If Rick Santorum should win the Republican nomination for president next November much of the credit should go to those six powerful words he delivered in an emotional victory speech in Iowa early Wednesday morning after a long night of caucusing. I say victory speech because losing by just eight votes to the supposed front runner Mitt Romney is indeed a massive victory, and surely a very disappointing finish for the former Massachusetts governor. As Santorum boldly declared the second he took to the podium, "game on."
The hands former Pennsylvania Congressman and Senator was referring to belonged to his grandfather who toiled in the coal mines to provide for his family. He spoke of what it means to work hard for honest wage and live the American Dream. It's a narrative that should bode very well for him as voters struggle to make ends meet in a still recession-like economy. It's a message that the uber-wealthy Romney, with his elitist country club lifestyle, attitude and deferential positions towards corporate America, wishes he had. Take all that, throw in RomneyCare and a general unlikeability factor and last night's results spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e for him.
Romney, who simply can't seem to break out of the 20-25% vortex he's been frustratingly swirling in, will have not just Santorum gnawing at his tail non-stop now, but a very angry Newt Gingrich as well who, despite a relatively poor 13% showing, has vowed to kick some serious Mitt ass this next week leading up to January 12th's New Hampshire primary. They'll get their shot during Saturday's GOP debate in Manchester and another the following morning on NBC's "Meet the Press." The guy who thought he was gonna coast to the nomination now has two extremely ferocious pit bulls vying to destroy him. It's not gonna be pretty, but it's sure gonna make for some delicious viewing.
But it's time to get serious. While it may be fun right now to watch these rapacious conservazombies devour each other with bloodthirsty zeal, the long term picture is quite troubling. I believe Rick Santorum stands a very strong chance of winning the nomination. And as such, rational Americans should pray that he does not end up anywhere near the Oval Office. Under the right economic circumstances, it's not such a stretch to think he could go all the way to the White House.
To be perfectly blunt, Santorum is a very dangerous candidate. In his speech last night he likened government aid programs to fascism. His social positions are downright frightening. He's rabidly anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, anti-stem-cell research, favors school prayer and the teaching of creationism, and invokes God and religion more than Jesus himself. He supported Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to gut Medicare, thinks climate change is a hoax, and would blow up Iran if he could. And, despite his tear-jerking tales of grandpappy's blue-collar laboring, he's firmly anti-union. Let's also not forget how he took home his wife's dead 20 week old fetus from the hospital and made his kids hold, kiss, talk to and pose for family photos with it. Get the picture? Santorum and his neanderthal views would set America back 200 years.
Could he beat Obama? Well, like the president, he's relatively young (53) and a devoted family man with kids. He's got that attractive faux-everyman narrative in a bad economy, and he's got the support of true conservatives. He's the anti-Romney personified. Oh, and he's also white.