Playing to Win

Apparently, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are a little mad at each other. Romney has accused Santorum, and the Obama administration, of encouraging Democrats in Michigan to take advantage of the open primary rules there to vote for Santorum. If true, it almost worked since Romney only won in a squeaker. When asked about this, the Santorum camp said it wasn’t very nice of the Romney folks to play sound bites from four years ago where Santorum was saying nice things about Romney.

If all these things I’ve read are true, here’s what I think.

1. If people supporting Obama were trying to gum up the voting in a Republican primary, that seems, um, ethics-challenged, if you know what I mean. If you don’t know what I mean–I think it’s a little unethical. That being said, state Republicans established the rules, so if they’ve left a loophole in there they really can’t complain too loudly when people utilize it.

2. It sounds more troubling if Santorum was trying to attract primary votes from people who have no intention of voting for him in the general election. If Santorum’s people doubt that he can win Republican primaries with Republican voters then why is he still running? Now, I defended Santorum last week when he took heat for discussing what the President said about Christianity, but my goal is to be unbiased here. It’s one thing to take advantage of flaws in the system of your ideological opponents, it is another to try to manipulate the system of your own side.

3. Just like I thought it was fair for Santorum to bring up stuff the President said about his understanding of religion, I think it was fair of Romney to run some stuff Santorum said about him. Apparently, Santorum did not realize four years ago that someday he’d be running against Romney. But if Santorum praised the man back then, then Santorum needs to own his words now.

Ah, the political process–it’s a little ugly, but at least we aren’t killing each other over it, so thank God for that.