The first official vote of the 2012 race is today in Iowa. It looks like the result will be a near tie between Paul, Romney and … I can’t believe I’m typing this .. Santorum. Perry and Gingrich are likely to finish a ways back. Bachmann and Santorum are likely to be way back.

This thing has already dragged out over a year and I think I’ve made my opinions of the candidates clear. I haven’t blogged much on Rick Santorum but I should have. It was utterly predictable that after Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich and Paul he would be the next out of the clown car to surge in the polls (hold out, Mr. Huntsman, your turn is coming!). But, to be clear, this man is not a limited government conservative. He supported every big government program of George W. Bush. He supports an aggressive foreign policy. He was a world-class porker for Pennsylvania while simultaneously opposing the freedom of people to pork who they want and use birth control while porking. With Santorum, you don’t have to infer that he’s a religious radical. He has openly stated it.

Pretty soon, that will be remembered. And we’ll be back to Plan B, which is Mitt Romney.

For the record, I think Obama is going to win re-election this year no matter who the nominee is. There’s always a chance if some major scandal erupts or the economy tanks again, which is why we should find a sensible candidate. But Americans hate unelecting Presidents and the GOP still has a foul taste for too many voters. And the early returns on the economy are hopeful. However, I think it is likely that the GOP will make big gains in the Senate and retain control of the House. In the end, that’s the more important fight. George Will has a good column out expounding on this topic.

Although they have become prone to apocalyptic forebodings about the fragility of the nation’s institutions and traditions under the current President, conservatives should stride confidently into 2012. This is not because they are certain, or even likely, to defeat Barack Obama this year. Rather, it is because, if they emancipate themselves from their unconservative fixation on the presidency, they will see events unfolding in their favour. And when Congress is controlled by one party, as it might be a year from now, it can stymie an overreaching executive.

I’m not yet convinced that the GOP is sane or reliable enough to have the entire government in their hands. I can live with divided government … if the GOP can force some fiscal discipline.

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  1. Poosh

    He supports an aggressive foreign policy

    That is neither here nor there, when it comes to being a small-government conservatives.

    I find this clatter against Romney tiring. Hardcore conservatives support him. He is perfectly conservative, he’s just not a fanatic.

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  2. richtaylor365

    I’m not yet convinced that the GOP is sane or reliable enough to have the entire government in their hands.

    Sanity and reliability aside, they are never a factor anyway, why shouldn’t the GOP get as big a bite at the apple as the dems got? You can only judge a party when they have unfettered access to power and for two years Obama and his crew ran everything. His bullet proof majorities in both houses guaranteed no obstructionism from the other side, so we got to see what his true vision for America is. Equity, fair play, and a resounding condemnation from the voting public last election dictate that the other guys get their shot. They may do no better, then in two years those bums get thrown on the bricks, but really, how can they do worse?

    A two year time span is amble time for strangling Obamacare, neutering the EPA, revamping the tax code, injecting some Ryanesque reform for Medicare and social security, and cutting up the credit cards with some deficit reduction with teeth. Maybe even get another strict constructionist on SCOTUS, but mostly to provide some confidence and stability into our free markets.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    Santorum is, in his own way, nearly as bad as Obama – he’s a fundamentalist idiot that views the world through a bible.

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  4. Section8

    But Americans hate unelecting Presidents and the GOP still has a foul taste for too many voters.

    It’s painfully obvious now that the only thing Americans hate when it comes to politics is leaving the status quo. In second place when it comes to things they hate is the status quo. In the end nothing will change because we hate any fix more than we hate the problem. It’s the same old story. A slow move to all controlling government with bursts of speed every now and then. When the opportunity presents itself to make cuts, it won’t happen. When the opportunity presents itself to get out of the world cop business, it won’t happen. When the opportunity presents itself to eliminate departments, it won’t happen. Not now, not ever, until we just don’t have the money for it anymore. Bankruptcy is the true candidate of change. It will have your vote eventually, like it or not.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    Looks like essentially a split between Romney sand Santorum with Paul a solid third. That basically means Romey because I can’t believe tthat Santorum will win once remember who he is.

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  6. ryansparx

    That basically means Romey because I can’t believe tthat Santorum will win once remember who he is.

    You’re obviously underestimating the power and sway of America’s dead baby voters.

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  7. Mississippi Yankee

    I got a feeling ill be voting 3rd party/libertarian again this year.

    This is why I’ll fight to my last breath to keep the Electoral College forever in place.

    I will vote for anyone that runs against the current resident of the White House. Even if it’s mostly a ceremonial vote in this state.

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  8. Mississippi Yankee

    Maybe we’re all reading way too much into this Iowa thing anyway. Of the six men who ran 4 years ago only two are even news-worthy today.

    In 2008 the Iowa Caucus results were:
    Mike Huckabee – 34.36%
    Mitt Romney – 25.19%
    Fred Thompson – 13.39%
    John McCain – 13.03%
    Ron Paul – 9.93%
    Rudy Giuliani – 3.44%

    2008 Iowa Caucus results

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  9. Xetrov

    Iowa in the big scheme of things means very little. But this does give Santorum (a relative afterthought in this election) a significant boost heading into other states, as he just virtually tied the front runner. The media who has largly ignored him up until now will definitely give him some exposure. Whether that helps him or hurts him remains to be seen.

    Meanwhile virtually everyone in the media continues to ignore Paul, despite coming in a strong third. I’d never vote for the guy, but that’s significant.

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  10. Xetrov

    And in further news, Crazy Lady came in dead last, and is set for an 11AM news conference, and Perry is heading back to Texas to reexamine his campaign.

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