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Coppo di Marcovaldo “The Hell”

The religious aspect of American politics was always an oddity for outsiders and probably a large number of Americans, it certainly never settled well with Europeans but this season is a doozy.  Take Ricky Santorum for instance, he was always a bit odd, a bit preachy and with more than a touch of the altar boy made good.  Now an old speech made a while back has come back to bite him.  You can catch it at the youtube clip below courtesy of Right Wing Watch.

Now it’s an audio file so its intrinsically dull, and it was a bit on the quiet side too, so below are some of the excerpts that a lot of people are finding particularly odd and disturbing.

From the top:-

Satan has his sights on the United States of America!”

“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.”

“This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost 200 years, once America’s pre-eminence was sown by our great Founding Fathers.”

Satan, auld Nick, the Dark One, Beelzebub himself, The Father of Lies no less.  Hmm OK.  Now this is where it gets real odd.  The outing of such a strange speech should normally finish off a serious candidate.  Think of Christine O’Donnell last year.  Santorum should go down denying the speech, whilst fending off the blows.  That was surely the intention of Right Wing Watch in wheeling it out.  But this is America and this is also a very strange campaign.  Santorum has spoken up in defence of the speech and his ratings have rocketed.

Weird certainly but how does this affect the Republican race?

The answer is it makes it more difficult.

We now have a race where there are three candidates who are all equally unpopular in their own way, equally unelectable as President, and who are equally likely to end up as Republican candidate.  My bet is still that at the end of the day Mitt will win out spending his rivals into the ground but it’s still open.

Which means that Newt and Santorum will drag Mitt out to the far right (of a party far righter than for many years) in order to gain votes and leave him there.  In getting there of course he will need to make more and more right wing statements, hostages to fortune, promises he will be personally uneasy with.  As candidate fighting the real enemy (Obama, remember him, you are fighting him?) he will need to return back to the centre ground in order face Obama.  Naturally this will lead to Democrat adverts having a field day with his inconsistencies.

Unless, of course the Republicans decide at Convention to throw over the lot of them and choose someone else, a white knight more acceptable to a wider audience than mad Santorum, wishy washy Mitt or duplicitous Newt.  They might settle on someone more solid, reliably dependable with good name recognition and solid policies.  Someone who might actually be able to give Obama a fight.  I suggested this before!

So, word has it that Chris Christie is being spoken to and there are whispers at the volume of shouts of despair that Jeb is back on the slate.

Told you to keep Jeb in mind.

Copyright David Macadam 2012