Rick Santorum got almost as many votes in the Iowa Caucus as Mitt Romney. I perceive this as a problem for the Republican Party, and for the greater entity of US politics and governance.
If you argue that I should keep this in perspective, I willingly concede that only around 100,000 votes were cast in the Iowa Caucus, and that therefore we can assume that fringe Evangelical voters played a greater role in the outcome than we would see in a general Presidential election. Okay, yeah. But also consider that Rick Santorum is a bit flaky.
Exhibit 1:Â "There is no such thing as global warming," he told a smiling Glenn Beck on Fox News in June 2011. That same month, he told Rush Limbaugh that climate change is a liberal conspiracy: "It's just an excuse for more government control of your life and I've never been for any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative."
Note: this position is so extreme that even global warming skeptic scientists would simply shake their heads. The steep temperature rise of the past few decades is a matter of public record- even denialist scientists concede that.
Exhibit 2: In the past couple of days, Fox commenter Alan Colmes stated on air that "Once [voters] get a load of some of the crazy things [Santorum's] said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby who died right after childbirth home and played with it for a couple of hours so his other children would know that the child was realâ€¦â€
Colmes later apologized for his comment as being "hurtful" to Santorum and his wife, but here's the deal: the facts are not in question. The baby's body was brought home and shown to the other Santorum children, and then spent the night in the Santorum couple's bed between them. Pardon me for seeing that as odd.
I realize that this is going to get me plenty of criticism from Santorum supporters, but I don't really care. I perceive his positions on public policy as extreme. I perceive the Republican Party's efforts to draft "anybody but Romney" as a symptom of problematic Tea-Party social conservatism.