What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 25, 2006

Colin McNickle on Rick Santorum's Election Chances

So overcome with paralysing self-doubt that I indeed AM a biased liberal, I decided to devote one whole blog entry to a column from a Trib columnist - Colin McNickle. Say what you will about the man, he's hardly a lefty.

Here's what he wrote today about our junior Senator, Rick Santorum.
Fifteen months ago, this political goggler predicted Santorum would lose to Casey. That prediction stands. Not because Casey is any alternative -- he'll be eaten alive in Washington, conscripted by the Teddy Kennedy wing of the Democratic Party to do its bidding -- but because Santorum has become, as was written at the time, "an unprincipled pandering opportunist."
Wow. I am so glad that McNickle had the cajones to write that. Now I guess I can write the exact same thing WITHOUT being accused of letting my politics sway my judgement.

Rick Santorum's an "unprincipled pandering opportunist" who will probably lose in November.

The numbers are horrid, according to McNickle.
The latest Quinnipiac University Poll has Democrat Bobby Casey re-stretching his lead over Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum to 18 percentage points, 52-34 percent, six points outside the 12 percent who remain undecided. The 52-34 ratio is the same as last October.
But the real story of this poll is that nearly half of Mr. Casey's support -- 44 percent -- isn't for Casey at all but against Santorum.
And if these numbers are genuinely representative of the electorate, OUCH, for even 35 percent of Republicans don't think much of Santorum. [emphasis added]
That's about a third, by the way. And then there's
It's pretty difficult to argue that you've served your state well when darn near half your opponent's "support" really is just those who think you're a dolt.
Dolt - that's funny.

He does point to some evidence that, as he says, "Santorum has not helped his cause as of late."
Santorum may have been technically correct last week about the discovery of some weapons of mass destruction. But his involvement in publicizing previously classified information came with all the sincerity of a pol in trouble -- a hastily called news conference to trumpet what, in effect, was old and not all that significant news of WMD that, according to one official, were pre-Gulf War I and perhaps not even in useable condition.

That said, had this truly been stop-the-presses news, it would have been President George W. Bush -- not the struggling No. 3 guy in the Senate -- pushing the button and making over the page to announce the "findings." What's next for Santorum, finding a cache of old liquor in some basement and declaring himself to be tough on "rum runners"? [emphasis added]
Wait - it looks like McNickle is NOT CONVINCED that Ricky's WMD were, in fact, dangerous.

Huh. Go figure.

And McNickle makes the argument we've been pointing out for a long time. If [insert debunked reason for going to war here] is actually true (and not false as the Bush-haters insist on asserting), then why isn't the administration pounding that point home at every opportunity?

Something else to ponder, I guess.

Colin McNickle thinks Santorum's a loser this November.

Good boy, Colin.

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Jesus is a liberal said...

But, and this is the big question: Will Dickie Cougar Mellon Scaife allow the Trib to endorse Casey? I think the real powers at the Trib will join Santorum's war on reality in order to keep republican Tricky Ricky in the Senate.

pghlesbian said...

Great post. Politics always sway judgements. That's why its so interesting ....

Sean McDaniel said...

hey, JIAL...do you really think enough people read the Trib to make a difference in the election? come on, it has a paid daily circulation of 25,000 -50,000 at best...that's not enough to give Santorum a win in the city let alone the state. besides, why care about RMS' opinions or dictums? that's why the dems keep losing...they're react too much to what the GOP does instead of acting boldly on their own.

Sean McDaniel said...

one other thing...JIAL...maybe it's time you rethink your opinions about the Trib...sure, it's still conservative...but there's more difference of opinion in the trib in any one day than you'll find in the PG outside of Ruth Ann Dailey's weekly stuff...which sometimes seems to be a bit left leaning these days. at least for her.

Jesus is a liberal said...

The Tribune Review is usually full of of lies and Ruth Ann Dailey is the less powerful, more financially challenged female version of Rick Santorum. Both the Trib and Ms Dailey are full of shit.
Also, when you refer to 'the Dems' losing you prove that you are not one of us.

Sean McDaniel said...

oh wait. blowing two presidential elections in a row isn't losing...then i guess the pirates are in first place and i better start saving for world series tickets. i'll say it again...the trib doesn't have enough sway to rig the all star game balloting let alone a statewide or nationwide election. you're throwing matches at a straw man. and the fact that you have to keep worrying about the "enemies" — RJS and RMS — shows that you might be a democrat but you don't have much confidence in them. wouldn't it make more sense to build up your candidates than to tear down the other side -- unless you're team doesn't measure up?

and please, set a good example for those daughters of yours and try to respond in a civil tongue.

by the way, whatever way i register of vote, i'm proud not to be "one" of you.

Anonymous said...

"One of us?"

Dang if you don't sound like a Communist.

JIAL, how many pages of your copy of the Communist Manifesto are earmarked?

Sean McDaniel said...

okay. i'm not putting anyone into any category outside of dem/rep or liberal conservative. so, i wasn't implying that JIAL is a communist. my only point is that i don't want to lumped into the same category as someone who seems so unhinged, hateful and vile.

Anonymous said...

I hear you Sean, hence why I compared her to a Communist. She's hateful, vile, and unhinged. Need I say more?

Sean McDaniel said...

i don't need if you need to say more...you just don't have to say if for me...you engage in the same tactics on this page

EdHeath said...

The fact that at least some part of the Trib has abandoned Santorum is quite interesting to me. Santorum seems a proto-typical example of the dilemma both parties face. When he beat Walgren he did it door to door in Mt Lebanon as a conservative populist. It seems like his senate races have been against lightweights, so Santorum has been able to make a subtle move towards a conservative religious populism, in a state that’s not particularly religious. Santorum has also hitched his star to Bush, probably hoping to be propelled towards one of the two national offices. Meanwhile the Democrats have put this virtual Santorum clone up to challenge him. Since Pennsylvania looks a little like the greater US (liberalish cities on the “coasts”, conservative in the middle), this race looks quite interesting. But I wouldn’t count Santorum out. He has the money, Casey actually shares some of Santorum’s weaknesses, and Santorum has proven to be an able campaigner, if not much of a legislator. I suspect it might come down to whether Santorum can scare his base and find a way to convince liberals to stay home, through negative ads. I suspect the Trib will come around and support Santorum, but the disenchantment everyone feels toward politics is evident everywhere.
As for the rest of the posts here, well, I guess this is a partisan blog, not a particularly analytical one …


Sean McDaniel said...


You nicecly summed up bob casey and what's wrong with the democratic party in the state and nationally. they offer no real alternative to bush and the gop. gore played it safe in 2000. where was all his global warning bluster then. kerry went limp in 2004...why not call for the war's end then. whether santorum or casey wins, is there really much of a difference?

EdHeath said...

Welllll, I was trying to look at Santorum’s position, and while I appreciate your finding more wisdom in what I wrote … For example, I don’t think Gore so much played it safe as tried to run on the Clinton record while distancing himself from Clinton’s personal history. Of course Gore didn’t attack the Clinton administration’s environmental record, he was touting what he could of it. I should say the credit/blame for any lack of progress, environmental or otherwise, should be shared with the 6 year opposition Congress – whether you want tighter or looser regulations. By the way, Gore did win the popular vote, right?

Without any other general comment (e.g. Kerry), let me point out something about Casey’s similarity to Santorum: if Casey wins, which Bilbray non-withstanding still looks likely, he will be in an interesting position. Casey could conceivably be courted by the Christian right, and gain some short term political advantage. I tell you what, I have no idea where that could lead…

Sean McDaniel said...

yes, gore did when the popular vote (but his backers would be saying the system worked if he had won the electoral college instead of the popular vote). but he should have knocked bush out of the ring. it should have been no contest. the dems go soft every time (gore, kerry). or they go over the edge (dean).

one thing about casey...he's catholic...and that might be enough to scare him off the christian right and vice versa.