Well, fellow conservatives: The Other Rick, Santorum by name, won Iowa. Well, technically, he lost to Mitt Romney. By eight votes. Where’s Al Gore and his flying squad of lawyers when you need them?

The point? That’s a huge, come-from-behind win for the man in the sweater vest. Fear the Vest, as Rick tells us.

Santorum strikes me as a principled conservative, at least on the social issues. He’s been pretty good on fiscal issues, although, as with most of those who gain high office, has had to compromise in order to accomplish anything.

The conventional wisdom now appears to be that Rick S. will get a bump from the otherwise meaningless Iowa caucuses (they don’t tend to choose the eventual Republican nominees), but will quickly peter out after he smashes up against the rocks in the Granite State next week.

New Hampshire, which, again by conventional wisdom, is in the bag for Mitt. Who now appears, citing that CW yet again, to be the GOP nominee, now that he’s been endorsed by President McCain. Oh, right; er, Senator McCain. Newsflash: that endorsement likely angered conservatives more than it helps with independents.

Contra all of that, is Jay Nordlinger at NRO, who summarizes Mitt thusly:

I believe that Romney is a conservative, and that he would make a very good nominee and a very good president. Furthermore, I believe he is the only Republican candidate who can win.

I’m inclined to agree. On all counts. Of the Ricks, Perry and Santorum, both are more conservative, litmus-test wise, than Mitt. Perry has certainly shown his chops as a governor, although I doubt he’d have been able to govern much differently than did Mitt in deep-blue Massachusetts.

Well, we’ll never know. As much as I like Rick Perry, he’s just too Texan for those lily-livered coastal effetes who run the mainstream media. And Rick Santorum is too Catholic. Meaning, he actually believes and lives his church’s doctrines. Can’t have that; the rest of us are just cafeteria Catholics.

As I’ve written before, Mitt’s the one. Not a pure conservative, but a man who will lead this country. And not call it in from Hawaii.


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