And to be honest, I love an interesting political race. Races where the winner is clearly evident weeks before the actual vote is not only boring, but it's just plain unsportsmanlike in my political playbook. Many often claim that having too many candidates and too close of races makes for political chaos and internal party-bickering..But I think it clear evidence that even with all the money and the "establishment" behind a particular candidate, you can never be too sure. This is part of the reason the 2008 election was so interesting to young folks like myself I think. You just didn't know who was going to leading the polls next and it made it feel like your vote was more important than it normally does. This election cycle has been even more interesting than in 2008 and I think that is a good thing, no matter what the "experts" on TV tell you.
Which brings me back to the race here in Iowa. For most of the political season, the GOP race has shift dramatically here in Iowa which a new front runner taking over seemingly every few weeks or so. However that has all changed in the last few weeks. With Ron Paul's rise to the top of several polls here in Iowa a week ago, a sort of balancing force started. The result? The most up to date polls out today are showing a nearly statistical dead-heat between not two, but three different candidates! Of those, two are very family faces in Romney and Paul but a new challenger has now risen to the "big top": Rick Santorum. (1)
Now as my readers might remember, I've never been a fan of Mr. Santorum. I don't generally agree with him on ANY issue (which is fine), but the chief reason I dislike him is his outright bigoted statements he has made in the past towards the gay/lesbian community and a certain level of hypocrisy that goes with his positions on that subject and his claimed hatred of "big government". This is actually my problem with most Social Conservatives. Many preach against so-called "big government" as being too intrusive in their lives but yet they have no problem with largely morally-bankrupt politicians legislating morality from D.C.. Any one see the contradiction? Whether it's the federal government taking a bigger role in health care in this country or telling us what to do in matters of social issues, there is no different. They are two sides of the same "Big Government" coin and they should be treated as such.
And apparently I am not the only one who has picked up on this contradiction by folks like Rick Santorum. Erick Erickson of Redstate.com has also pointed out that the fundamental differences between such folks and liberals who want to use the Federal government to dictate on other issues is quite minimal. As Mr. Erickson puts it:
"That’s Rick Santorum. He sees government as the means to conservative ends. But in using government to get conservative ends he has expanded government and set precedents for liberals to use government in the same ways for more liberal government. Rick Santorum was complicit in making Americans more dependent on government and justified it under the rubric of compassion." (2)
So while the "mad rush" is now moving towards Mr. Santorum as the Tuesday Caucus nears, one does have to wonder..How is Santorum any better than the rest and how legitimate is his claimed stance as being against "big government" when he preaches almost exclusively on social issues the federal government has little business dictating in the first place? I suggest all Iowans take a VERY good look at Mr. Santorum before Tuesday and make sure they know the kind of politician they are voting for.
My kudos to Mr. Erickson in his recent posts covering the upcoming Caucus as well as his reports on the genuineness of Rick Santorum.
The views and opinions expressed in the above piece are solely those of the author and not that of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.