08 June 2012

Patriot Voices: Rick Santorum and his enemies

Rick Santorum made news twice over today with the launch of his new "Patriot Voices" pressure group and the report that he would not release the delegates committed to him for the Republican National Convention, despite the suspension of his candidacy and his endorsement of Mitt Romney. "Patriot Voices" is offered as a non-partisan Christian Right vehicle serving those "left behind by both parties" in the interest of "faith, family, freedom and opportunity." He missed a chance to brand his cause as the "Four Fs," but that's probably just dumb luck on his part. He told FoxNews that the group would stress "importance of understanding where our rights come from and who we are as a people and a culture." I'd like to think that we don't need Rick Santorum to tell us who we are, but it's obvious enough that he means to tell us who we should be. Well, it's a free country.

More interesting is Santorum's motivation for keeping control of his delegates. While they may vote for him on the first ballot, it seems more likely, now that he's endorsed Romney, that he'll instruct them to vote for the Man From Bain. But there's more to a convention than nominating a candidate, and that's where Santorum still wants to play a major role. The Pennsylvanian is still spoiling for a fight, it seems, but before he goes after the President on Romney's behalf he's going to have it out with Ron Paul. As readers may know, Paul's people have been quietly accumulating delegates at state party conventions above and beyond their primary earnings. They've been so successful that they can claim retroactively to have won certain states. Paul's people plan to push for libertarian planks on Romney's platform, but Santorum's delegates intend to push back, it seems, in the interest of social conservatism. Santorum told his supporters that he wants his delegates to have a chance to "represent the values that I did" in the face of "candidates who have delegates coming who, let's put it this way, may have a different approach." ABC doesn't speculate on specific planks Paul and Santorum might fight over, but the report points to a personal angle, recalling that Paul had called Santorum a "fake" during one of the primary debates. It looks like Paul may learn how "for real" Santorum is this summer. This could be very interesting, both as a test of Romney's ability to manage the conflicting ideological factions that form his coalition and for the possibility of a Paul-Santorum feud causing a wider rift in the Republican party. However you vote in November, the Republicans are guaranteed to have the more interesting and entertaining convention this year.

2 comments:

Crhymethinc said...

And with any luck there will be plenty of drunk, armed rednecks in attendance.

Samuel Wilson said...

If armed they'll more likely be holding a tailgate party in the parking lot so they can pick off whomever they're agin. For what it's worth, I suspect that the demographic you describe will more likely support Santorum, having got the idea that Paul is some America-hating traitor or one of them libertines that supports deviated preversions. Hard to believe that such Bible-believing folks would support a blatant papist like Santorum, but that's progress for you.