George Will made this observation yesterday on This Week with Old Conservative White Males and George Stephanopolous:
While Rick Santorum said Limbaugh’s comments were “absurd,” he said the radio host was an “entertainer” and “an entertainer can be absurd.”
“No,” Will said about Santorum’s response. “It is the responsibility of conservatives to police the right and its excesses, just as the liberals unfailingly fail to police the excesses on their own side.”
As usual, of all the candidates for President, only Ron Paul had the guts to say something that the base can’t stomach, when he stated the obvious, that Limbaugh only apologized to keep advertisers. One-trick pony Gingrich blamed the elites in their enclaves on the coast because, in Newt’s world, all bad news for Republicans is their fault. As Will noted, Santorum called him an entertainer, while Romney said it was “not the language he would have used” (meaning what–he would have called her a harlot?).
Those three seem to forget that they’re running to be the guy best suited to take Obama to the woodshed. The base driving around with their “Nobama” window decals and “Anyone Else in 2012” bumper stickers wants someone who can show the world what they believe in their hearts, that Barack Obama is the emptiest of empty suits. But if one thing has been clear from the endless debates, and now Slutgate, it’s that Newt and Mitt, and probably Rick, don’t have the sand to do that. Both Gingrich and Romney have been running scorched earth ads making charges that they don’t have the guts to repeat to when they’re standing face-to-face. Santorum is happy to attack abortionists and the gays, but I haven’t seen him go after any of his opponents.
In short, as Dick Nixon would put it, when it comes down to the nut cutting, these guys run away. If they can’t stand up to a radio host, or repeat their attack ads in person, how can they call out Obama? If you want to explain why the primary has been a see-saw ride, look no further than the constant and consistent gutlessness of the three main players.