I really like the guy but the skeptical comments regarding Santorum by Bryan, Sara, Stephen P,  and Peter Lawler deserve attention.  Take the whole women in combat thing.   His point about group dynamics isn’t crazy, but he is just off.  He just isn’t quick enough or disciplined enough to deflect these kinds of questions or make his point in an unalienating way.  I don’t think the women in combat thing hurts him, but it is a warning.  If Santorum is somehow the Republican nominee, he is going to get suckered into these kinds of culture war fights every couple of weeks.  And this is Santorum being good.  He isn’t that bright, he isn’t that articulate, and he can’t be fixed.

And yet . . . He was the only Republican who was able to make a compelling case against Romneycare TO A REPUBLICAN AUDIENCE.   The other non-Romney Republican presidential candidates either couldn’t or wouldn’t make a case against Romneycare that could win over the right-of-center voters that populate Republican primaries and caucuses.  Think about how much incompetence that involves. I saw this candidate forum where Bachmann said she thought the Massachusetts state-level health insurance purchase mandate violated the Constitution.  When Robert George asked her what part of the Constitution the mandate violated, she said she didn’t know. 

Among Santorum’s virtues are these:  He is against government-run medicine.  He cared enough about the issue to study and construct an in depth argument about the many similarities between Romneycare and Obamacare like guaranteed issue, community rating, government-imposed coverage mandates and of course the insurance purchase mandate.  Romney still hasn’t figured a defense against Santorum’s critique that will work with right-leaning voters. Maybe there isn’t one. 

And Santorum still isn’t that bright.  He just has beliefs and did the work.  The biggest story here is the cynicism and/or ignorance-by-choice of the rest of the Republican field.

Run Mitch Run.

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