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In Defense of Rick Santorum

Although I am not a member of the Santorum camp, I appreciate the tenacity he brought to the Republican primary.  As Dan McLaughlin mentioned earlier, Santorum trailed the GOP pack for most of the primary season.  When he won in Iowa, must of us wrote him off.  After all, he had no money and no national campaign staff.  Yet, despite the odds, Santorum continued the fight.  As of today he has won over 3 million votes and 11 states to become the dominate conservative alternative to Romney.  In the process, he has endured relentless attacks upon his character, his family, and his faith.  A quick google search of “Santorum” will reveal the level of filth directed at the man.  Until recently the top search result defined “Santorum” as a byproduct of anal sex.  Even some “conservatives” – scare quotes used intentionally – have resorted to the same level of filth.  Yet, Santorum persevered until the delegate count and the need to care for his daughter and family led him to exit the race today.

Conservatives owe a lot to Rick Santorum.  He succeeded where all the other non-Romneys failed and exposed the myth of Romney’s inevitability.  Many have made hay out of polls showing that Santorum faced a “humiliating” upset in his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24th.  The truth is that even a loss in Pennsylvania would not have been humiliating.  Humiliation is the fact that Romney can only secure the nomination through smear campaigns and massive ad buys that have often outgunned his opponents 15 to 1.  Humiliation is the fact that Romney has been running for the GOP nomination since 2006 and a upstart candidate with no name recognition, no money, and no national campaign organization actually bested him in so many states including his adopted home of Michigan.  Rick Santorum has demonstrated Romney’s weakness with the conservative base.  If Romney is smart, he will move to correct that problem.  If not, then say hello to four more years of Obama.

Some “conservatives” have even suffered from Santorum derangement syndrome or SDS.  The very mention of his name sends them into fits and convulsions.  Resolutely they declare Santorum to be beyond the pale and state their willingness to back Ron Paul over a Santorum nomination.  In their more lucid moments they boldly claim that Santorum is a pro-life statist and not a true fiscal conservative.  While Santorum has faltered in his fiscal conservatism, he has at least remained true to his social conservative values, which is a heck of a lot more than one can say of Mitt “all my principles are negotiable” Romney.  Santorum admits to mistakes as a Senator during the Bush years and promised to hold the fiscal line as president, which is more than Mitt Romney has done. Santorum has never given cause to question his promise to repeal Obamacare, which is more than Mitt Romney has done.  Santorum may not have been the true Reagan conservative but he is a lot closer to it than either Romney or Paul.

Mr. Santorum has my thanks and respect for a well waged campaign against overwhelming odds.  My prayers are with him, his family, and especially his daughter.

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