New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal showed his usual class in a Tuesday afternoon post responding to Rick Santorum's withdrawal from the Republican presidential race: "Goodbye, Rick Santorum."
Rick Santorum never had a chance. The Republican leadership and many Republican primary voters are borderline delusional, but they don’t have a death wish.
That’s not to say I wasn’t glued to the television when Mr. Santorum announced on Tuesday that he was dropping out of the race -- or rather, “suspending” his campaign, which means he can go on spending his donors’ money. As I watched him wander off into the vast wasteland of presidential also-rans, I asked myself what, exactly, the man formerly best known for comparing gay sex to man-on-dog sex had accomplished.
Mr. Santorum showed that he could appeal to the far right, and the way far right, and the way, way far right, and that he could use that base to make things really hard for Mitt Romney. And he illuminated the dark heart of the G.O.P., the part that thrives on fear and xenophobia and intolerance. Mr. Santorum said on Tuesday that this was “as improbable as any race you’ll ever see for president.” Seems about right to me.
He also proved that he has a remarkable ability to spout absurdities -- some of which, arguably, rival the aforementioned man-on-dog comment. So I decided to honor Mr. Santorum with a fond retrospective of his lowest moments.