Bryan Fischer
Does the GOP's "big tent" have enough room for Rick Santorum?
By Bryan Fischer
February 28, 2012

Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at "Focal Point"

When moderate Republicans wear the GOP label and win primaries — even though they only believe half of what's in the GOP platform — conservatives are told to simmer down and learn to deal with the reality that the GOP has a big tent. We are patted on the head and told we just need to accept the fact that the party is broad enough to embrace anyone and everyone who wants to stick the party label on a bumper sticker.

And whether it's spoken or not, they have an additional thought in their minds for us: "Where are you going to go?" They are counting on the likelihood that genuine conservatives aren't going to vote for a representative of an avowedly liberal party, and aren't going to throw away their vote by voting for a third party candidate.

So the country club Republicans believe that we social conservatives have no alternative but to wind up pulling the lever for the GOP candidate even if we have to hold our noses to do it. Because, you see, the Republican Party has a big tent.

Now Rick Santorum comes along and messes up all of their bloviated rhetoric. Mitt Romney is the guy for the ruling class Republicans, and Santorum most decidedly is not. Santorum is an unapologetic, unabashed social conservative who refuses to back down despite repeated attempts on the part of the out-of-the-mainstream media to embarrass him.

And his poll numbers continue to grow despite the fact that he has no money and has party poobahs trying to sabotage him at every turn. His success is completely wigging out the Brooks Brothers Republicans, who are as disconnected from ordinary Americans as the media is.

All this talk about a brokered convention was a quiet murmur until the Santorum surge, and all of a sudden it's become a deafening roar.

It is Santorum's unwavering social conservatism that is responsible for his rising poll numbers. The media, as I have written earlier, thought they could kneecap Santorum by publishing every damaging sound bite.

But all they've managed to do is to get the word out to the American public about what Santorum believes, and his message is resonating with voters from coast to coast. The media is essentially functioning as a SuperPAC for Santorum without even realizing it, as obtuse and detached from reality as they are.

This race is a long, long way from being over. But for the sake of argument, let's assume that Santorum continues to gather steam, the animatronic Romney (one observer suggested his nickname ought to be "Mr. Pixels") cannot kindle any enthusiasm, and that Newt cannot catch lightning in a bottle one more time.

Santorum could become the GOP candidate. Should that happen, then the question becomes this, the question of the year for the blue blood Republicans: You're always yammering on endlessly about the GOP's big tent. Here's the question: is your tent big enough for Rick Santorum?

And here's a great follow up question: If Santorum becomes the nominee, where are YOU going to go? It would be a satisfying thing to have social conservatives on the asking end of that question for a change.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

© Bryan Fischer


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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