways to handle being an anti-gay bigot, and he chose precisely the right one to bring on this response.

This is not a quality that is desirable in a statesman.

That's a good part of why I find The Joke informative: it's not about Santorum, it's about a story. You can't understand The Joke without knowing something about Santorum, about how he created a situation, and how he mishandled it. The Joke is not about Santorum, it's about Santorum fucking up.
posted by Shepherd at 12:19 PM on February 8, 2012


but with an actual Catholic candidate and a legitimate shot at overturning RvW, I think they could very easily switch sides as a bloc.
About 58% of American Catholics "believe that employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception," the survey showed. That was higher than the percentage of white mainline Protestants (50%) and white evangelicals (38%) who believe that. The Catholic Church officially forbids contraception use, but 98% of Catholic women who have been sexually active have used birth control. The survey comes as Catholic bishops and their supporters are protesting a decision last month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
American Catholics have been voting for pro-choice/pro-birth control Catholic politicians for a long time.
posted by rtha at 12:23 PM on February 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


You made the assertion. The burden of proof is on you.

"This ridiculous scheme that I have no evidence for totally worked because I said it did and if you deny it, the burden of proof is on YOU!"

That's some Santorum-level logic, JHarris. Good luck hanging out with the people who believe in astrology and think homeopathy works.
posted by straight at 12:26 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief: When you're in the military, the only thing you can do is defend our country. Sure, you volunteered for the job, but that job requires you to be a loveless robot.

blucevalo: You're ignoring the context of all of Santorum's other remarks in the past.

Nope, I was just being ridiculous and exaggerating that quote. I posted more of his past remarks up-thread.

filthy light thief: Summary: gays are A-OK, as long as they have monogamous, hetero sex and have babies. Think of the children our future! Because once the gays have their way, society is doomed to no more babies. And dammit, babies are our future.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM on February 8, 2012


Catholics would definitely support a Catholic candidate like Santorum. Evangelicals will support anyone who talks the talk. Both openly dislike Obama and Mormons.

Some Catholics would; they're not a monolithic group that gives >90% of its votes to a single candidate. Right-wingers seem about evenly split between Santorum and Gingrich right now; Santorum pulls the bible-reading social conservatives, Newt attracts the anti-tax wrecking people that admire Grover Norquist. The (mild) attacks of their followers on each other mirror these preferences; Santorum fans think Gingrich is hopelessly vain and has no moral compass, Gingrich supporters think Santorum is a softhearted statist who is obsessed with religion.

Both groups despise Romney, but largely as an elitist flip-flopper than because he is a Mormon. I've heard a few cheap shots about his Mormonism, but far fewer than I expected. Mainly he's characterized as a snob or as a used-car salesman; if he was running on a record of having shrunk government or aggressively cut taxes or suchlike, I think conservatives would shrug off the religious issue. For that matter, Harry Reid is a Mormon, and is loathed by conservatives, but references to his religious beliefs are few and far between. I think the significance of this issue has been vastly overestimated by people on the left; conservatives just want their leaders to go to church regularly and mention God and Israel at predictable intervals. It seems to me that Gingrich's biggest problem among conservatives is the sneaking suspicion that Newt only goes to church so God can worship him.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:27 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


My In-Laws are a very large Catholic family, with roots in Southern Europe. Their fierce opposition to all things liberal comes only from their fierce opposition to abortion. I can understand many Catholics supporting Obama in 2008, especially Hispanic voters, but with an actual Catholic candidate and a legitimate shot at overturning RvW, I think they could very easily switch sides as a bloc.

Yeah, see, sharkitect, you're either making that common mistake of assuming the plural of anecdote is data, or else you think your in-laws are in any way representative of the broad mainstream of professed Catholics, which they are not.

In any case, Catholics don't vote as a bloc, don't switch sides as a bloc, and have never been moved as even a partial bloc to the GOP side of the ledger by the abortion issue alone despite pretty much constant efforts since Roe v. Wade. And the idea that Obama's support among Latinos - which is in the 70-percent range against Gingrich or Romney - would flip dramatically because Santorum, who is staunchly anti-immigration, is more vocally anti-abortion than the others, shows a pretty profound ignorance of how Latinos vote in America.
posted by gompa at 12:28 PM on February 8, 2012


Santorum Onacock
Onacock, Virginia


It's Onancock.

Which is still hilarious, obviously.
posted by naoko at 12:29 PM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also:

My 75-year-old mother is not a Fox News person at all--in fact, she's basically dropped some friends over an excess of Fox bs--but I had to explain to her about the Santorum googlebomb (not in too much detail, just that it was gross and had to do with anal sex). It's not just right-wingers; it's anyone who gets their news from mainstream TV, which means a lot of older voters.

FWIW, my mother is 54 and gets her news mostly from the New York Times and NPR, and she hadn't heard about it either. I explained it to her in gory detail while she yelled "shut up! shut up!" into the phone.
posted by naoko at 12:31 PM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


All this news is just a crazy sidebar brought about by our increasingly bizarre methods for parties picking candidates. Can we just fast-forward a few months so we can stop paying attention to Santorum any more? Sure, he's alarming and bigoted and yadda yadda, but it's all side show. It's Romney, easily, for the GOP nom.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:34 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good thing Huntsman dropped out, because he probably could have mounted an actual challenge in the general. Romney has too much baggage, although I did see a piece the other day trying to rehabilitate him.
Huntsman would never have won the nomination
His health care reforms were the model for "Obamacare," and he said he thinks abortion should be safe and legal. That's enough to get you hated in a lot of circles.
Uh, he [Romney] changed his position on abortion before 2008.
This truly is such a depressing field of candidates. Quite similar to '04 for the Dems or '96 for the Republicans. They're going to go with Romney in the end, and just like John Kerry, he'll flap around and people will vote for him because he's not the other guy, and he'll lose. The end. Let's eat.
Whatever, Dean was awesome. He probably would have done a lot better vs. Bush then Kerry, who appeared to be a complete weakling in the face of the swift boat veterans and so on. And Remember, Kerry didn't even lose by all that much.

----

Anyway, these are caucuses, not primaries. Romney is doing a lot better in primaries, from what I understand. He'll still probably be the nominee. It's not going to be Santorum, and it's not going to be Gingrich. Romney is the last man standing.
This assertion seems strange, given that Santorum is Catholic.
And Gingrich converted to Catholicism a couple years ago, which seems like, if you're going to be anti-catholic would be a bigger problem then someone who was just born catholic and doesn't want to change. This guy was a protestant and decided to submit before Rome
don't think Mormonism has all that much to do with Romney's failure to connect, really. It's a distant last place of the complaints I hear conservatives making about him. They dislike him because he's too elitist and deliberately moderate instead of being ideological. You don't hear him talking about shutting down parts of the government or making massive changes the way the other candidates do.
It might not be something they'll say out loud but it's definitely out there. I've met conservative Christians who absolutely will not support a Mormon.
I don't think enough people are paying attention to all that President Obama and the Democrats have done for the average American. There's been far too much uninformed cynicism, which is predictable enough from the right, but completely destructive from the left .


Really, can't say we weren't warned that it would be hard. Change only comes for those who continue to show up and fight.
-- markkraft
*yawn* I watched part of the video. The problem isn't that Obama hasn't "fixed" things, it’s the pro-active steps he's taken to make things worse, like clamping down on whistleblowers, while protecting the torturers from the bush administration. And the other hand Obama doesn't seem to even be fighting on the issues. Instead of pushing for global warming legislation, he's pushing deepwater oil drilling (in a cosmic irony, he started pushing it a few weeks before deepwater horizon). Rather then economic stimulus, he's spending all his time worrying about the deficit. Now that he's moving back into campaign mode, he's talking more about economic justice and so on, which is certainly a good thing. But it wasn't really on the radar before. (and yet, while being worried about the deficit, not having a problem working with the republicans to extend the bush tax cuts and adding another 900 billion to the debt)

The healthcare reform is a step forward, marred by for liberal activists by the democrats basically pretending they couldn't pass a public option when they could have (I could have been part of the 'patch' bill that passed the senate via reconciliation) -- The process, which worked. was incredibly corrupt, with the major involved industries having a seat at secret negotiations and so on.

It's annoying to be told to "fight" in general, by supporting Obama blindly when Oobama doesn't even seem to be attempting to address the problems people are actually talking about.

Anyway, the political discussion in the next few months will probably be completely un-substantive.

The other thing, if it's really true that the president is as weak as obama's supporters claim, then it doesn't even really matter who the president actually is.

I've also never seen any evidence that this stuff is having an effect of actual election results anyway, it simply seems to be bitching from people who can't stand any criticism of the president.
Even if it is true, this election cycle has shown that the last place you want to be is in first place. Now Santorum is going to get all the Romney money pointed at him AND whatever Gingrich has left in the bank for three weeks. And this at a time when Santorum is going to need to hit 14 states really hard to stay in the race. -- dw
Santorum supposedly has a somewhat corrupt past, but he's not someone like Gingrich who has clear character defects that Romney can hit. All the negative things I know about Santorum are things Liberals don't like, not things that will turn off republican primary voters.
straight: Step 2 is where you lost grip on reality. I suppose you guys think the existence of porn parodies making fun of Sarah Palin has made a big dent in her support base as well? -- straight:
The Santorum jokes are stupid and juvenile, but more importantly, they're just not funny. It's like the entire Left went back to fifth grade and keeps telling the same Johnny Deeper joke over and over. --dirigibleman
I think some of you are way over estimating the maturity level of the average voter. Of course this mocking has an impact on voters. Did the mocking of Palin impact her chances? Obviously it had a huge impact. she was the vice presidential nominee, now she's not even a political figure at all.

I can't believe you people really think ceaseless mocking doesn't hurt a candidate.
Well, try posting your repetitive santorum jokes on Free Republic or someplace if you want to sway conservatives. They seem to go in for that sort of elementary-school humor. I can diss the guy's archaic bigotry without needing to mention anal leakage in Every. Damn. Comment.
Well which is it, do they sway conservative voters or do they not?

In any event, what's with the prudery? Since when are metafilter threads supposed to be squeaky clean?
My idea for an awesome Obama ad, and I've been shopping it around for a while, is a silent video montage, starting with a long slow shot of George W. Bush's face, up close and smiling like Alfred E. Neuman or Herman Cain, and then very, very gradually morphing into Mitt Romney's face, like over a full 30 sec or a minute (ad budget depending). End with the employment chart showing the last year of Bush and the first 3 of Obama on the screen and the words "your choice."
That's a completely stupid idea for a political ad. For one thing, employment overall has actually been worse so far under Obama then under bush. There was a chart going around showing the second derivative of employment that makes Obama look good but it was fairly misleading – essentially it meant that the probability of you losing your job was increasing, but the rate at which it was increasing was slowing. here's a chart of the current unemployment rate since 2000, as you can see the unemployment rate is falling faster now then it was from 2003-2007.

Now, certainly, bush-era policies were responsible for the collapse, and most of the unemployment happened under the last part of the Bush administration. But it was deregulation pushed mainly under Clinton, and a lack of proper fed oversight that caused the problem, and the financial regulation bill passed under Obama doesn't actually do that much to fix it. he also didn't push for a large enough stimulus, which we now know was as result of listening to Larry Summers, who was a dumbass.

The bottom line is that for most Americans, economically they were better off during the bush administration then now, even if it was due to the housing bubble.

The other reason it's a terrible ad is because it's just stupid in general. A 30 second shot of someone's face morphing into mitt Romney? Really? It's in line with Mike Gravel's throwing a rock into a pond ads.
Again, Catholics are not a bloc. They are not strongly pro-life. They are not AT ALL anti-birth control. They are not very socially conservative. Your Italian Catholic in-laws may be, but I can find socially conservative Jewish voters too but that doesn't mean Jewish voters are very socially conservative.
Steven Colbert is a catholic. There are lots of liberal Catholics. There are also lots of Hispanic Catholics who will probably be voting for Obama, having been alienated by the republicans anti-Mexican rhetoric.
That's some Santorum-level logic, JHarris. Good luck hanging out with the people who believe in astrology and think homeopathy works. -- straight
I went back and looked at your comments and you were clearly the one who was making unsupportable statements, while Jharris simply pointed out that you weren't actually presenting any evidence for your claim, which is almost certainly false, because you were claiming that not one single person out of millions of were impacted by the santorum joke.

---
This is a brilliant observation. Oh if only I lived in a world where John King or Wolf Blitzer would actually ask Newt Gingrich, "as a devout Catholic, do you and Callista rely on withdrawal and natural family planning, or do you abort your embryos with hormonal birth control?"
Oh come on, you know it's all Anal with those two.
posted by delmoi at 12:38 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Neither Mormonism nor Catholicism are going to be huge issues in and of themselves for this election. A minority of Republicans may care, but almost no one else will care at all, especially when it comes time to pull the lever. People insisting otherwise are playing into a fantasy, where Republicans as a whole have strenuous intra-Christian bigotry even against their own.

Remember, even back when Kennedy was running, when there actually was significant anti-Catholic sentiment, Kennedy wound up bringing up the anti-Catholic bigotry himself, to court those who did not want to identify with bigots. It was a neat ploy.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:38 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Santorum Invents New Front In Fake War On Religion: Obama Wants Female Catholic Priests
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama Wants Female Catholic Priests

So do a lot of Catholics in this country
posted by Mick at 1:00 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Steven Colbert is a catholic. There are lots of liberal Catholics.

Yeah, I mean I'm Catholic and I'm as socially liberal as you can possibly get without like making saturday night coke and orgy parties mandatory.
posted by Justinian at 1:20 PM on February 8, 2012


I'd heard about that movement to modernize the sacraments.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:24 PM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


It might not be something they'll say out loud but it's definitely out there. I've met conservative Christians who absolutely will not support a Mormon.

So have I, but they're a tiny minority even among conservatives. It's not like Conservatives are afraid to talk to each other about it, it's just the least of their concerns.

In any event, what's with the prudery? Since when are metafilter threads supposed to be squeaky clean?

There is no prudery, and nobody said they were. There's big difference between objecting to any mention of something and saying that you're sick of it after hearing the same joke for the 100th time over 9 years. Frankly, I think Savage missed a trick by going for scatalogical humor instead of choosing a definition of santorum like 'an instance of irrational bigotry' or suchlike - the way McCarthyism is now associated with paranoid hostility, or Nixonian with deception and underhanded politics. Instead of reminding people that Santorum is just the latest youthful mask of an ugly old intolerance, the endless fecal semen jokes just put me in mind of goatse trolling, and ultimately serve to marginalize rather than mainstream the serious issue of his religious bigotry.

As for jeffburges complaint above about him being corrupt, losing an election by a large margin and so on, well yeah, everyone knows that. Believe it or not, this is not actually news to most people, nor is it going to sway their decision any. Donald Trump, of all people, has been trashing Santorum over the historic scale of his senate re-election defeat (presumably because Trump dislikes having egg on his face right after his endorsement of Romney), but for Santorum's potential followers that just means he's resilient and was willing to state the uncomfortable truth before it was fashionable. The guy's primarily a religious candidate, and the religious literature is full of stories about prophets being mocked and rejected early in their careers only to make it big later. If anything it's a mild asset. Not that it doesn't bear pointing out or anything, but the fact of his historically large senate defeat in 2006 is mentioned in just about every capsule bio I've read.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:44 PM on February 8, 2012


I've got an utterly wild prediction-cum-pipe-dream about the Republican convention. It goes like this: Romney gets the nomination (thanks to some behind-the-scenes machinations from the Koch brothers and similar moneymen), and Gingrich explodes. He goes completely off script, leads a walkout and announces he's going to run third-party. Ron Paul seizes the opportunity and does the same. Most of the social conservative candidates (Santorum, Palin, Cain, etc.), whether or not they're still officially in the race at this point, join Newt's team, while Trump gives his backing to Romney. Come the election, the vote is split in several directions, and Obama is reelected in a landslide. And that, dear friends, will be the end of the Republican party as we know it.

Yeah, I know, it probably won't happen. But it sure is nice to think about.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:53 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Newt is gonna be all, 'just one more wafer' and the public is gonna be, 'I'll get the bucket' and the next thing you know there's gonna be like his liver is going to be on the convention ceiling.
posted by angrycat at 2:02 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


As for jeffburges complaint above about him being corrupt, losing an election by a large margin and so on, well yeah, everyone knows that.

I think I'm pretty well informed, but I just learned about his connection to the K Street Project and I had to go digging for that. So, no, I think most people have no idea how he was riding dirty when he was in the Senate.
posted by peeedro at 2:06 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't find that far-fetched at all. There hasn't been a brokered convention in the GOP since ?1940? but on the other hand there hasn't been a recession like this since the 1930s. The GOP is facing massive internal conflicts due to demographic change and the fraying of the alliance between social-conservative authoritarians and business-minded fiscal conservatives. I'm not sure about an actual split and subsequent 3rd-party run - partly because of the difficulty of even getting a third-party onto the ballots at such short notice - but if unemployment continues to tick down during the year then Obama could very well repeat Reagan's 1984 result.

That's one reason Romney has Robert Bork as his legal brain and that Gingrich is continually trashing the judicial branch. The Supreme Court is on another of its historic cusps.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:06 PM on February 8, 2012


I went back and looked at your comments and you were clearly the one who was making unsupportable statements, while Jharris simply pointed out that you weren't actually presenting any evidence for your claim, which is almost certainly false, because you were claiming that not one single person out of millions of were impacted by the santorum joke.

If you're gonna do something that has obvious harm (all the Santorums in the country who aren't related to Rick), you've got to show a benefit, which no one has done. I've not met anyone or even heard a single anecdote claiming anyone changed their intention to vote because of this stunt. Have you? What other evidence am I supposed to produce that it hasn't worked?
posted by straight at 2:17 PM on February 8, 2012


straight,

1. What's the obvious harm to all those non-political Santora?

2. You don't think that anyone in a position to seriously fund Santorum's campaign looked at the Savage send-up and said, "Nope, he's not electable, so I'm not wasting my money"? Or if you think that some people with money did have that reaction, you think it won't really matter to the number of people who end up voting for Santorum, either in primaries or in the general election if he gets that far?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2012


Come the election, the vote is split in several directions, and Obama is reelected in a landslide. And that, dear friends, will be the end of the Republican party as we know it.

The election scenario doesn't seem that far-fetched, but the demise of the Republican Party does. Aren't the Republicans (inexplicably) in pretty good shape with respect to Congressional races this time around?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:33 PM on February 8, 2012


Re the Santorum Googlebomb: I'm guessing that google safesearch might as well not exist for most of the folks here, and they have possibly forgotten about it.

Excellent point, jfuller. I had totally forgotten about it.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:40 PM on February 8, 2012


Santorum -- not that I think he has a whisker's chance of making it -- is a joke now. He is exclusively a joke to literally 95% of the world.

Yes, but so is Romney (ludicrously rich dude pretending to be a man of the people), Gingrich (man utterly lacking in integrity talking up 'family values'), and for that matter so were august personages like George W Bush and Ronald Reagan -- the objects of ridicule and contempt ranging from mild to vicious, all over the world. Hell, Bill Clinton and George HW Bush were laughed at and mocked by ordinary people all around the world for their hilarious foibles as well.

Our American friends sure know how to pick 'em!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:46 PM on February 8, 2012


If you're gonna do something that has obvious harm (all the Santorums in the country who aren't related to Rick), you've got to show a benefit, which no one has done. I've not met anyone or even heard a single anecdote claiming anyone changed their intention to vote because of this stunt. Have you? What other evidence am I supposed to produce that it hasn't worked?

Santorum's own campaign organization seems to think moderate Republicans don't support him, or that they are not "true conservatives":

Santorum: "Moderate establishment" coming after him

I'll bet most "moderates" (code for "fiscal conservatives") are more than likely familiar with things like the Internet and non-FOX News networks where issues about the Internet are covered. I can't see a joke about Santorum's bigoted politics encouraging a moderate to vote for the guy, and it doesn't seem like Santorum's crew hold moderates in high esteem, either.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:11 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not that it isn't very childish - but the course of events does sometimes make people's names unintentionally hilarious. Belcher, Felcher, Rimmer, Pfister - these names did not acquire unplanned connotations through a Googlebombing campaign, but acquire them they did...
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:24 PM on February 8, 2012


As for jeffburges complaint above about him being corrupt, losing an election by a large margin and so on, well yeah, everyone knows that. Believe it or not, this is not actually news to most people, nor is it going to sway their decision any.

I didn't know about the corruption stuff until recently either, actually, and I would count myself as a politically informed person - all I really knew about him until the last 6 months or so was a) the religious conservative thing b) the Dan Savage thing and c) his loss to Casey in 2006 (and the much-mocked picture of his daughter crying on election night). He kind of fell off the radar for a few years and there was really no reason to pay attention to him until the current campaign started gaining some traction.
posted by naoko at 4:26 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


On SafeSearch --- nobody uses it, statistically, so the default "moderate" setting is what most people, including conservatives, will see. And the top result is still spreadingsantorum (although info boxes for election results and such may appear above it, along with ads).

all the Santorums in the country who aren't related to Rick

Lots of people have last names that also mean something dirty / silly / offensive / easily mocked. This is so common that I htink people know how to deal with it and it isn't causing anyone any real pain.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:53 PM on February 8, 2012


Personally, I'd be more concerned about being associated with Rick Santorum.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:12 PM on February 8, 2012


business-minded fiscal conservatives

Those people are Democrats now. The ones remaining in the Republican party are straight-up royalists looking to reassert an aristocracy.
posted by bigbigdog at 5:15 PM on February 8, 2012


Savage's Frothy Mix is to Rick Santorum's brand what the pink ribbon has become to the Komen Foundation.

It's a brand association not a political argument.
posted by spitbull at 5:18 PM on February 8, 2012


And if Santorum is the GOP nominee, I propose all Obama voters wear brown ribbons from September through election day.
posted by spitbull at 5:18 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, delmoi, you seem to be under the impression that political ads need to be "true" rather than "truthy," and the Dems are going to face an onslaught of truthiness that makes the recession itself, rather than the fumbled but still slowly working recovery strategy, Obama's fault.

Bush's name has not been spoken at all in this campaign season. He has not endorsed Romney. His name has been absent from the debates, so you'd think the last republican president was fucking Reagan. Somehow, I think Chicago has to viscerally retrieve the image of GWB and shove it down people's cloudy memory banks. It was Bush policies over 8 years that created the crisis, not just the last few months of his administration. I too fault Obama for sticking with team Summers/Geitner and for not fighting harder for more stimulus when it would have mattered. But imagine McCain or Bush in his place, or project Romney in that role, and I think there's no comparison. I'm not an apologist, just a realist, one of those guys who thinks Obama is actually by far the better of two evils *built into the two party lobby-driven system* in DC. No one is going to overturn that system in a term or a generation, for that matter. But "we cannot go back" to Bush-era insanity needs to be on the airwaves.
posted by spitbull at 5:30 PM on February 8, 2012


25 People Who Just Googled “Santorum” For The First Time
posted by jeffburdges at 6:02 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hm... it turns out that Santorum's people -- Dick and Kuklis -- may have violated FECA.

(Wow. The jokes write themselves!)
posted by markkraft at 6:34 PM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


That story is from 2006. But it concerned the lobbying activities of two ex-Santorum staffers after they left his campaign. The FEC investigated and fined the lobbying firm $26k, but cleared Santorum's campaign of any wrongdoing; the campaign received one excessive contribution, which it returned of its own accord.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:23 PM on February 8, 2012


anig, the joke is that the staffers were named Dick and Kuklis(similar to cock) who violated FECA(similar to feces).
posted by stavrogin at 7:28 PM on February 8, 2012


Basically, before Santorum was voted out of office, about two dozen of his people became lobbyists who funneled money his way, sometimes violating campaign finance laws in order to do it.

Santorum also was involved with the K Street Project, where Republican congressmen met with Washington lobbyists, and encouraged them to hire Republican operatives and staffers.

That and he's basically a stealth lobbyist, much like Gingrich... taking money while carefully evading the legal requirements on what a lobbyist is.
posted by markkraft at 7:53 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


anig, the joke is that the staffers were named Dick and Kuklis(similar to cock) who violated FECA(similar to feces).

I can see that. Well, now we have the 12 year old vote locked up. Seriously, though, this sort of thing is like preaching to the converted; Santorum hasn't broken any laws, and while lobbying isn't a very honorable profession, it's not something most people care about. Sure, it's at odds with Santorum saying he's not a beltway insider, but does anyone take such protestations seriously? Even the Tea Party types I know who hate Santorum because he's a Big Gubmint type base their argument on his voting record. The fact that he promoted GOP interests to lobbyists is just normal politics - much the same way that Democrats just shrug their shoulders when someone observes that Charlie Rangel is corrupt but he's running for re-election anyway.

The guy being a bigoted religious zealot who might try to hasten Armageddon by flattening Mecca in between remaking the Supreme court to look more like Iran's Guardian Council, that bothers me. That he promoted his party's interests by milking his status as an ex-senator, not really. Show me a politician that doesn't schmooze people; that would be interesting.
posted by anigbrowl at 8:19 PM on February 8, 2012


> Sure, evangelicals think that Mormonism is a cult. They don't consider it Christianity. But, as you wrote, a lot of evangelicals think Catholicism is a satanic institution and that [insert current Pope here] is literally the Antichrist.

Well, not just evangelicals -- the Methodist church, arguably the mainline-est of mainline Protestant denominations, taught that Mormonism was a cult. At least in the 70s and 80s, I don't know if they've softened their stance since then.
posted by desuetude at 9:40 PM on February 8, 2012


"Santorum hasn't broken any laws, and while lobbying isn't a very honorable profession, it's not something most people care about."

Actually, it's something that a lot of people care about, especially in this current political environment. Romney almost certainly polls on its effectiveness as an attack, and keeps using it against Gingrich, so obviously it's got some traction.

"Romney has subjected Gingrich to a blistering run of attack advertisements in Florida. He has assailed Gingrich for leaving Congress under an ethics cloud in the 1990s and for being a Washington insider and lobbyist in the two decades since. Gingrich denies he ever worked as a lobbyist, but has yet to find an effective way to parry Romney's attacks."

Seriously... there is perhaps no effective way to parry an attack on being a lobbyist, because getting into the argument and laying out your case why you weren't officially a lobbyist because you carefully skirted the legal definition of being a lobbyist just makes you look like a lobbyist... only slimier.

It's a clever attack, in that what they did was very close to lobbying, minimizing the potential fallout of making the attack on someone, while at the same time, it can be repeated over and over, until practically no one questions that the person in question was a lobbyist / Washington insider.

Is it a bit of a low blow? Sure. But not one you'll get called on. It's a bit like asking "do you still beat your wife", only with their wife standing right there next to them, with visible bruising on their face.

Ron Paul has also been using similar attacks against both Gingrich and Santorum, btw. This sounds like a wonderful thing to do with all that SuperPAC money Obama's supporters will get, when the time comes...
posted by markkraft at 9:45 PM on February 8, 2012


Gallup:
"For the first time, Gallup asked the public to rate the honesty and ethical standards of lobbyists, and only 5% describe their ethics as "very high" or "high." Lobbyists, car salesmen (5%), and advertising practitioners (6%) are the lowest-rated professions. Nurses, typically the top-rated profession each year, again get the highest ratings. Ratings of congressmen are the worst Gallup has ever recorded."
posted by markkraft at 9:47 PM on February 8, 2012


And a newer poll... who has too much power in Washington?

Lobbyists beat major corporations and banks and financial institutions by 4 points.

The associations are toxic, frankly... and having the top three GOP candidates being a corporate raider whose top donors are Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, Bank of America, etc. and two ex-lobbyist Washington insiders is hardly what you would want, as a party.

The nature of the major donors and comparatively small sums that Obama is getting from the financial industry in 2012 makes him look like a boyscout in comparison. If I were running the Obama campaign, I would do a whole ad campaign based on who is bankrolling him vs. Romney, when the time comes. ("If you want to know if something is good for you, you've got to read the label...") The voters would pick Healthy O's over Romney Flakes every time.

Perceptions of a candidate's trustworthiness has *everything* to do with how people vote, especially when it comes to undecided voters. Incumbents usually pick up a few percent at the last stage of the contest *IF* they can convince voters that they're more responsible, trustworthy, and presidential than the other guy.

Really, right about now, the GOP could use a charismatic used car salesman from Duluth.
posted by markkraft at 10:14 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Trust me we don't have any. Perhaps across the bridge Superior might have one or two.
posted by edgeways at 10:18 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, not just evangelicals -- the Methodist church, arguably the mainline-est of mainline Protestant denominations, taught that Mormonism was a cult.

Mainline Christian churches are not going to be able to accept Mormonism as mainline christianity without throwing thousands of years of doctrine out the window. I don't think they're going to do that for political expediency. The differences between Catholicism and Protestantism are relatively minor in comparison.

And, btw, don't think the Democrats won't go there if Romney is the nominee. It won't come from the white house, but Southern Democrats aren't going to be shy about hammering Romney over it. Unlike Republicans, they don't particularly need to worry about alienating Mormon voters over it.
posted by empath at 11:15 PM on February 8, 2012


Actually, it's something that a lot of people care about, especially in this current political environment. Romney almost certainly polls on its effectiveness as an attack, and keeps using it against Gingrich, so obviously it's got some traction.

I really, really don't think anyone is voting for Romney because they are unhappy about the size of Newt's rolodex. Those attack ads are the political equivalent of 'Newt ugly...Mitt handsome!' Repeat something often enough and people will start to repeat it after you, then rationalize its importance or significance to themselves. Gingrich's real problem is that women don't trust him, and I think that's got a lot more to do with his cheatin' heart than with the sort of historical services he may or may not have provided to a GSE. The hardcore conservatives are not thrilled about the GSE, but the thing they actually complain about is this, back from when Newt was trying to find space in the political center. He desperately misses being in the middle of things, but the GOP is never going to allow him to run a legislature again.

Perceptions of a candidate's trustworthiness has *everything* to do with how people vote, especially when it comes to undecided voters.

Sure, but Santorum's lobbying activities aren't going to sway anyone. Attack him on it by all means, but there isn't any real there, there. I could take Obama donor list and argue that he's in the pocket of soulless techno-geek corporations and greedy trial lawyers. Hell, if his biggest donor was a rubber duckie manufacturer one could find some way to turn that into a negative. You need a smoking gun to really run with a substantive issue, and (so far) Santorum's lobbying activities have only the faintest whiff of cordite. The fact that he got a clean bill of health from the FEC will count for much more with people than the fact that one of his associates got a slap on the wrist.

Look at Obama's negative associations from the last election cycle - crooked property developer Tony Rezko, literal-bomb-throwing-radical Bill Ayers, and incindiary pastor Jeremiah Wright. Of the three, only the last presented a real problem for Obama. Conservatives went nuts over Obama's associations with Rezko (who was sentenced to 10.5 years in jail last November) and Ayers (whose radical past is a matter of record)...but those turned out to be very minor issues in the election. I'm sure they'll be dragger out again this year, and I'm sure they'll be equally insignificant. That doesn't mean Democrats approve of crooked property dealers or bomb-throwing, just that everyone who's not massively invested for or against a candidate understands that politicians are in the business of putting themselves out there and that having some dubious people in their orbit is virtually inevitable, especially when running for executive office of any large scale. For that matter, people probably don't want a complete political virgin, especially not in an executive role; they want someone with a bit of cunning and ruthlessness, so that the county/state/country doesn't get shafted due to executive naivete.

This was Sarah Palin's big problem. It wasn't so much that she was obnoxious as that she was so painfully, glaringly clueless that she couldn't even articulate what newspaper she preferred to read. With hindsight, it's a good thing that McCain didn't pick Bachman as a running mate - she's k-k-krazy, but she's not stupid and would have given Biden a much tougher time in the VP debate. We've just seen the same thing with Rick Perry - his heart was in the right place (by conservative standards) but he was so hopelessly inept in the debates that his candidacy sank almost overnight.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:20 PM on February 8, 2012



Perceptions of a candidate's trustworthiness has *everything* to do with how people vote, especially when it comes to undecided voters.

Sure, but Santorum's lobbying activities aren't going to sway anyone. Attack him on it by all means, but there isn't any real there, there.

...other than the fact that he personally lobbied people in Washington for years, and that people hate lobbyists. You agree that trustworthiness matters, but suggest that who a person was -- a failed, ousted politician, rejected by over 18 points, turned Washington lobbyist -- isn't going to sway anyone. Frankly, that's a bit like suggesting that many people won't reject Mitt Romney for being Mitt Romney.

You're suggesting that Obama's old, weak, nebulous, non-criminal connections to other people will matter to undecided voters as much as new disclosures of things that he's actually done himself during his career. I don't think that's an accurate or equal comparison. Hell, if you want to destroy Santorum, all you have to do is make a video of his lockstep voting record and profuse praise for Bush from when he lost his election in '06.

The simple fact is, Santorum hasn't been vetted yet, as far as the public is concerned. They don't know him yet. He's going to get that soon, though, and will come off as pretty unelectable, outside the GOP base... which will help Romney.

"I could take Obama donor list and argue that he's in the pocket of soulless techno-geek corporations and greedy trial lawyers..."

...and it would matter far less than the fact than someone getting huge sums from big financial institutions that the public virulently hates right now. The goal isn't to persuade those who don't need persuading. It's to persuade those who do... and they are far more likely to respond to one argument than another, according to the polls.
posted by markkraft at 2:48 AM on February 9, 2012


Newt Gingrich's problem is that he's Newt Gingrich. A lot more than women don't trust him. I don't think anyone likes him who doesn't have Kool-aid running through his veins. Not even cherry flavored.

The great and hilarious thing about this election season is that the Republicans have pushed themselves so far into the corner with this chase-the-base strategy that none of the candidates they're offering this time out is even close to being likeable. The horrible thing about it is that, due to the other idiotic aspects of the U.S. electoral system and the weeks of cumulative airtime they've put into demonizing the solidly moderate Obama at every turn, they may actually be able to slide one of their poisonous toads into office, and then the joke will be on all of us.
posted by JHarris at 4:25 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Governor Romney, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"

"um, ha ha, er, well, wolf.... Let me explain how my church sees Jesus..."

Except Wolf will never ask it, even though he'll spin all day about why republicans think Obama is a Muslim.

But Rick Santorum could ask it.

End of Romney if he does. Or the greatest flipflop in the history of politics as Mitt converts to evangelical Protestantism on the debate stage.

Dirty, yeah. But no dirtier than opposing contraception. Or spending 10 million on negative ads just to win a state GOP primary.


Do it Rick.
posted by spitbull at 6:39 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Governor Romney, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"

"um, ha ha, er, well, wolf.... Let me explain how my church sees Jesus..."

Except Wolf will never ask it, even though he'll spin all day about why republicans think Obama is a Muslim.

But Rick Santorum could ask it.

End of Romney if he does. Or the greatest flipflop in the history of politics as Mitt converts to evangelical Protestantism on the debate stage.


That would be a slow pitch softball question for Romney. Mormons preach Jesus-personal-savior coming and going. It's only evangelicals who believe it doesn't count because it contains added sources.
posted by Brian B. at 6:46 AM on February 9, 2012


Er, not quite. I've known many LDS people and never heard the words "personal savior" from any of them. But there are other ways you could phrase the question to put Romney into a position of denying his faith or totally freaking out 30 million evangelical Republicans, give or take. Mind you, I find all theology to be pretty much hogwash and I think this would be bigoted and unfair as a line of questioning. But when, may I ask, has that standard ever applied when Republicans insult and demean godless liberals or "food stamp presidents?" And I'm a good for the goose, good for the gander type of guy.

Here's some info (source):

How was Jesus born?

According to Mormon theology, Jesus is the literal son of god and his goddess wife. He was born through physical sexual relations with Mary. Brigham Young taught that Jesus was not born with any involvement of the Holy Spirit.

...

Spirit brothers

According to Mormon theology, Jesus is the brother of all spirits born in heaven. He is also the spirit brother of Lucifer.

. . .

Earthly marriage and celestial marriage

According to Mormon theology, Jesus was married and had wives. Thus, in Heaven, Jesus will continue to be married to his wives forever.


Polygamy

According to Mormon theology, Jesus was a polygamist (Journal of Discourses, Volume 4, page 259).


The Godhead

In Mormon theology, in the "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 370", Joseph Smith taught that God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist as 3 gods. The Trinity is three separate gods.

The Nature of God

According to Mormon theology, in Doctrines and Covenants 130:22, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also". According to Doctrines and Covenants section 93, man was co-eternal with God in the beginning. In 1844, Joseph Smith began teaching that the Book of Abraham teaches that God is but one link in an infinite ancestral chain of Gods stretching back through eternity. God is only one of innumerable Gods. The Church believes that humans are the literal offspring of God and one of his celestial wives, and because of this we all have the potential to achieve exaltation to divine status. Smith taught beginning in 1844 that God had a literal father, and that father had a literal father, and so on. Mormons also teach that we existed in heaven with God (our literal Father) as spirits before we became human.

Atonement for Sin

According to Mormon theology, Jesus atoned for sin on the cross and in the garden of Gethsemene. Jesus' sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p. 247, 1856.

posted by spitbull at 7:02 AM on February 9, 2012


So, for example, "Governor Romney, do you believe Jesus was a polygamist who had sex with his wives, and is the son of a non-virgin mother who had sex with God, who was a flesh and blood man?"

Do ya? Sounds actually far more plausible as historical truth (leaving out the divine stuff) to me.

But I'm not a believer, so the idea that Jesus was a sexy beast with a harem charms me no end.
posted by spitbull at 7:06 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


My point being that I actually do believe this is Mitt Romney's problem with evangelical and southern conservative voters, which no one will admit out loud, or poll in a serious way.

I asked St. Alia to weigh in on why she'd never pull the lever for Romney above, but as far as I can tell she hasn't given us her opinion as a southern evangelical conservative republican, as I believe she fully identifies here. If she wants to argue Romney's "Mormon problem" is just media bullshit, I'd be really intrigues to hear why.

I will say again that I think this is a problem of bigotry. It's not Mitt Romney's problem. It's the Republican Party's problem. They have lain with bigoted dogs for so very long that they no longer notice the stench even when they are rolling in dogshit.
posted by spitbull at 7:11 AM on February 9, 2012


Pretty much everyone in Christendom agrees that Mormonism is not Christianity. It's only the fundamentalists and evangelicals who make a big deal about it, though. And even then, the evangelical leadership has become very pragmatic about it, especially once they realized their biggest allies in the pro-life movement were the Catholics and the Mormons. It's really only the fundamentalists who have conniption fits about Mormons.

But keep in mind, too, that the Mormon church altered their language starting about 35 years to become more and more like evangelical Christianity. The Mormon name was displaced by "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" in pretty much any public facing matter. They've been able to move the needle in the Christian church from "dangerous cult" to "like us, just a little different."

You can still get all sorts of videos on The Mormon Deception out there if you know where to look, and you'll hear the whispers about Mormon hit squads if you listen to fundies long enough. But they're increasingly in the minority.
posted by dw at 7:14 AM on February 9, 2012


It's only the fundamentalists and evangelicals who make a big deal about it, though.

And it's precisely those groups that won't come near Mitt Romney in a voting booth, so far this primary season at least. I know there are other reasons, but I can't believe that it's just because he passed health care reform in Massachusetts.

I know that many Christians have learned to see LDS as "basically like us" and as a political ally. That's their pragmatic side. But plenty of them lack any sense of pragmatism or compromise, which is also what happens when you shove take-no-prisoners bigotry and chauvinism down peoples' throats in election after election, decade after decade, and stir them with talk of apocalypse and end times judgments.
posted by spitbull at 7:18 AM on February 9, 2012


Pretty much everyone in Christendom agrees that Mormonism is not Christianity.

....This is news to me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:24 AM on February 9, 2012


spitbull, the problem with Romney in the South is he's a Northerner. McCain struggled in the South in 2008, too, while Huckabee racked up state after state, but he had no trouble winning the South in the general election. I expect Romney to be in the same position. Being a Mormon in the South is like being a Jew in the South. Some people care. Most people don't. And I remind you that the House majority leader is a Jew from Richmond.

Romney's problems all have to do with selling to "values voters" who think he flip-flops on abortion and selling to Tea Partiers who see MassCare as creeping socialism. Which is why Santorum and Gingrich, respectively, are doing so well with them. It doesn't matter that he's a Baptist or a Mormon. And honestly, the Mormon question pretty much died four years ago.
posted by dw at 7:26 AM on February 9, 2012


Pretty much everyone in Christendom agrees that Mormonism is not Christianity.

....This is news to me.


I don't think you can be a serious believing Christian from any other the major sects and accept Mormonism as Christianity. They have far too many beliefs that are completely incompatible with any mainstream strain of Christianity that's existed for the past 1500 years.

Aside from little things like adding entirely new books of the bible, there are major theological differences like Mormonisms non-Trinitarianism, having three heavens, and so on.

Mormonism is about close to Christianity as Islam is, even though the Mormons do their best to hide what they really believe in their advertising and PR materials.
posted by empath at 7:32 AM on February 9, 2012


I don't think you can be a serious believing Christian from any other the major sects and accept Mormonism as Christianity. They have far too many beliefs that are completely incompatible with any mainstream strain of Christianity that's existed for the past 1500 years.

If you count "Catholicism" as one of "the major sects", I can attest that I never heard anything to the effect that "Mormons aren't Christian" when I was growing up Catholic. Didn't hear that about Jehovah's Witnesses either (that's another group that often gets the "they're not really Christian" epithet).

Then again, Catholicism is ALSO a favorite target of "they're not really Christian" accusations, albeit for really different reasons (and from a very specific quarter), so I could be coming from a weird bias.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:37 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you count "Catholicism" as one of "the major sects", I can attest that I never heard anything to the effect that "Mormons aren't Christian" when I was growing up Catholic

The Catholic church doesn't accept Mormon baptism as valid, and baptism is what they consider the pre-requisite for being considered Christian.
posted by empath at 7:45 AM on February 9, 2012


(Catholics recognize most protestant and orthodox baptisms as being valid -- the only notable exceptions I can think of are Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons)
posted by empath at 7:49 AM on February 9, 2012


Huh. Again, news to me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:50 AM on February 9, 2012


Here's some info (source):

Spitbull, do you realize you just did the equivalent of saying "Here's some info about physics" with a link to the TimeCube site?

Not denying that the LDS maybe believe some of the stuff you quoted, but I sure wouldn't trust "MM Outreach Inc." as a source on the subject. On the other hand, it's not a bad example of the level of anti-LDS animosity out there among people who would probably normally vote Republican.
posted by straight at 8:06 AM on February 9, 2012


The imaginary social conservative in your head cares deeply about theological purity, as do the imaginary social conservatives in a lot of pundits. I don't think real live social conservatives actually care that much. You have to remember that they've put together a viable political movement by forming alliances with people that they agree with on social issues that are important to them, despite theological differences between the denominations they belong to.

Huckabee got extra points with a lot of social conservatives in the last presidential primaries for actually being Southern Baptist. It's worth remembering that Jimmy Carter was a Southern Baptist, but a liberal Southern Baptist. Social Conservatives turned on him and voted for Reagan, because his political positions were out of line with theirs. It was that election that put social conservatives on the road to becoming a political force in the Republican party.

It's social conservatism that unifies social conservatives, not theology.
posted by nangar at 8:06 AM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think people just don't realize how truly divergent from Christianity that Mormonism really is. It's an American homegrown religion that has a strong connection to Christianity and so it's convenient for almost everyone to pretend that it's just another Christian sect. Convenient for the Mormons, obviously, but by this point it's more convenient for most Christians, too, since the LDS isn't going away, is growing rapidly, and in most ways have become about as American as apple pie. Yeah, a lot of evangelicals/fundamentalists make a big deal about Mormons not being Christian; but, as I wrote earlier, these are almost exactly the same people who make the same arguments about Catholics.

There's not really point in detailing it, but there are people here who could explain to us exactly how and why Mormonisn is essentially incompatible with Christianity as it exists today. Think about it like this: imagine if Gnosticism had survived. That, too, would overlap with Christianity as we understand it now. Just as, by the way, Islam does, as empath mentioned. Really, Islam has more in common with Christianity than does Mormonism. Do people consider Islam Christian because Christ was an important prophet? Would people consider Gnosticism, in today's context, Christian? Mormonism includes numerous key beliefs that are fundamentally heretical to Christianity as it has existed for a very, very long time.

All that said, as I wrote before I don't think this matters very much to anyone except the same extreme protestants who wouldn't vote for a Catholic, either. Most cultural conservative Christians see Mormons as their allies in the culture wars and the dislike of Romney has far, far more to do with his past political positions, especially health care, and where he's from and where's he's governed. He's not "one of them", but it's not because he's Mormon. It's because he's not a southern conservative tea-partier.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:11 AM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing:
Romney avoids mentioning it, but Smith ran for president in 1844 as an independent commander in chief of an “army of God” advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government in favor of a Mormon-ruled theocracy. Challenging Democrat James Polk and Whig Henry Clay, Smith prophesied that if the U.S. Congress did not accede to his demands that “they shall be broken up as a government and God shall damn them.” Smith viewed capturing the presidency as part of the mission of the church. He had predicted the emergence of “the one Mighty and Strong” — a leader who would “set in order the house of God” — and became the first of many prominent Mormon men to claim the mantle.
posted by empath at 8:12 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think you can be a serious believing Christian from any other the major sects and accept Mormonism as Christianity.

They don't, as far as know, but that doesn't mean it's an issue in the campaign. Santorum's positions reflect their kind of conservatism, Romney's don't. That's what matters.
posted by nangar at 8:16 AM on February 9, 2012


I wasn't very careful about sourcing that, point taken, straight.

dw, I try to convince myself of the entirely rational and typical factors you cite all the time. But then I remember that a huge percentage of far right republicans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim who was not born in the United States (or so they say) and use that as a reason to hate the very image of him, let alone anything he does or says or thinks. They have completely delegitimized the office of the Presidency with the force of their irrational hatred, which no one will ever convince me is not, for a majority of the anti-Obama radicals out there at least, raw racist rejection of a black man in the highest office. I think the way the media always say Romney "looks presidential" is actually a quietly racist polemic too, and a craven dimension of his campaign's imagery. But I have learned not to underestimate the capacity of a certain type of Republican to hate, and hate fiercely, based on the perception of otherness. I agree Romney lacks any Southern appeal. (I also would point out that Richmond Virginia ain't Anniston, Alabama, and there aren't a whole bunch of Jewish GOP legislators in the Tea Party, Cantor is a one-off in my opinion and reflects the de-Southernization of Virginia more than anything else -- as I pointed out above, Obama currently is polling solidly above Romney in Virginia, and further ahead of Santorum or Gingrich.)

Maybe I've spent a little too much time around fundamentalists in my life, which is a corollary of my professional work. (Literally, knowing the irony, some of my best friends are evangelicals, and a bunch more more are LDS, so I do not mean to paint with too broad a brush here, and there are certainly levels of conviction and reasonable people with strong religious beliefs, of course.)

But the New Apostolic types are out there, preaching that politics is the dominion of the Lord, and their numbers are not utterly insignificant, nor their penetration of major opinion-making institutions within the evangelical movement. I've heard them from the pulpit and over pancakes after church. We are in the end times. The Presidency is symbolic in that eschatology. It is currently occupied by a strong candidate for the antichrist, so that might lead one to hold one's nose, in their worldview, and vote for the apostate. But I wonder.

I guess it's like the "Bradley Effect" debate. Hard to model, harder to survey, only knowable after the election and then only to a very rough approximation, and often not evident (many analysts claim President Obama benefited from a reverse of the Brady Effect in 2008, in fact).

But the proof or disproof will be whether Santorum or Gingrich makes an issue of it as they go down in flames. The longer this goes on, the more likely it becomes. For fuck's sake, Rick Santorum is opposed to *contraception*! If he's that hardcore about his fealty to Catholic teaching, you know he's considered dropping the M bomb, and I believe it is being considered as a scorched earth tactic in both Gingrich and Santorum HQs, and that they are hearing about it from their most radical evangelical supporters.

I wanna hope I'm wrong. My gut tells me otherwise.
posted by spitbull at 8:36 AM on February 9, 2012


But then I remember that a huge percentage of far right republicans believe Barack Obama is a Muslim who was not born in the United States (or so they say) and use that as a reason to hate the very image of him, let alone anything he does or says or thinks.

I think that they believe he's Muslim because they hate him, not the other way around, to be honest.
posted by empath at 8:50 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh I agree, empath. "He's a Muslim from Kenya" is after-the-fact rationalization, since they are not officially allowed to hate him because he's an uppity you know what word. It is of course amusing to the enlightened that it still OK to hate someone for being a foreigner or a Muslim, even if he's neither.

By that same logic, "he's a cold, flip-flopping Northerner with no passion" (as Frank Rich has actually argued) could be strategic cover for anti-Mormon bias. Rich's point is that Romney's passion appears to be, specifically, for his faith and his church, which for any other candidate in the race would be an unadulterated asset even among moderates if that didn't entail the view that your church's doctrine should be the law of the land a la Rick Santorum et al. But because he dare not raise the issue of just what the substance of that passion is, and because LDS folks are *officially* reticent about publicizing doctrinal issues that engender controversy anyway (for the same reason -- some Xtian people will go apeshit), he comes across as hollow and without conviction. He has to *hide* that conviction from voters, such as it is and if it exists. It's like having one hand tied behind his back, and if that is true, then anti-LDS bigotry is already playing a role in this race.
posted by spitbull at 9:21 AM on February 9, 2012


The "he's a Muslim" pretext also shows that the really bigoted right wingers who espouse it live in a fact free zone in which no empirical argument will ever suffice as proof of anything contrary to what they believe in their gut. That intransigence has spread far and wide on the right, and I do believe its source lies in fundamentalist religion, the ultimate example of refusing to concede that the facts in perceptual evidence and over long periods of time and across all known parts of the universe don't support your position.
posted by spitbull at 9:24 AM on February 9, 2012


Oh, and the mainstream media had absolutely no problem prattling on endlessly about President Obama (before he won in 2008, and after) had to appear so moderate and professorial because it was too dangerous to come across as "an angry black man." They said it frequently with an absolutely straight face, as if an "angry black man" was an obvious thing to expect Americans to fear in any given particular black man.

The double standard on all this is so appalling. The media are jumping up and down about religious liberty and the way the ACA contraception policy is hostile to Catholics and therefore bigoted. It's the only view getting any traction on TV, at least, while the view (correct) that giving in to the Catholic hierarchy on this would be anti-woman and anti-worker is never raised except on MSNBC.

The right, in other words, dishes it out (with no censure) but then can't take it (with a cheering squad).
posted by spitbull at 9:29 AM on February 9, 2012


Anyone else seeing Santorum's "two" wikipedia pages come up before spreadingsantorum.com site?
posted by jeffburdges at 9:49 AM on February 9, 2012


Frankly, I think Savage missed a trick by going for scatalogical humor instead of choosing a definition of santorum like 'an instance of irrational bigotry' or suchlike
No one would ever have given a shit if he'd done that. He also would have seemed whiny and shrill. But the neologism thing was catchy and interesting. Dare I say it viral in today's parlance. Lots of people (those who don't have anal sex) had probably never even thought of the concept. I mean I literally don't know any other term for that particular... substance.

I also think you are way underestimating the effectiveness of mocking someone rather then responding to them directly.
Ron Paul seizes the opportunity and does the same. Most of the social conservative candidates (Santorum, Palin, Cain, etc.), whether or not they're still officially in the race at this point, join Newt's team, while Trump gives his backing to Romney. Come the election, the vote is split in several directions, and Obama is reelected in a landslide. And that, dear friends, will be the end of the Republican party as we know it.
I actually think it's possible the republican party could end. It's happened once before that the one of the main opposition parties has been replaced, although that event also coincided with a civil war...
Also, delmoi, you seem to be under the impression that political ads need to be "true" rather than "truthy," and the Dems are going to face an onslaught of truthiness that makes the recession itself, rather than the fumbled but still slowly working recovery strategy, Obama's fault.
It depends on how dishonest you are. Remember Alan Graysons' edit to his opponent to make him say something like "you should obay your husband, that's in the bible" when actually he said something like "don't say … that's in the bible" These things do happen in a context, and people are turned off by over the top ads.
I can see that. Well, now we have the 12 year old vote locked up.
Plus everyone with a 12 year old mentality, which is a lot of them.
And, btw, don't think the Democrats won't go there if Romney is the nominee. It won't come from the white house, but Southern Democrats aren't going to be shy about hammering Romney over it. Unlike Republicans, they don't particularly need to worry about alienating Mormon voters over it.
Romney will probably do really well with Mormon voters this time around if he's the nominee, but you wouldn't want to alienate them completely, the way republicans have with the Hispanics. Remember, Harry Reid is a Mormon, there are probably lots of Mormon democrats. The Mexican bashing that the republicans engaged in probably helped them in the short term but it's probably done a ton of damage to them for the long term. It would be stupid to do the same thing with Mormons.
"Governor Romney, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"

"um, ha ha, er, well, wolf.... Let me explain how my church sees Jesus..."
They actually asked him that at a 2008 debate. He said yes, but he looked pained about answering it that way, I can't believe his answer was that helpful, although obviously evangelicals could never have voted for him if he'd said no, I suppose.
My point being that I actually do believe this is Mitt Romney's problem with evangelical and southern conservative voters, which no one will admit out loud, or poll in a serious way.

I asked St. Alia to weigh in on why she'd never pull the lever for Romney above, but as far as I can tell she hasn't given us her opinion as a southern evangelical conservative republican, as I believe she fully identifies here. If she wants to argue Romney's "Mormon problem" is just media bullshit, I'd be really intrigues to hear why.
Like I said upthread, I've met crazy religious evangelicals who were totally opposed to Romney and thought there was no way he would win, and it was entirely due to religion. If you don't think it's dragging him down with evangelical voters you're way wrong. It is absolutely an issue.
The imaginary social conservative in your head cares deeply about theological purity, as do the imaginary social conservatives in a lot of pundits. I don't think real live social conservatives actually care that much.
Again, I'm talking about people I've met. I'm sure there are lots of people who don't really care about theological purity, but there are clearly lots who do.

The interesting thing about theological Mormonism is that it's somewhat more rationalized then Christianity. Smith incorporated, at least the lay understanding of science at the time into his theology, so there are other planets in Mormon theology, and if you're good you, like, get to be the god of your own planet. It's actually a lot like scientology in the sense that it's a very 'sci-fi' religion, but actually created before sci-fi became a thing. Supposedly it also includes a lot of eastern style thinking.
posted by delmoi at 9:52 AM on February 9, 2012


An anecdote strictly to introduce a note of levity to this thread:

Literally just now at my office, I overheard two other guys coming over to my boss' desk to tell him "dude, try this, do a Google search for 'Santorum.'" I jumped up (which is REALLY hard to do with a broken foot) immediately to say "actually, no, don't do that. TRUST ME."


(He went to the Wikipedia page instead and is reading ABOUT the Dan Savage thing. I've just overheard him read aloud from the Wiki page. ....I warned him. Sigh.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on February 9, 2012


delmoi, you misunderstood my point, at least. I *do* believe Romney's religion is actually costing him a significant amount of support in the primaries.

Not wanting to alienate Mormon voters is an interesting counterweight, but we're talking about a party that is willing to commit long-term suicide by alienating Latinos and women (if you have trouble picturing Romney's or Santorum's America, I recommend studying demographic trends. It's very calming. Of course as delmoi said above, the last time we lost a major political party that collapsed into its own contradictions, we had a civil war to go with it.

When I can't sleep sometimes that's where I think we're headed. I often think that President Obama's second term (which I remain sure he will have) will be marked by a sharp uptick in domestic white nationalist and Christian nationalist terrorism, just as we saw as Clinton's terms progressed. Granted the nation's anti-terrorist apparatus is a lot tighter now, and I suppose if things got really intense we might actually even see it turned in a serious way on the *far* greater threat White Nationalist/Xtian Dominionist groups present to the Republic than Osama bin Laden could ever have dreamed of. But still, I fear there will be more blood, and it ain't been pretty already.
posted by spitbull at 10:47 AM on February 9, 2012


Indeed, as I watch Santorum and Co. ratchet up the contraception and abortion culture wars (and I half think Obama is stoking this on purpose) I'm expecting we might see some uptick in anti-government and anti-woman terrorism before the election even happens. These issues push primal buttons in very disturbed people who have already personified everything they hate in the world as a smooth-talking Black Kenyan Muslim Communist Fascist Peacemongering Queer-Loving Abortion-Peddling . . . did I mention he was BLACK? . . . hopey changey dude who can't even tie his own shoes right. (I know, could they just choose one or the other, evil mastermind or bumbling fool, and run with it already?)
posted by spitbull at 10:51 AM on February 9, 2012


To be clear I don't think Obama is "stoking this on purpose" in the sense of hoping for an uptick in domestic terrorism, but because, having watched the breathtaking Komen Foundation takedown, he realizes he could activate the women's vote that was slightly sour on him after the Clinton defeat. He won women handily in 2008, to be sure. But he needs more this time, on the presumption that he loses some independents and youth turnout doesn't rebound, the scariest prospect. A lot of young women are going to notice now that someone who might be president is talking seriously about taking away not only their freedom of choice, but their birth control and the cancer screenings that saved their moms.
posted by spitbull at 10:54 AM on February 9, 2012


I don't think you can be a serious believing Christian from any other the major sects and accept Mormonism as Christianity.

Wut ... wut?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:01 AM on February 9, 2012


I don't think that disproves what you think it disproves.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:13 AM on February 9, 2012


UU isn't in the business of determining who is christian who isn't.
posted by empath at 11:28 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw a USA TODAY headline on my way to work this morning: "6 Wild Weeks! And 6 lessons"

What a fucking joke. What have we really learned? That, once again, same as it ever was, the whole charade is a massive waste of time, energy, resources, and brainpower.

(I like how a lot of these articles are all "no modern president has ever, etc." Yeah, how many "modern presidents are there" ... 6? Throw in the whole 20th century and you have ... 19? Not like a significant sample or anything ...)

I don't think I've ever smugly mentioned I don't have cable/satellite TV, but I don't. And I am really glad right now. And only semi-smugly so.

"Our own elections, the ones our government has modeled for the world, are a hoax. What other word should we use to describe this year’s presidential election, whose outcome will turn on which party’s super PACs gets the most generous bribes from billionaires?"

"Elections Are for Suckers" - Robert Scheer

"... Less savory, if one cares about the hold that Wall Street has exerted over this administration, are some of the top donors Obama aides met with Tuesday to urge that they contribute to the PAC. The list included Hamilton E. James, the president of the huge private equity firm Blackstone, and Robert Wolf, the chairman of UBS Group Americas.

Not that the Republicans should worry, since their list of super PAC supporters is far more powerful. To date, the pro-Democrat PACs have collected a paltry $19 million as compared with the $91 million raised last year by committees controlled by Karl Rove and the allies of the Republican presidential candidates. This disparity is the president’s justification for abandoning his principled opposition to such groups. "We’re not going to fight this fight with one hand tied behind our back,' said Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager. 'With so much at stake, we can't allow for two sets of rules. Democrats can’t be unilaterally disarmed.'


The essence: "Once again he [Obama] has failed to take that case for economic justice to the American people and instead validated the Republican assault on what remains of our democracy."

Alas. Too true.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2012


delmoi, you misunderstood my point, at least. I *do* believe Romney's religion is actually costing him a significant amount of support in the primaries.
Well, I apologize if I quoted you or something -- but there are a lot of people in this thread and the idea that his Mormonism isn't an issue cropped up a couple of times. People are just being polite when they claim it's not an issue.
Not wanting to alienate Mormon voters is an interesting counterweight, but we're talking about a party that is willing to commit long-term suicide by alienating Latinos and women
I was talking about the democrats. They shouldn't hit Romney on his Mormonism, is what I'm saying.

I was quoting this comment from empath:
And, btw, don't think theDemocrats won't go there if Romney is the nominee. It won't come from the white house, but Southern Democrats aren't going to be shy about hammering Romney over it. Unlike Republicans, they don't particularly need to worry about alienating Mormon voters over it.
And I'm saying that would be a bad idea. Even if it could work it's still a bad thing to do.
Indeed, as I watch Santorum and Co. ratchet up the contraception and abortion culture wars (and I half think Obama is stoking this on purpose)
It's actually an example of Obama listening to his base, as feminists have been bringing up the issue of lack of access to contraception. If anything, the right wing has actually been successful on those fronts for years. Which is why the republican party isn't really alienating "women" in general, lots of women are pro-life. Not for the patriarchal body-control issues that feminists claim motivates pro-life people but rather because they hate the idea of "babies" being killed.
IMO the pro-choice side has been losing because they've been resting on their laurels, they aren't really out there making strong moral arguments for being pro-choice, and so arguments about "protecting innocent life" resonate.
Part of the problem is a lack of empathy for the other side. Often when I hear pro-choice people make arguments the claim is that people who oppose abortion do so because they want to control women's bodies, or they want to force women to give birth in order to teach sluts a lesson. That's out there, for sure (especially the slut shaming thing). But I don't think it's what motivates a lot of the rank and file, especially female pro-lifers.
I saw a USA TODAY headline on my way to work this morning: "6 Wild Weeks! And 6 lessons"

What a fucking joke. What have we really learned? That, once again, same as it ever was, the whole charade is a massive waste of time, energy, resources, and brainpower.

(I like how a lot of these articles are all "no modern president has ever, etc." Yeah, how many "modern presidents are there" ... 6? Throw in the whole 20th century and you have ... 19? Not like a significant sample or anything ...)

"Elections Are for Suckers" - Robert Scheer
I totally agree, although I'd say campaigns are for suckers, especially the way we do thing in the U.S (elections, even preceded by ridiculous campaigns, are obviously a good thing). They're run like an entertainment spectacle, with the goal of maximizing eyeballs in the media. It's ridiculous. In 2008, everyone knew Obama was going to win, but the media played it like they didn't know that, in order to be 'fair'. If you think the purpose of the media is to give accurate information, then they're failing in their job if they value fairness and inflated arguments over reality and the fact that the candidates agree on most issues.

I'm not even following the republican primary other then on metafilter or the occasional link I see somewhere else? Why on earth would I even care who they are going to pick? (except to hate on gingrich, who is a horrible person)

Lately though I've started to feel that elections induce a mania even in sensible people, they start to become really irrational. The 2008 dem primary was a good example of that, with insane vitriol flowing in both directions.
posted by delmoi at 12:34 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


They shouldn't hit Romney on his Mormonism, is what I'm saying.

Are you saying that morally or tactically? Because tactically, it's a slam dunk, as long as Obama keeps his hands clean.
posted by empath at 12:40 PM on February 9, 2012


Are you saying that morally or tactically? Because tactically, it's a slam dunk, as long as Obama keeps his hands clean.
Yes, morally. As well as long term tactically. Mormons aren't idiots. If they see democrats badmouthing them they'll notice it, even if it doesn't come from the president himself. Besides, the point is that it's tactically bad, long term for the democrats, not personally for Obama, who won't have much problem winning anyway. Just like all the Mexican bashing worked short term for the republicans.
posted by delmoi at 1:19 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mormons aren't idiots. If they see democrats badmouthing them they'll notice it, even if it doesn't come from the president himself.

The way to do it -- if you were going to do it -- would be to try and get the heat to come from the other side of the aisle: from Evangelicals who are convinced for one reason or another that a legitimate Mormon president would be worse than another 4 years of Obama. Using that to suppress turnout on the right could be effective enough without making it Obama's fight, and Mormons are used to hostility from Evangelicals even when baffled by it, so it'd be good cover.

Still, even if it were to end up back on the Democrats...

Besides, the point is that it's tactically bad, long term for the democrats, not personally for Obama, who won't have much problem winning anyway. Just like all the Mexican bashing worked short term for the republicans.

While there was a Mormon demographic trend was on something of a roll for a while in the 20th century, I don't think it's on track to match Latinos or any other immigrant population. It's a not a particularly significant population, and at the moment, it doesn't seem likely to become a significantly larger one.

And not only will most Mormons all but certainly cast an identity-focused vote for Romney, they also overwhelmingly vote Republican anyway, and probably will continue to do so until there are more who don't have living memories of conservative politicizing figures like Ezra Taft Benson than do. There's really not a lot for the Democratic party to lose even if they did alienate most Mormons for a generation.

There's only one remotely practical angle I can think of. It relies on this being a very close election and success in some southwestern states (Arizona and Nevada specifically, maybe Colorado and New Mexico, possibly even California at an outside stretch) turning on a small number of centrist/liberal LDS votes in play.

Not impossible, but I think if you're going to oppose otherizing Mormons, the moral reasons are more compelling than practical electoral reasons.

(I also happen think it's probably the right thing to do and that the good reasons to not vote for Romney don't have much to do with his faith.)
posted by weston at 2:12 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, morally. As well as long term tactically.

I might even suggest it's a bad short-term strategy. Obama's major appeal is his inclusiveness (excepting atheists who aren't protected by that big purple-state God). Anything that suggests Obama is mudslinging someone's religion makes him look like a bigot. Or a Republican.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:17 PM on February 9, 2012


I don't see how Democrats hit Romney tactically on his Mormonism. In the (unlikely) event that they did so, Republicans would quite reasonably ask why the Democratic party is comfortable having a Senate majority leader who's a Mormon. You can hit Romney on the particular policies he espouses without needing to attack the religion itself, which accommodates a diversity of viewpoints.

I thought that Romney's Mormonism would be a much more decisive and divisive element in the primaries than it actually has been. Maybe the conservatives whose discussions I follow (but don't take part in) are omitting to mention it out of politeness, but considering the volume and quality of vitriol the emit on every other topic, I'm not convinced. My sample has a slight Catholic bias but on the other hand hardcore Catholics consider everything else as a cult.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:42 PM on February 9, 2012


By hardcore I mean the type that is continually on a Novena for something and condemning schismatics and so on - super-militant Catholics as opposed to Sundays-and-holidays types. I accept that religion's an issue in the race, but it just isn't the sort of issue it used to be even a few years ago. Or maybe conservatives just find so many other ways to be disappointed about Romney that they don't feel to need to mention the religious angle as well.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:47 PM on February 9, 2012


There may be something like a Bradley effect going in conservative circles. As in, people are unwilling to openly admit that Romney's religion is a deal-breaker even though it is.
posted by oddman at 2:50 PM on February 9, 2012


Obama's major appeal is his inclusiveness

Really good point. Even with little practical fallout from specifically alienating Mormons, an other-izing strategy doesn't fit well with Obama's and to some extent general progressive/democratic message.

I don't see how Democrats hit Romney tactically on his Mormonism... the Democratic party is comfortable having a Senate majority leader who's a Mormon.

Also a good point.

Having the Evangelicals attack Romney would avoid both these problems, but the more I think about it, though, the more it seems impractical that the Democrats could actually help with that process without it somehow backfiring.
posted by weston at 2:55 PM on February 9, 2012


While there was a Mormon demographic trend was on something of a roll for a while in the 20th century, I don't think it's on track to match Latinos or any other immigrant population. It's a not a particularly significant population, and at the moment, it doesn't seem likely to become a significantly larger one.
The thing is, though, that they're concentrated in western states that have actually been trending democratic. Those states all appoint senators and have EC votes, whether or not population wise they're a big deal.
posted by delmoi at 3:00 PM on February 9, 2012


I will say that, whatever my other disappointments with the man, I do not for one second believe that Barack Obama the man (or the candidate) would allow, condone, or conceptualize attacking Mitt Romney for his Mormonism, and that anyone who did would find themselves quickly disowned by the campaign, including any SuperPAC. Do not believe it. It would shock and depress me more than almost anything he could do (like start a fucking SuperPAC himself, although of course I get it, this ain't beanbag etc.).

Neither would it be smart or fair, and he is both to a fault, and not in any way a bigot or divider like that. In fact, his greatest fault for a lot of liberals, myself included, has been his rose-colored view of the possibility of rational compromise.

The one advantage he can exploit silently is that Romney's Mormonism pretty much neutralizes the return of Jeremiah Wright from the Romney campaign itself, although I would put it past the Swift Boating Karl Rove wing of the Republican mafia.
posted by spitbull at 5:08 PM on February 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, that and depressed turnout in the general among evangelicals who just can't do it. Maybe it's half a percent, but it's there.
posted by spitbull at 5:09 PM on February 9, 2012


Ugh, "wouldn't put it past..." and by the way at CPAC today Jonah Goldberg said Romney's speeches sounded like "Spock reading a love letter."

Love it.
posted by spitbull at 5:13 PM on February 9, 2012


Romney's speeches sounded like "Spock reading a love letter."

Oddly, that's what Spock does.
posted by Brian B. at 5:27 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


"[The France Revolution] was a secular revolution on which we relied on the goodness of each other. This is the left’s view of where America should go. And of course where did France go? To the guillotine. To tyranny. If there are no rights that government needs to respect, then what we see with ObamaCare is just the beginning of what government will do to you,"
posted by empath at 6:32 AM on February 10, 2012


Romney wins CPAC straw poll, Santorum is #2.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:05 PM on February 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


So what should us liberals be doing while waiting for the Republican's bloody game of king-of-the-hill to finish?

Laugh? Yes. We definitely should laugh, it's cleansing. But also we should be taking notes. In order to get the nomination every candidate has been forced to utter words of madness. They are handing us the very ammunition we need to defeat them. We just need to pay attention.

Santorum says public health care will lead to public beheadings? Yes yes sir, go on, but first let me find my notepad.

I saw in Rolling Stone yesterday a Matt Taibbi piece in which he mentions Romney, smarting after getting Gingriched at the debate, and then heckled at a (literal) baby kissing by OWS protesters chanting "Are you going to fire the baby?", actually had a protester dragged from his press conference the next day by her neck.

Why don't these things stick to them? Only because we forget. We don't have to leave it to Jon Stewart to remember these things.
posted by JHarris at 4:41 PM on February 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


What the Self-Manufacturing of Romney Hath Produced
posted by Artw at 9:44 PM on February 12, 2012


"Are you going to fire the baby?"

In the end, he did in fact fire the baby.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:59 PM on February 12, 2012


....from a canon!!!
posted by edgeways at 10:49 PM on February 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this week will see the peak of Santorum's success. Say, by one week from today, his numbers will be falling everywhere.

I liked Ed Kilgore's imagery—that Romney's Super-PAC will now turn to Santorum like the Eye of Sauron.

With Norquist essentially finding a way to make a Romney nomination go down more smoothly with the CPAC base, I think we'll see a lot of movement this week to push back against Santorum by the GOP establishment. In his case, it won't be so vicious as it was with Gingrich because a lot of these folks like and agree with Santorum in a way they don't with Gingrich. But they know that Santorum is not electable. However, the really fun part is going to be how the hard-core conservative faithful will fight back against any attempt to rein-in Santorum. There'll be a lot more hard feelings, I think. But Santorum's numbers will take a hit.

That's my sense. I could be wrong.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:54 PM on February 13, 2012


I'm on a cellphone so I can't easily link, but I've seen several polls out of the generally reliable Public Policy Polling suggesting Santorum actually does better against Obama nationally than Romney does.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:51 PM on February 13, 2012


Last numbers I saw had Obama up 8 vs Romney and 10 vs Santorum. But I think that's misleading. Romney is a much more well known quantity. Santorum's numbers are more of a "generic Republican vs Obama" type of deal; Once people become familiar with his positions his favorability should fall.
posted by Justinian at 7:00 PM on February 13, 2012


Santorum is surging in Michigan!

One poll there shows him with a 15 point lead over Romney, while another says he leads by 7 points.

There are no new polls out yet for how he's doing in Arizona. It appears that he *should* be doing well there with Tea Party types looking for a viable alternative to Romney, and presumably gained a bounce after his win in Colorado, but his candidacy simply hasn't taken the time and effort to campaign and put resources there. (It's a winner-take-all state which until recently he probably thought he didn't stand a chance in. He might now though... 29 electoral votes up for grabs in Arizona, 30 for Michigan.)
posted by markkraft at 1:35 AM on February 14, 2012


I'd heard that lake Michigan has already turned brown, back in October perhaps.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:27 AM on February 14, 2012


I think if Santorum overruns Michigan, it'll pretty much be an unstoppable flood, at that point.
posted by empath at 6:28 AM on February 14, 2012


Oh man. Is this really happening? I had thought Romney's candidacy was a fait accompli. Obama vs. Santorum would be absolutely hilarious.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:31 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


fivethirtyeight gives some great projections for the next primary elections.
Romney given 89% of winning Arizona.
Santorum given 80% of winning Michigan.
Gingrich given 75% of winning Georgia.

That is AWESOME. Encouragement all around!
posted by Theta States at 9:40 AM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had thought Romney's candidacy was a fait accompli. Obama vs. Santorum would be absolutely hilarious.

There are things that could lead towards Sanotorum getting elected though... like a successful terror attack in the US this year. I really don't like the possibility of a Santorum presidency.
posted by drezdn at 12:29 PM on February 14, 2012


I think Santorum - Obama would be a nail biter. Santorum probably starts with the south locked up, and then he can put Obama on the defensive in a lot of midwestern and rust belt states (PA, Ohio, WV, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and so on)..
posted by empath at 12:37 PM on February 14, 2012


Any Republican nominee is going to more or less have the south locked up with, maybe, Virginia in play. You think Santorum is a stronger general election candidate than Romney?
posted by Justinian at 1:55 PM on February 14, 2012


I think he would have strength in states that Obama would have locked up in a race vs Romney, and he's going to appeal to conservative Catholics and union members, etc, in Rust Belt states that Romney wouldn't have. He's also not an economic conservative in the way that Romney and Gingrich are.

He's going to be a lot tougher nut to crack in the general than people think. (Though of course that's going to be balanced a bit by women voting for Obama in much larger numbers).
posted by empath at 2:01 PM on February 14, 2012


I guess the way I see it as that Romney vs Obama would be a national fight with Romney putting pressure on in states like New York, Florida and California, and Santorum vs Obama would be a knock down drag out fight in swing states in the middle of the country, with Obama starting with California, Florida and New York as a given.
posted by empath at 2:03 PM on February 14, 2012


If Obama wins California, New York, and Florida he wins the election. The Republicans can't win without Florida unless they steal Pennsylvania or something radical.
posted by Justinian at 2:14 PM on February 14, 2012


Here's a Santorum wins scenario with Obama winning California, New York and Florida.

I don't think it's wildly implausible.
posted by empath at 2:33 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama vs. Santorum would probably be like Bush v. Kerry. Kerry didn't lose in a landslide, but he didn't lose in a squeaker, either.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:37 PM on February 14, 2012


More tweets from PPP:
Our new national poll finds Romney trailing Obama by 7 pts, but Santorum down by only 5

Santorum is the first flavor of the month to challenge Romney's electability argument

When Perry/Cain/Gingrich led our national GOP polls, they still did 6 pts worse than Mitt v. Obama

Santorum's net favorability is 21 pts better than Romney's with the general electorate

Romney's favorability nationally is now 29/57, including 32/55 with independents

Paul almost matches Romney on electability, trailing Obama by 8. Strongest GOPer with independents

National poll we did over the weekend for @dkelections found Republicans prefer Santorum over Romney 54-28 in h2h

Voters in the Midwest preferred Santorum over Romney 45-17- jives with MO, MN results, MI polling
posted by Rhaomi at 4:11 PM on February 14, 2012


"Santorum's net favorability is 21 pts better than Romney's with the general electorate"

I absolutely guarantee that this will fall. Probably dramatically.

Santorum is in an unusual position. He's familiar to the GOP base and is much more attractive to them than Gingrich was and obviously more attractive than Romney. But unlike Gingrich and to a lesser extent Perry, Santorum doesn't have a prominent national profile. He's a relative unknown to the general electorate. In contrast, at this point Romney is well-known to the general electorate and, importantly, the general electorate is at least vaguely aware that Romney and all the previous GOP front-runners are not very popular. So for both the GOP voters and for the general electorate Santorum looks pretty good.

But he looks good to each of those groups for very different reasons. He looks good to the GOP because he's an extremist. He looks good to the general electorate because they don't yet know that he's an extremist...but they do know that they're not impressed with Romney or any of the other guys they've heard a lot about.

The more the general public knows about Santorum, the more his numbers will sink like a stone. However, he's going to solidify his position within the GOP. It will be the hard-core social conservatives and the tea-partiers making common cause against the establishment. I think the establishment will win this battle--several different things that happened at CPAC hint at this--but the anti-Romney vote is going to coalesce around Santorum and away from Gingrich and Paul. But don't underestimate how important money will be to this--it's not clear that Santorum has the money to continue any sort of effective campaign for the nomination.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:30 PM on February 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Like I said, the Rs would have to take Pennsylvania if they lost Florida. It's not wildly implausible maybe but it is pretty unlikely. If Pennsylvania were endangered you would see a mobilization of the Democratic machine the likes of which we have not seen in my lifetime. PA is still a machine state.

Santorum is the last man standing in the "anyone but Romney" lottery. That doesn't mean the election will be a cakewalk or that Santorum is the worst candidate ever, but a big reason his favorability and general election numbers are better than Romney's is that he hasn't yet faced the torrent of negative ads and such that the other candidates faced once they challenged Romney.

Santorum has some huge baggage that the electorate is just plain unaware of as of yet.
posted by Justinian at 4:30 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


IF put it well; Santorum's numbers reflect the fact that the Republican base knows he is an extremist but the general electorate does not yet know he is an extremist. That's an excellent summation.
posted by Justinian at 4:31 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


empath: "Here's a Santorum wins scenario with Obama winning California, New York and Florida.

I don't think it's wildly implausible.
"

You have Santorum winning PA on that map. We kicked him out of the Senate by a margin of 17 points six year ago and gave the seat to Bob Casey who isn't exactly Mr. Personality. Ricky is not well liked here.
posted by octothorpe at 4:37 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm curious about what Paul is going to do after his inevitable loss. He's a huge wildcard, and would definitely chip in to Obama's youth vote if he presented himself as a third party candidate, possibly more so than he would chip in to the base vote on the Republican side. Will he instead endorse a candidate? I don't see his energized youth base putting their efforts behind either Romney or Santorum.
posted by codacorolla at 4:42 PM on February 14, 2012


Paul won't run as a third party candidate for fear of the backlash against his son.
posted by Justinian at 5:06 PM on February 14, 2012


I'm curious about what Paul is going to do after his inevitable loss.

My Bizarro fantasy world dream ticket: Obama / Paul, with Paul getting the "shut down the DEA" and "oversee the State Dept." portfolios.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:10 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ahh, you've crazier dreams than my "Obama pardons all the non-violent drug offenders" one, nice.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:50 PM on February 14, 2012


You have Santorum winning PA on that map. We kicked him out of the Senate by a margin of 17 points six year ago and gave the seat to Bob Casey who isn't exactly Mr. Personality. Ricky is not well liked here.


A Casey running in Pennsylvania is like a Kennedy running in massachusetts
posted by empath at 8:04 PM on February 14, 2012


I don't think it's wildly implausible.

But it's going to be hard. For one thing, this assumes CO/NM/NV will vote Republican, and the GOP has struggled mightily in those states the last couple elections. For another, I see it hard to see how Wisconsin would go blue without Ohio -- Ohio's had similar anti-union foment that's awoken the progressives and unions from their slumber. And then there's Virginia and North Carolina -- could religious conservatives be able to hold off another round of every single African American showing up to vote?

If Obama wins any of OH/VA/NC/PA in your scenario, second term. If he wins CO + NM, second term. And then there's the really crazy scenario of only getting NV + NM + Omaha... and then it's thrown to the House, where they'd vote in the Republican (regardless of the popular vote) and the Senate would then vote for a VP... Santorum-Obama? Welcome to 1800 all over again.
posted by dw at 8:31 PM on February 14, 2012


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it the incoming/newly-elected House that elects the president in the event of a tie?
posted by Rhaomi at 8:45 PM on February 14, 2012


Rombo tries to go on the offensive, but Santorum backfires on him.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:38 AM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rombo tries to go on the offensive, but Santorum backfires on him.

I watched that like Sean Connery watching Indy shoot people in The Last Crusade. "Look what you did! I can't believe what you did!"

Rick Santorum actually put out a campaign video yesterday where he has got a standup cutout of himself getting hit by what looks like splotches of shit. What?!?! You cannot make this stuff up.
posted by cashman at 8:06 AM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Santorum now currently has the best odds in Ohio!
posted by Theta States at 8:23 AM on February 15, 2012


Mitt Gets His Own 'Google Problem': SpreadingRomney.com
posted by homunculus at 2:26 PM on February 15, 2012


The Catholic church doesn't accept Mormon baptism as valid, and baptism is what they consider the pre-requisite for being considered Christian.

Speaking of Mormon baptisms: Elie Wiesel calls on Mitt Romney to make Mormon Church stop proxy baptisms of Jews
posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's not actually the head Mormon.
posted by smackfu at 4:31 PM on February 15, 2012


I thought they had a hive mind?
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country - the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America's preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.
posted by empath at 10:43 AM on February 17, 2012


what
posted by anigbrowl at 11:05 AM on February 17, 2012


"mainline Protestantism in this country ... is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. " -- Rich Santorum
posted by empath at 11:13 AM on February 17, 2012


Heh. If he gets into office and initiates a purge it;s going to be fun. Nobody expects the American Inquisition!
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on February 17, 2012


As America battles with a struggling economy and high unemployment, the Republican primaries continue to focus on the real threat to national wellbeing: the vagina.
posted by adamvasco at 3:24 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a joke. There are much bigger threats out there. Much bigger.

This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country - the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America's preeminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.

He didn't have much success in the early days. Our foundation was very strong, in fact, is very strong. But over time, that great, acidic quality of time corrodes even the strongest foundations. And Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.

He was successful. He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions. The place where he was, in my mind, the most successful and first successful was in academia. He understood pride of smart people. He attacked them at their weakest, that they were, in fact, smarter than everybody else and could come up with something new and different. Pursue new truths, deny the existence of truth, play with it because they're smart. And so academia, a long time ago, fell.

And you say "what could be the impact of academia falling?" Well, I would have the argument that the other structures that I'm going to talk about here had root of their destruction because of academia. Because what academia does is educate the elites in our society, educates the leaders in our society, particularly at the college level. And they were the first to fall.

And so what we saw this domino effect, once the colleges fell and those who were being education in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it. So they attacked mainline Protestantism, they attacked the Church, and what better way to go after smart people who also believe they’re pious to use both vanity and pride to also go after the Church.

After that, you start destroying the Church and you start destroying academia, the culture is where their next success was and I need not even go into the state of the popular culture today. Whether its sensuality of vanity of the famous in America, they are peacocks on display and they have taken their poor behavior and made it fashionable. The corruption of culture, the corruption of manners, the corruption of decency is now on display whether it’s the NBA or whether it’s a rock concert or whether it’s on a movie set.

The fourth, and this was harder, now I know you’re going to challenge me on this one, but politics and government was the next to fall. You say, ‘you would think they would be the first to fall, as fallible as we are in politics,’ but people in political life get elected by ordinary folks from lots of places all over the country where the foundations of this country are still strong. So while we may certainly have had examples, the body politic held up fairly well up until the last couple of decades, but it is falling too.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:42 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Top GOP Senator Says ‘If Romney Loses Michigan, We Need a New Candidate’

I don't know how they think that they can derail Santorum if he gets the most delegates but it looks like they are going to try.
posted by octothorpe at 7:55 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is a quality crazy-person rant there.
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on February 18, 2012


Artw: "That is a quality crazy-person rant there."

Here, try this one on for size, "where Senator Santorum promises to protect us against government interference in education by mandating an federal accreditation program to ensure ideological balance among teachers":
we're going to repeal all sorts of regulations that ... inject the federal government into the area of education.
...
just like we have certifying organizations that accredidate [sic] college, we're going to have certain organizations that will ... accredit conservative professors
[so] that if you are to be eligible for federal funds you have to
provide an equal number of conservative professors as liberal professors
so we have some balance when our children come to school
and not- and not in the process of being indocrinated by the academy
which is exactly what they are right now
[some stammers elided. he may have been joking, but it's not clear, at least from the transcript.]
posted by FlyingMonkey at 8:15 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy fuck, it's like the dude from Dead Zone only insane enough on the outside to begin with.
posted by Artw at 8:22 AM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


The beautiful think about Santorum's brand of crazy is that it's going to sell in the primary.
posted by empath at 8:22 AM on February 20, 2012


I still have no trust in the American public not to elect this lunatic, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know Daily Kos is encouraging Democrats to vote for him in the primary, right?
posted by empath at 8:50 AM on February 20, 2012


just like we have certifying organizations that accredidate [sic] college, we're going to have certain organizations that will ... accredit conservative professors
[so] that if you are to be eligible for federal funds you have to
provide an equal number of conservative professors as liberal professors
so we have some balance when our children come to school
and not- and not in the process of being indocrinated by the academy
which is exactly what they are right now

The hypocrisy, it burns:

Rick Santorum: "Newt supported the Fairness Doctrine!"
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:18 AM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Trump: Democrats are salivating for Santorum.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:13 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lick Santorum  
"Don’t Bring This Sign.   People, you’re better than this. Please don’t download this printable .PDF and take it to Rick Santorum’s 5:30 p.m. rally at Hope College. Or to his 7:30 p.m. dinner at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. That’s not who you are. Is it?"
posted by jeffburdges at 2:17 PM on February 20, 2012


Pencils down, please, we have a winner.

Santorum blasts Obama during Cumming rally.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:24 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Santorum spokesperson criticizes Obama's "radical Islamic policies."
posted by octothorpe at 3:38 PM on February 20, 2012


There is another nice touch buried in that Cumming Santorum article (eeww!), Horace Rumpole. You'll observe his podium banner says "ricksantorum.com" with santorum distinguished in blue, making the rick almost forgotten, well santorum.com is spreading a different message.  lol
posted by jeffburdges at 5:45 PM on February 20, 2012


You know Daily Kos is encouraging Democrats to vote for him in the primary, right?

After Rush Limbaugh pulled his "Operation Chaos" stunt four years ago, I don't doubt it at all. The ultimate danger of dirty tricks is that it forces the other side to resort to them too, just to keep up, and in the end each side's attempts to one-up the other turns into a vicious anything-goes battle. The casualities of such a battle: empathy, a feeling of common ground, and eventually the foundations of civilization.
posted by JHarris at 6:01 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


After Rush Limbaugh pulled his "Operation Chaos" stunt four years ago,

I really don't remember the timing of the things, but I am fairly sure Dkos called for primary cross voting 4 years ago as well. I don't remember if Rush's stunt was before, or in reaction to, the Dkos call (part of me thinks it was reactionary call, after the Dkos call). But... either way those "dirty tricks" where encouraged by partisans on both sides last time.

Didn't like it then and as much as I'd like to see Ricky win in MI just for the consternation it would cause, I don't care for it now either. For one thing if Santorum wins in MI Romney now has a inbuilt excuse to dismiss the win.
posted by edgeways at 7:12 PM on February 20, 2012


Why would Dkos have called for voting in the Republican primary in '08? The Obama/Clinton battle lasted longer than the Republican one...

In general, I'm really not a fan of voting for the opposing party's "weaker" candidate. Especially in this instance. Romney, while out of touch, seems to approach things with at least of dose of reason. Santorum seems to actively be working on turning the US into a theocracy.

Any number of things could happen between now and the election that could swing it voters to the right (say an economic panic or another Sept. 11 level terrorist attack on US soil).
posted by drezdn at 8:09 PM on February 20, 2012


I could see it becoming an extremly regretable prank if the fucker won...
posted by Artw at 8:56 PM on February 20, 2012


The ultimate danger of dirty tricks is that it forces the other side to resort to them too, just to keep up, and in the end each side's attempts to one-up the other turns into a vicious anything-goes battle.

I just watched a TV show about Germany's introduction of chlorine gas in to WW1...
posted by Theta States at 6:02 AM on February 21, 2012


Heard about the "Operation Hilarity" just this morning; NPR took opinions from the public, and there were several good points either way (one person made the good observation that cross-primary hijacking is just as "fair" as the SuperPacs).

However, my immediate disappointment wasn't in the action itself -- it was in the choice of candidate (Dems -- why not go for RON PAUL if you wanted to throw a monkey wrench into things?)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:45 AM on February 21, 2012


Because Ron Paul doesn't have a chance of actually beating Romney in any state. There's not going to be very many democrats doing this, anyway.
posted by empath at 8:50 AM on February 21, 2012


"the small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large. ... it’s stunning how little this Republican primary electorate resembles the rest of the United States. They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012."

...


"The Republican presidential class of 2012 is slacking in one of their key duties. The candidates, including those already fallen by the wayside, have combined to raise only $174 million through the end of January. That's $75 million less than the 2008 Republican presidential field had raised through January 2008. "

...

"You're a liberal something, but you're not a Christian."

I'd love to see this guy as the GOP nominee for the presidential election. It's gonna take someone as stupid as this boner to make the alternative parties viable.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:49 PM on February 21, 2012


Santorum: Democrats are "anti-science," not me

Because they are not bullshit climate change denialists, naturally.
posted by Artw at 4:22 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ahh thanks Artw, you reminded me to add Say Anything... to my to_torrent.txt file.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:54 PM on February 21, 2012


I'm getting nervous, Santorum is currently given just a 51% chance of winning Michigan. If Santorum can withstand the millions of $$$ in ads against him by Romney in that state and win it, that means we are in for an exceptionally long fight. Romney's burned a lot of cash on that state, but I think it might be a smart investment for his campaign, tragically.

also, Newt's down to just a 34% chance of winning Georgia. I fear if he doesn't win that state, he will bow out. (Bluster out?)

Please oh please let Santorum be the Republican candidate!!!!
posted by Theta States at 8:26 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would not assume that Santorum will be a pushover. He's going to win a lot of states.
posted by empath at 11:16 AM on February 22, 2012


I think there is a very real and not at all funny possibility that the nation will be swept by a tide of Santorum (sorry).

We'll all laugh about it as we're burned at the stake.
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would not assume that Santorum will be a pushover. He's going to win a lot of states.

Not-Obama will carry 40% of the vote, at an ultraconservative minimum. It doesn't matter. "Second place is first loser," as the T-shirt says.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:21 AM on February 22, 2012


If the economy doesn't pick up, the GOP can run a dead dog and get 45% of the vote.
posted by empath at 11:31 AM on February 22, 2012


But not if the dead dog believes in evolution.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:37 AM on February 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


A live boy, a dead girl, a belief in evolution or doubt in cutting all taxes being the cure for everything.
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on February 22, 2012


It's like Santorum decided "you're going to make me the front runner? I'm going to just start saying every crazy thing I can think of."
posted by drezdn at 12:08 PM on February 22, 2012


I'm hoping the Republican nomination deteriorates into a court fight personally, with said case's resolution appearing exceedingly corrupt, naturally.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:53 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't wish too hard for Santorum, because a lot can go wrong in the world before November. Imagine any combination of economic or natural disasters, plus Santorum on every channel claiming to known the mind of god. That's how political systems crash.
posted by Brian B. at 8:05 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gah, from what I saw of last night's debate, Santorum wilted...
posted by Theta States at 6:13 AM on February 23, 2012


yeah it's a hard one, I'd say there where no clear winners, but Ricky definitely did himself no favors and could well lose much of his momentum because of it. Seems like we keep coming to make or break points in this thing and Mittens never puts it away for good. This next round may be it though
posted by edgeways at 6:22 AM on February 23, 2012


Imagine any combination of economic or natural disasters, plus Santorum on every channel claiming to known the mind of god.

the "smart idiot" effect
posted by mrgrimm at 8:28 AM on February 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Instead of using climate science or global science he uses political science. And political science in this case is suggesting that a technology that has been successfully used to drill hundreds of thousands of wells in this country, hundreds of thousands of oil and gas wells, all of a sudden now that’s a dangerous technology. Why? Because it could lead to lower energy prices. That’s the dangerousness of this technology. It doesn’t fit his pattern of trying to drive down consumption, driving to drive up your cost of transportation to accomplish his political science goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

This is what the president’s agenda is. It’s not about you. It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology."


"Biblical Capitalism" and Rick Santorum
posted by mrgrimm at 10:28 AM on February 23, 2012


Just a note about that Biblical Capitalism link: there's a lot of good information there, as far as I can tell, but it suffers from what I know personally to be a characteristically monolithic view of what is actually a wildly diverse religious movement. That's not to say that these folk don't share some nutty and pretty scary beliefs. But that there's a lot of guilt-by-association going on in these profiles. That is, because various leaders share some beliefs and backgrounds and associations, it's assumed that what one of them professes to applies to all of them...when I know for a fact, with regard to one particular leader, this isn't true. I'm not saying that the person I have pretty reliable information about doesn't believe scary and nutty things, but that some of the things attributed to him (always by association) I know he doesn't believe. Which calls into question all those other things I don't happen to have the good fortune of having personal knowledge about.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:50 AM on February 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's some animation fun with Obama devil-possession and Kanye West as one of the deadly sins
posted by angrycat at 2:35 PM on February 23, 2012


I haven't verified precisely this headline but supposedly some Arizona paper ran with :

Santorum surges from behind in Arizona three-way
posted by jeffburdges at 5:00 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dan Savage: I am freaking out. You might be scared, but I'm the one who's going to be audited every year!
posted by jeffburdges at 5:01 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, here it is in a nutshell: The only way the Republican party will return to anything resembling lucidity is if it nominates the most radical and oppressive candidate possible. And then loses in the general election, preferably by a wide margin. That would be Santorum btw.

Partisan public sentiment is not kind to presidential losers, if one reads how rank and file Republicans feel about Bush Sr., Dole and McCain, or conversely of Democrats feel about Dukakis and Kerry (Gore seems to be the exception to the rule, perhaps because of the bizarre circumstances surrounding his loss), one thing stands out. They are roundly criticized and blamed for the loss. The opposition isn't given credit for the win, the candidate is blamed for losing. Often the blame is couched in terms of them not being conservative/liberal enough

A Santorum loss may encourage the GOP party to start dialing back on it's sheer mind blowing stupidity of trying to turn the clock back decades where naughty women knew their place, men where men and we didn't have to worry about the brown skins or homos.

A Romney nomination and (hopeful) loss, would just solidify the thought that he is not radical enough, that he was not a "True Scotsman" and would continue the party down the line as it is.
posted by edgeways at 2:28 AM on February 26, 2012


“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum said. “What a snob!”

This is coming from someone with a BA, MBA and JD.
posted by octothorpe at 7:42 AM on February 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is coming from someone with a BA, MBA and JD.

This is coming from someone who thinks that wanting people to get all of the education they can is somehow snobby, and not say, amazing.
Oh wait, promoting education is one of those... progressive ideas, isn't it?
posted by Theta States at 6:08 AM on February 27, 2012


Worse, an education is STEM fields (a) helps create economic mobility, commonly including brown people, and (c) directly threatens religious belief, especially the sort Frothy holds. Gay animals exist, what?
posted by jeffburdges at 8:01 AM on February 27, 2012


Thing of is that as manufacturing jobs decrease in America we have to shift that workforce into something else, and the options are basically service industry (that pays crap) or industries that require more than a basic education, indeed it may be a point in our history where it would be wise to expand guaranteed education into at least an AA degree if not more.

I know he tends to be rather shallow on issues, but frankly it sounds like Santorum wants everyone to be flippin burgers and be happy, with their wives at home popping out Christian babies
posted by edgeways at 8:30 AM on February 27, 2012


I wouldn't call it snobbery, but the idea that everyone in America should go to college is pretty ridiculous.

I know someone who teaches at a small college that has "open admission" or as many of the faculty say, they admit anyone with "a purse and a pulse." It's borderline fraudulent, since they take a semester or two of tuition from students who have no chance of getting passing grades in college-level classes.

I think a liberal-arts education would be of benefit to anyone, even if they want to be a farmer, a plumber, an auto mechanic, or a shopkeeper. But lots of people are unable to do that kind of work and lots of people have no interest in doing that kind of work, and in an ideal society, they shouldn't have to.
posted by straight at 9:56 AM on February 27, 2012


I wouldn't call it snobbery, but the idea that everyone in America should go to college is pretty ridiculous.

You're arguing with Santorum's straw man here, no one expects everyone to go to college, just that everyone should have the opportunity and not be held back by the cost.
posted by octothorpe at 10:10 AM on February 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let's say that Romney barely manages to squeeze out santorum in Michigan, does that really count as a 'win' for Romney? Especially if he gets walloped on Super Tuesday?
posted by empath at 10:32 AM on February 27, 2012


Actually let's talk Super Tuesday:

Alaska (no polls, probably romney?)
Georgia -- Gingrich
Idaho (no polls, have to imagine Santorum is ahead)
Massachusetts -- Romney
North Dakota (No polls, Santorum probably leading?)
Ohio -- Santorum ahead
Oklahoma -- Santorum ahead
Tennessee -- Santorum ahead in polling.
Vermont (No idea -- Going to guess Romney/Paul in that order?)
Virginia -- Romney

Looks to me that Gingrich is going to have to fold up after Super Tuesday -- have to believe he's going to immediately endorse Santorum.
posted by empath at 10:39 AM on February 27, 2012


Idaho (no polls, have to imagine Santorum is ahead)

Idaho does have a very conservative religious population, but it's also 25% LDS, and the extreme right wing tends to be anti-federalist/libertarian-ish. My bet would be that Romney will come out almost as well as he did in Nevada, and Paul will be second.
posted by weston at 10:53 AM on February 27, 2012


yeah, Idaho was a wild-ass guess for me. But Santorum did win Colorado.
posted by empath at 10:57 AM on February 27, 2012


Colorado has pretty big Evangelical and Catholic populations -- both are on the order of 20%, and then there's another rough 20% that's other mainline Protestant. Perhaps surprisingly, the presence of Mormons among the general population is really only around the national average: 2%.

Of course, Idaho has big Evangelical and Catholic populations too, so there's that, but I think the fact that the LDS Church is the single largest denomination in the state changes the likely dynamic, particularly given that a 7% boost for Romney could have won him Colorado.
posted by weston at 12:12 PM on February 27, 2012


Looks to me that Gingrich is going to have to fold up after Super Tuesday -- have to believe he's going to immediately endorse Santorum.

Oh I hope so!
posted by Theta States at 12:13 PM on February 27, 2012


Santorum polling comes from behind in Alabama three way.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:41 PM on February 27, 2012


Weather.com is forecasting heavy snow and wintry mixes for much of Michigan tomorrow. I'm not sure who a low turnout would benefit.
posted by codacorolla at 8:23 PM on February 27, 2012


Probably Santorum. Bad weather discourages low-motivation voters and ensures only the most enthusiastic show up at the polls.

Also, from Public Policy Polling:
Momentum back toward Santorum in MI?

PPP's final poll in Michigan finds Rick Santorum holding on to the smallest of leads with 38% to 37% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Ron Paul, and 9% for Newt Gingrich.

It's always good to be cautious with one night poll numbers, but momentum seems to be swinging in Santorum's direction. Romney led with those interviewed on Sunday, but Santorum has a 39-34 advantage with folks polled on Monday. The best sign that things have gone back toward Santorum might be that with those polled today who hadn't already voted, Santorum's advantage was 41-31.

Much has been made of Democratic efforts to turn out the vote for Santorum and we see evidence that's actually happening. Romney leads with actual Republican voters, 43-38. But Santorum's up 47-10 with Democratic voters, and even though they're only 8% of the likely electorate that's enough to put him over the top. The big question now is whether those folks will actually bother to show up and vote tomorrow.
This poll plus others released today inched FiveThirtyEight's Michigan forecast into an exact tie (37.6-37.6) before another late-breaking one showing negative momentum for Romney nevertheless pushed him into a "commanding" lead of 0.7%. Yikes.

(Arizona is almost certain to be a huge blowout for Romney, though).
posted by Rhaomi at 9:16 PM on February 27, 2012


Funny thing about MI is how Rom-E has been trying to spin it the last day or two. "I've/We've come from behind...etc" when Mitt actually started out with what a 30%+? 40%+ lead that disappeared to -10%+. No one will focus on it if Mittens wins MI, but in a real sense he has lost Michigan already, even if he technically wins. even if he wins by 1% there will likely be zero bounce from MI. (perhaps a little from AZ though, we'll see) and the primary will keep dragging on.

To me the most remarkable thing is the primary keeps dragging on. I think a legitimate narrative would be, Romney isn't a closer. He was suppose to be my inevitable and is turning out to be Mr festering wound. It'll be even worse after Newt drops. If he ends up losing MI (numbers-wise) by any margin expect the GOP to start freaking out even more, with vocal calls for a dark horse to jump in. Who though? Christie has taken himself out numerous times, I know Sarah would love to, but I doubt the establishment really wants her in there, Mitch Daniels gets mentioned, but he has the charisma of a dead horse and extremely low name recognition.

Lets face it, Romney is not getting the party support he needs. It's the old one contender can't motivate the base, the other can't motivate anyone but the base, perfect primary storm, and we benefit.
posted by edgeways at 5:16 AM on February 28, 2012


Except in the nightmare situation where the GOP nominates someone by acclamation at the convention, and the Democrats have to scramble to define them for the general (someone like Mitch Daniels.)
posted by empath at 6:08 AM on February 28, 2012


Santorum defends robocalls urging Democrats to vote in Mich. primary
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM on February 28, 2012


Somehow 'acclamation' and 'Mitch Daniels' seems funny in the same sentence. And I don't think Romney would take it lying down, he'll (likely) have the most delegates, they can't really offer him a better job, or money. A brokered convention would be a bloodbath.

And Romney himself has crossed party lines to vote for a Democrat in the primary:

“In Massachusetts, if you register as an independent, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary,” said Romney, who until he made an unsuccessful run for Senate in 1994 had spent his adult life as a registered independent. “When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican.”

Of course Mitt, being Mitt (at least he can agree on THAT), this was at least the second, different, justification for his actions, in the 1990s, Mitt said he voted for Tsongas over Clinton in the primary out of "home state pride" and because he liked his platform better than Clinton's.

So whatever ambivalence I felt against the mischief voting in Michigan is kind of out the window and I hope cross voting happens and throws the primary.
posted by edgeways at 11:08 AM on February 28, 2012


Oh and something from THIS YEAR;

"In my state of Massachusetts, you could register as an independent and go vote in which—either primary happens to be very interesting. And any chance I got to vote against Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, I took."

Mitt Romney, January 28, 2012

posted by edgeways at 11:11 AM on February 28, 2012


oh shit, the brokered convention is a certainty now that Mitt has discounted it
posted by edgeways at 1:10 PM on February 28, 2012


Santorum polling comes from behind in Alabama three way.

But ... you mangled the joke. Wasn't that the whole point of that article?

"Santorum comes from behind in Alabama three-way" is the actual joke.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:27 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd miss-read him as "Santorum pooling comes from behind in Alabama three-way", which made for a nice twist on an old friend. :)
posted by jeffburdges at 5:28 PM on February 28, 2012


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pole

1. Cylindrical object that is often long and used as a support for a structure
2. A person from Poland
3. An extreme end of an axis
4. Slang for a penis

posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:20 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rick Santorum’s Wikileaks
posted by homunculus at 1:40 PM on March 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


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