This goes against Sullivan's view that parties should always nominate their most responsible candidates, since we live in an unpredictable world where either could be elected despite what the polls say in February or October. A Santorum loss in November might lead to a GOP reformation. His winning would risk a reckless war with Iran that could kill a quarter-million people.
But back to Sullivan's epiphany:
[F]or the past decade, the Republican elites and base have... insisted on a politics that is mediated by theology.
They are the ones who have insisted that religious argument has an integral role in public discourse; that there is a "war on Christmas" and now all religion; they are the ones who have campaigned against gay marriage as un-Biblical or in violation of a "natural law" barely updated from the 13th century; they are the ones raging against a two-state solution in Israel-Palestine because God bequeathed it all to the Jewish people; they are those who directed the federal government to involve itself in an end-of-life decision already resolved by state law; they are those who have made criminalization of abortion a litmus test for Republican candidates for a generation, and who want to give women an invasive ultrasound before allowing them to exercise what has now been a constitutional right for decades.
And when an intelligent, sincere candidate emerges who has actually walked the walk on these issues, and refused to back down on them, and overcomes a massive financial and organizational disadvantage to become the national leader in the polls, he's suddenly far too extreme.
Is Santorum unelectable in a general election? Yep. The current polling says Rick loses to Obama by 6.3 percent. But Mitt loses to him by 5.1 percent. How big an argument do you want over 1.2 percent?I despise what the GOP has become. But it is what it is. And Santorum is its logical leader. Let this party stand up and be counted.