February 28, 2012

Rick I Hardly Knew Ye

Oh Rick Santorum. Who knew he could be so politically incorrect? He sings my song, airs my beefs, bears my burdens. (Though he is way to the right of me on national security issues and is squishy on torture.) The establishment Republicans see a Santorum nomination as certain death but what a pretty death it would be. This nominating process has been full of tasty morsels, but none quite so satisfying as Santorum's impassioned rhetoric about wanting to "throw up" concerning Kennedy's 1960 Houston speech. Talk about goring sacred cows! Ol' "Shiver Up My Leg", Chris Matthews, had a cow on his show over the takedown of his pretty-by idol. And then too Santorum's calling Obama a snob for wanting everyone to go to college and receive their liberal indoctrination, well, that was priceless too. Taking on the higher education establishment, that massively overpriced wonder of the Western world! Another sacred cow gored! I love it. But I don't think I can vote for him now. He's saying things I love to hear but for that reason I should not vote for him because what is music to my ears is a rude cacophony to the swing voters in the swing state of Ohio. In other words, you can't scare the natives. Got to hold some of those views a bit closer to the vest, Rick and not let everyone see your cards.

Interesting perspective found here:
In the cold calculus of game theory, the expected response to this state of affairs would be to accommodate yourself to the growing strength of the opposing coalition—to persuade pockets of voters on the Democratic margins they might be better served by Republicans. Yet the psychology of decline does not always operate in a straightforward, rational way. A strategy of managing slow decay is unpleasant, and history is replete with instances of leaders who persuaded themselves of the opposite of the obvious conclusion. Rather than adjust themselves to their slowly weakening position, they chose instead to stage a decisive confrontation. If the terms of the fight grow more unfavorable with every passing year, well, all the more reason to have the fight sooner. This was the thought process of the antebellum southern states, sizing up the growing population and industrial might of the North. It was the thinking of the leaders of Austria-Hungary, watching their empire deteriorate and deciding they needed a decisive war with Serbia to save themselves.

At varying levels of conscious and subconscious thought, this is also the reasoning that has driven Republicans in the Obama era. Surveying the landscape, they have concluded that they must strike quickly and decisively at the opposition before all hope is lost.
What's the lesson of Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush and John McCain, all losers in the general election? Was it just that they were beaten by better candidates? Was it that none of them could sufficiently rally the base? Was it that they all were older, and Americans love youth? Or is it simply that the pocketbook issues leaned towards the Democrat in those elections?

1 comment:

MrsDarwin said...

There is much that is admirable about Rick Santorum, but I have to disagree with him about JFK's Houston speech. If there's anyone I don't want to have mixed Catholicism and politics, it's JFK with his sleazy affairs and his family-rigged votes. That goes for any Kennedy, really.