Tomorrow’s Ohio Primary

A question from the assembled masses:

Are you voting in tomorrow’s Ohio primary?

No. I’m not a Republican (I’m registered as unaffiliated), and I’m not inclined to “make mischief” and vote for someone just to sabotage the GOP’s chances at the White House. The GOP has been doing a fine job of that itself; it doesn’t need my help.

If I had to vote in tomorrow’s Ohio primary, however — say, the forces of evil threatened to strangle my cat if I did not — then I would likely vote for Romney, for the simple reason that the zany kicky fun of the idea of Santorum being the GOP nominee has drained away, and I’m left with the existential horror of that feculent bigot of a man actually seriously being considered a viable candidate to lead our country. The Onion did a piece today titled “Voters Slowly Realizing Santorum Believes Every Deranged Word That Comes Out Of His Mouth,” and as with all of the best Onion pieces, the hell of it is that it is absolutely true. And while there’s a part of me that enjoys chaos, there’s the other, larger part of me that wants to make sure that dude is nowhere near an actual presidential ballot because you never know.

The good news is that it does finally seem like the GOP is waking up to the fact Santorum is a hot mess of a candidate; the bad news is that it’s still possible he could win Ohio or other significant states tomorrow, and then, well, it’s oh shit time in the Romney camp, not to mention for all the rest of us.

And you may say, I could go tomorrow and vote for Romney. But just as it’s not my place to “make mischief” for the GOP, neither is it my job to inject sanity into their primary, either. If you’re an Ohio Republican, that’s your gig. I mean, I’m not exactly thrilled with Romney, or Gingrich, or Paul, but any of them would be preferable to Santorum. Please keep that in mind when you vote tomorrow.

(Actually, just for the hell of it, you should all vote for Paul. Man, wouldn’t that mess with everybody’s head if Paul took Ohio! Yes, yes. I’m liking this scenario the more I think about it.)

117 thoughts on “Tomorrow’s Ohio Primary

  1. I don’t want the Republicans to win the election – but I’d much rather any other candidate be on the ballot than Santorum even though I think he has the worst chance.

    The man terrifies me, and what’s worse is that I really think there are some people who would support a Santorum/Palin ticket.

  2. I’ll be working as a precinct chief in Virginia’s (largely inconsequential) Republican primary tomorrow. We don’t expect a high turnout, even though it’s an open primary (any registered voter can participate). I’ll be happy if we break 100 voters by the end of it. Yet, I’m happy to do my part for democracy and make sure that people have a chance to voice their opinion. And, since I have to get up at 3:30am to be at the polls by 4:45am, I’ll be shuffling off to bed now.

  3. I want to live,
    I want to give
    I’ve been a voter
    for some pot and gold.

    It’s the recession
    He never gives up
    He keeps me voting
    for some pot and gold.
    And I’m getting old.

    I’ve been to Ohio
    I want to caucus
    I voted Ron Paul
    for some pot and gold.

    I’ve been in my mind,
    We’ll win it this time
    He keeps me voting
    for some pot and gold.

  4. I’m a democrat living in Ohio. I don’t plan to vote in the republican primary tomorrow either, but there are several local issues on the ballot including funding for the library, so I’ll still be going to the polls. I imagine it will be the shortest ballot I’ve ever been handed.

  5. Well I’m voting for Paul tomorrow, and should he not win the nomination, I will probably vote for Gary Johnson. . . I say probably, because if the GOP decides to cannibalize itself by throwing itself behind Santorum I’d actually vote for Obama. As far as I’m concerned, Santorum combines Obama’s Statist executive power fantasies and disregard for the Constitution with an unhealthy concern for my sexual activities. This is not an improvement.

  6. Every time Santorum comes up in the conversation I think “Nehemiah Scudder” Scares the heck out of me. And no, I’m not saying that to be cute. From what RAH said and did NOT want to write about the character, it’s just to close of a match for me.

  7. If you vote for Rick Santorum, you get angry.
    If you get angry, your daughter imitates you.
    If your daughter imitates you, she gets kicked out of school.
    If she gets kicked out of school, she hangs with low-lifes.
    If she hangs with low-lifes, she marries a low-life.
    If she marries a low-life, you get a grandchild with a dog collar.
    Don’t have a grandchild with a dog collar.
    Vote Mitt Romney.
    (That’s pretty much how his ads have gone. I think the DirecTV guy actually does one or two of them.)
    (BTW, you could pretty much insert any of these guys into this bit, and it’ll still work.)

  8. That is truly a classic Onion piece. It’s right up there with the one about our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity finally being over.

    One hopes it’s not quite so prescient.

  9. As a Democrat in Ohio, I will be voting a Democratic ballot of largely uncontested races (though there’s a contested race for the Dem. nomination for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court), plus a local school levy that needs to be passed.

  10. A friend and I were discussing over the weekend whether Santorum was closer to Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip (It Can’t Happen Here, Lewis) or Nehemiah Scudder (If This Goes On —, Heinlein.)

  11. At least Dr. Ron Paul knows how to deliver a baby, serve in the Army, and understand the Consttution.

    Not so good at owning the racist, anti-semitic swill that gets published over his signature – at least if you believe a word he has to say on that subject.

  12. “as with all of the best Onion pieces, the hell of it is that it is absolutely true.”

    Allium Verite.

  13. I won’t vote for a Republican in the general election, but (assuming Texas sorts its redistricting issues out before the Sun leave the main sequence) I have no qualms about voting in the primary. The only thing worse than a two-party system is a one-party system, so I will do my tiny part to steer the GOP away from the edge of Santorum Bluff.

  14. I’m going to be Warden of a precinct in Cambridge, Massachusetts tomorrow. What I’m looking forward to is Ron Paul defeating Mitt Romney in my precinct. It does happen — Cambridge often seems to have more Libertarians than Republicans, although it’s a bit unlikely this time, since there might be unenrolled voters who actually want to support Romney.

  15. I live on the other side of our state, north of Youngstown, hugging the PA line. This area is so notoriously blue that very often elections are decided at the primary level because Democrats frequently run unopposed in the general election. So I’ve been surprised by the heavy rotation of ads for Romney, Santorum, and Gringrich on local TV. Romney even held a rally in the Youngstown area today. This suggests to me that candidates themselves maybe encouraging Democrat mischief. (It’s not just the Republican candidates either – AFSCME is spending big bucks on an anti-Romney auto bailout ad.)

    This just adds another level of craziness or absurdity or whatever it is to the Republican primary race. I agree that Santorum is the outright scariest of the bunch because he believes every crazy thing he says. However with each success, however small, he pushes Romney further right. Despite his claim that he is not willing to set his hair on fire, I’m not sure that Romney isn’t more insidiously scary because he wants so desperately to claim what I suspects he considers his birthright that he’ll say or do anything – leaving us to guess what is really in his heart.

  16. Good golly I have the exact same feelings about Santorum. I believe his nomination would mean an almost sure win for Obama and the (small) possibility of the GOP having another Goldwater moment and pulling back from the brink. A Romney nomination and loss would possibly mean the opposite – Romney lost because he wasn’t a TRUE conservative ergo we must get even CRAZIER!!!

    I just can’t stand the thought of Santorum in the general. He is an absolute nightmare of a human.

    I often point out that most conservatives have one issue they are liberal about – the one that has effected them personally. Santorum has a child with a terrible illness. He has experienced the flaws in the health care system first hand, recently talking about the expense that his family has incurred in caring for her. Yet, he supports the “right” of health care providers to refuse pre-existing condition coverage, he is against women having the ability to know if the child they are carrying may be sick (not everyone can make the kind of financial and emotional commitment he and his wife have), and he recently sneered at a woman who told him she couldn’t afford the medication her son needed to stay alive. He has first hand experience with how hard it is to have a child who is ill, yet he shows no empathy with anyone else in the same situation. His issues with sex and sexuality aside, this is the thing I am most gobsmacked by. In short, I am uncomfortable with him being the runner up in the GOP primary – even that is too close the presidency for comfort.

  17. Sorry – I was rambling and left out the most important point I was trying to make:

    I am completely against any attempt by anyone outside the GOP to mess with their candidate selection. Anything could happen before November and we might just get what we are asking for – President Santorum.

    *shudder*

  18. Tuesday is Game of Thrones day! Watching the Blu-Ray will be the best thing you can see on television Tuesday night.

  19. @ Jamie

    I am completely against any attempt by anyone outside the GOP to mess with their candidate selection.

    You are, of course, free to try and get the rules changed. In Texas, the Rubs and Dems have it set up so that if you vote in one of their party’s primary, you can’t vote in the other. But since Obama’s incumbency makes that irrelevant this cycle, I have no reason not to try and steer the GOP away from neoconservative (translation: not conservative at all) hell. I don’t identify as a Republican or Democrat partisan, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stand silently by while both parties do their level best to drag my country into the dumpster.

  20. I am completely against any attempt by anyone outside the GOP to mess with their candidate selection.

    Well, change the rules then. I don’t see why Kos wants to emulate the miserable failure that was Limbaugh’s ‘Operation Chaos’ attempt to trip up Obama, but I don’t have the time or the energy to stop other people making tits of themselves.

  21. Even if Ol Frothy wins Ohio today he did not present slates of delegates in all the precincts so he will not get the convention votes for those precincts. Put more simply – he loses even if he wins. His team was either not smart enough or not organized enough to do the jobs that needed to be done. WIllard Romeny will get the nomination because his team prepared for this. The only thing that could have prevented him was an actual organized effort against him by someone competent. As badly as the Marquis de Mittens has run he has been saved by the total incompetence of the entire rest of the GOP field.

  22. All of the delegates on Super Tuesday are going to be awarded proportionally unless one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote which doesn’t seem likely . So even if Romney “wins” Ohio, Santorum is going to get just about as many delegates. Gingrich is going to win a bunch of delegates in Georgia, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, and he’s already started campaigning in Alabama, which doesn’t vote to the 13th.

    Basically, this race is far from over. There may be a lot of pressure on Santorum and Newt to get out so the other has a chance to take down Romney, but it’s a tough sell. Gas prices are going through the roof, Gallup says unemployment is going back up to 9%, home sales are in the toilet. You have to figure one of these men has a very good possibility of becoming president.

  23. Since a couple of people have already brought up Nehemia Scudder; wasn’t it the 2012 election Scudder was supposed to win? I really hope Heinlein wasn’t too prescient.

  24. Jeff S.

    I didn’t remember this detail from “If This Goes On,” but Wikipedia asserts that Nehemiah Scudder was elected in 2012! Brrr. Did it just get chilly in here?

  25. I’m an Ohio Democrat, and will vote after work today. I’m voting in the Democratic primaries, and to support our local library. Even Dems running unopposed need my vote today.

    I’ve actually encouraged Facebook friends to vote. I’ve reminded them of folks in other countries who risk life and limb to vote, as well as those who risk life and limb by demonstrating for the opportunity to vote. I am always disappointed when the voter turn-out is low, given people in other countries who cannot vote, but would love to be able to do so.

    Also, holy crap! I haven’t thought of Nehmiah Scudder in a long time. RAH is (proverbially) shaking his head in his grave considering how things currently stand in this country.

  26. Billy Quiets:

    Basically, this race is far from over. There may be a lot of pressure on Santorum and Newt to get out so the other has a chance to take down Romney,

    Do you seriously think either of those to will be able to set their monumental egos aside in order to give the other a chance at winning?

    Not gonna happen. Newt has demonstrated his pathological inability to even entertain the concept that he might not be the best choice for anything, and Santorum thinks he’s on a holy mission from God Himself.

    But we’ll see how this works out.

  27. Rens:

    “Do you seriously think either of those two will be able to set their monumental egos aside in order to give the other a chance at winning?”

    If I were one of the four people who had a legitimate shot at becoming the most powerful man on the planet, I sure wouldn’t give up.

  28. Guys, one thing Obama proved in 08 was that it pays to mind the details. He lost votes to Hillary, whom everyone was sure was going to take the nomination, but his team paid attention to what counted – delegates! In Ohio Santorums team does not have a full slate of delegates – he could win the popular vote & still not get as many delegates as Willard will. The Rmoney campaign is the only one with a full team working, they are not going to miss many opportunities to pull a few delegates where they can. The others are much more ‘seat of the pants’ clubs & are giving delegates away. The only number that counts is 1440, the votes needed to get the nomination at convention. Unless Rmoney stumbles badly there is no way any of the other 3 can pull this off.

  29. I voted for Paul in the Virgnia primary today. I will probably be voting Gary Johnson (libertarian) for President in November as a protest vote, and a straight anti-incumbent ticket otherwise.

    Then (technology permitting) I will put myself into cryostasis until 2016.

  30. Most powerful man on what planet? U.S. presidents haven’t been the most powerful guys on this one in recent memory.

  31. BW: I don’t know what planet you’re on but here on Earth the current president does pretty much anything he wants. He has bypassed the constitution, ignored states’ rights, dictated policy to the Catholic church, and assassinated whoever he wants, including an American.

    Sounds like a powerful man to me.

  32. “Do you seriously think either of those to will be able to set their monumental egos aside in order to give the other a chance at winning?”
    Often, it has nothing to do with winning the candidacy; it has to do with gaining leverage over the presumptive candidate. Candidates who step aside and throw their delegates to another candidate often get a nice position in the hierarchy, some promises of favors/power later or some commitment from the party for help at a later date.

  33. @ Andrew Hackard: It would have to be proverbially *anyway*, since RAH is dead. I don’t think being cremated made much of a difference.

    (I’m not sure “proverbially” is the right word here, but that’s a separate issue.)

  34. the current president does pretty much anything he wants

    Wouldn’t that be the “unitary executive” supporters of the prior administration were always rhapsodizing about? Geez, I haven’t heard that phrase in a while now. Not sure why.

    And what WizarDru said. I’m sure at least one of those candidates is delusional enough to think he WILL win (remember all those contenders who said God told *them* to run?), but this is all about power, and it’s not Oval Office or nothin’.

  35. Romney, or Gingrich, or Paul, but any of them would be preferable to Santorum
    I think that’s a tougher call than you make it sound. It’s pretty clear that Ron Paul would be an unmitigated catastrophe. Gingrich makes a nut-house Napoleon look firmly planted in reality . . .

  36. For me, my enjoyment of watching the Republicans doing the Circular Firing Squad thing is somewhat blunted by the suspicion that they may actually have strategized this deliberately. If Rmoney isn’t the confirmed nominee until very late in the process—or even goes all the way to the convention!—it keeps the GOP candidates (only one of them a serious contender; the others deliberate foils) in the public consciousness.

    And while Sick Rantorum may be shifting Rmoney to the right during the primaries, I think his primary effect (π) is to make Rmoney seem moderate, which he isn’t in any sane sense. But then I think Obama is to the right of moderate on most issues, so take that with the appropriate-sized container of salt…there isn’t much to the left of me in American Politics, though I’d be considered deeply conservative in much of Europe.

    Finally, I worry that the Republicans just really don’t care who they nominate, because they know that due to the GOP-controlled SCOTUS ruling on Citizen’s United they can outspend the Dems a million to one and just put their figurehead in the Oval Office. In other words, Grover Norquist, far from saying something freaky and out of the Republican mainstream, simply spilled the beans on the actual policy of the PTB in the GOP.

  37. Eh. The president isn’t a king. Even if Santorum won the general election, he’d be hamstrung in bringing the kind of crazy he’s talking about right now, unless he had a congress that was all-aboard. I don’t see any democrats or even republicans in general getting on board with most of what he’s saying.

    Like always, they win on the social issues, and then legislate their economic interests. Every. Single. Time.

  38. ben, I don’t know that I can agree with you about what the next president could get done. A lot of the people who would normally object to seeing their individual and religious freedoms compromised are conspicuously silent right now because they agree with the particular policies of the current executive. But once that precedent is established, those rights are gone. If the current guy can dictate to private companies and religious institutions the products they have to provide and the prices they can charge, what is to keep future presidents from doing the same thing?

  39. “If the current guy can dictate to private companies and religious institutions the products they have to provide and the prices they can charge, what is to keep future presidents from doing the same thing?”

    Uh. What?

  40. ben, conservatives are currently pretending that’s what the mandate on contraception means.

  41. As a G.L.B.T. citizen of the Untied States, I have to say, ANY candidate the Republicans have put up would have me in a boxcar heading for Auschwitz if they had their way.

  42. Billy, it’s a bit schoolyard of me, but think about what you said, and think on how that applies when there’s a Republican in the White House. I’ll wager you a dollar that it applies at least partly to you.

    Go on, I’ll wait.

    shelleybear: I think you’re exaggerating a /wee/ bit. Even Bush the Lesser wouldn’t have gone that far. Also, Godwin fail.

    ben, Xopher, et al: it’s all in how you frame things. They say the contraception thing is an assault on religious liberty, while in reality it’s protecting ordinary people (women) from religious tyranny. Why should my ignorant-ass boss get to decide that, based on his backwards social ideology, I shouldn’t get free and easy access to something that everyone else gets? Go work somewhere else, you might say, but it’s a crappy economy and I might be stuck living somewhere without other opportunities.

    At the very /least/, if the churches don’t want to insure contraceptives, they should be forced to give a pay raise in the amount the employee would get from employer insurance contributions otherwise.

  43. Super Tuesday? Meh– no sane person appears to be running (Rep or Dem) who supports raising taxes and lowering spending so that every Federal dollar spent comes from a tax dollar received leaving some tax dollars to begin retiring the national debt (and paying back all those IOUs to the Social Security Trust Fund). So it matters not who wins in November. We get four more years of outrageous deficit spending no matter who wins. Ron Paul might support such an enterprise, but Congress won’t deliver it to him for a Presidential signature, so even Paul’s no fiscal savior. We will be Greece soon enough, bankrupt with a devalued currency, hopes and dreams of most all Americans destroyed in the economic collapse. The Great Depression of the thirties will look like a mild recession compared to where all these candidates are intentionally leading us. Prove me wrong. Who should Dems and Reps vote for this Super Tuesday to avoid all this economic gloom and doom? I am not seeing anyone to vote FOR, only some to vote against.

  44. shelleybear
    You’re not helping. As Cenk Uygur would say, you’re at a 10, and you need to be at a 2.
    I’m pretty sure even Santorum doesn’t come anywhere close to thinking a final solution for gay people is anything less than an appalling idea.

  45. Kevin, shelleybear is exaggerating at least in terms of what they could actually do. As for what’s in their hearts…I think Rmoney probably wouldn’t want to do any such thing. Gingrich might start a nuclear war, but his death camps would be for Muslims. Rantorum…I think shelleybear might be right about what he’d do if he had his druthers. He’d cite the Bible (and remember, he thinks the Bible trumps the Constitution), which like most of his ilk he reads incorrectly on the subject.

    Bachman would have been subtler about it. If she had her way, homosexuals would be sent to “conversion centers” where they’d either emerge “cured” or “commit suicide.”

    NONE of them can get away with it. America hasn’t deteriorated that far. Yet. I think.

  46. “say, the forces of evil threatened to strangle my cat if I did not”

    I thought your cat – one of them at least – *was* a force of evil. Wait…are you sure Ghlaghghee hasn’t tricked you into not voting so that the new republican president will ruin America for you, thus bringing about your early demise?

  47. @ Xopher HalfTongue: “If Rmoney isn’t the confirmed nominee until very late in the process—or even goes all the way to the convention!—it keeps the GOP candidates (only one of them a serious contender; the others deliberate foils) in the public consciousness.”

    If they’re doing this deliberately, the plan is backfiring. The polls I’ve seen have shown Romney’s positive numbers dropping and his negative numbers rising through the process so far, and the same for “generic Republican”. Meanwhile, Obama’s numbers have been improving.

    Part of what seems to be happening is that there are relatively few Repub voters interested enough to vote in the primaries this time, so to appeal to the current motivated base means trying to at least match the crazy level. That’s all well and good for the primaries, but the longer the slap-fight goes on, the more turned-off independents get and the more motivated Dems get. Contrast this to 2008 and the comparatively sane tussle between Obama and Clinton. IIRC, Obama’s positives kept going up throughout the process.

  48. I’m appalled by the level of poorly informed demonization of Rick Santorum that goes on, here and elsewhere. Bono (of U2) said about him, not too long ago, “I would suggest that Rick Santorum has a kind of Tourette’s disease; he will always say the most unpopular thing. But on our issues, he has been a defender of the most vulnerable.” He’s said some dumb things, as everyone has, but the organized campaign of personal attacks against him by people like Dan Savage is extraordinarily loathsome, and makes Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke look like kindergarten banter in comparison. On the overall scale of things, HIV in third world countries, starvation and children’s welfare in sub-Saharan Africa, and similar issues are a hell of a lot more important than gay marriage (where the most important tangible benefits are tax breaks for the affluent) and insurance=subsidized contraception for those lucky enough to enjoy decent health care benefits. Beneath the rhetorical veneer, Santorum is clearly the most decent man among the four remaining Republican candidates, the least Randist and the least interested in promoting the interests of the wealthy for their own sake. It’a not an accident that he’s most detested by the sort of “progressives” who for decades have abandoned the interests of poor African-American children (whose health and educational needs are probably the most significant, least-well-addressed American social problem) while addressing “cutting-edge” but much less important issues which play well among upper-middle-class (or higher) campaign contributors.

  49. Bearpaw, that makes a lot of sense, and obviously I deeply hope you’re right. I was mostly talking about what I fear.

    Floyd: Beneath the rhetorical veneer, Santorum is clearly the most decent man among the four remaining Republican candidates

    The word ‘clearly’ must mean something different to your people than it does to mine. Not going to get into it with you, though, since I think we live in different universes.

  50. And I’m appalled at the level of false equivalence and prevarication employed in that defense of Santorum. Especially given that you appear to be saying “I’m not going to deny that Rick Santorum says/thinks the awful things he says/thinks, but… starving kids in Africa. Also, Dan Savage is mean. So are unnamed, scare-quoted progressives.”

  51. I’m tempted to toss off a LOLWUT to Mr Turbo, but considering he neither names any Democratic candidates who did not support HIV prevention in 3rd-world countries etc, nor provides what constitutes abandonment of African-American interests, I’m assuming it’s a brilliant piece of parody.

  52. Floyd: You couldn’t be more wrong. The vast majority of women’s and GLBT-rights issues are the most critical for lower-income folks who don’t have the means to get around discriminatory practices.

    On reproductive rights, for instance, the biggest issue is whether poor women will have access to modern standards of care and treatment.

    This is also why Ron Paul’s “states’ rights” BS is so horrible. It may seem more fair somehow to allow South Carolina to pass scads of anti-gay laws if Washington is also allow to pass scads of pro-gay ones, but it’s not actually fair at all for poor folks in SC who can’t afford to move. The constitution was specifically crafted with the idea that majority rule can’t usurp the rights of the minority. “Allowing” states to violate several Amendments just because they have majorities who wish to do so is contrary to the very foundations of our system of government.

    Also: just because there are critical issues of hunger and injustice around the world doesn’t mean we can’t also address issues of poverty inside our own borders.

  53. Also-also, just as a point of order: freedom of religion only applies to those religious beliefs and practices which only affect oneself. The moment the practice of one’s religion has an effect on others is the moment at which the rights of said others come into play.

    Or, in other words: disallowing human sacrifice isn’t a violation of the religious rights of those whose religions require that practice, but a protection of the rights of those who would otherwise be unwillingly tossed into a volcano to appease Pele.

  54. @ Doc Rocketscience: I find it amusing when on the rare occasion the echo chamber doesn’t work about a particular topic, the Repubs start saying that Dems are trying to politicize that topic at the expense of real issues.

  55. Billy, you seem to be arguing that this is the very first time a religious organization has been ordered to follow the same laws as everyone else, even when doing so is not 100% in tune with its beliefs. Is that correct?

  56. Jesse, more likely a parroty than a parody, a Cargo-Cult deployment of language heard elsewhere.

  57. Point of order: no human sacrifices were ever offered to Pele. But your point about individual rights stands.

  58. Floyd Turbo:

    He’s said some dumb things, as everyone has, but the organized campaign of personal attacks against him by people like Dan Savage is extraordinarily loathsome, and makes Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke look like kindergarten banter in comparison.

    I think Mr. Savage would respond that there’s nothing decent about a man who has repeatedly equated GLBT people and marriage equality advocates to pedophiles, incestuous rapists and aficionados of bestiality. (Run for the hills Ghlaghghee! That’s not a rasher of bacon in John’s hand!)

    And nice segue into a false equivalence de-rail there, Floyd. Because a sex advice columnist harshly disagreeing with a United States Senator’s public statements on public policy is exactly like Limbaugh unloading on a private citizen like an unhinged frat-boy at a kegger. NOT.

  59. I stand corrected, Doc! Though I spose someone could do so, if they wanted to. Were they, y’know, not prevented from such by law.

    On another topic: Dan Savage is a reprehensible human being, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t make good points on occasion.

  60. “….the idea of Santorum being the GOP nominee has drained away, and I’m left with the existential horror of that feculent bigot of a man actually seriously being considered a viable candidate to lead our country..”

    BTW: I’m a Romney Republican (in 2012, at least) and not a big fan of R. Santorum. Santorum vs. Obama would be like Hitler vs. Stalin for me. I want a commonsense moderate, not an ideologue of either extreme.

    I think you allude, John, to an unsettling proposition for many of the readers of his forum: The Democrats who are trying to play the role of “spoiler” in the GOP primaries are basing their actions on the assumption that Santorum would have minimal chances of winning the general election. This is not necessarily the case.

    Some polls indicate that Santorum has more support than Romney among blue-collar voters who would have been “Reagan Democrats” thirty years ago. These are the swing voters, and they have a very different agenda from that of the latte-sipping, elitist liberals who will vote for Obama no matter what.

    In November, blue-collar voters are not going to make their decision after asking: “Which candidate does the most to promote the gay agenda and abortion?” They’re going to ask: “Which candidate is most in tune with the concerns of the working man/woman?”

    In the GOP primaries, Santorum has been able to successfully frame himself as the “regular guy with blue-collar roots,” while painting Romney as the elitist. He could very well pull this off against Obama in November.

    Keep in mind that most of these blue-collar swing voters, while liberal on economic issues, tend to lean to the right on social issues. It would be an interesting irony if the result of all this Democratic “sabotage” is a Santorum presidency. And it would not be beyond the realm of possibility.

  61. Xopher HalfTongue:

    “a Cargo-Cult deployment of language heard elsewhere”
    is the name of the new album by my post-rock band.

  62. O.G.N and NickP Appx 9:47 AM
    That’s exactly why I’ve been so freaked by all this.
    Be vibe, Just after
    RAH did write “Grumbles from the Grave” so you never know 8^D

  63. Santorum vs. Obama would be like Hitler vs. Stalin for me. I want a commonsense moderate, not an ideologue of either extreme.

    And you don’t think comparing Obama to Stalin is extreme? It’s hilarious that people think Obama is a socialist (since his economic policies are more like Reagan’s than anyone’s), but really, comparing him to a totalitarian communist dictator and murderer of millions? Really?

    I’m not contesting your comparison of Santorum with Hitler. I think it’s an exaggeration, but I’m not as certain of that.

  64. Bearpaw, no, lyric fragments taken from popular songs, strung together without rhyme or reason, and set to unimaginative music.

  65. Ah, yes. Love folks who think that the problem with totalitarian regimes centers entirely on what economic system they employed and not, y’know, on that totalitarian thing.

    It’s like people arguing that vegetarianism is inherently dangerous because Hitler was (supposedly) a veggie. Bzuh?

    Bad people do neutral thing != neutral thing becomes bad thing.

  66. @ Xopher HalfTongue: I’ve heard it bandied about that Obama is saving his most radical America-Hating Evil Lefty actions until after he’s re-elected. Oddly enough, some folks on the Left (or at least Dem) seem to believe he has a list of Brave Progressive actions that he’ll do once he’s re-elected. The latter is somewhat less delusional than the former, but not by a lot.

  67. I wonder, all those Starbucks customers in red states: do they slam their lattes? Or do they only drink frappachinos?

  68. Whether Obama becomes Captain Progressive upon reelection depends entirely on whether the folks who survive the Congressional elections are willing to be the other members of his Lefty Avengers. And somehow, I’m thinking no.

    Even if we did wrest control of the House back from the Tea Party nitwits who started squatting there two years ago, there are still enough Blue Dogs and purple-district Dems to prevent anything truly radical from coming to pass in the next few years.

    The overall trajectory of political movement is generally progressive in many ways (socially, for instance) and folks who pine for a 1950s White America that never existed probably think we’re about to break the seventh seal. But we’re not exactly going to see lazy hippies fornicating on the capitol steps in piles of middle-class-earned money just because we don’t elect Gordon Gecko.

  69. @ A Mediated Life: “Whether Obama becomes Captain Progressive upon reelection depends entirely on whether the folks who survive the Congressional elections are willing to be the other members of his Lefty Avengers.”

    Well, not *entirely*. It would also depend on him *wanting* to be Captain Progressive and run with the Lefty Avengers.

    If we had ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs.

  70. Floyd Turbo,
    Let this be a lesson for you. Rick Santorum authored legislation to send millions of dollars to Africa to fight the spread of HIV and Aids but he is still a reprehensible human being because he does not personally believe in gay marriage, or forcing the Catholic Church to supply birth control. Get with the program, man. He’s scary. Inhuman, really.

  71. Yeah, Billy, that’s just what we believe all right.

    Everyone else: Bizarre delusion or strawman argument? You decide.

  72. @ Billy Quiets: That would be the money that came with strings attached that ended up blocking condom supplies. Yeah, I’m sure that had an *excellent* effect on the spread of HIV/AIDS.

  73. @Xopher: “And you don’t think comparing Obama to Stalin is extreme? It’s hilarious that people think Obama is a socialist (since his economic policies are more like Reagan’s than anyone’s), but really, comparing him to a totalitarian communist dictator and murderer of millions? Really?”

    Of course I am exagerrating. Obama is not Stalin, nor is Santorum Hitler. But they do, in my view at least, represent two equally unpalatable extremes. Extreme right vs. extreme left.

    As for Obama being “like Reagan.” I’m going to guess that you are too young to remember the Reagan years in any meaningful way. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve read many of your posts, and you present yourself as twentysomething in the general tone of your arguments.) Reagan was in favor of reducing the size of government and cutting economic regulations. He sought to curb the power of unions. (Recall his dismissal of the air traffic controllers, despite the political costs.)

    I’ll avoid the inflammatory charge that Obama is a “socialist,” but he is definitely in favor of an activist, expansive government. He is also closely allied with Big Labor, a force which was largely responsible for landing him in the White House in 2008. Far from being anti-Big Government, Obama is a textbook example of the Chicago machine politician.

    Both personally and philosophically, Reagan and Obama could not be more dissimilar.

  74. Actually my first vote in a Presidential contest was for Jimmy Carter in 1980. I voted for him because he was Not Reagan, and later discovered he was a better POTUS than I (or anyone) had given him credit for.

    Reagan said a lot of the same things about secretaries paying more taxes than their bosses, etc. Reagan’s policies were very conservative back then…and are considered “liberal” now. I remember what being liberal (much less socialist) really means, and Obama doesn’t qualify for either.

  75. Xopher – based on what I saw in the (interminable) debates I watched, former Senator Santorum *is* the most decent of the Republican candidates. I think he’s wrong, he’s coming from totally broken assumptions and they undermine everything he says or does … but he also seems thoughtful, and reflective, and like he’s a generally good guy trying to get by in a complicated world, but failing because he can’t question his core assumptions.

    I’d take that over the competition in the primary any day.

  76. Heinlein’s 1938 (posthumously published) novel For Us, the Living takes place in 2086. Chapter 4 goes into some detail about the rise of Nehemiah Scudder: He first becomes well-known around 2023 and has his greatest influence from 2025 to 2030, although he himself isn’t elected on a national ticket. Wikipedia can’t be trusted on such things, I guess.

  77. aphrael –

    it’s kind of like saying he’s really decent for a racist. He’s said climate change is a hoax. He tried to get language passed requiring that evolution be taught as a theory, and that the ‘debate’ between creationism and evolution be taught. He blamed the growing number of single mothers in this country on contraception. He basically said that a woman who’s impregnated by a rapist should view the unwanted fetus as a gift. He claimed that Obama wanted to force the catholic church to have women priests. Note that I haven’t even mentioned yet the whole equation of LGBT folks with people who engage in bestiality, or the infamous ‘blah people’ food stamp quote. I’m willing to let the last one slide on the grounds of giving him the benefit of the doubt, since he claimed his tongue just got twisted.

    Maybe he is decent as a person (not having met the guy, I can’t tell), but he sure comes across as someone who utters the most remarkable bullshit, and then acts aggrieved when folks like me object to his outlandish claims. So how is he different from Gingrich? Or, that matter, from the drunk guy at the end of the bar, who insists on boring everyone with his pronouncements about how the whole moon landing was faked, you know, because the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderbergers wanted to divert our attention from the ongoing mongrelization of the white race? Might be ‘decent’ when he’s not drunk, but there’s no way in hell I want him to do anything other than to get the hell away from me and my family. And Santorum doesn’t even have the excuse of being drunk.

    Sorry . End of screed.

  78. Georgia has open primaries as well, and I picked up a Republican ballot, not so much to play tiddlywinks with Romney, Gingrich or Santorum, but because there is always a chance that Obama might lose (Heaven forbid) and if so, I want a say in who he might lose to. My vote went to someone who does not have a chance in hell of winning the GA Republican primary, but since he plans to run as an independent regardless, and the local ballot issues were the same regardless of which ballot you picked up, I have not the least qualm in voting in a primary. I generally vote democrat, but I’m a declared independent.

    I’m also watching Gingrich take the state county by county (whichc was expected) but I seriously wonder if those voting for him have actually ever listened to him or remember what a thoroughly unpleasant person he is, or how crappy a representative he was.

  79. I’ll take a big piece of that action. In fact, I might actually do that. Cool, thanks.

  80. I think that voting for extremists in open primaries for the other party is a mistake, just in case your own party does manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I dislike Mittens, but some of the alternatives are frankly terrifying.
    This depresses me about politics here: I want a choice between sensible, reasonable positions, not between a single moderate option and whacked-out crazy.
    Oh, and if you fall into the category of disliking Santorum’s anti-science, anti-education, anti-LGBT views but hope that a supposedly religious person would have strong moral principles, it is important to remember that he was listed on the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington website (which is critical of both parties) as one of the most corrupt senators long before the current presidential race: http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/mostcorrupt/entry/most-corrupt-2006

  81. Andy, Good luck with that theme. Santorum may be a lot of things, but corrupt isn’t one of them.

    Your source (CREW) is not exactly a non-partisan group. They had a total of 21 Republicans on their list, compared to only four Democrats, one of whom was found with $90,000 of bribe money in his freezer if I recall correctly. CREW’s trick is they throw both side’s truly bad apples in with a bunch of guys from the other party who they disagree with on policy, and presto! They are all corrupt.

  82. Billy, 21 to 4 could be bias…or it could just be that a lot more Republicans are corrupt. The false imposition of balance is itself imbalance.

  83. Xopher you lost me when said Reagan was a liberal, Obama isn’t a liberal, and Carter was a good president all in the same post. It’s kind of hard for me to take anything you say seriously after that.

  84. You need to work your reading comprehension, Billy. I never said Reagan was a liberal. I said the POLICIES that were considered liberal then are considered liberal now. This is because our country has gone nuts.

    And if you think Obama is a liberal…you’ve never met one.

  85. Billy, the reason I looked this up is that I heard the claim from a Pennsylvania that the reason he lost his senate seat was that he was a “crook”, so I wanted a source published before the present campaigning. Now you’ve just tried to attack that source without actually presenting any evidence to support your case that they are biased, which is a classic ad-hom fallacy.

    I’m sure that Xopher is right: The 50:50 ratio would only be expected if you assume that both parties are likely to be equally honest… If you look at their most recent report the ratio is something like 12:7, so I suspect that it will change with which party is in power. And that’s my real complaint: I want the Repubs to have a credible opposition position; not just to pander to the crazies.

  86. Santorum’s position on AIDS in Africa is a lot like Paul’s position on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, he’s right on the issue, to first order. But when you examine the totality of his position, you find a lot in the fine print that gives pause. Much like Paul pushing an isolationist foreign policy, Santorum wants to restrict aid to those willing to utterly abstain from any form of sex and drugs (no word if he’d allow rock’n’roll). Anyone not willing to conform to his moralistic views can die in an AIDS fire, for all he cares.

    Meanwhile, he’s so desperately, frighteningly, disgustingly wrong on a host of other issues that it’s hard to listen to anything he has to say.

  87. Doc, Yes I do know how the rest of you feel sometimes. At least this has been a civilized discussion.

    Santorum’s not even my guy in this race, I just think he’s getting a bum rap with all of the over the top hysteria about how scary and dangerous he is.

    It looks like Romney’s going to squeak it out in Ohio, btw.

  88. Santorum’s not even my guy in this race, I just think he’s getting a bum rap with all of the over the top hysteria about how scary and dangerous he is.

    Billy, with all due and sincere respect I’m pretty tired of being told I’m “hysterical” for taking strong exception to someone who has equated me – repeatedly – to child molesters and rapists. And you really think “it made me want to puke” was an even remotely sane and non-disturbing response to Kennedy’s simple statement that if elected President, his administration would not be taking orders from The Vatican just because he was a Catholic? How about his subtle-as-a-kick-to-the-nads attack on the sitting President’s religion?

    I know the conventional wisdom that presidential candidates go fringe in primary season, then tack back to the center once they have the nomination nailed, but Santorum has taken that to extremes even some prominent Republicans are expressing disquiet with.

    Xopher you lost me when said Reagan was a liberal

    Come on, Billy, Governor Reagan would be totally unacceptable to the current Tea Bagged/theo-con GOP base. Hell, you think Mitt Romney is a RINO how about the guy who raised taxes at the same time he declared a public sector hiring freeze, (reluctantly) signed a bill liberalizing access to abortion and saw the nation’s first no-fault divorce legislation become law on his watch?

  89. What Craig said. Anyone who thinks Sick Rantorum is “decent” is not decent. He’s an evil scumbag and he hates me and the people I care about and tells lies about us designed to incite others to do us harm, directly or indirectly.

    Anyone who thinks it’s “decent” to equate me with a child molester or a rapist, or to equate my desire to be married to bestiality…is my enemy. I’ll say it again: if you think that piece of shit is decent, you are my enemy. Expect to be treated as such.

  90. It’s hilarious that people think Obama is a socialist (since his economic policies are more like Reagan’s than anyone’s

    Wait a minute, wasn’t Reagan once leader of a union? And do you know who the biggest enemy of the US was (the south aside)? The Soviet Union, who were SOCIALISTS! Well, communists but I understand the two terms are used interchangeably in the US and do you know who else had two terms? Reagan. Which proves Obama is actually Joseph Stalin.

  91. @Billy, it is not part of a “civilized discussion” to assume that the only reason people differ from your opinion is that they are hysterical, dishonest or vote entirely in their own self-interest. Which is precisely what you said at 4:28 when you suggested that people who oppose Santorum’s election do so because they couldn’t care less about Africa and only care about “gay marriage” and picking on the Church.

    As has been pointed out repeatedly, there are many reasons people are unhappy with Santorum that go beyond “he doesn’t want gays to marry!” (neither does Obama) or “I forgot he wants to give aid to Africa” (as does Obama).

    It is more than a little disingenuous to throw rocks at other people and then praise them for not responding in kind.

  92. Sandrewswann,

    I’ll admit that Obama is better on social issues, but not by much. Hes ramped up the war on drugs, done nothing on gay marriage (and personally opposes it) and while he deserves credit on ending “Don’t ask, don’t tell” it was an easy issue for him politically (most people support ending it) and it was a typical politician response (phase it in over a year or two, with a “committe” overseeing it). On the economy and Constitutional protections he’s been horrifying.

    Combine that with how Obama has poisoned the national debate by calling his opponents “hostage takers” and saying that people who wnt pass his bills are “holding a gun to the nations head”. Plus all the record amounts of cronyism and the fact that his AG is a racist, political hack.

    So, to my mind, while not much of an improvement, Santorum would be better. Fact is, even if he were worse the media would finally start doing their job of criticizing and investigating instead of just providing propaganda like they do for Obama.

  93. @ Scorpius: That particular national debate had already been poisoned, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) *bragged* about the hostage-taking: “What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.”

  94. Bearpaw,

    That’s just McConnell making light of the White House’s usual violent, eliminationist rhetoric. BTW, have you heard that Rush is having death and bomb threats pour in for his stupid choice of words? Mostly because the White House and White House Cronies like Media Matters have been egging on the violence.

  95. Anyone who thinks Sick Rantorum is “decent” is not decent. He’s an evil scumbag and he hates me and the people I care about and tells lies about us designed to incite others to do us harm, directly or indirectly.

    Anyone who thinks it’s “decent” to equate me with a child molester or a rapist, or to equate my desire to be married to bestiality…is my enemy. I’ll say it again: if you think that piece of shit is decent, you are my enemy. Expect to be treated as such.

    That’s genuinely despicable nonsense.Santorum didn’t say anything of the sort. A popular syndicated columnist grossly distorted comments Santorum made in an interview and used his platform to spread the distortions for political purposes. Very much like the Al-Gore-claimed-he invented-the-Internet rubbish spread by Dubya partisans a few years earlier, or the Andrew Breitbart assault on Shirley Sherrod.

    Dan Savage told a lie about Santorum designed to incite hatred against him, and has pretty well succeeded. You’re passing that lie along, and souping it up. Those are evil things to do, and when you do them you separate yourself from decent people.

  96. Mr. Scalzi, it’s your turf and you can make and enforce whatever standards you select. But I hardly think that my comment is less polite than “if you think that piece of shit is decent, you are my enemy. Expect to be treated as such,” which was one of several bits of invective tossed in my direction.

  97. Floyd, leaving aside that Xopher made a general comment while you are addressing him specifically, I didn’t ask you for your opinion. I told you how I expect you to behave here in the future.

  98. Frankly I’d like some of the people who like Santorum, or anybody who supports the conscience exemptions for covering birth control to come over here. I’ll show you my scars from the last time I gave birth, and tell you what it feels like to have surgery the old-fashioned way, where they just hold you down and cut. You can then try to tell me how contraception isn’t medical care.

    Or would you like your employer to tell you that you can’t have coverage for broken bones, because only careless people end up with those?

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