Rick Santorum is feeling feisty these days. He is the new darling of the GOP's far right, anti Romney crowd and he is playing it for everything it is worth. The latest poll in Michigan, where Romney grew up and where his father was governor, shows the former senator from Pennsylvania ahead 43% to Mitt's 33%. Newt Gingrich, who was ever so briefly where Santorum is right now in the hearts and minds of the tea party fringe, is at 11%. The Ron Paul exercise in futility rounds out the field with 8%.
All this success has led Mr. Santorum to change targets lately. The past week his focus has been squarely on Barak Obama and he hasn't anything pleasant to say about the president. In fact he went so negative he sounded positively Newtonian in both his rage and use of questionable facts. Of course anger and white hot rhetoric is what appeals to the far right. Reason and logic are considered weaknesses. So much so that people displaying them are routinely strung up, butchered and eaten during torch light rallies. After all, the cause must be kept pure.
Santorum accused the president of mandating free pre natal testing in his health care program to encourage more abortions. In his words, "...free pre natal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care has to be done because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society." Ah, the "A" word. Yes, pound it in time after time no matter what else might be a consequence. Equate a rational yet painful choice with murder. Shower down guilt on anyone who has ever made that choice and accuse those who support it of some sort of genocide. The argument, among other things, is one that assumes every parent of an unborn child will always choose abortion if a problem is uncovered, rather than getting proper care, or preparing for a discovered medical condition. It also denies women who live in poverty the ability to get medical assistance that is readily available to those who have insurance, but that isn't new. The entire republican health plan, or lack thereof is an homage to insurance providers and social Darwinism.
Mr. Santorum says in regard to the birth control issue, "It is all about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh not a theology based on the bible, a different theology, but no less a theology." Unfortunately for him the whole birth control issue isn't an issue with the huge majority of Americans. Take away the Roman Catholic hierarchy and people like Santorum and the "issue" would go away in about thirty seconds. As he raves about it the rest of us are yawning. Although it is always a good idea to throw in something about the bible and phony theology when appealing to the right. If reassures them that God is on their side.
Finally he says, "Ladies and Gentlemen we have a president who not only apologizes for America but consistently makes our country less safe." He is a bit vague on how the president has done and is doing that. It apparently has something to do with meeting the French president who he mis identified as the French prime minister. This was just a few hours before Amin El Khalafi, a Moroccan was busted in a sting operation in Washington D.C. And mere months after Seal Team Six kicked in Osama Bin Laden's door and blew his brains out. An act that right wing hacks quickly claimed Obama had nothing to do with.
Obama campaign spokesperson Ben Labolt called all this nonsense, "Just the latest low in a republican primary fueled by distortions, ugliness, searing pessimism and negativity."
Well, yeah. Did anyone actually expect these beasts to act civilized? They haven't done that since Eisenhower was president.
Another way to read this I suppose is outright panic. When pitted against Barak Obama in Michigan Santorum trails 50% to 39%. The only comfort he can derive from those figures is that his numbers are the best of any of the four remaining republicans when facing the president.. It was even worse for Mitt, Ron, and the Newt in the home of General Motors.
Yes, when you are losing you have to go low and vile and do it often. Ratchet up the rhetoric, whip the mob into a blazing frenzy of religious outrage. Don't let anyone have the time to mull over that last time you ran for office, the one where you were thrown out of the senate by the people of Pennsylvania in absolute disgrace.
Screech loudly, then praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. Rick Santorum is on a roll.