Did the Republican Party finally get their fill of crazy in Michigan on Tuesday? Rick Santorum’s defeat in the Michigan and Arizona primaries after nearly a month of front-running momentum seemed to say so. In sports lingo, Santorum went for the “heat check” in the previous week by railing against college educations, JFK, and the separation of church and state. Turns out, he didn’t have the burn he thought he did, and the vote tally ended up pouring cold water over his aspirations of defeating Mitt Romney in Mitt’s home state.
It had been close – polls showed the two men running neck-and-neck until recent days when Santorum’s true colors started pouring out of his mouth. Rick revealed his beliefs that colleges and universities are liberal indoctrination factories populated by “snobs.” He also attacked the impassioned ideals of a man who not only isn’t alive to respond, but remains one of the most popular and beloved U.S. presidents in our history. John F. Kennedy’s words made Rick Santorum want to throw up, he said, because JFK had the audacity to suggest that no church control the American government, and that a man’s religion not be a barrier to participating in that government. Those ideas apparently make Rick Santorum violently ill.
Santorum’s aversion to non-theocratic American law should come as no surprise to anyone at this point. He has been clear and open that his faith is the basis of his world view, and his interpretation of that faith marginalizes women, homosexuals, non-Christians, Christians of non-Santorum-endorsed denominations, blacks, and non-Americans. The only surprising revelation arising recently is that his right-wing fantasies drift much further into the dark than even most Republicans are comfortable with. By attacking higher education, which many Republicans (including Santorum) benefited from, he went beyond attacking the public school system that the GOP has learned to loathe and went after a keystone of American success stories. By attacking Kennedy, he went beyond the dislike of all things Democrat and aimed at fallen president and a genuine American icon whose assassination is still remembered as a live event by many Republican voters.
The question must now be asked, after the voting GOP base has serial-dated a half-dozen hopefuls, if the insincere and out-of-touch Romney succeeds by being the least bizarre Republican candidate. The fantasists who crave a permanent religious conservatism, in which women are enslaved by biology and laws are transcribed from scripture, have now seen the flaws in Rick Santorum. The other handful of hopefuls who have come, gone, or chosen to senselessly linger each also had a moment of fervent support that dissolved once the reality of their own power fantasies came to light. The Republican base is begrudgingly coming to terms with fact that their array of candidates repels much of the general public because those candidates say out loud things intended to be whispered. That’s the reality, and there’s nothing that can change it at this stage.
Romney still hasn’t made a case for his candidacy. He’s letting his opponents do it for him by being themselves.
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Jake Negovan drives Red Brown and Blue to be an outlet for progressive political opinion that leads to the betterment of life for the real, multicultural population of the U.S. and the rest of the world. His columns address the issues faced by our country as we continue growing toward a society of equality. More about Jake can be found on the web at jakejots.com or on Twitter@jakenegovan.