Christ Matthews had a nice gotcha moment on Hardball last night.
Truly, sometimes Santorum sounds more like a far-right evangelical than a Catholic. See also James Wood, “Senator Santorum’s Planet.” Both Wood and Timothy Egan at the New York Times make the point that Santorum is a theocrat who wants to base public policy on his religious views. Also, too: Becky Garrison, “Rick Santorum’s attacks on Barack Obama are about theology not policy.”
According to an article in Politico, Santorum actually “tests” better against President Obama than the other candidates. This many months from the election I doubt such matchup polls mean much, though.
Sorta kinda related — Charles Pierce notes that something extraordinary happened during the recent debate in Arizona. Santorum actually mentioned President Bush.
He is the man who isn’t there. Until NCLB came up last night, the years 2000-2008 had been successfully written out of the narrative of the 2012 election. For these jamokes, time effectively began in January of 2009. It was Year Zero on the Kenyan Muslim Socialist Calendar. I do not believe that Bush’s political non-personhood is an accident. It is now an article of faith among the Republican base that Bush’s failures stem not from the fact that he was a manifest incompetent, but that he was too liberal a president. Putting through Medicare Part B without paying for it is a greater sin to these people than running two wars off the books was. No Child Left Behind had the endorsement of Teddy Kennedy! (Aieeeeeeee!) If only Bush had tried conservatism, the fairytale goes, then conservatism would have succeeded, as it always does. It never fails. It is only failed. C-Plus Augustus failed conservatism. …
… Since the crimes and bungling of the Bush Administration resulted in a thrashing in the 2006 midterms and, ultimately, in the election of the current president in 2008, this feeling within the Republican base has hardened into an immutable faith. The Republican party has become more extreme, not less. It has become so resistant to compromise that it has become completely resistant even to political logic. (Make no mistake. The party faithful really want this fight over contraception.) I fully expect that, by August at the latest, Willard Romney will be calling the last president of his party a socialist.
I also think the wingnuts can’t help themselves and really will make the election about contraception and other bugaboos rattling around in the wingnut id.