Rick Santorum

Thanks, Cuz. Thanks, Justice Kennedy.
June 11, 2012

During the Republican presidential primaries, the new landscape created by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other recent loosening of campaign finance regulations took on an almost comic quality -- we could all laugh over the way that Shel Adelson, the casino magnate, and Foster Friess, the aspirin-contraception-advocate, were keeping alive the candidacies of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, respectively. Some pundits even ventured the argument the SuperPACs allowed by Citizens United were good for democracy in that they were making the primaries more competitive than they other

Five Takeaways From the 2012 Primary Season
June 04, 2012

Now that Mitt Romney is officially the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and we have some distance from the primaries that decided it all, it’s time to consider the lessons. Otherwise, poor memories, shaky analysis and self-serving spin will combine to congeal a conventional “wisdom” that is anything but. As someone who obsessively chronicled every twist and turn of this very odd nomination contest for TNR, here are my five top takeaways: 1.      Mitt Romney is a very lucky man.

What Does Ron Paul Really Want?
May 05, 2012

In 2008, nobody much cared what Ron Paul wanted: He was dismissed as a fringe candidate, someone defined by the decades he spent losing 434-to-one votes in the House and refusing to endorse his party’s presidential candidate. In this presidential cycle, however, questions about Paul’s intentions have risen, precisely because his performance has begun to resemble that of a conventional politician who can compete if not win.

The Widening Political Divide Between Catholicism and Mainline Protestantism
April 30, 2012

When Charles Colson died last weekend, he was best known as the Watergate felon turned prison minister. But Colson, a constant presence in Christian Right circles for over two decades, had perhaps his greatest impact in another sphere of American life: expanding evangelical-Catholic cooperation in the fight against legalized abortion into a broader political alliance. For signs of his success, look at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ latest manifesto, published just last month.

The Operator
April 20, 2012

Before 2013 begins, catch up on the best of 2012. From now until the New Year, we will be re-posting some of The New Republic’s most thought-provoking pieces of the year. Enjoy. In early 2010, Karl Rove convened a group of businessmen for lunch at a private club in Dallas. The guests included some of the richest and most influential people in Texas. T. Boone Pickens, the corporate raider from Amarillo, was there, as was Harlan Crow, the prodigal son of Trammell Crow, the most prominent real estate developer in the country in his day.

The War on [Insert Noun]: The Uses and Misuses of Martial Rhetoric
April 19, 2012

In case you weren’t convinced that we’ve reached the campaign’s silly season, the War on Dogs has arrived to erase all doubt. It started with Democrats poking fun at Mitt Romney’s dog-on-car incident. The Daily Caller retaliated earlier this week with a post “uncovering” the “shocking” “news” that Barack Obama once ate dog meat as a child (an event he had mentioned in his memoir). The battle moved to a new front when Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom alluded on Twitter to Obama’s dog-eating. And thus began the War on Dogs, just the latest of the innumerable wars waged this election cycle.

Why Rick Santorum Wasn’t Conservative Enough to Beat Mitt Romney
April 12, 2012

Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the Republican presidential race earlier this week marked the end of a long, strange trip for the former Pennsylvania senator, who made himself the political vehicle for Christian Right resistance to Mitt Romney. But the lesson of Santorum’s inevitable defeat isn’t that he was too socially extreme. Ironically, it was his record of loyal support for the compassionate conservative agenda of George W. Bush that did Santorum in, not his 1950s-era values.

Against the Rick Santorum Renaissance
April 10, 2012

The news accounts of Rick Santorum’s exit from the presidential race are rife with testimonials about how the former Pennsylvania senator departs the campaign a much larger figure than when he entered it. “It was an impressive performance and it leaves him with an elevated status and a prominent role as a leader for evangelicals and conservatives,” Ralph Reed told The New York Times. “No one can know what the future holds, but my guess is we haven’t heard the last from Rick Santorum.” Er, I’m not so sure.

Farewell To Rick, Who Was Not Mitt
April 10, 2012

Right around the time that Rick Santorum was making up his mind to end (or “suspend”) his campaign for the Republican nomination, it was reported that Mitt Romney’s campaign was pulling a harsh anti-Santorum ad from the Pennsylvania airwaves, out of deference to the fact that Santorum was having to tend to his 3-year-old daughter, Bella, during yet another visit to the hospital for the girl, who was born with the rare chromosomal disorder trisomy 18.

Etch-A-Sketch Watch
April 10, 2012

With Rick Santorum now out of the race, and Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul no longer posing much of a threat to Mitt Romney, Romney's general-election campaign now begins. I don't think Romney will move very far to the center, because a.) He knows people already think his spine is made of rubber; and b.) He's fearful of inspiring a noisy revolt from the Republican base. For the same two reasons, I don't think Romney would move very far to the center as president, either. George W. Bush governed Texas as a moderate, campaigned in 2000 as a conservative, and then governed as a conservative.

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