Whatever Rick Santorum's
fate in the New Hampshire primary today, his near win in the Iowa caucuses
inspired columnists Michael Gerson and David Brooks to burnish the candidate's image not only as champion
of the family and conservative Christianity but as a political thinker.
Santorum, they argued, is shaped by Catholic social teachings and in particular
by the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.
It's rare for me to disagree with Mark Silk and rarer still for me to agree with Erick Erickson. But that's where I'm at when it comes to the politics of Rick Santorum's strong showing in Iowa on Tuesday.
If my pastor got up some Sunday and said,
"I am not a pastor. I'm just a regular person," I'd respond like this: "Well, we
hired you to be a pastor, and if you have a problem with it you should find
another line of work."
There's a sort of dualism that comes up when political commentators talk
about conservative evangelicals: either they're powerful and
unflappable advocates for the couple of causes we've always associated
with them, or they don't really exist as a voting bloc at all.