My nomination for worst idea of the month [Liz Mair]

I received an email about a post written today by some chap called Aaron Goldstein, which I must draw to your attention for the sheer insanity and idiocy that it entails.  It's on the subject of Rudy Giuliani and his need to "shore up" social conservatives if he is to win the 2008 GOP nomination.  Its basic proposal is that Giuliani announce after Labor Day that Rick Santorum will be his running mate.

Rick Santorum, ladies and gentlemen.

The argument in favor of this monumentally stupid idea goes thusly:

Santorum is Mr. Social Conservative.  Perhaps no American conservative personifies social conservatism better than Rick Santorum, who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C..  There is no ambivalence about his positions concerning abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia and a host of other issues dear to social conservatives in the United States.  His positions more than offset Rudy Giuliani’s moderate to liberal social inclinations.  Naming Santorum as his running mate would do a great deal to assuage social conservatives who might have reservations not only about Giuliani’s social positions but might also have reservations about his spotty history as a husband and a father.


While Giuliani and Santorum might agree to disagree on specific social issues they are perfectly in synch with each other when it comes to Islamic fascism and terrorist acts committed in its name.


Kathryn Jean Lopez highlighted the importance of Giuliani giving his running mate “an important domestic-policy portfolio.” I cannot think of a more important domestic policy portfolio than combating illegal immigration.  While Giuliani opposed the Senate’s efforts to address illegal immigration earlier this year his position on that issue is somewhat compromised in that New York City was (and remains) a sanctuary city.  Consequently, some conservatives might have reservations about Giuliani’s willingness to enforce immigration laws.  This is where Santorum comes in.  Santorum has long opposed illegal immigration and needless to say was not fond of the Senate’s efforts. Santorum wants the United States to enforce its existing immigration laws and strongly opposes any kind of amnesty.

Now, Mr Goldstein does note some of the downsides of Santorum being stuck on a Giuliani ticket, but what amazes me is that he would even contemplate that this could possibly be a good idea given how numerous and serious the arguments against Santorum having no place on any presidential ticket, let alone Rudy's are.

Goldstein comments that "Rick Santorum is one of those people in life about whom almost no one has a neutral opinion.  You either love him or hate him," and further, that "Should Santorum be named as Giuliani’s running mate, Rudy can kiss many independent and moderate votes goodbye.  Santorum’s rhetoric on same sex marriage and abortion might be music to the ears of social conservatives it will be an anathema to this bloc of voters."

Uh, yeah.  Here's the thing.  I am a Republican.  I vote Republican.  I'm pretty conservative on everything but abortion and gay marriage, actually.  I'm not a Rockefeller, liberal Republican type.  And yet I can assure you right now that anyone who sticks Santorum anywhere on their ticket is going to really struggle to get my vote.  And the votes of libertarian-leaning Republicans who hate the guy for being about the most out-there, pro-government-meddling social con around-- the guy wanted federal money spent on marriage counseling for couples contemplating divorce and a whole host of other absurdly big government, "government can fix our families" initiatives that have caused even socially conservative libertarian types to scream blue murder repeatedly.

If Santorum goes on anyone's ticket, oh sure, they may get the social con vote, but they won't get any independents or moderates (which, as 2006-- and, uh, Sabtorum's race itself-- showed us, both parties need in order to win), and they won't get the fiscal conservative-only/libertarian-leaning vote from within the GOP (which is still a good portion of it), either.  Basically, they'll do about as well in 2008 as Walter Mondale did in 1984.  Which is why, regardless of what this Goldstein chap thinks about the worth of adding Santorum as a running mate, no one will be doing it unless they a) have an IQ of 6 or b) have all the political acumen and sense of your average farm animal.