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If Santorum becomes the nominee of the Republican Party, he will be utterly crushed by Obama, and the social right wing of the Republican party will then be discredited for the next few election cycles — maybe even permanently. There’s just no “run” in that horse. But that’s not going to happen.

Since Romney is probably going to be the nominee instead, his own likely crushing defeat at the hands of Obama will be seen as “proof” that the party should have nominated someone “more conservative.” The social right wing of the Republican party will continue to dominate the internal conversation, and ruin that party’s prospects for several more election cycles before it is finally discredited.

I’m of two minds.

The gamesman in me says, “Yay.” I prefer to see Democrats elected, in exactly the same way that I like to see Alabama beat Auburn in football. I try to keep the gamesman in me at bay because he isn’t who I’m proud of being. But these allegiances were formed early, and the impulse is strong. Continued domination of the Republican party by these louts and losers guarantees a strong Democratic party for decades to come.

The adult in me, the person who would like to see the Republican party return to its sanity (that is, return to its wrong-headed positions that are, at least, subject to the analysis of reason), so that there are two legitimate options (at a bare minimum) for a thinking voter in any given election, says, “Boo.”