Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Establishment Sharpens its Knives for Santorum

Back when Newt Gingrich was the big threat to Romney's nomination, the Washington Post was full of nasty attacks on Gingrich and rather nice things about Rick Santorum.

But now Santorum is on the rise, and within reach of a victory in Romney's home state of Michigan that would, the pros say, make it hard for Romney to lock up the nomination before the convention. So now the Post is full, and I mean full, of attacks on Santorum. Besides an editorial from the board attacking Santorum's religious rhetoric, and a piece pointing out that Santorum has received next to no endorsements from elected officials, we have a whole fusillade of blasts from columnists on the right (Jennifer Rubin, Kathleen Parker) and the left (Eugene Robinson, Jonathan Capehart, Richard Cohen). Today's biggest headline is "Santorum Takes Heat for 'Snob' Comment." Santorum has certainly said a lot of things this week worthy of attack, like:
President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. . . .
But, really, Santorum is the same guy now that he was in December, advocating the same policies. He has always been a religious fanatic, opposed to the very notion of liberty. Anyone surprised by his latest statements has paid no attention to his career.

Like Gingirch, Santorum is finding it hard to compete with the whole establishment lined up against him. The Republican establishment has been slow to throw its whole weight behind Romney this time, for fear of alienating primary voters who despise the man, but at crunch times, like now, they are there for Romney. Of course I think this is a good thing, but if I were a religious conservative this would make me wonder (again) if the Republican party has really done anything with their support besides use it to get the pro business policies and low taxes on the rich that seem to be their real agenda.

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