Somewhere out there you just know Ozzy Osbourne is laughing his ass off. The king of crazy, who once bit off the head of a dove during a concert, has had to play second fiddle to the GOP these days. In what has to be considered the death wish scenario of a lifetime, Republicans are literally lining up to choose a candidate who has about as much chance of winning a general election as I do winning a Nobel prize.
In a stunning turn of events, the majority of Republican voters have basically decided that the objective of beating Barack Obama – which used to be número uno on their hit parade – now ranks as second behind authenticity. In other words, even if it means losing in November, registered Republicans would rather cast their lot with a true believer in Rick Santorum over what many of them consider to be a fair-weather conservative in Mitt Romney.
That noise you hear is the roar of laughter coming from the White House. First the economy starts to pick up; and now polls in Michigan and Arizona show the Tea Party-led Republicans jumping off the proverbial political bridge en mass. The only way this gets better is if we get a brokered Republican Convention and Sarah Palin becomes the nominee. To quote Bill Maher, “Please, God, please.”
Actually, loathe though I am to agree with the Tea Party on anything, I have to give them some props here, if nothing else for taste. While the former Massachusetts governor has been one of two Republican candidates not completely off the wall – the other one was Jon Huntsman – he’s about as authentic as a drag queen in a beauty pageant. Whatever else you might say about Rick Santorum, he at least is the real deal. And he’s also something else: he’s the first dyed-in-the-wool conservative who isn’t certifiable. Myopic, misogynistic and homophobic, yes; but crazy? Hardly.
In the most bizarre primary season quite possibly since the nation’s founding, Santorum isn’t just the flavor of the month; he’s the perfect tonic for a base that’s fit to be tied and won’t compromise its core values, even if it means four more years of emperor Obama in the White House. That he’s leading in the polls in Romney’s “native” Michigan is all you need to know about how this race has turned completely upside down. The front runner status – once a given even among his skeptics – is now a distant memory in the Romney camp. A loss in Michigan and Arizona next week and suddenly the nomination is anyone’s to win.
And that prospect has establishment Republicans practically shaking in their boots, not to mention feeling nauseous. The two things they were hoping to avoid – a long, contested, drawn out primary and the emergence of a fringe candidate who doesn’t poll well among moderates and independents – are now staring them right in the face. They’ll never admit it publicly, but privately the RNC is crapping its pants over the ramifications. No matter how many times they parade their candidate down the runway, the faithful have refused to embrace him. And now, after trying on every hat in the store, they’ve finally found one that fits perfectly. Santorum doesn’t just drink the Kool-Aid, he bathes in it. He’s loved by both social and fiscal conservatives alike. And, unlike Newt Gingrich, he hasn’t blown up virtually every bridge among his peers.
Don’t look now, but the guy everyone left for dead back in September, the guy yours truly called the runt of the GOP field, is less than a week away from putting a beat down on the heir apparent of the Republican Party and carving out his own path to the nomination.
All aboard the crazy train!