Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Santorum's Michigan Mischief

Rick Santorum is making mischief in Michigan. It turns out he's robocalling Michigan Democrats and telling them to come out and vote for him in Michigan's Republican Primary today:

Michigan’s primary rules allow Dems to vote in the state’s GOP primaries... The Santorum campaign evidently decided they’d take votes from any legitimate source.

Following some speculation that the robocall may have been a “false flag” effort designed to harm Santorum, a spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed to TPM that they were indeed footing the bill, and reaching beyond party lines. “If we can get the Reagan Democrats in the primary, we can get them in the general,” he told TPM.

When unsolicited Democrats, liberals, moderates, and independents vote for Ron Paul simply because his message of liberty is universally attractive to people-- they're "mischief voters." But apparently it's just fine for Rick Santorum to actively robocall Michigan Democrats with an arguably deceptive script and try to get them to vote for him? And yes it is fine...

Sure the left-wing Talking Points Memo introduced the term "dirty trick" into the conversation about Santorum's Michigan robocalls to Democrats in the article excerpted and linked above, and of course Mitt Romney's people are echoing the sentiment-- but take a look at the blogosphere today and notice how all the anybody-but-Mitt conservatives (the people who should be pro-Ron Paul) are rushing to Santorum's defense and saying that it's a legitimate tactic, not a dirty trick.

Okay, fine, it's a legitimate tactic. It's not illegal. It doesn't break any rules. But what does it say about Santorum? If getting Democratic votes simply because his message of liberty has a universal appeal (the same way Reagan's message won him a landslide in 1984) is somehow a bad thing for Ron Paul (even though that means he has a better chance at beating Obama, which Republicans say is the most important thing this election cycle), what does actively soliciting Democratic votes say about Rick Santorum? And if it works and Santorum wins Michigan with the help of Democrats, will Republican commentators call his conservative credentials into question as they have for Ron Paul?

I doubt it.





Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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