In case you missed it, Santorum, fresh off wins in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota but trailing even Paul in Maine, accused Barack Obama of having “the wrong theology” this past weekend, explain that he wasn’t questioning the president’s religious beliefs but that Obama puts the Earth first when man (and presumably women but it’s not clear if he really misspoke there) should come first. Then he went on to advocate eliminating some types of prenatal screenings for women that could identify birth defects and possibly lead to abortions and, as a Catholic, says he doesn’t believe in contraception.
As if that wasn’t enough, he went on to suggest public schools should be abolished and that the states and the federal government should have no role in education.
Now, before he tells us that the Easter bunny is real and that some divine power will fix the economy and end the threat of wars, let’s recap: Santorum says babies likely to be born with defects that will require tons of medical care and hence expenses on the health-care system should be brought to term, women shouldn’t use birth control hence increasing the population exponentially which depends on the Earth’s finite resources to survive and parents should be allowed to teach their children the skills they’ll need to become engineers, chemists, biologists and doctors. I think Paul probably said it best.
Now, to be fair, there is a large segment of the population – and the GOP’s base – that will welcome Santorum’s foray into social issues even though polls show the majority of us view the economy as the No. 1 issue in the race. But I suspect there’s an even larger segment of voters, notably women, who will think he’s stuffed full of blueberry muffins. At least one Republican strategist agrees, telling CNN that, instead of focusing on the issues, Santorum has “been going down rabbit holes.”
Apparently others in the GOP agree. There are reports this week that top Republicans are circulating documents calling for a Plan B, another candidate to introduce before this summer’s nominating convention. They’re said to be looking for someone who can put the pop back into the party’s popularity, perhaps even another Bush.
They’d better hurry, otherwise that pop may be the sound of champagne corks in the White House.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.