Edward Packard

February 18, 2012

Romney and Santorum

Just when Mitt Romney hoped he was protecting his right-wing flank by proclaiming that he was “severely conservative,” he found that, impressive as it is, this credential could be trumped by a mightier one. And it quickly was: Rick Santorum was not so inept as to use that term, but he's left no doubt that he is “severely moral.”

For anyone who respects his own beliefs about God’s preferences –– and this category surely includes most Republicans ––  moral severity is an even higher good than conservative severity. Romney is no fool, and has hastened to revise his basic beliefs in that regard. Nonetheless, few people, regardless of party, feel confident that he could be as severely moral as Santorum. Does he really find gay marriage abhorrent? Can we really count on him to ban birth control? Can we be sure he’ll bomb Iran? The questions answer themselves.

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