A Correction With Regard to Rick Santorum

As regular readers of Some Disagree know, I have been maintaining for a while now that among current Republican candidates, Rick Santorum would pose the biggest threat to President Obama’s re-election chances should he gain the nomination.  This idea is predicated on two notions: first, that Santorum would be able to excite and turn out the Republican base better than any other candidate; and second, that Santorum can make the strongest argument on the economic issues that will decide this election.

Well, this week, Santorum has tried to turn banning “hard-core” pornography into an election issue.   And so, I am having to entertain the idea that Santorum is simply physically incapable of shutting his trap on social issues and maintaining focus on an economic message.  If that’s the case, and Santorum truly just can’t help himself, then I think Santorum is the same completely unelectable nonsense candidate everyone thought he was before Iowa.

I should make the caveat that Santorum’s behavior in the primary election is not necessarily a reliable indicator of how he would behave in the general.  It’s possible that he keeps bringing up these ridiculous, long-settled social issues as part of his strategy against Romney and would drop all of it as soon as Obama was his opponent.  But I don’t think that theory really holds up to a lot of scrutiny.  If Santorum’s intention is to position himself to Romney’s right for the primary before a reversion to the center in the general, why would he go so far right?  Why litigate social issues that haven’t been hot topics since the Warren Court was in session?  You really don’t have to go very far to be recognizably on Mitt Romney’s right.

So no, I have to think that Santorum really can’t help himself on this stuff.  If that’s the case, then my previous electability argument was misguided.  Mea culpa.

Author: inuyesta

Law student with Josh Lyman dreams in a Toby Ziegler reality.

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