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Posted on 02/07/2012 5:08:04 PM PST by Anti-Hillary
Open for discussion.
Ditto, I am on my second week of no Rush.
As tempting as it might be to say things like that — I've been getting annoyed with some of the Newt Gingrich supporters accusing Santorum of staying in merely for egotistical reasons or as part of a hidden plan to help Romney win — it's too early to call for any candidate who appeals to a significant part of the Republican Party electorate to pull out.
There are people who are strongly committed to Newt Gingrich and believe Rick Santorum is not the right person to carry the Republican banner into the November elections. I don't happen to agree; I think Newt Gingrich has serious baggage and will cause real problems if nominated. However, I am painfully aware that both Gingrich and Santorum have serious difficulties, I've been unhappy for a very long time that we didn't get better candidates to run this year, and I'm not going to call for Gingrich backers to fold their cards and go home.
Gingrich can't win this fall without social issues voters, most of whom are evangelical Christians and conservative Roman Catholics. Santorum can't win this fall without the voters from the other two wings of the Republican Party — economic conservatives and military/national defense conservatives — and while South Carolina showed that Gingrich can win in the heart of the Bible Belt, Gingrich does significantly better among people who are not self-identified “values voters.”
Let's see what happens over the next few weeks.
Here's my read of the situation, based on conversations with reporters in both Pennsylvania and Georgia as well as politically active pastors and elders in both states who I have known from church connections for many years.
Both Gingrich and Santorum have a long history of appealing to “populist” insurgent groups which were mad at the political establishments in their states. In Pennsylvania, that meant dissatisfied Democrats willing to vote Republican who were often ethnic blue-collar “Reagan Democrats,” and in Pennsylvania that often meant union workers. In Georgia, that meant dissatisfied rural whites as well as upwardly mobile suburban white voters.
Put another way: Santorum is from a northern old-economy industrial state. Gingrich, despite being a northerner, moved to the South just as the Republican Party was beginning to gain ground. Economic progress in Pennsylvania depended for a very long time on keeping the unions happy and preventing them from calling destructive strikes. Economic progress in Georgia depended on attracting companies that were looking to move to lower-cost Southern states without a history of strong unions.
If Gingrich had stayed in the North or if Santorum had moved South, I'm not sure either of them, if they wanted to effectively represent their own local constituents, would have had voting histories radically different from the other candidate.
Of course, both men are now running for president where they need to represent the entire nation, not just a single state or congressional district. It's a valid question whether Santorum can think nationally; Gingrich has probably already shown he can do so.
My read is both men understand the importance of doing what's best for the nation, not merely their own local state, but it's not fair to blame either man for faithfully representing the people who put them into office.
Another factor: I am not a huge fan of unions, but in an environment where “Cap and Trade” and carbon taxes are threatening to destroy the coal industry, I am not necessarily unhappy with a candidate like Santorum who has a very long history of supporting coal miners.
Please remember, not all of us in the media are liberals.
However, I want to pick up on your point that the media will likely now go after Santorum. You're absolutely right.
While there are legitimate conservative questions about Santorum — questions that in some cases I share — the main objections to Santorum from a liberal perspective are his views on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.
Google “Santorum” and “gay” and see what you find. That's how vicious the hatred is against him on that issue.
An all-out attack by liberal media on Santorum can and will cause damage. However, I don't see that focusing on Santorum’s objections to gay marriage and abortion will hurt him in conservative Republican circles, and those attacks may actually backfire by helping Santorum among likely Republican primary voters/caucusgoers. I frankly don't see why liberal Democrats are howling about Santorum’s views on contraception — he's not trying to outlaw birth control, and all he's saying is women have the right to choose to do with their own bodies what they want — but even here on Free Republic we've seen attacks on Santorum’s views on contraception.
Given the recent Roman Catholic letters read in Mass by priests at the directive of their bishops reminding Mass-going Roman Catholics of Obama’s efforts to force Catholic hospital insurance plans to cover contraception and abortion-inducing forms of birth control, a serious attack on Santorum’s views on contraception may actually backfire by energizing Roman Catholic voters who often vote Democrat.
Bottom line: I don't see a coordinated media attack on Santorum as necessarily being a bad thing.
“However, I don’t see that focusing on Santorums objections to gay marriage and abortion will hurt him in conservative Republican circles. . . “
How do you think it will play with the side that matters in the general. .. the left and the rest of the uninformed American electorate?
Yes, I think the bishop's letter had an effect.
Let's remember that conservative ethnic blue-collar Roman Catholics in northern industrial states were a significant part of the Reagan Democrat vote. Santorum is almost tailor-made to appeal to that constituency, for both economic and religious reasons.
At the same time that Newt Gingrich was getting his photograph with Nancy Pelosi on the couch to call attention to global warming, Santorum was saying that we need to support America's coal miners, at least in part because he's from an old-economy state in which coal has been a major industry. Newt admitted he's wrong, and I respect that, but if we're going to criticize Santorum for cozying up to unionized coal miners, let's not forget that coal miners and other unionized workers sometimes vote Republican, and if they're going to vote Republican, Santorum is a better candidate to get those “Reagan Democrat” votes.
Reagan Democrats are less important today than they were three decades ago, but they're still important in states like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — states that the eventual Republican nominee, whoever he is, needs to win to win the presidency.
We'll know a lot more in the next few weeks.
I signed on as a Newt man, username and all, and I’ll live with it but I’m just as satisfied with Santorum. After tonight, Newt needs to seriously consider what he has been advising Rick to do: consolidate.
A clear alternative to Romney is more realistic (and for conservatives probably more optimal) than a brokered convention. It’s time someone puts country first above personal ambition.
President Obama and HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius hopes you're right.
You probably **ARE** right when it comes to totals of self-identified Roman Catholics. What I hope happens is that a majority of Catholics who regularly attend Mass decide that even if they don't want to listen to celibate priests and bishops telling them what to do about birth control, they don't want President Obama telling their church what to do.
Those are two different issues, especially when it comes to coverage for the morning-after pill.
Thanks..I had not.
Because of the age difference I said weeks ago Newt/Rick. Then we set up the 8+8. Eight years of Newt and President followed by eight years of Rick. That’s sixteen years with a conservative president.
I think even Newt was shocked with WHO came out with the long knives in FL. I have been totally disgusted with them. A candidate expects the other party to trash him/her, and for an old pro like Newt, that’s not so big a deal, but when your ‘friends’ attack with below the belt tactics, it’s hard to fathom.
And, you really have to wonder what their incentive is in some cases. I.e., Pat Buchanan? Attacking Newt and supporting Romney? How does THAT figure? All I can assume is that his sister Bay is now a Mormon and she is supporting Romney, so ole Pat went along. I’m kinda sick of the Buchanans anyway, and it wouldn’t much matter one way or the other who they support. He is a good writer and right on many issues, but what a bitter old man. Ugh.
Yes, the delegates were chosen. However none were bound by the results of the preference poll taken at the caucus.
real caucus organizers are little concerned with the straw vote. The delegate selection is legally bound. You cannot change the delegates. And of course, I doubt many Santorum delegates will be switching to ROMNEY any time soon!
I guess I am old-fashioned about caucuses.
I removed my bookmarks for Drudge!!!
I was going there several times a day.
I did go there once last night to see his headline... but no more.
He doesn’t deserve our hits!
I agree that dog won't hunt, but I'm not sure I agree on the parallels here. This isn't an attack on Newt Gingrich in any way, but rather pointing out that if the dog set on Gingrich won't hunt, the dog set on Santorum will hunt even less.
My understanding of the situation — and correct me if I'm wrong — is that Rick Santorum married a woman who had previously lived with an abortionist. Nobody is claiming personal misconduct on Rick Santorum’s part, and while I'm certainly not defending living with somebody outside of marriage, there's a difference between accusing a candidate of personal wrongdoing and accusing a candidate's wife of personal wrongdoing long before they were married.
I would have serious concerns about Santorum if I believed his wife was pro-choice. Wives can be and often are a clue to what their husbands actually believe outside of public view, or at least to what they're willing to tolerate even if they disagree. I don't know how much of the stuff about the private views of recent Republican first ladies is actually true, but there are reasons most of them kept their views quiet.
In Mrs. Santorum’s case, I think it's crystal clear to everybody, based on the Santorum family's subsequent willingness to have children that many and perhaps most Americans would have aborted and Mrs. Santorum’s willingness to give up her career to care for a special-needs child, that Mrs. Santorum’s repentance is genuine. Lots of “I have sinned” fake repentance claims are out there, but you just don't keep a Trisomony-18 special needs baby and give up your career to do so if you aren't serious about not just talking the talk but walking the walk.
Here are Missouri's rules: http://www.mogop.org/2012stateconvention/caucuses
Unless a county votes to bind its delegates, the delegates can vote for whoever they want once they get to the congressional district convention (which selects some delegates) and the state convention (which selects other delegate).
There's a lot of room for “stuff happens” here.
I support the caucus system. I always have. I believe primaries, especially open primaries, are bad for both parties because they let people who aren't committed to a party have a say in the party's nominee.
But caucuses have their own problems. They can be “gamed” by organized outside elements such as Ron Paul or Lyndon LaRouche. They also can be (and often are) controlled by party insiders who don't share the views of ideologically committed groups like conservative Christians or Tea Partiers who haven't taken the time to get involved in doing the hard work of campaigning for the party.
There's a simple solution to that. Get involved in the party apparatus. With time, party insiders may not agree with you, but if you get Republicans to vote and get independents and Democrats to vote Republican, they'll view you as a hard worker who deserves to be rewarded for your hard work, instead of an outsider causing trouble.
It's not rocket science, but it is hard work, and it doesn't happen overnight — it takes years, just as it takes years to become a leader in the Chamber of Commerce, the Masons, a church group, the PCA, the Kiwanis, or anything else.
302 posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2012 10:01:21 PM by mplsconservative: “There's a big problem with your statement. We vote for delegates DURING the caucus. If you're involved politically and know who the people are at your caucus, it overcomes the ability of a Paul supporter being elected as a delegate. Each potential delegate stands and makes a statement about why they want to be one and who they support for president. I wouldn't want a candidate that has people write in delegates after we've already voted. That's something the democrats would do. It's called cheating.”
I’ll give you an example from my caucus. The preference vote was split relatively evenly between Romney and Santorum. I think Romney ended up with one more vote than Santorum. Gingrich and Paul each got a couple of votes. Tom Tancredo was a write in by one person. We then selected our county assembly delegates. Of the county delegates 4 were for Romney and one for Tancredo - which certainly does not reflect the preference poll taken. Out of these county assembly delegates both the delegate and alternate to the state convention were Romney supporters. This is what I mean by “non-binding” The preference poll really did not reflect the delegate makeup.
I know of another precinct where the preference poll was overwhelmingly for Santorum. I believe that the delegates going on where split down the middle Romney/Santorum.
I’m just trying to explain how the process is in Colorado and that the delegates are not bound by the preference poll. In fact I have been to caucuses where those running do not even declare and are trusted to go and vote.
I think Romney, when he decided to run, hes a smart business guy, and he sort of got his team together and said, What do I need to do to be the conservative candidate? and give me the checklist and see if I can check them off. And I think over the course of this campaign, you know, I saw the migration from the checklist to his head and from his head into his heart and I really believe thats where he is today. - Rick Santorum, 2008
I'd like to hear Santorum, as a conservative candidate in 2012, explaining that.