Bring on the social issues

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks to supporters during a campaign appearance in Fallon, Nevada February 2, 2012. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

You can practically hear the champagne corks popping in the White House as the Republicans in Congress and the presidential candidates start talking about social issues. Rick Santorum wants to go back to 1949, and suddenly the angry right is talking more about contraception that jobs.

While most GOP strategists are horrified by this development, James Taranto tries to argue that this is a good thing for the GOP. Really.

If you’re a Republican in New York or another big city, you may be anxious or even terrified at the prospect that Rick Santorum, the supposedly unelectable social conservative, may win the GOP presidential nomination. Jeffrey Bell would like to set your mind at ease.

Social conservatism, Mr. Bell argues in his forthcoming book, “The Case for Polarized Politics,” has a winning track record for the GOP. “Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964,” he observes. “The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period. . . . When social issues came into the mix—I would date it from the 1968 election . . . the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections.”

Read the whole thing. It’s a staggering example of selectively picking facts to suit your argument. Listening to this argument, you would think that the Cold War, the economy and the Iranian hostage crisis had nothing to do with Reagan’s win in 1980 (let alone Ted Kennedy’s challenge to Carter in the primaries).

This simplistic view might placate some Republicans, and hopefully enough of them will jump on this bandwagon. Perhaps we’ll see a fall campaign with Rick Santorum railing against contraception and online gambling.

Rick Perry runs for Bible-thumper in chief

Rick Perry really is a caricature of George W. Bush. This ad is just hilarious as he makes a desperate plea for religious conservatives in Iowa.

Perry and Michele Bachmann are part of the Dominionism movement. Interesting stuff.

Rick Santorum’s bizarre views about sex hold back his campaign

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks to delegates during the Republican Party of Florida Presidency 5 Convention in Orlando, Florida September 24, 2011. REUTERS/Phelan Ebenhack (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Rick Santorum is notorious for his comments about gay marriage and homosexuals. But his strict Catholic upbringing leads him to comment about sex quite often, and he seems intent on imposing his views on everyone else.

We’ll repeal Obamacare and get rid any idea that you have to have abortion coverage or contraceptive coverage. One of the things that I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the sexual liberty idea and many in the Christian faith have said, you know contraception is OK. It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

Really? Now he has a problem with contraception?

With the collapse of Rick Perry and the incomprehensible abortion comments from Herman Cain, I thought there might be room for a conservative like Santorum to emerge as one of the anti-Romney candidates. But Rick Santorum’s obsession with sexual issues keeps holding him back. He also seems clueless that these views might hinder his campaign.

He’s certainly entitled to his opinion, and many believe that the sexual revolution has been a bad thing for our culture (I don’t), but he seems intent on turning the clock back. As a result, the only thing he’s really running for is a commentator position on Fox News.

Hopefully I’m wrong, as Santorum would be one of the easiest Republicans for President Obama to defeat in 2012 if he somehow snagged the nomination.

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