Even the GOP Doesn’t Care What Rick Santorum Has to Say Anymore (April 9, 2013)

Rick Santorum Convention

Let us hearken back to the heady days of 2006, gentle readers, when former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was universally considered a political punchline. That is the year the rejected lawmaker lost his re-election bid to Democrat Bob Casey by 18 overall points, struggling to connect with such obvious constituencies as conservative Catholics. The Washington Post ran a piece in early 2012 that characterized the defeat as such: “Santorum was left for dead rather early by the national Republican Party, which stopped running ads on his behalf a few weeks before the election because he appeared to be a lost cause.”

Unwilling to stay buried and sensing an opportunity to reclaim the political zeitgeist in the wake of the post-2008 Presidential election, Santorum once again foisted himself upon the nation as a shockingly credible candidate during the 2012 Republican primaries. What changed? The ascension of the Tea Party movement, which left a reshaped GOP with the impression that there was no such thing as a view too reactionary. Amongst a clown car’s worth of preposterous suitors that included Michele Bachman, Herman Cain and the also-back-from-banishment Newt Gingrich, Santorum managed to capture 11 primaries and caucuses, receiving over three million votes.

Unfortunately this brush with success erroneously convinced Santorum that his opinions and platforms are the stuff of mainstream, despite the wholesale rejection of his brand of neoconservativism in November 2012. Mitt Romney’s failure to connect with independent voters after shaking the Etch A Sketch, the frustration in divesting himself of the right wing albatross of orthodoxy hung about his neck, should have settled the question once and for all about the palatability of Tea Party values.

It seems that a number of Republicans, in an acceptance of Darwinian theory that would make members of the Westboro Baptist Church weep, have gotten the message. Notice the near-instantaneous party pivot on the subject of immigration overhaul and the reversal of Senators Rob Portman and Mark Kirk, who now favor marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Crackpots such as Rick Santorum, whose socially conservative views run the gamut from opposition to LGBTQ civil rights, rejection of a woman’s right to choose and a 1950s objection to the birth control pill, have once again assumed their rightful place (pun most certainly intended) on the political and cultural fringes.

So will someone please tell Santorum to shut up now? It’s over. A piece from writer Billy Hallowell, appearing on The Blaze website this week, bears the title Rick Santorum’s Dire Warning on Gay Marriage. Completely oblivious to the irony of the public’s double rejection of his policies (2006, 2012), Santorum nonetheless paints himself as a modern day Cassandra, predicting the collapse of the GOP if it does repent of its recent moves toward the social center.

Here is a summation of the failed politician’s advice to current GOP office holders: “I think you’re going to see the same stories written now and it’s not going to happen. The Republican party’s not going to change on this issue. In my opinion it would be suicidal if it did…Just because some of those things happen to be popular right now doesn’t mean the Republican party should follow suit.”

Did Santorum take the blue pill? It is precisely because the right has failed to move with the times and accept the changing demographics of the nation, that a slow, deliberate suicide has been evident. I personally don’t mind. Whatever finishes off this pathetic, extremist epoch in our two-party system so we can return to the checks and balances that once made our nation forward-thinking, is welcome. Increasingly, I am beginning to suspect that a growing number of Republicans feel the same.

So were I a member of GOP leadership, I’d be in search of chloroform and a dirty rag right about now. Is anyone still listening to this man? For a newly congenial Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s sake, the party of no-come-maybe, let’s hope not.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s