Santorum For GOP
Reason #1 To Support Santorum: He Will Lose

If nominated, Santorum will lose to Obama, and will make the GOP look bad in the process.

After Iowa, there are three candidates remaining who stand a chance of winning the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Their names are Paul, Romney, and Santorum.

Two out of the three often sound reasonable to independents, moderates and center-right voters who identify as “slightly conservative”.   The other one consistently sounds completely bonkers.  The candidate that consistently sounds bonkers on almost every issue is none other than Rick Santorum.

Take reproductive rights.  All of the candidates support policies that would restrict not only abortion but potentially contraception as well.  ”Libertarian” Ron Paul says he’s for getting the federal government out of the business of regulating reproductive rights, which sounds innocuous enough.  However, he actually supports getting the federal government out of the way ONLY so that the states can ban abortion, and has said specifically that convincing the states to do so is one of the crucial issues of our time. But he doesn’t say all that in the debates.  Before a national audience he only says he’s for “liberty” and against “big government” and wants to “get the federal government out of it”, which gets applause and obscures his actual position. Romney, on the other hand, favors a federal life-begins-at-conception amendment that would have the nasty accidental side effect of also banning all birth control drugs. Not just Plan B, but plain old “The Pill”, as well as IUDs and injections, would be banned under this amendment. But Romney feigns ignorance of this and pretends his position is only against abortion, and for the most part the press lets him get away with it.

Santorum, on the other hand, openly says he not only opposes abortions in all cases including for rape, incest, or the health of the mother, he also openly favors a state’s right to intentionally ban all contraception. In other words, where the other candidates make feints at moderation and pretenses of being reasonable on the issue of reproductive rights, Santorum throws all caution to the wind and openly admits to the craziest possible position any of us can think of.

There’s also the fact that if Santorum’s crazy policies were in place fifteen years ago, his own wife would have died. This is a level of blatant, unmitigated hypocrisy that the other candidates do not possess and that the press will be unable to ignore.

Then there’s the issue of gay rights.  Romney opposes gay marriage, and has proposed some goofy three-tiered marriage system.  Ron Paul, despite sometimes opining that government at all levels should simply stop defining or regulating marriage, has generally said states should be able to make up their own minds on the issue of gay marriage, although he supports the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  Santorum, however, would invalidate all gay marriages already recognized by the states and thinks gay sex itself should be illegal. All the candidates advocate putting the government in our bedrooms metaphorically, but only Santorum actively advocates putting the government in our bedrooms literally, picking and choosing which of our private consensual acts are too dirty to be legal. To top it off, while Paul and Romney have both bent over backwards to make it seem like they support gays as people while “merely” opposing gay marriage, Santorum has attacked them as people, comparing them to dogs and children, and saying nothing when a gay soldier was booed right in front of him.  He tries to treat gays as less than human, and while that level of open hostility may have worked for politicians decades ago, it doesn’t play well in this day and age.

Even if you’re still not convinced that Santorum is unelectable based on his positions, however, all doubt should be laid to rest by a little personal problem Mr. Santorum has. Yes, I’m referring to his Google problem.

In the last several presidential elections there have been millions of late-deciding voters.  These tend to be less engaged politically than voters who decide earlier, and tend to get much of their information fairly close to the presidential election.  If you knew nothing about the candidates, you might expect these voters to break roughly evenly between the two candidates.  But what if you know the information they will get in the last month includes that one of the candidates has a filthy name? An overwhelming majority of those late undecideds will be unable to get the dirty name out of their head, and unable to vote for the dirty-named-candidate while keeping a straight face. Most of them won’t even sympathize with his situation or care that his name got that meaning through a sophisticated prank; the people who were going to care about him in that way are also the ones who were doing their research and making up their minds earlier in the election cycle. Among low-information late-breaking voters, Santorum is doomed. Even if the race between Obama and Santorum were relatively close on the issues, which I don’t for a second believe it would be, the other definition of Santorum’s name would STILL cost him any chance he had of winning.

Don’t believe me? Let’s try something right now. Google “santorum ass juice”. Come on, I know you already saw what happens when you google “santorum”. Could this possibly be any worse? So go ahead, try it. I’ll even give you a link, just in case you can’t stand to type the words in yourself. Now look at the top five results. All five of them are worth clicking on. One of them is the original blog that defined the word, one of them is an article about Mr. Santorum's clueless attempts to get Google to un-re-define his name, one is an article about The Daily Show's segment on Santorum Ass Juice jokes, and TWO of them are articles, both rather fun reads, by two unrelated bloggers from two unrelated sites, about how ridiculous it would be for voters to cast a presidential ballot for Mr. Ass Juice. This is how young, relatively tech-savvy people think about the prospect of a President Santorum. Once people google his name, they can never go back to thinking of him as an ordinary candidate; they always associate him with the name his assholery has spawned. And, as these two articles ask, who would vote to have a President Ass Juice?

Who indeed. This is why he is unelectable. This is why we must make sure the Republicans nominate Santorum.