If Rick Santorum wins tonight, Michigan may forever be known as the place the Republican Party went to die – a political Waterloo.
A Santorum win, in a *must* win state for Romney, would be the clearest sign to date that the conservative coalition within the Republican Party is coming apart at the seams. Rick Santorum is openly antagonistic to libertarians, first wave Tea Partiers, and those who believe in the 10th Amendment. Further, Santorum’s economic policy looks like it could have been borrowed from John Edwards – chock full of faux populism and empty promises about “made in America.” Finally, Santorum’s record in the Senate – as part of the George W Bush big government “team” – speaks for itself (and what it says ain’t good).
Much has been made about the proverbial three-legged stool of the GOP: social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and foreign policy conservatives. A Santorum nomination effectively turns the party into a one-legged stool. Make no mistake about it, if Santorum is the nominee, something that was unthinkable just a few weeks ago, this election will become a referendum on the least popular and most-outdated parts of the conservative movement: opposition to birth control, hostility to gay people, etc.
Santorum in the general election will make Walter Mondale look down right electable.