I just got done listening to Rick Santorum's address following the Iowa Republican caucus.
I gotta admit, the guy can give a speech. If you didn't know who he was, you might think of him as one of those salt-of-the-earth, grass-root, regular guys that you could identify with. He speaks with a sincerity that differs from the usual canned, game show host swill that guys like Mitt Romney dish out by the metric ton.
Thing is, I do know who the former senator is, so I waited…and he didn't disappoint. Santorum spun a yarn about his grandfather leaving Italy to give Mussolini the slip. He tied this to his crusade to politically slay the modern day Benito, who currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (This became less of an exaggeration when Obama signed the NDAA into law).
Ah…there it is, if given enough rope, Santorum will roll into his God-hates-fags, contraception-gives-approval-to-do-baaad-things, have-the-rapist's-baby, kill all Muslims, Christian empire shtick, which we will certainly see, especially in such enlightened places like South Carolina. But rest easy folks, because as of 2:36 a.m., the Iowa Republican powers that be gave the win to the GOP's tribute to Disney animatronics, Mitt Romney by eight votes.
Santorum practically lived in Iowa for a year and couldn't get a win, while Romney mailed it in and still managed a victory, however marginal. Even if he could mobilize enough of the extreme right to get the nomination, Santorum would be a dead duck in the general election.
There are still enough of us out there who believe in freedom from religion as much as freedom of religion to ever let Rick win (hopefully). Yeah, I'm a big separation of church and state supporter, so sue me…so was Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Benjamin Franklin.
Ron Paul finished third and will never get any traction within the GOP due to his anti-empire, to-heck-with-Israel, legal weed, isolationist positions. His best bet is to go third party, which he won't do. The good doctor is old enough and smart enough to know that third party candidates throw elections, not win them. Paul's decision to go independent would most assuredly give the President a second term.
This is more than Ron's son, Rand would be able to say if Dad tells the Republicans to go fly a kite before going rouge. The junior senator from Kentucky would become a Republican pariah and his father knows that. To add to his woes, Paul is on the Fox News blacklist, which is death to anyone looking for success within the GOP electorate these days.
The other semi-reasonable republican candidate, Jon Huntsman didn't even bother trying to convince the Iowa right that he really isn't Harry Reid's love child.
If you like your Ron Paul without the anti-abortion, foil-the-windows, need-to-have-a-statement-of-Faith-website-page, champion of homeschoolers, get-off-my-lawn hue, there's Gary Johnson, who happens to be my personal favorite. Paul is a media rock star compared to Johnson, which is a shame.
The former governor of New Mexico couldn't even get a seat at this year's GOP debate-a-palooza and doesn't get the time of day from the news networks. Frustrated by being forsaken by his party, Johnson went Libertarian, which means he'll get 56 votes this November. To be perfectly honest, guys like Paul and Johnson would fare better as conservative Democrats than non-traditional Republicans.
Being an incumbent gives one a pretty good edge. But, it isn't a guarantee, depending on the competition.
Reagan was beatable in 1984, but the Dems put Walter Mondale against him…game over.
G.H.W. Bush was beatable in 1988 until Michael Dukakis got the nod, as was Bill Clinton, but not by Robert Dole.
G.W, Bush was beatable (twice), but the Democrats managed to botch that as well.
Barack Obama is beatable, too...but not by these guys. Once again, hope will spiral into despair and disappointment.