150 Conservative and Evangelical Leaders Endorse Santorum

This has to be very encouraging for the Santorum campaign, and also for any of us whose hope for 2012 lies in consolidating conservative opinion behind a single candidate.  While not an "evangelical" myself, and not much given to joining organizations of any kind if I can help it, it's good from my perspective if it helps move people in  one direction.

Mr. Santorum hadn't seemed to me to be one of the serious candidates until Iowa, but I wonder to what degree that judgment was improper.  It was made based on the fact that no one seemed to take him seriously, plus his infamous Google problem.  The latter, though, was a work of viciousness by a character of low morals who ought not to be granted a veto over anything.  The former is an unfortunate necessity of democratic politics, because no matter how good your candidate is, he can't win if no one will vote for him.  (Not that this usually stops me; I can't recall the last time I voted for someone who won a primary election.)

So, Santorum?  He gave a good speech at the Iowa convention, and since I have been paying attention, I like what I see of him.  I won't go as far as Mr. David Brooks in endorsing his vision, but I do agree that we need to think about a system that looks out for the interest of those Americans who play by the rules and work hard. Santorum clearly believes in such a system, though it is worth noting that he rejected Gingrich's bashing of Bain capital, and truly groups like Bain are a necessity in a free market economy.  Gov. Perry wasn't wrong to call them "vulture capitalists," though -- the positive contribution they make is very similar to the work that vultures do for the world.  Any man who spends enough time in the wild comes to like vultures.

I think I could vote for Santorum, all things considered.  We have to choose from what is on the table.  Of those options, this may be the best.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

As one who said a year ago that the Republicans had merely to notify me in November who they had nominated, I could certainly vote for Santorum. My wife just voted for him in the primary here.

I am concerned that both Santorum and Gingrich like to fiddle with stuff and pass cool legislation to make society do what they want, in a Washington fashion. I can swallow the nanny-state better if the nanny is a Baptist (or conservative Catholic) rather than a Unitarian, but I still don't like it. He's not going to draw any libertarian votes, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

I would vote for Santorum without a problem. I preferred Perry before he was even in the gate based on his 10th Amendment focus and success in Texas. Well, now that he and Newt have done themselves in it's Romney, Santorum or Paul.

Here's a link to the Jan. 2nd podcast of Coffee & Markets.
Their capital markets expert, Francis Cianfrocca, is discussing Romney as viewed by Wall Street. Francis' first choice was Perry but he's comfortable with Romney as President. The whole interview is quite interesting but the key point is developed starting at 19:00 minutes. "My expectation from a Romney presidency would be less of the same. In other words no major change of direction from what Obama is doing but less evil."

And he's fine with that. He explains further the cultural comfort Romney provides in contrast to Obama. Well, I can't buy less of the same. Obama's terrible but another Compassionate Conservative GOP ticket would keep us heading for the same cliff just at a slightly slower pace. At this point I'm an Anyone But Romney vote.

I think it is imperative to starve DC of money. The libs are right, money is corrupting our system, the money Congress steals from us to bribe constituents and payoff their corporate sponsors. If I thought Paul had the ability to make the economic changes he's advocating I'd probably vote for him regardless his isolationist streak. I just don't think the goofy curmudgeon is going to have a ghost of chance to bend the Good Ol' Boys to his will.

So I guess it's Santorum unless a Dark Horse emerges from the Frozen North or the convention floor.

Cass said...

I think it is imperative to starve DC of money.

And you believe that a majority of the American people think so too?

Because if they don't, it ain't gonna happen. I have been favorably impressed by listening to Santorum *talk*, but talking isn't the same as running something.

And Santorum has not run a city or a state. Like Gingrich (and Cain for that matter) he has exactly zero track record showing that he knows how to do the job he's asking for.

I'm trying to think of what employer in the civilian world would put someone who had never done a job into the #1 slot and I'm coming up dry. Is it possible he can run the world's largest superpower? Sure.

But being unable even to get on the Va state ballot doesn't exactly reek of competence :p

Grim said...

I was really hoping that we'd see some of our better general officers run for the Presidency, Cass, for just that reason.

In fact, it's sort of odd that we didn't see some better candidates. We didn't see better Republicans this year, and we didn't see better Democrats in 2008. I mean, we saw better ones than Obama -- Secretary Clinton would have been far more competent -- but not the kind of A-game candidate that would have been impressive without reservation. The Democrats must have such people; the Republicans must too; but for some reason they aren't turning up in these contests.

Perhaps Mark Steyn is right to say that the Presidency's bubble has made it such that few well-adjusted people would consent to it. His theory is that only those whose desire for power and personal glory counterbalances the misery of the Presidential bubble.

(Although if Steyn were right, and only sociopaths or narcissists seek the office, competence would be the one thing we'd want to be certain to avoid in a candidate. Their personal incompetence would be indispensable to our defense once they got into office.)

Unfortunately we can't draft a President; we're stuck with the ones who elect to run. Gov. Perry has done a good job with Texas, but it isn't at all clear that he's up to the Presidency in spite of that.

Cass said...

I think people have very different conceptions of what the President's job is - what he can and cannot do.

My assessment of these candidates is based on my conception of what it is reasonable to expect from a president who exercises his power within the limits of the law.

Much of the rhetoric I see on the right these days dismays me. There are a lot of unspoken and unvoiced suggestions - I won't call them arguments because they are neither made explicitly nor, as a consequence, supported by facts or evidence. They are not, in many cases, even assertions because explicitly asserting something would require some argument in support.

I distrust emotion as a basis for making important decisions. I also think the Presidency alone is not going to turn this country around. Real, lasting change requires a fundamental change in the views of the American people and that doesn't happen overnight.

Grim said...

It takes time, until time runs out. The danger is getting to a passage such as Europe is coming to now, where democratic institutions still believe in an expansive social-welfare state, but the money is gone and there's no more to be had. The turmoil that will release has barely begun.

In Europe it may lead -- it has already begun to lead -- to a loss of faith in the principle of democratic legitimacy. When we see unelected technocrats freely replacing the elected governments of Greece and Italy, we see that the idea of democratic legitimacy has begun to wash away.

In America, I hope that the example of Europe will give us a last chance to save the idea of democratic legitimacy. That can happen, though, only if the people do in fact learn the lesson -- and exercise their democratic power in responsible ways. If we don't give up this path, the idea of democracy will die here too.

Cass said...

Agreed, Grim.

Anonymous said...

Santorum sounded reasonable enough in the interview piece he did with the Wall Street Journal this pas Saturday. I prefer Perry (of the current candidate list), but Santorum is moving up to #2. Romney still seems too pretty and too much of the "anointed." So his father did not get the presidency - big whoop. No one "deserves" the office, IMHO.


bthun said...

As I observe, to the best of my ability, the 11th commandment, I will use A.B.O. as my guiding principle for the top of the ballot this November.

All things considered, I'd be more concerned with overturning the Dem majority in the Senate and maintaining the R majority in the House, if it were not for the judicial appointments the next POTUS will make. Power of the purse and all that --if the purse still has the wherewithal to muster any power-- ratification of treaties, or not, and the delegated authority odds/ends the Congress might still choose to retain for their alleged co-equalness.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

LittleRed1, I have not heard anyone so much as hint that Romney was anointed or deserves the office. Isn't that the sort of thing that people always say about the frontrunner - a rather contrarian tendency to stay off bandwagons and grumble that we're being railroaded? I think we all need a certain amount of that to avoid being sheep, but it's more a feeling than a thought.

Republicans keep wanting to be unified - partially because cultural unity is one of the things we seek to foster in America. Democrats know they are in a coalition. It has been an advantage to them over the years. They could not hope to compete in a national election without that coalition mentality.

Anonymous said...

I think it is imperative to starve DC of money.

And you believe that a majority of the American people think so too?

Cass, I don't know. That doesn't change that I think it is so. Doing exactly that is a focus of Gov. Perry's platform which is why I support him. It's pretty obvious now that, "no", the majority of primary voters don't respond to that message. It's still the only way out. Both parties focus most of their energy on gathering power to sell favors to the highest bidder. The taxpayers pay at both ends.

Cynical? For sure. The silence and complicity of the opposition party to the raping of America over the last four years has convinced me. Now you can add to that the emasculation of the 2010 Tea Party surge by the GOP leadership. We've already lost a great deal of democratic control of our government.

douglas said...

"I have been favorably impressed by listening to Santorum *talk*, but talking isn't the same as running something."

But talking is one of the most important things a President does, both to the people and to those with whom he is negotiating (be it congress or foreign entities). I think Santorum is well equipped for it, somewhat in the same way the Gipper was- he knows how to talk to, and reach the average American.

"But being unable even to get on the Va state ballot doesn't exactly reek of competence :p"

Well, Perry, despite 10 years as Governor of Texas, didn't manage to get on either.

Grim said...

Nor did Gingrich, who was a competent enough politician to become Speaker of the House and engineer the Republican victories in 1994.

The Virginia law, though, may not be a competence issue for Santorum so much as a money issue. You have to get 400 signatures from each of the districts in Virginia, which means you have to have an operation that travels to each of the districts of Virginia. A rich campaign like Perry's or Gingrich's should be able to do that; certainly the establishment favorite can do it.

An insurgent campaign probably can't do it, especially if he's decided to commit his resources elsewhere. Santorum visited every county in Iowa personally -- that's where he focused his limited resources. If he had focused on Virginia instead he might have gotten on the ballot, but not run to a tie in Iowa; in that case, by the time Virginia got around to voting, he'd be out of the race anyway.

Thus, he probably made the right call. He's got a shot now precisely because he put his focus where he did. Virginia, meanwhile, ought to consider whether they really want a law that favors the richest candidate so heavily.

Cass said...

rcl: I agree with you on what ought to happen entirely. It's just that no matter how I turn this around in my head, I see only two possibilities for making it happen:

1. Within the current system (and that means we have to get the majority of voters on board).

2. By going around the system (which means changing our form of government OR just ignoring the law).

On Virginia, part of the reason for primaries is to give us some idea of how good these guys are at actually running something. So if your campaign lacks money or waits too late to challenge a rule, we learn something from that.

Running America is infinitely harder and more complicated than running a campaign. Lack of foresight and planning in doing what you need to do to win the Oval Office is bad. The candidate doesn't have to think of everything himself - that's why he (and eventually the President) has advisers.

But he *does* need to set the direction and pick people who can get him elected.

Plus, there's the bizarre spectacle of conservatives suing in federal court to overturn state election laws :p

Anonymous said...

AVI, it was a pundit who mentioned it back in early 2011, before the campaign season began. He (pundit) was alluding to comments by some of Romney's staff and to off-the-record statements by some of the senior (in age) MA Republicans. Apparently there was/is a group who supported Romney Sr and feel that he was unfairly deprived of the chance of being president. Since Romney Jr (supposedly) stepped aside for McCain in 2008, it is now "his turn" to be the Republican candidate.

Romney's unwillingness to admit that his healthcare plan did a disservice to the residents of MA really pushed me away from supporting him. If he is nominated I'll vote for him, but I'm not picking him in my state primary.


Eric Blair said...

This report here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/16/activists-say-pro-santorum-vote-was-rigged/

Says that that vote was rigged.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Grim said...

Wow, that is interesting:

"But in back-and-forth emails, Protestant fundamentalist leaders who attended – most of them backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to be the anti-Romney candidate — are accusing Catholic participants of conniving to rig the vote."

Eric Blair said...