So it is over. I doubt that many was surprised by the results. Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachman were both trying to appeal to the same evangelical Christians. Between the two of them I didn’t really see much of a difference in their views. Evangelicals, however, are a group that are inherently opposed to women being in places of leadership. According to them, women should be at home and pregnant — hence, Santorum gets the nod. I would think that most would see that in a national election neither Bachman nor Santorum would go anywhere.
I would think that if the evangelicals were less interested in spreading their particular brand of looniness, they might be concerned that Rick Santorum has announced that he will bomb Iran. I think that this announcement will hurt his future candidacy because Wall Street doesn’t particularly like war — though the evangelicals are probably OK with it. I would think that lots of Political Action Committee donations will go toward Romney but not so much for Santorum. After all, when you get down to it, national politics is all about money.
I would hope that the electorate who voted for Rick Santorum understood that he is not always the principled guy, the straight arrow, that he tries to portray himself. He is one of those who believes that abortion should be absolutely outlawed and that the abortion doctor should be prosecuted for murder. Outlawed even for rape. Outlawed even for incest. Outlawed even if it was needed to save the life of the mother. Nothing justifies abortion in Rick Santorum’s world. In October 1996 Santorum’s wife Karen had a second trimester abortion — the so called “partial birth” abortion. The whole story is readily available on the web so I won’t go into it. Rick talked about it himself on “Fresh Air” on Public Radio. From what I read, I would say that the abortion was well justified and the right decision was made. But Rick, well, he is a first class hypocrite. He tolerated his wife doing something that he, given the chance, would stop anyone else from doing. For shame, Rick!
Of the people running in Iowa, clearly Romney is the only one who stands a chance of beating Obama — but when all is said and done, I don’t know that his views are too different from Obama’s. Obama could have been far more successful if he had a congress that was willing to put the American people first. Unfortunately, the right-wing Republicans are far more interested in making Obama a failure than they are in getting rid of some of the national misery. It is possible that Romney will face the same obstructions.
Romney, if he is the eventual candidate, will have a bit of trouble attacking Obamacare because that is what he (Romney) put in place in Massachusetts. He is pledging more sanctions against Iran, but it is really hard to see what he could do that Obama has not already done. He cannot claim that Obama is weak on national defense considering the stepped up drone attacks, the killing of Osama ben Laden, the increase in special forces raids in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somali, and probably elsewhere. Further, the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq is very popular. The Democrats, further, can paint Romney as a member of the 1% (which he is). The only thing that he can really do is to run against the obstructionism of congress — the obstructionists, of course, were Republicans.
As far as how much it means that Romney won the Iowa Republican caucus: Don’t forget that Iowa went Democratic in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections. Four out of five Iowans live in the cities — they are probably Democrats and, hence, did not vote in the Caucus. Iowa was the first state to legalize gay marriage. The point is that Iowa, in addition to not having a large population, is probably more liberal than they are given credit for. So, all in all, I still don’t see that last nights voting counts for much. Always remember, our presidential elections are all about electoral votes — NOT popular votes.
Eventually, Romney will be challenging Obama.