The Conservative Alternative

Santorum's surge surprised just about everybody and he came within 8 votes of beating perennial front-runner Mitt Romney in Iowa. Newt faded, and Bachmann and Perry are likely out of the race.

So the conventional wisdom is that Rick peaked at the right time. Santorum was flavor of the week on the right week, but he doesn't have the money or the organization to compete in the next primary states of NH and SC. And since Santorum came out of nowhere, he has yet to receive the scrutiny that withered other candidates. And as people get to know him, he will fade like the rest.

But...

While some or all of the above may yet happen, there are some reasons to think that Santorum will not entirely suffer the same fate as the other non-Romneys. While Santorum has just now received contender status, I don't think he is in the same boat as the other contenders of the week. Bachmann surged at the beginning of the race but quickly faded to last place. Her initial surge, I believe, was a shot across the bow of the Republican party by tea-partiers letting the party know that they want a conservative. Nothing more. I like Michelle, but she never had a chance.

Then conservatives looked at the rest of the field to determine who THAT conservative would be. And they looked at Rick Santorum. Yes, back then. Rick is a solid conservative. Despite some of the knocks on him for his congressional voting record and his infamous endorsement, most everyone knows that Santorum is a very solid conservative. The big question on Rick is electability. Rick is easily caricatured because of his beliefs and he lost his Senate race big time in 2006. They worried about electability and they decided to put him in their back pocket.

Then they looked at the others. Perry seemed like a good alternative, until he opened his mouth and they had even greater concerns about his electability. They flirted with Cain until he wasn't able. And then Gingrich.

The rise of Gingrich was/is of a different order. The flirtation with Gingrich was a serious one. Conservatives really wondered "Could this be our guy?" But Gingrich's past and current erraticness coupled with his general unlikability caused many conservatives to sour on him and he faded to 4th in Iowa. Gingrich wants to believe that this is because of millions of dollars of negative ads against him in Iowa. But the truth is that Gingrich has equally faded in national polls as well and most of those people have never seen a negative ad other than Gingrich himself. Newt is his own negative add.

And so they came back to the solid conservative they know, Rick Santorum. They(we) still have concerns about electability, but Rick's steadiness in the debates and general positive performance have more inclined us to think he can win.

So will Rick fade under scrutiny like the others? Maybe, but there are differences. We conservatives know Santorum is, for better of for worse. We shouldn't have a lot of surprises in this area. The other big difference, there is no one left to flirt with.

Conservatives have consistently signaled that they want an alternative to Romney. That is either Gingrich or Santorum. That's it. Those are the choices. The real question is whether conservatives will split their vote, like they always have in the past, and clear the way for the moderate establishment candidate. If I were a betting man, this is the most likely scenario because conservatives are very tribal and very stupid.

But this is the choice, the conservative alternative is Gingrich or Santorum. We know these guys. The question is whether we will get behind one? For me, electability concerns notwithstanding, Santorum is the guy.

Wildcard altert! Gingrich is really ticked off at Romney and might go scorched earth. His concession speech last night was a nasty piece of work. For those who saw it, like me, it only served to further remind me what I don't like about Gingrich.

So now more than ever, Santorum is the only conservative alternative to Romney. Get on the bandwagon or get ready for the Romney ticket.

Comments

  1. There's going to be a real war now as it's basically down to Gingrich and Santorum as the conservative choice. Basically one side is ecstatic at Santorum's ascension, and the other thinks it's the end. For those who don't like Santorum, they see him as another Huckabee: a big government social conservative. I think they're way off base and he's much more traditionally conservative than Huckabee, but that's going to be the line of attack.

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  2. I hope Gingrich does go scorched earth on Romney. I'd like to see Perry drop out, endorse Santorum, and use the considerable campaign funds at his disposal to also do some super-PAC negative campaigning on Dullard Flip Rino.

    The goal should be to make Romney utterly unacceptable to conservative voters because he IS unacceptable ... at least to this conservative voter. If we'll vote for Romney, we'll have proven to the establishment that we'll just suck it up and vote for whatever RINO stiff they shove down our throats. That scenario - that the GOP powers-that-be will take social conservatives even more for granted than they already do because we'll have proven that we'll do their bidding no matter what - is an even worse-case scenario than, yes, even another 4 years of Obama.

    So, go Santorum (with a good deal of help from Gingrich and Perry, hopefully)!

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  3. Pray the rosary. Prayers never go to waste as Our Lady uses prayer for whomever is best.

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  4. "Newt is his own negative add."

    Is that (Newt) + (-Newt) = 0?

    (That's "ad"; sorry, just can't help it.)

    Gerry

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  5. It would be so nice if social liberals actually had to hold their nose for a bit....

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  6. I don't think Gingrich really cares if he wins or loses at this point. He probably just wants to take down Romney even if it means sacrificing himself.

    Newt and Santorum got along in the 1990s and they seem to like each other now. If Newt wants to use his own time and money to help Santorum by doing his dirty work for him, which is really nothing more than telling the truth about Romney, then I'm OK with that.

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  7. I'm going to quote Patrick from his post on 12/20/11:

    "Caucuses are stupid......The caucus process is no way to choose anything. Although they look like they might be fun if you and the boys got loaded at the local roadhouse before hand. The fact that caucuses serve to give candidates like Pat Robertson and Professor Boing-Boing their moment in the sun only proves the point. I like caucuses less than Israel should like Prof. B-B, if that were possible."

    My my, is Patrick a flip-flopper too?

    By the way Zummo, the only true conservative in the race is Ron Paul.

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  8. Let's get something straight here, Geronimo. Ron Paul is not a Conservative. Ron Paul is a Libertarian pretending to be a Conservative. They are not the same thing, nor should we confuse them for such.

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  9. Yes, the only true conservative is the guy who endorsed Cynthia McKinney for president in 2008.

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  10. Patrick at 1:32 - Let's also get something straight here. Bombing sovereign nations who have not attacked your nation is not Conservative. Santorum is a Nationalist pretending to be a Conservative. They are not the same thing, nor should we confuse them for such.

    Zummo - Yes, the only true conservative is the guy who endorsed Arlen Specter for Senator.

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  11. Let's all listen to the guy who can't tell Libertarians from Conservatives....

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  12. Yes, the only true conservative is the guy who endorsed Arlen Specter for Senator.

    I don't know why I bother but . . .

    If you can't tell the difference between endorsing a squishy moderate for a Senate seat and endorsing a Communist nutjob for President, then you are completely clueless.

    Not that we need more evidence.

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  13. Maybe if you don't consider yourself to be a US citizen or a Catholic, this site is just not the best place for your posts?

    Just a thought.

    BTW, are you paid to make these posts by the Paul campaign? Or are your just one of those Paulbots? Just wonderin'

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  14. Zummo - maybe you think supporting the killing of unborn babies makes Specter "a squishy moderate" - I don't - I think it makes him a "nutjob".

    Used to post - a couple questions for you to ponder.
    Do you know that not all Catholics are US citizens and that not all US citizens are Catholics? Just wonderin'
    BTW, are you one of those American, cafeteria-Catholics who refuse to follow Catholic teaching on just war? Just wonderin'

    And for all you warmongers who don't want to hear from me - why do you have a public blog if you only want to talk to each other?

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  15. Well, I think that pretty solidly establishes that Geronimo isn't to be taken seriously... Three strikes, you're out.

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  16. And for all you warmongers who don't want to hear from me - why do you have a public blog if you only want to talk to each other?

    We don't want to hear from you when you're being an irrational, name-calling, crazy-troll-logic tossing type; change that, and you're welcome.

    Just because I don't want muddy boots in the house doesn't mean that I don't want visitors.

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  17. Well, I think that pretty solidly establishes that Geronimo isn't to be taken seriously.

    Yeah, I think that ship sailed a while ago. Sometimes it's just fun to play games with a troll, though.

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  18. What a dumb question. You have previously implied that you are not a US citizen by stating that you have "no dog in this fight". Are you? or Aren't you? Or are you a member of a native nation and just being coy?

    You also didn't answer the question about whether or not you are at all a Catholic or are just using this blog because you work for RP. Interesting.

    BTW, Catholic teaching does allow for the use of force outside of war, in cases of self defense and the defense of others. So if it is less than a war, we still have the right to self defense. In fact, we have a moral OBLIGATION to self defense and the defense of others. A cop has the right to kill someone if needed and so does a military unit - without a Declaration of war.

    The Catechism also talks about certainty in Just War, but while it may seem obvious what that means, it isn't, as nothing in man's world is certain outside of God. Therefore "certainty" itself implies a degree of human calculation to make that call. "Will they attack us, or won't they?" We need to decide that as best we can. Reasonable people can disagree, but the uninformed should shut their traps about how "all we need to do is pull back" before they get us all killed.

    All those who try to hide their warped view of Catholic teaching because they themselves won't stand up to a bully are wrong. (I have before and I would again.

    It is flat out morally wrong to let Iran get the bomb and then base your calculation that they WON'T use it on - what? Wishful thinking? What YOU would do, if YOU were Iran? This is called "Mirror Imaging" in intelligence circles. And it's Ron Paul's ignorant view of how the world works. Everyone thinks like him. Oh brother!

    Lastly, you never did answer my question from a while back, "Has anyone punched you in the face lately?" I really do wonder if they have. Does it happen often? Are people pissed off at you all the time? I ask because you are so consistently and casually insulting, and are so with a group of generally peaceful people whom I think you know will try pretty hard to bite their tongues and respond without malice.

    You take advantage of the good nature of people when you refer to them as warmongers for example. Everyone who disagrees with you is a warmonger? Rick Santorum is a warmonger? Paul Zummo?

    I'm not sayin' I am perfect - I sure am not, but something tells me you are the guy most likely to get thrown out of the party... And as somebody who's seen war close up, whose sacrificed and lost much because of it, were you to call me a warmonger to my face, I suspect I'd have a real hard time remaining "charitable".

    It's just not right. So, why don't you tell us: are you posting here as a paid RP campaigner or not? Do you have a vote in this election? Do you have any interest in Catholicism other than as a platform for your political rants? Are you going to keep insulting everyone who disagrees with you?

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  19. Used to post - Thanks for answering my question. Now I know that you do not follow Catholic teaching on just war. Thanks for the clarification, although you could have done it without all the ad hominem attacks.

    And just to satisfy your curiosity, I am not a paid RP campaigner.

    Now, I'll leave you Nationalists to your self-love fest, since you don't seem to want to have a civil discussion.

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  20. If I may interrupt....
    As a Californian "Chooses not to declare party affiliation" (which also precludes my voting in just the Republican primary, odd that!) I'd like to remind the dreamers and schemers that short of the miraculous appearance to the scene of someone of Colin Powell's stature (and I think his GOP ship has also sailed), y'all are pretty much stuck with the Stepford Reagan from Mass. If you can't tell when a fix is in, well I got a two-fer for ya: can you say "Bush"
    So, the real deal is second Tuesday November. Allowing as how Mr. Obama will remain AWOL (a genetic disorder for his sidekick Joe B) as POTUS, and ride his "I killed Osama, gave everyone mazeltov health care, and TARP was Bush's baby" schtick, then who is on Mitt's right hand (that's even surreal) becomes a weighty issue. So you know I'm gonna mention Christie, right? Wrong! The real wingnuts from Chris Matthews to Joe Klein will salivate over that rotisserie possibility. And add Marco Rubio to that unlikely scenario. No way, thanks to....wait for it.... Mrs. Palin. Her abdication, personal enrichment venture captialism and coy extravagant bus tours around Iowa and pretty much anywhere that had the coin to spare, will be waiting to pounce on Big Chris and Smart Marco, ironically using what McCain should have shouted at every last debate: "He only spent ten minutes in the A. Governor's office; B. Senate Chair.
    If there's any hope for personality and integrity based politicking left, Mitt will get on his knees and beg Condi Rice to second him. He's going to need a brain who knows from Main St. to Wall St. to the Beltway.
    And I really don't have a dog in the hunt. He's currently running away from Jerry Brown.....sigh.

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  21. Yes, I do, follow Catholic teaching on Just War. Do you follow anything other than the Daily Show?

    So: you are not an American, you are used to getting thrown out of parties for being obnoxious, and you are just an RP internet volunteer then? Too bad you aren't at least making any cash from it. Perhaps when drugs and prostitution are legal in all states, you can visit the US and make some money that way. Oh and that's not an ad hominem attack - calling people you don't know warmonger and baby killer - now THAT'S an ad hominem attack.

    And yeah, those insults doesn't do much to encourage warm fuzzy feelings or civil discussion.

    Too bad. Other Ron Paul supporters who've posted here - while still wrong - are at least able to make their points effectively without that... crap. (sorry, not other word for it really)

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  22. used to post - try reading what I wrote, not what you think I wrote. Specter supports killing unborn babies. Zummo said that Specter was a "squishy moderate". I wrote that I do not consider someone who supports killing unborn babies a "squishy moderate". Do you?

    My dictionary has warmonger as "a person who advocates, wants, or tries to precipitate war". From the comments of you and others on this blog, I think the term fits. Perhaps I am wrong, and you all are peace-lovers who don't recognize the rights of other sovereign countries to have the same weapons of mass destruction as the U.S. has. Oops, sorry, didn't mean to call you a name there.

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  23. Now, I'll leave you Nationalists to your self-love fest, since you don't seem to want to have a civil discussion.

    This is like the tenth time you've implicitly said that you are no longer going to post here, and yet you keep commenting. So you're a liar on top of being, well, not particularly bright.

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  24. Thanks, I really appreciate the names. Now I really will leave you pacifists to yourselves. Really.

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  25. try reading what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.

    ...Dude, do you take a deep pleasure out of creating irony or something?

    You call others names, misrepresent what they say, and respond to things not said...then complain about others doing that?

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  26. If you are getting things STRAIGHT, none of the Neocons (all of them BUT Ron Paul) are leftists masquerading as "conservative". Big government domestically, big government foreign policy, imperialism. RP is the ONLY one against NDAA, national health control, the central bank....ALL of which are commie planks. Ron Paul is the only one with true conservative credentials and track record. Neoconservatism, which is widely preached here is rooted in Trotskyism and leftists like Irving Kristol and WF Buckley promoting the infiltration of the GOP and turning it to increased statism. Statism is state worship, leftism is state worship. Enjoy your Barrabas.

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  27. Wow, Anony, that was impressive. You managed to hit every cliche in the cultist lingo. Maybe one day when you grow up you can have an original thought.

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  28. LOL! I love irony.

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  29. "Let's get something straight here, Geronimo. Ron Paul is not a Conservative. Ron Paul is a Libertarian pretending to be a Conservative."

    Let's get this straight: the types of candidates who the Republicans ALWAYS nominate as presidential nominees, to include the candidate who they will inevitably nominate this year (and who folks like those at CMR always support like lemmings as the only choice to vote for), are not Conservatives. They are status quo, big-government, establishment neo-cons masquerading as Conservatives. Let's consider all the facts here and not ignore those that might interfere with you supporting yet another John McCain or Bush for president.

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