1. Pete is turning out to be the best predictor of “caucus dynamics” ever, and without even a statistical model. Santorum, incredibly to me, is having his moment. He certainly had a confident and eloquent day, and the media is laying off his social conservatism, at least a bit, to praise him for his hard work. He’s resolutely pro-life and for bombing Iran to keep it from going nuke.
2. For me, Santorum is a more plausible president than either Newt or Ron Paul, although perhaps not a more plausible candidate. We’ll see how he does after the withering assault begins. He may well suffer the fate of all the others.
3. It’s impossible to tell, as far as I can tell, who’s going to win in Iowa or how much difference a victory would mean. It could be Romney, Santorum, or Paul. My personal choice might be a Santorum victory with Romney finishing second. That would end the distracting fantasy that Paul is a serious candidate for the Republican nomination. And it would keep Romney from running the table while being opposed for the nomination by most Republicans. The truth is there is probably no viable not-Romney candidate, but it could only help Mitt to be challenged as strongly as possible by the non-viable ones.
4. I did see the movie YOUNG ADULTS and am now very impressed by John Presnall’s review of it.
5. The movie mocks the heck out of the pretension that “going home” can cure what’s been ailing you in the big city. And it turns out that small towns are pretty cruel and boring and not all that strong on love for the unfortunate and lonely. People there are satisfied with so little, in most cases, because they ARE so little. So the movie a good antidote to reading some touching article by Rod Dreher, although it goes without saying it exaggerates in the other direction.