Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oh, Yeah: And Him Too

I had hoped to post some good news, that Wisconsin voters had recalled at least three GOP state senators, but that hope was dashed. Only two were recalled. The state senate remains in the hands of the GOP. It was a valiant effort at push-back against the anti-union, anti-worker governor, but it just couldn't get over the hump in conservative districts. Still, it was and is a good start for all of us. At least we showed our party how to get off its knees. That's going to be important in 2012.

Because I can't celebrate this morning the way I wanted, I'll just take another look at the Iowa straw poll coming up this weekend. While meaningless in terms of garnering actual delegates, it has become a gauge for how candidates are faring in their respective drives. People who do very poorly here apparently don't have a chance and generally fold their campaigns. The Los Angeles Times suggests that two candidates are potentially in that position: Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum.

Yes, Rick Santorum, that guy from the past.

The former Pennsylvania senator says he is best suited to take on Obama because he is the sole member of the GOP field who has defeated Democratic incumbents. He points with pride to his track record, including writing legislation that overhauled welfare.

Santorum castigates Obama as not believing in the values upon which the nation was founded and says the president's healthcare law is solely aimed at giving government ultimate control over citizens' lives.

"After 235 years of giving up people's lives, fortunes and sacred honor to defend and fight for that heart of America, if you want to be the generation that will go down in history that gave it away, you just go right ahead and live your lives the way you are and don't show up at the Ames straw poll," he said.

Recognizing his straits, Santorum told reporters that he hoped to finish in the top five in Ames. Six candidates, including Pawlenty and Santorum, are officially taking part in the straw poll, and three others will appear on the ballot.

Now most lefties still snicker when Santorum's name is mentioned, mainly because of a quite vulgar joke associating his name with, well, a rather disgusting substance. They also recall his horror at the thought of gay marriage which he claimed would lead to men marrying their dogs. What we should remember is that he was one of the architects of welfare "reform", which was one of the most callous rollbacks of a part of the social safety-net to date (although it might soon be replaced by actions taken this Fall when the 112th Congress gets down to the business of deficit reduction).

Santorum, who apparently doesn't have a great deal in the way of campaign funds, has not received much attention in the race so far. He has not done any kind of media blitz so the media has pretty much ignored him. Instead, he's been pressing the flesh in the hopes of gathering enough votes to raise himself from the bottom of the pack to just below the first tier of candidates. At least that way people will at least know that he's running.

Will he do even that well? I suspect not. His time is over, at least I hope so.



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