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Angry eyebrows, GOP-style

The GOP run for the presidential nomination is getting nasty, at least on Mr. Santorum’s part. Nobody actually believes the mainstream media (including those who relish it), but no candidate can afford to ignore how he looks there. For now, the MSM are painting Santorum like the man who got expelled from anger management school.

There have been presidents with ugly personalities, but not that many. Think of Richard Nixon glowering and keeping his enemies list up to date, or our current race-baiting president with his incandescent narcissism and graceless blame-shifting upon his predecessor.

On the whole, though, presidents tend to be pleasant men. Think of ole’ backslapping Bill Clinton (aw, shucks!) or the Teflon Man, Ronald Reagan. By all accounts, including the rumors seeping out of the Secret Service and into the press, Bush Jr. was a terrific guy. And look at his competition. John Effin’ Kerry is the Mariannas Trench of snobbery and would never eat a food so déclasé as ketchup even though he married millions made from it. Al Gore (indistinguishable from the Unabomber) started out as your typical humorless, bombastic pol. He descended from there to disgusting when he plundered Tipper’s tonsils at the Democrat convention of 2000. Eew. America retched in sympathy with her and picked Bush.

Now along comes Santorum like the ancient cockatrice, eyes aflame and slavering venom. I can’t imagine a worse media image for the man hoping to unseat Obama. They will portray Obama as the Rivendell of Reason defending civilization against Santorum’s scampering mad mobs of gabbling right wing orcs.

Projecting fury at Obama is dumb politics when forty-odd percent of the voters think he’s not all that bad. This generation of Americans, like every generation, needs to hear an explanation of why freedom with all its risks is a birthright not to be sold for anything so cheap as the suffocating blanket of the nanny state. That message has to inspire people with the possibilities of liberty rather than just calling out a list of socialism’s sure dooms.

And voters want to see how a candidate will make things better. As stupid as the whole situation was, Mr. Obama at least made a positive connection with the idiots who thought he’d make their mortgage payments and gas up their cars. Santorum’s fist-pumping vow to undo all that in an almighty presidential hissy is not a viable, whatchacall, platform.

Rick: Please, we’re begging you, man! Cheer up before it’s too late!

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