The Case For Chanting ‘Go, Santorum, Go’
Former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins made this observation (as quoted by John Heilemann in New York Magazine) regarding the 2012 Republican primary:
Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, “We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama.” Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, “My God, what a fucking mess.”
Given Rick Santorum’s quest for an American theocracy, Mitt Romney’s insistence throughout the campaign on portraying himself as a somewhat less compassionate version of Gordon Gekko, Newt Gingrich’s moon colonies and hope of eradicating from the judiciary every judge who does not follow the Gingrich Doctrine and Ron Paul…well, Ron Paul’s refusal to be anyone else but Ron Paul…one can only think, a fucking mess, indeed. Which begs the question, why so, why now?
Because any party which is composed in large part (in Robert Reich’s words) of “birthers, creationists, theocrats, climate-change deniers, nativists, gay-bashers, anti-abortionists, media paranoids, anti-intellectuals, and out-of-touch country clubbers” cannot possibly be appeased by a single candidate and when the attempt is made, the result is the three (four?) ring circus Republicans now have before them.
In this Republican age of insanity, finding credible, rational conservatives willing to risk their politician careers to take on an incumbent president while courting the vote of teabaggers, bigots and religious fundamentalists (not all mutually exclusive) is no easy task. Just ask Jon Huntsman. Intelligence and a record of staunch conservatism is simply not enough to satisfy the GOP’s current base – a base which insists that their candidate be every bit as irrational and loopy as them. It is a request which the four remaining candidates vying to become the Republican nominee are desperately attempting to fulfill.
Given the current state of the Republican party John Heilmann theorizes on the consequences of an Obama win or loss in November.
…it’s still perfectly conceivable that Obama might lose this thing.
If that happens, the implications for the Republican Party will be straightforward: It will be reshaped in the image of whichever of the candidates becomes president-elect. A Romney victory would signal the resurgence of the regulars, while one by Santorum would usher in an era of red-hot regnancy.
But if Obama prevails, precisely the opposite dynamic is likely to kick in: a period of bitter recriminations followed by a reformation (or counterreformation) of the GOP. This, please recall, was what many Republicans were counting on to happen in the wake of their party’s loss of the White House and seats in the House and Senate in 2008. Instead, Republicans seized on a strategy of relentless opposition to Obama, which proved politically effective in 2010 but left the party as bereft of new ideas, a constructive agenda, or a coherent governing philosophy as before.
And this bit of reasoning for hoping that Rick Santorum prevails against Romney but loses to Obama.
Only the most mindless of ideologues reject the truism that America would be best served by the presence of two credible governing parties instead of the situation that currently obtains. A Santorum nomination would be seen by many liberals as a scary and retrograde proposition. And no doubt it would make for a wild ride, with enough talk of Satan, abortifacients, and sweater vests to drive any sane man bonkers. But in the long run, it might do a world of good, compelling Republicans to return to their senses—and forge ahead into the 21st century. Which is why all people of common sense and goodwill might consider, in the days ahead, adopting a slogan that may strike them as odd, perverse, or even demented: Go, Rick, go.