A video representation of the race to be the 2012 Republican nominee for president.

Why Santorum?

Why not?

Every other sensible prediction I and many others have made has gone down in ruins — like the Hindenburg, if you will:

It’ll be Romney. Republicans like establishment types, he’s got money and organization, and he’s next in line for a party that likes clean succession.

Wait. Bachmann is crazy, but maybe the right sort of crazy for today’s crazy GOP.

No, she’s insane. And Perry is much more appealing. He sounds a bit too much like Bush, but he certainly looks the part, more down-home and authentic than stuffed-shirt Romney.

But Perry’s such a dolt. Check out his embarrassing debate performances. Can he string a coherent sentence together? And why does he keep sticking his foot in his mouth?

This Cain guy is clearly unqualified even to go on a White House tour, and his support is clearly just protest support, but maybe he’ll be a factor.

So it has to be Romney. If only by default. He’s got a low ceiling, but eventually the party will learn to love him, or at least to live with him. He’s already got the “elite” behind him, knocking off his challengers one by one, and he’s electable, so they say.

Wait… what? Newt? He’s still in the race? But he doesn’t even have a campaign staff. But you know what? Sort of makes sense. Good media presence, reputation as an ideas man, known commodity, and he seems to be in the right place at the right time. With the other anti-Romneys falling away, he’s left to carry the flag for the majority. And look! He’s surging in the polls! He’s even saying he’ll win! It’s… it’s… inevitable!

Oh, right, Newt is Newt. A disaster for the party, and the “elite,” pundits and politicians alike, knows it. Now they’re going after him. His poll numbers are tanking. He’s way back even in Iowa now. He won’t even make it to Christmas.

How about Huntsman, though? He’s doing okay in New Hampshire. No, forget I brought him up.

Or Paul… He’s surging in Iowa! He’ll win Iowa! But of course he’ll never be the nominee. Just too… out there.

So now it has to be Romney, right?

I mean, who else is there? Palin is talking about “folks” — i.e., herself — getting into the race even at this very late date, but that’s just unrealistic. Maybe there’ll be a brokered convention, maybe it’ll be Christie, or maybe even Jeb, but that’s highly unlikely. Republicans don’t like such uncertainty.

But… what about Santorum? He’s picking up big-time endorsements, by Iowa standards, left and right — or rather, far right (Schultz) and even more far right (Vander Plaats). The Christianists love him, because he’s one of them. He’s crazy, but keeps his craziness in check (unlike Bachmann). He’s polished from his years in the Senate (unlike Perry). He’s a social but also economic conservative (unlike Romney and Paul). He doesn’t have a history of personal misdeeds (Gingrich).

And, well, it’s his turn… isn’t it? Makes sense, no? He’s the one! He’s the political Tim Tebow of 2012!

**********

Okay, okay, I’m not being serious. (For those of you who couldn’t tell.) But there’s been such persistent and pervasive nonsense in this embarrassingly awful Republican race for president that nothing, no prediction, can really seem all that ridiculous at this point.

(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)

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