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    The Primaries had taken what in any other primary would have been considered an unprecedented turn of events: Santorum gave Romney a profound beating in Alabama and Mississippi, placing him in third after Gingrich, who was expected to take first.  Gingrich would be on the ropes and ready to be finished in any other race, losing the southern states he banked so much hope on.  With his creepy billionaire sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson shelling out more cash before noon than me and my entire family will see in our lifetimes,however,  his bloated political corpse can stay in the fray.  
    Gingrich can’t touch Romney, but he’ll occasionally rip off a mouthful of Santorum (and you really, really don’t want to measure your Santorum by the mouthful) because the only people who are voting for Romney are establishment Republicans.  Santorum is attracting the rest, Gingrich still has his unrealistic batch and Paul will stay in it to force his issues til the end.  Romney’s guys won’t be dissuaded because they can’t be duped with thinly-veiled race-baiting, culture wars or religion enough to believe that either Santorum or Gingrich could get elected: they’re practical, and those other two are fat kids trying to play dodgeball, and Obama would peg them in the face at the opening whistle.  
    Santorum is taking the high road with Gingrich, not asking him to get out yet, but the entire narrative of the race has been that the other candidates need to get out of the way to let Romney and anti-Romney duke it out.  This has been said about Santorum before, as well as Herman Cain, Donald Trump, Jon Huntsman, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry.  It’s a real shame that Huntsman didn’t stay in, because the only reason that Santorum is doing so well is nobody likes Romney, so all he has to do is beat out Gingrich.  
    Once Gingrich is done, Santorum will have Romney in the center of the ring with all of Gingrich’s former anti-Romney supporters switching over.  Although this won’t be enough to get him 1144 delegates most likely, he can force it to a convention, and try to leverage his popularity into something.  When that happens, it’ll be interesting to see if he’s offered a spot right away, be it VP or Secretary of State, and how much bitching he’ll do about how it’s not a democratic process before someone convinces Romney to give it to him.         
    There’s also that one moderate guy with the three beautiful daughters that never quite popped: Jon Huntsman.  There’s no way that guy is less electable than Archbishop Santorum with Independents, he’s accumulated fewer incriminating YouTube clips than Romney (such as the one of him awkwardly singing “Who Let the Dogs Out” and then barking with some black teenagers that he looked pained to touch as he threw his arms around them) and he’d win states like Mississippi and Alabama no matter what he did as long as he flies the red flag..  
    The real problem is that, although Huntsman is charming, intelligent and very experienced, he endorsed Romney and doesn’t have the infrastructure.  The latter is more important: any candidate who tries to start a campaign from scratch won’t have enough time to get the money, volunteers and a measure of reality show-esque celebrity that voters demand organized in a meaningful way.  Sure, they’ll have money pouring in no matter who they are, and hell, maybe the Koch brothers have an entire operation planned out.  Even if it’s ready to go as soon as someone can fall into the gunner’s seat AND they get all those crazies who still think Obama is a Muslim, they still won’t have enough time to compete with Obama’s campaign machine.  By the time they even know what name to put on the banner, Obama’s guys will have ten up, along with a college Democrats group doing a voter drive with someone’s name on it.  In addition, the crazed, schizophrenic, mental pygmy mob of extremists that is the Republican primary electorate this cycle has been forcing Romney to do backflips.  Unfortunately for them, he’s falling on his head comically with his “cheesy grits” comment and saying “y’all” to a southern crowd.  It’s been somewhat of a Fear Factor election cycle, Romney trying to choke down goat balls, uncomfortably hugging strangers and reconciling polar opposite stances while desperately trying to paint a smile on all of that.
    It’s become painfully clear that there is no Republican establishment now, or at least not a strong one, or we wouldn’t have this horrible mess we have now.  Say what you want about the smoke-filled rooms, the Republican party would be much better off with one right now.  With nobody to pull them back, they can continue to be baited into talking about contraception, where they’re losing women at this point no matter what they say.  This is largely because of Rush Limbaugh’s calling of slut on a girl that looked like everyone in middle class America’s sweet girl next door, Sandra Fluke, and nobody being able to discipline the Republican party away from the issue of contraception.  This issue draws national ire, while only shifting an irrational base from candidate to candidate and alienating Independents.  
    Although Rush is little more than a man dumpling with a thick, rich filling of racism, sexism and irrational fear and hatred of all things that aren’t very much like himself, he did outdo himself by Fluke.  The Republicans have touted him highly, giving him an honorary member of Congress award back in the 90’s, and now he’s become toxic.  This all coming from the guy who was pushing Republicans during the Bush era, and admitting later on that they didn’t deserve to “have their water carried” by him, meaning he knowingly pushed shit.
    When Mitt Romney only said he wouldn’t have used those words (though it does make me curious what is Michigan Mormon for “slut?”), he became nearly as fat a target as Santorum for women’s groups.  Santorum has thoroughly shot himself in the foot, defending Rush as a “comic” who was being “absurd.”  At this point, if you don’t boil your clothing after shaking hands with Rush, kiss your political career goodbye as he’s become the bad guy in the contraceptive narrative.
    With Romney, Gingrich and Santorum all duking it out, although neither Gingrich nor Santorum have a real shot at getting the number of delegates needed, they can drain the delegates out of Romney’s camp.  If nobody can get the 1144 delegates required, it will go to a convention, where the Republican Party will choose the nominee completely removed from the primary voters.  Considering how neither Gingrich nor Santorum need to exit the race due to lack of funds, you can expect that they’ll ride this out as long as their sugar daddies are more interested in buying politicians than a third yacht.
    Romney’s getting dragged back down into the mud at every turn, Santorum and Gingrich able to jump to the right of sanity on every issue to get the toothless denizens of Alabama who believe that Obama is a terrorist Muslim about to blow up the White House to vote for them.  They know that getting the nomination is the best that they could: do even if gas prices doubled, there’ll never be a President Santorum or Gingrich, and every reasonable man knows this.  In the end, they’ll get their book deal and, through that disgusting reality show aspect of politics, their name will carry enough political weight to keep them on K street for a decade.
    This is all good news for the Democrats, however: Romney’s been taking time away from attacking Obama to solidify his lead.  Now that he has the lead, the old political hands are bewildered at how his competition has been staying in.  This is because of the dangerous Citizen’s United decision, allowing SuperPacs to exist.  Because of this, Romney’s going to spend all the cash he’s raised just getting out of the primaries, while Obama will be able to hit up the relatively fewer billionaires who are liberal for funds, sort of like Obama’s 300 Spartans fighting against the Koch brothers’ legion of cash.  
    The real difference is that the liberal billionaires are at least giving to try to make the country and/or world better more often, while the conservative ones typically see a very direct cause and effect relationship between how much money they give and how much regulation on their businesses get dropped.  Essentially, conservatives tend to give because 1) it’s their team, just like the numbskulls in the pit at any rally, there’s plenty of guys who’re indoctrinated, and 2) it’s a good investment that can practically be written off as a business expense.  Thanks to Citizen’s United, all a candidate has to do is appeal to a few guys who are wealthy and want control, and then sell himself just a little bit better than the alternative to a public stupid enough to elevate Herman Cain to celebrity and frontrunner status: we may all very well be fucked.

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