Santorum surges in GOP races. My local newspaper headline pretty much captured the flavor of yesterday’s round of two Republican Presidential caucuses and one non-binding primary.
It was definitely the flaming heterosexual’s day in the sun, though in the future there will be many more of those hotter than normal sunny days in all sections of the U.S. with our escalating warming of the planet. Santorum is, of course, a vehement climate denier. Speaking in tongues that only the evangelical crowd could understand, he told a Colorado audience the day before the vote that global warming was part of a scientific plot to….”even more greatly control your life.” An estimated 10-15% of the scientific community agrees with him. Besides, how else yuh gonna git them thar Tea Party votes?
For the green eyeshade crowd here’s how the results came down with Santorum winning everything in a flash mob of far-right voters. In the upset of the night (meaning I picked the other guy), Santorum took the Colorado caucuses with 40% of the vote to Mitt Romney’s 35%, a fairly wide margin considered Romney was favored. Ironically, Romney took his whoopin’ on the exact date that he dropped out of the 2008 presidential primary race. Newt Gingrich garnered 13% trailed by Ron Paul with 12%. Minnesota caucuses were far more generous to the flaming heterosexual. The final tally was 45% for Santorum, 27% for Paul (a record for the good doctor), 17% for also-ran Romney and 11% for Gingrich. The Missouri non-binding primary was won by the only candidate who bothered to visit the state – yes, that man Santorum with 55%; trailing badly was Mitt at 25% and Paul, back to last with 12%. Gingrich wasn’t even on the ballot and the Missouri votes that count will be cast in the state’s county caucuses, March 17th.
We won’t know the results of Maine’s weeklong caucus-fest until Saturday, the 11th.
All in all, a great day for Santorum, his only downer being the news that a federal appeals court ruled that California’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The flaming heterosexual can take comfort in knowing the court challenges don’t end there.
The TV pundits were blathering endlessly about the meaning of all this. Is Gingrich dead and gone? Has Santorum turned the corner? Is Romney the political equivalent of bankrupt? There is little mention of Paul, the little engine that couldn’t, who just keeps on tooting throughout the land, gathering large crowds and small vote totals at his whistle- stops for a speech that never changes.
My take on the Santorum charge? A perfect storm of a few uninformed, far right, brain-washed partisans who will eventually give way to those who read and think for themselves. From my progressive perspective, they can pick any one of these extremists as their candidate. Or somebody else as a brokered convention remains a possibility. Even though former Colorado congressman and certified bigot, Tom Tancredo, told a TV interviewer on election Tuesday that “My dog is smarter than Obama”, Barack still plows through any of the best the GOP can offer. Maybe the republicans ought to run Tancredo’s dog.
The media will soon run out of breath on the implications of what just happened as the results of the ho hum Maine caucus will be revealed on the 11th. The next republican debate (always wonderfully mean-spirited) is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22nd. Not to worry, Santorum and Gingrich didn’t forget to shower on that day; those are ashes on their foreheads, since the debate is being held on Ash Wednesday – for Catholics, the first day of lent. You can watch on CNN from the host city, Mesa, Arizona.
Two fairly important primaries in Arizona and Michigan follow the debate on the 28th. Pencil in two more debates on March 1st and 5th then brace yourself for the biggest single event of the republican presidential primary season – the dreaded SUPER Tuesday, March 6th with 10 states in play, 5 of them populated by largely politically illiterate populaces. Six days later, Romney celebrates his 65th birthday. Older than you thought, right? Not paying your fair share of taxes can keep a body young.
As for Santorum, let’s not look for white smoke from the republican chimney quite yet. Maybe master manipulators Rove and the Koch brothers know who the next GOP presidential nominee is, but those of us who live in houses of less than 10,000 square feet don’t have the foggiest idea.