Sadly, I have to agree with Ed Morissey. If I had to vote for someone in the Republican primaries, I’d vote for Rick Santorum. And even if I were a conservative, I’d vote for Rick Santorum. I’ll give you my reasoning on both scenarios.

As a progressive Democrat and a concerned citizen, I think Rick Santorum would make a better president than Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney. The number one issue for me is temperament. It’s true that Santorum travels in some of the whackiest of socially conservative circles and routinely says things that are just inexcusably offensive. I didn’t say I had any good choices here. But Santorum knows how to control his emotions. Like all the other Republican aspirants, he’s espoused some radical economic and foreign policies in this race, and his domestic policies are horrible, too. Yet, he’s a creature of Congress and he would at least understand what is possible and know how to craft compromises. Gingrich would also understand these things, but he’s far too erratic to be trusted with power. Mitt Romney’s temperament might appear to be even, but he’s actually very, very thin-skinned. He has trouble answering tough questions and he takes offense easily. I don’t think he’d fly off the handle at the first opportunity, but I also think he lacks the personal attributes you need to be the president of the United States.

Of the three, it is only with Santorum that I feel like I know what I’d be getting. I’d rather settle for the evil I know than gamble on the evil that I do not know. I could vote for Gingrich because I think he’d be the easiest to beat, but I don’t want to take the chance that he might win.

If I was a conservative voter, I would also vote for Santorum. I’d vote against Gingrich for all the same reasons that I’d vote against him in real life. As for Romney, not only do I not know what I’m getting, but I’d rather not have a flip-flopper and author of RomneyCare in charge of the RNC, even for a brief time. There really isn’t any reason for me to conclude that Romney would have a better chance in the general election than Santorum because Romney just doesn’t seem to be a very good campaigner. Plus, the conservative movement hasn’t advanced by nominating supposedly electable candidates like Dole and McCain, but in spite of that. A Romney presidency could potentially loosen conservatives’ grip on the Republican Party. And if the Republicans are going to lose, better to go down swinging with a candidate who has a more consistent record of supporting conservative causes.

Finally, with Santorum, even though he’d probably lose, he wouldn’t depress conservative turnout and hurt Republicans in down-ticket races. If he alienates voters in the middle and hurts Republicans that way, that’s still a preferable way to lose.

So, yeah, Romney and Gingrich are unacceptable choices regardless of where you stand on the politics spectrum, so I’m going with Sticky Rickey.

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