Rick Perry has shown himself not up to the challenge (unfortunately).
Herman Cain got borked by the establishment media and could not take the heat (unfortunately).
Ron Paul, for every sensible position, has one that marks him as a kook.
Newt Gingrich is being attacked relentlessly, fairly or unfairly, and because of his very mixed record on many issues, the attacks are weakening him.
Michelle Bachmann's apparent role as Mitt Romney's attack dog has left her mired in single digits in the polls.
So the political class in this country (and I include the elites of both parties and the media in this group) have succeeded in systematically neutralizing any candidate whose name is not Mitt Romney.
Here are the top 10 reasons conservatives should support Rick Santorum in 2012:
10. Santorum is a good family man, husband, and father. There are no skeletons in his closet and he has shown himself to be very admirable when it comes to caring for his own family. As a homeschooling father, Santorum does more than just talk about family values. He lives them.
9. He is a solid fiscal conservative. Santorum worked tirelessly to pass the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. He has been a steadfast proponent of entitlement reform, particularly advocating for the privatization of Social Security and Medicare. He has opposed the Wall Street bailouts. While in Congress, he sponsored the balanced budget amendment. He has adamantly called for ObamaCare to be repealed and replaced. Santorum has called for the Federal Reserve to be audited and its role pared back to managing inflation.
8. Santorum is a solid social conservative. His campaign has been one of uplifting social conservative values and pointing out that the breakdown of the American family is at the root of nearly all of our most intractable domestic problems.
7. Santorum is unflinchingly 100% pro-life. Santorum's stellar record as a champion for the unborn is well-known. His courage on the issue was demonstrated clearly when he fought for the partial-birth abortion ban and made Barbara Boxer look like a ghoul on the senate floor.
6. Santorum believes in a strong national defense. While not calling for war as some have insinuated, Santorum has been among the most vocal leaders when it comes to understanding and dealing with the threat posed radical Islam. As president, we can expect Santorum to help rebuild and re-arm America in the face of this threat. He is also the only Republican candidate who has said he will reinstate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
5. Santorum is pro-family and against homosexual marriage. While other Republicans cower in fear of the homosexual lobby, Santorum has stood strong. With great foresight, he fought for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004, bringing the measure to the senate floor even though members of his own party opposed him. Santorum's efforts have earned him the undying enmity of homosexual advocacy groups, yet Santorum does not hate homosexuals. Indeed, he retained a known homosexual on his staff. He has shown himself to be fair-minded but utterly steadfast on this issue.
4. Santorum is very strong on Second Amendment issues. He's a life member of the NRA and has always been an ally of Second Amendment rights groups. While in Congress, he opposed gun bans and lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
3. Santorum understands that government interventions in the economy do more harm than good. He believes in sound economic policies including reduced taxation, reduced spending, reduced regulation. At the same time, he knows that the federal government does play an important role as defined by the Constitution to make sure that the border is secure and has called for federal tort reform to help prevent the legal profession from strangling trade.
2. Santorum has been consistent. He is not a flip-flopper on the issues. He has shown the spine to fight for conservative ideals and the ability to go against the grain when members of his own party want to cave in to the left.
1. Santorum is hated by the hard left. Those who support abortion, homosexuality, fiscal profligacy and a surrender-first foreign policy all despise Rick Santorum. He is so hated by these people that they have slandered his name across the internet, trashing him in the most vile language imaginable. If you can define a man by the depravity of his enemies, Rick Santorum must be a noble soul indeed.
For a more detailed breakdown on Rick Santorum's positions on the issues, I encourage you to visit:
How is this not better than any of the other candidates running? Is this not precisely the kind of platform conservatives want to get behind and support?
Santorum's conservative critics have hung their hat on a single fault that in retrospect (and compared to those of his opponents) looks quite minute indeed:
In 2004, Santorum supported Arlen Specter. I criticized Santorum for doing this at the time as well. He clearly had chosen to play the role of good soldier when G. W. Bush asked him for a favor. He shouldn't have done it, especially considering how exposed and vulnerable the Bush administration's botched policies would leave Santorum in 2006 when he ran for re-election himself. But in retrospect, Pat Toomey has not shown himself to be a stellar conservative. One of his first actions after getting elected was to support Obama's decision to homosexualize the military. It's really hard for a conservative to claim that Santorum's support of Specter makes him in any way unacceptable as a presidential candidate, particularly when compared to the flaws of the other Republicans in the race.
As the primaries rapidly approach, it is time for serious conservatives to coalesce around one candidate. If we can do so, we'll have our best chance at ensuring a political doppleganger like Mitt Romney (who, even if elected president, will be a disaster for conservatives) is not nominated to lead the Republican party in 2012.
I humbly submit to you that Rick Santorum is the best candidate for conservatives to support in 2012. He is a true-blue conservative who can be counted upon to articulate and advance conservative positions and ideals. He will really take the fight to Obama in the general election and to the Democrat party as president.
And did I mention that Santorum is a Catholic homsechooler, too?