Saturday, February 25, 2012

SANTORUM DOES WHAT GINGRICH DIDN'T

Remember when Mitt Romney's people curb-stomped Newt Gingrich in the days leading up to the Iowa caucus, and Gingrich started getting angry, and we all started talking about how Gingrich might wage total war on Romney even at the risk of destroying his chances in the general election, just because he hated him so much, and is such a nasty guy?

Well, that never happened, did it? Oh, wait, it just started to happen -- but not from Gingrich, who sometimes sounds tuff but is really a harmless marshmellow. It's coming from Santorum:

Stepping up his assault on Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum delivered a slashing speech Saturday morning that portrayed the establishment favorite as an elitist and unreliable conservative.

Santorum, appear[ed] before over a thousand conservative activists gathered in suburban Detroit for an Americans for Prospertiy conference....

"I didn't blow in the wind when things were popular with the elite," Santorum said. "Because I don't come from the elite." ...

"I never thought a Republican presidential candidate would adopt the verbiage of Occupy Wall Street," he said, citing Romney's reference to "the one percent."

Santorum's broadside went beyond issues, though, as he trained his fire at Romney's character.

"What you see today might be something different than what you get tomorrow," the Pennsylvanian said

Later, Santorum added: "He wasn't what he said he was yesterday."


Those last two soundbites are tailor-made to show up in Obama attack ads next fall. Isn't that what we thought Gingrich would do?

As for the Occupy Wall Street line, my first thought was that it couldn't possibly resonate, with general election voters or Republicans -- Romney's too buttoned up, too much the antithesis of the right's Occupy unwashed-hippie stereotype. You just can't imagine Romney dirty or unkempt or, for that matter, passionate, and he's so clearly identified with the economic lite that the message fries your brain with its cognitive dissonance. On further reflection, I realize that's true if you think like a normal person -- but on the right, elitists and Occupiers are part of the same urbane, sophisticated threat to real Americans' simple country ways. Just as, to the typical Glenn Beck fan of 2009 and 2010, George Soros and the New Black Panther Party are thick as thieves, so Romney could also seem like a believer in radical chic. I know, I know -- it seems bizarre to me, too. But I think this might connect right now.

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I'm somewhat impressed by Santorum's hatred for Romney. But we're also reminded that he embodies just about everything that's wrong with modern Republicanism:

And he took a tough shot at President Obama's declaration that he'd like all Americans to attend college

"What a snob," Santorum, an attorney, said to loud applause, warning of teens being indoctrinated "by some liberal college professor."


Rick Santorum: objectively pro-ignorance.

3 comments:

Never Ben Better said...

And, according to TPM, Little Ricky was for higher education before he was agin' it:

http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/flashback-in-2006-rick-santorum-wanted-to-send-all-paians-to-college.php?ref=fpblg

gocart mozart said...

I don't think the word "elitis" means what Little Tricky Torquemoda thinks it does.

New York Crank said...

And yet, I find myself getting frustrated. The circular firing squad keeps shooting and shooting and shooting – so why hasn't anybody fallen down since Herman Caine?

Crankily yours,
The New York Crank