Monday, February 27, 2012

Santorum will be the Republican nominee, in 2016

(Idle speculation time here....)


Interesting NYMag article here on the Republican race and its repercussions depending on who wins.  I'm sticking with my prediction from last August that Romney will win the nomination, and I think he'll probably (hopefully) lose the election.  Then what?

Two factors then push in the same direction in 2016 - the Republicans will turn against the faction that led the way to failure in 2012, and the Republicans strongly favor nominating the "next in line" who was closest to winning the nomination.  The NYMag article somehow misses how well Santorum would be set up in '16, especially given the inevitable claim that the Rs failed to be true to their roots by nominating Romney.

Santorum would be an exceptionally weak candidate given demographics, increasingly secular voters outside of the GOP, and increased acceptance of homosexuality.  He'll respond to this problem but he would tack slightly, only slightly, to center, de-emphasizing some social issues and maybe even changing  a bit on a few.  Mostly he'll spend the next four years raising money for himself, creating an organization, and putting deposits in the favor bank among the GOP.  He'll defeat a libertarian challenger and someone attacking him from the right.

The Ds won't be that strong, either.  The ruling party tends to get tired and accumulate scandals after eight years and will be without an obvious successor, although a 69-year old Hillary Clinton will have set herself up for running by leaving the Obama Administration four years earlier.  Balancing that out against Santorum, the Democrats win.  Then what?

I've thought for a while that Republicans need to lose consistently before they'll change.  Losing this year isn't enough, but it might be in 2016.  Hopefully more will have wakened from the Republican opium dream of climate denial.  We could see a more realistic Republican party by then.  Maybe 2020 or 2024 there will be a Republican President Chris Christie, not nearly as good as a Democrat but not a total disaster.


UPDATE, March 1:  might as well add another idle prediction - Ron Paul won't run on a third party ticket. Not for the general reason that this would make trouble for his son, but the specific reason that his son would have to choose between endorsing his father and endorsing his own party, which would be bad for Rand's future.  Blood is thicker than libertarianism.

UPDATE, March 7:  the Lamestream Media catches on to Santorum 2016.  No hat tip but I doubt I was the first to publicly notice it, and Santorum probably thought it through as a possibility when he was still a polling asterisk.

18 comments:

Deech56 said...

It's not just secular voters who find Santorum's social views reactionary. He is apart from the mainstream of Roman Catholic laypeople and he's not making many friends among mainstream Protestants.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Santorem already lost his Senate seat by somthing like 18%, which has to be a record for a sitting Senator not involved in an obvious scandal.

In my view, the GOP is likely to reject the extremes of both the tea party and the libertarians. But then again, a lot might go wrong or right in the next eight years to change the direction of the country and the main political parties. The tea party is already rather unpopular with the general public and in my view, is already past its peak. The politics of extremism can only go so far.

BillD

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

"Santorum would be an exceptionally weak candidate given demographics, increasingly secular voters outside of the GOP, and increased acceptance of homosexuality. He'll respond to this problem but he would tack slightly, only slightly, to center, de-emphasizing some social issues and maybe even changing a bit on a few."


There is no increased acceptance of homosexuality. 30 states define marriage as between a man and a woman. Also, every single state where gay marriage has been a ballot measure, it has been voted down. It has only been passed when a far left legislature has overruled the will of the people.

J Bowers said...

Let me fix that for you, Jay.

"It has been passed when a court has ruled that a same-sex-marriage ban is unconstitutional."

Brian said...

I think Jay has identified why Republicans are going to lose on the national level - they deny reality even to themselves.

Anonymous said...

from BillD

Dr. Jay;

Have you seen any of the polls that break down issues like rights for homosexuals and gay marraige by age of responder? If we can assume that people under age 30 will, on the average, live for more years than people over 60, the polls tell us that opposition to gay rights is going away.

TheTracker said...

I hope you're right, but be careful what you assume. Age itself may be an important variable. For example, polls of American Jews have consistently found (for decades!) that younger Jews identify less strongly with Israel and are more supportive of the peace process and the human rights of the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, they appear to "age in" to their parents' views.

This is not intended to introduce the topic of Israel/Palestine, or to predict that people now tolerant of gays will become less so, but merely to point out that you cannot simply assume that what young people think today will be what everyone thinks in the future.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

The way I see it:

Who will win in the US presidential election? Some rich politician or other, and those connected to him.

Who will lose in the US presidential election? The environment; the rule of law; logical thinking; ...

-- frank

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

Jbowers absolutely loves government intervention. You're right though Bowers, when the court overrules the will of the people and makes an activist judgement. After all, there is no precedent for gay marriage, Jbowers just wants there to be because rachel maddow told him so.

Anonymous said...

@deech56

can I take a guess? You're not Catholic and you don't go to church. Yet, you're a self proclaimed expert on the religion.

hahahahaha

toto said...

That kills me every time. Self-professed anti-government agitators, supporting a government-enforced ban on purely private matters! You couldn't make that up.

I guess government is only evil when it gets in the way of "people like us", rather than "people like them" (for varying values of "them").

Deech56 said...

Anonymous, you guess wrong - I am an ordained Elder in the PCUSA and attend weekly, married in the Roman Catholic Church - wife, children and grandchildren were born into and raised in the RC Church and all also attend weekly (or more). You can also check out various surveys.

Hank Roberts said...

Spell "Santorum" correctly please:

http://i1.cpcache.com/product/16449167/nehemiah_scudder_for_president.jpg?color=White&height=460&width=460

Hat tip to:
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/01/whither-goest-capitalism-fading.html

notjonathon said...

Not likely Christie in '20 or '24. Assuming he hasn't kicked off by then, health problems (diabetes, coronary) will probably have forced him to retire.
His past behavior as US Attorney may also catch up to him sometime in the future, as well. Look for a Midwesterner or another White Knight from the Far West.
Of course, Republicans might continue to double down on the crazy now that it has been unleashed in its full fury. If they remain relentlessly partisan, look for increasing numbers of people seeking the reassurance of authority to drift inexorably in their direction. We have not heard the last of Christian fascism. It can happen here.

Brian said...

Notj - yes, I also thought health might interfere with Christie but decided to ignore it.

Re fascism - people predict the end of democracy all the time. Maybe it'll be right someday, but the safer bet is that it's wrong.

notjonathon said...

If the word fascism seems too strong, then I'm willing to substitute authoritarianism.

Growing up in the south in the 1950's certainly felt like fascism, even if it wasn't formally so.

Anonymous said...

notjonathon,

As much as the Republicans are going to double-down on crazy, the Democrats are going to double-down on stupid.


The Republican I want to run in 2016 (yes regardless of the outcome of 2012!) is Paul Ryan.



Celery Eater

Ed Darrell said...

Jefferson barely squeaked out a win in 1800 -- actually 1801 by the time the House of Representatives got done with their balloting -- and many people expected the Federalists to roar back in 1804 or 1808. Instead, Jefferson's party won the six elections, 1800 through 1820. The Federalist party died. It took a split of the successful Democratic Republican Party (which fielded both the #1 and #2 candidates in 1824 and 1828) to make room for the newly-organized Whig Party . . .

Can the Republicans come back? Despite Fortune Magazine's predictions in 1975 or so that the GOP was dead after Watergate, Republicans stormed back by 1981 with Ronald Reagan as their frontman.

Is there a new Reagan? Santorum ain't it. Santorum's anti-intellectualism makes Reagan look like an ancient Greek philosopher crossed with George Patton.

The Republicans have gone so far to one side that they may yet fall off the edge of the Earth. Crazy makes good headlines, but it's difficult to organize.