Rick Santorum’s Oh So Cowardly Exit


A semi-respectful period of time has passed since Rick Santorum cited the ongoing illness of Bella, his three-year-old daughter in bowing out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. With wishes for a long and happy life to Bella and with all due respect to the Santorum family, this is about as cowardly an end to a presidential campaign that I can recall.

Bella has been chronically ill since birth and her hospitalizations for Trisoma 18, a sometimes fatal disease with side effects like pneumonia, have been frequent. Santorum was careful to say that he “was suspending” his campaign as opposed to ending it, a nicety that masks the reality that he is toast. But why now? Because at heart he is yet another political coward who could not stand the prospect of being pummeled in the April 24 Pennsylvania primary by Mitt Romney and used little Bella as a convenient prop like Sarah Palin has with her son Trig, who is a special needs child.

Pennsylvania, of course, is Santorum’s home state, yet the last time he was on the ballot there he was defeated by a record margin for a sitting U.S. senator and he had no chance of coming close to beating Romney, who is the presumptive GOP nominee. This is because Pennsylvanian voters have done something that many right-wing Republicans and especially Santorum’s hard-core evangelical base have not: Figured out that he is a fraud with some extremely strange ideas.

Santorum’s success in the 2012 primary season, of course, had been entirely the function of his being a Republican not named Romney. He was a humorless tight ass whose ideological claptrap and gimmicky ideas were never taken seriously beyond his Bible-thumping constituency, but the news media was game as long as he kept yapping at Romney’s heels. Oh, and he stands zero chance of being Romney’s running mate because his unfavorables among voters nationally are so high.

I do not question Santorum’s repeated invocations of Bella’s serial recoveries as “miraculous turnarounds” that may indeed have been God jobs. But Bella is getting the best medical care money can buy because of Santorum’s lavish Senate retirement benefits and personal wealth, something that he would deny ordinary Americans who cannot afford decent care. In fact, doing a little extrapolating, of the 45 million Americans without health insurance, there probably are at least a million or so three-year-olds in that situation, while about 1,000 children die of pneumonia, which has plagued Bella on and off, in the U.S. each year.

By the way, Bella’s most recent hospitalization ended on Monday.

         

15 Comments

  1. SM, are you trying to beat Cameron to the bottom?

  2. dduck:

    Trying offering an argument as to why my analogizing may be faulty instead of just quacking at me. Okay?

  3. Look, he had to quit eventually, that wouldn’t have been cowardly, just practical. I give him the benefit of the doubt that he was concerned about little Bella, his wife and his family. Not so hard for a person like me who abhorred Rick, to do.
    Frankly, your headline (as is sometimes the case) is set to sell papers, and that turned me off to I am sure were wonderful logical prose which turned Rick into a coward.
    Some headlines deserve quacking, when “a semi-respectful period of time” has NOT passed, in my opinion.

  4. dduck:

    Thank you. And I’ll recommend to Joe that you become TMV‘s official timekeeper.

  5. Well Shaun, when you have to start off by conceding to semi-respectability, you most certainly knew that you’d get pushback. Keep it classy though, eh?

  6. Thanks Shaun, is that an elected office, cause I need a Rolex to replace my Timex.

  7. Will there be enough light coming through the Democrat’s sieve, I don’t think so.

    P.S. I was going to ask for one of Newt’s castaway watches if Joe knows him.

  8. This is hardly the first time a politician has used the excuse of family to mask a more unpleasant truth about his own failings. That Santorum would do so is keeping with his “character” afaic. Needless to say, we all wish Bella the best, but if her father had really been prioritizing her he never would have thrown his hat in the ring to begin with. This is about honesty.

  9. she is such a pretty little baby. Really precious I can see.

    And on another point entirely, your point about health insurance of Santorum’s versus many others is correct. In our family we have a young person who’s had cancer, insurance lost in divorce, cannot get covered. Cannot. Just had third turndown. Works hard cant qual for medicaid. Where to go? No where. Small business cannot utilize Obama’s ‘health care credit’ for family of one. It is literally insane. Insane. Doors closed everywhere for a hardworking soul.

  10. It doesn’t seem so much like cowardice as it does like using the old “leaving to spend more time with my family” excuse instead of getting fired.

  11. Well if Santorum wants to spend time with his family, I say let him.

    Of course if he is really sincere about spending time with his family then what, exactly, is his commitment to the people of the US if he becomes president? North Korea and our other adversaries won’t plan their antagonistic actions around the president’s family schedule. Surely Santorum thought of the time and commitment required for a president required before he ran.

    So back to my original question…. what exactly is Santorum’s commitment to being president?

    Anyway, good news that this loser is suspending his campaign for his quest to be president.

    Wishing Bella and the rest of his children well. They should consider themselves lucky that their dad (and the likes of him) can and did use their power and influence to make sure their families are covered while passing laws making it impossible for so many to receive any care.

  12. Dr. E. The story you tell is shared by millions in this country. Hard working people who can’t afford the healthcare calamities that strike them because insurance is far out of reach. Only one party seems interested in trying to address it. It just doesn’t make sense.

  13. Sorry, I have to agree with dd and DG. A 24 hour moritorium would have been nice before imputing cowardice to a candidate who has only done what so many have done before.

    Cowardice, to me, is someone like Edwards putting the country in peril by being too cowardly to own up to a very serious moral and legal problem.

  14. Dr. E- does your young relative’s state have a high risk pool?

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