Rick Santorum Returns to Discredit Himself

(Credit: Gage Skidmore) (Credit: Gage Skidmore)[/caption]

We’re not trying to turn IVN into the Rand Paul channel, but this comment about him from Rick Santorum in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal bears comment:

“Rand Paul’s brand doesn’t line up with all of what our party stands for – on national security, social values, the economy and the role of government in society. His message won’t ultimately lead us to be a more successful party.”

It sure sounds like Santorum is saying that the Republicans need to be the party of big government. Now, it’s easy to see how Santorum doesn’t like Rand Paul’s foreign policy. Nothing less than a return to Bush-Cheney circa 2003 is likely to satisfy Santorum. But the economy and the role of government in society?

Rick Santorum is a former Senator from Pennsylvania for a reason. Bush & Co. governed with a blend of aggressive internationalism, condescending moralism, intervention into the economy via stimulus and pharmaceutical hand-outs, and Santorum was a faithful front man for them. The vision Santorum prescribes contra Rand Paul was already tried and the country not only rejects it now, but still blames much of it for the problems of today.

People tend to see Santorum and his ilk as an albatross for the Republicans, but social conservatism itself isn’t the problem. Part of the problem is bound up with the fact that social conservatives are just about the only people still voting for the GOP.

What ails the party, among other things, is that it is viewed as an incompetent party that spends more time trying to tell people how to live their personal lives than it is in cultivating a healthy economy. And anytime Santorum comes out of the woodwork to criticize somebody like Rand Paul, it just ends up as a reminder why Santorum is a former Senator.

The GOP is dying as a viable party and Paul’s vision has a more promising future than Santorum’s even if it’s only because it’s not Santorum’s.

It’s true that Paul’s message might not be enough to win nationwide, although a lot of that is due to politicos like Santorum who will be united against him. Just take note of the media reporting that Paul flip-flopped on drones in the aftermath of the Boston bombings, when he had not. And lest it be forgotten, Santorum backed Paul’s primary opponent, Trey Grayson. It wasn’t enough to stop Paul in Kentucky, but a 50-state campaign is another matter.

There are valid reasons to consider why Rand Paul may be successful or unsuccessful as a presidential candidate, but he does have the advantage of being able to say that his agenda hasn’t already been tried and found wanting.