“Republicans are hurting themselves by focusing on social issues”
I agree. When politicians start talking about family values et. al., it’s usually either because they’re avoiding real issues or because nothing’s pressing. As there’s no way we live in unpressing times, we’re avoiding. Everybody knows Republicans are against abortion and homosxual marriage and think Western Civilization has been crumbling (or at least sliding); move on, already.
Two points, though. One is that Democrats and their willing accomplices will force “social issues” to the forefront whether or not Republicans willingly follow. For it is in their interest, as they see it, to paint us as neanderthals “turning back the clock” to anti-sodomy laws and backalley abortions. Another is that since, apart from Romneycare, there’s no substantive policy distinction between Santorum and Romney, Santy’s gotta grab the Christian Soldier mantle.
I don’t know if it’s so much that Santorum wants to be the social conservative alternative, or that he’s stumbling into liberal traps like answering honestly about Griswold v. Connecticut. Either way, it’s all a distraction.