Santorum Loses Douthat

If Ross Douthat is any kind of bellwether, Santorum’s candidacy for the GOP nomination is in trouble. Douthat shares Santorum’s communitarian and social conservative instincts, but now even Douthat sees Santorum as too hot-headed and undisciplined to win in November. He writes,

In the (still-unlikely) event that Santorum captured the nomination, then, his campaign would probably be to social conservatism what Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign was to small-government conservatism: A losing effort that would inspire countless observers to declare the loser’s worldview discredited, rejected, finished.

In the longer run, a Santorum candidacy might suggest a path that a more electable pro-life populist could follow, much as Reagan ultimately followed Goldwater.

But in the short run, it would almost certainly be a debacle – a sweeping defeat for the candidate himself, and a sweeping setback for the causes that he champions.

Devastating. Read the rest here.

19 Responses to Santorum Loses Douthat

  1. CD Triplet February 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Romney is the only person who can defeat Obama. If Obama wins a second term, this country is finished. I truly believe we can put a headstone down and wipe our hands clean. It will be too late to save this country.

    • Bobby February 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      I would encourage all Republican voters to be very careful when considering giving your support/vote to Romney JUST BECAUSE he would most likely have the best chance at defeating Obama. First, the latest polls show Santorum faring better than Romney when head to head against Obama. Second, more voters currently prefer Santorum over Romney. I would encourage Republican voters to vote for/support the best candidate. I keep hearing so many people who prefer Santorum but believe Romney has the best chance to beat Obama so they support Romney. I see this as laying our values at the door just to beat Obama. I would like Obama defeated as well but I am not willing to throw my support to a candidate who lacks the necessary passion, social issues conviction, and true conservatism. If we don’t support a candidate like Santorum, who else will be willing to run for president in the future knowing that his/her convictions are not electable enough.

      It may take another 4 years of Obama for people to stop settling for the most electable.

  2. yankeegospelgirl February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Did I mention that I’m writing a book called _Things I Don’t Care About_?

  3. Paul February 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    “In the longer run, a Santorum candidacy might suggest a path that a more electable pro-life populist could follow…”

    I think Mike Huckabee would have been a heck of a candidate in 2008, and if he hadn’t shifted so far to the right (or been enjoying the spoils of being a pundit), he would have made a great candidate in 2012. I voted Republican in the 2008 primary specifically to vote for him, and I would have done so again.

  4. Joe Carter February 22, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    I don’t quite follow my buddy Ross’ logic. Santorum has become more popular recently, not less—despite the media trying to portray him as some sort of Christian fanatic.

    I’m not saying Santorum is electable (though he has a much better chance than Romney, a man who will never, ever, ever be President). But I think that Ross is succumbing to the East Coast conventional wisdom that social issues turn off voters.

    • Denny Burk February 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Joe, I really hope that you are right.

      • Christiane February 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

        I think Santorum self-destructed this weekend.
        He had choices of what to say publicly as a candidate, and he made them.

        The voters will make their choice also.

        • yankeegospelgirl February 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

          Okay, okay, we get it. You’re not a Santorum fan. It’s getting a little old now.

          • Christiane February 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

            Why YGG, are YOU a Santorum fan?

          • yankeegospelgirl February 23, 2012 at 8:56 am #

            Wow. What a side-splittingly hilarious way to start my morning. I mean that’s FUNNY. Hehe, hehe. Eh, not really.

  5. KT February 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Hot -headed? Undisciplined? What is that about? Just because he stands for what he believes in? Rick Santorum has a lot of good economic ideas as well as being principled and genuine. Perhaps he’s not a smooth talker like some of the other candidates, but then that only makes him seem more honest. The media is certainly going all out to try to discredit Rick right now. If people think he’s a lost cause, well, I think lost causes are worth fighting for. I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. Besides, I already voted for him in early voting. I think that Christians especially should want someone who will be more supportive of life and the moral values that we believe in….someone who won’t turn around and be like Arnold Schwarzenegger was in California.

    • Bobby February 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      KT- well said.

  6. Philip February 22, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    I’ve never understood the Santorum surge. He just seems to lack any sort of confident public presence.

    • Bobby February 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      I see him as very confident but more importantly I value the content of what he stands for. It’s the value of his content that people admire and are gravitating to.

  7. F.A. February 23, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Honestly, Denny, find a better picture of Ross Douthat than that. What is he trying to be, James Dean? Hard to take anyone seriously who takes such a picture.

  8. Pastor Matt February 23, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I think last night’s horrendous performance by Santorum proves Douthat’s point. I worked on Capital Hill from 1995-1997 and came to know then Sen. Santorum a bit. He is a very nice man but he is not president material. Not only could he not win (he couldn’t even win re-election in his home state), but he is not a great public speaker, which is THE gift a modern president needs. The success of a modern president depends wholly on his ability to sway the American people to support his policy proposals and then pressure Congress. Sen. Santorum is a wonderful person but he simply doesn’t have the gifts to do that.

    • Chris February 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      I thought he did a great job and looks more and more presidential as the process moves forward. I am an independent and pray I get a chance to cast a vote for Santorum in the general election. Anyone who dismisses him will be in for a big surprise.

    • Bobby February 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Being a great public speaker may get someone elected but does not mean that person will be a great president. For those who do not like his public speaking ability, please examine his beliefs and policies and make a decision based on those.
      I believe Santorum is a good public speaker based on the idea that much of what he says is unscripted and comes across as genuine.

  9. Patrick February 23, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    We can expect a consistent portrayal in the media of Santorum as a crazy Catholic, who has the bad judgment to believe what the Catholic Church teaches and the bad judgment and bad manners to tell people this is what he believes.

    He will try to emphasize his message on the economy, foregin affairs, etc, but we will see continual references to his views on contraception, homosexual conduct, the nature of evil, and all other areas where the Catholic view of things is well outside the mainstream of what is considered by many to be educated opinion in the United States. On the other hand, if Romney is the nominee, we will see a steady barrage of what the mainstream (and very many, probably a vast majority, of non-Mormons) see as the weirdness of Mormonism. The attacks on either Santorum or Romney will likely be successful in some measure. Rather than try to outguess which attack will be more successful, I would encourage people to see both candidates as being counter-cultural in some ways and vote in the primaries for the one they believe would be a better President, if elected.

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