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Ron Radosh

Voting for Santorum Equals Electing Obama in November!

February 27th, 2012 - 4:41 pm

There is a reason that the United Automobile Workers and its troops are urging its Michigan members to vote Tuesday in the crossover Michigan primary, and to cast their vote not for Barack Obama, but for Rick Santorum. They understand, as evidently many conservatives and Republicans do not comprehend, that Santorum as the Republican nominee would be nothing but a wonderful gift for the Democratic Party.

In an election year in which by all measurable standards Barack Obama should be toast, and when his major policy “achievement” of ObamaCare is detested by the public in all the polls, he is ahead in the same polls when pitted against any of the current crop of Republican candidates and gaining strength with every passing day. And even with rising gas prices — which of course will fall by November — and high unemployment, it is more than likely that the current occupant of the White House will indeed have a second term in office. If Rick Santorum is the nominee, it is a certainty that Obama will win.

Certainly, one can admire a great deal of Santorum’s firmness in standing for what he sincerely believes, as even Joe Klein admirably points out. True, Klein writes, he has been over the top, especially arguing that America today is more under the rule of Satan than in any of its past history. But, as Klein writes:

When you leave Hitler and Satan aside, there is something admirable about Santorum’s near Tourettic insistence on bringing up issues no one else wants to talk about. His position on education — that parents need to spend a lot more time supervising their children’s schooling — draws stifled groans from the overworked parents in his audiences, but he’s right: parents know best how their children learn. His emphasis on the importance of intact families is undoubtedly correct as well; every major study since the 1960s has shown the disaster that results from out-of-wedlock births. Even Santorum’s use of prenatal testing raises uncomfortable issues for many people. It was a sonogram that helped determine that the Santorums’ son Gabriel needed microsurgery in the womb to clear his bladder. Rick and Karen decided to fight for Gabriel’s life, which nearly cost Karen her own, and they passionately embraced the child during his two hours on earth. They have spent the past three years caring for their daughter Isabella, whose genetic defect, trisomy 18, is an early-death sentence.

And, as our colleague Michael Ledeen has reminded us, Santorum has a strong understanding of the major threat Iran is to the national security of the entire West, not just Israel and the United States. And he had that comprehension before anyone else, when saying this out loud was not particularly popular. As Ledeen writes:

Mr. Santorum believes the United States must lead the struggle for freedom throughout the world, on grounds of morality and national security, which he believes go hand in hand. He does not like the drift away from leadership and engagement in that struggle, especially under President Obama.

For these reasons, I would hope that if Mitt Romney becomes the nominee and somehow wins the presidency, he would appoint Santorum head of the National Security Council and John Bolton secretary of State. The two would be a strong and tough team that could change our disastrous foreign policy and finally develop one that would gain respect for our country throughout the world. But such a comprehension does not mean Santorum can win the White House in a general election.

The point has been well made by Kathleen Parker, who writes:

He’s so far out of step with the majority of Americans that he can’t hope to win the votes of moderates and independents so crucial to victory in November. The Republican Party’s insistence on conservative purity, meanwhile, will result in the cold comfort of defeat with honor and, in the longer term, potential extinction.

You can agree with Santorum’s total opposition to abortions for women in any case whatsoever, but if you look at how so many Republican women bolted in anger against the GOP when informed last week of the proposed Virginia legislation that would have forced vaginal insertion of a probe into a woman’s body, you get an indication of how national adoption of Santorum’s policies would create a storm. As Parker wrote:

When did Republicans, who supposedly believe in less government intervention, begin thinking that invading a person’s body against her will was remotely acceptable?

The debate with a Santorum candidacy would focus on his social views, and be about contraception, Catholic views of birth control, state enforced vaginal penetration of women’s bodies before abortion, and generally about Santorum himself. Forgotten will be the economy, jobs, unemployment, and foreign policy. The Democrats will simply make sure of this. Democrats will charge, falsely of course, that Republicans are campaigning against birth control, and to bolster their charge, they will pull out of the hat Santorum’s own complicated and difficult-to-understand views that he has expressed in the past. As Parker says, just look at the math. Sixty-seven percent of women are Democrats or independents, and more of them vote than men.

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