Steve Deace, Rick Santorum, and the Reagan Democrat Zombie Apocalypse –Part 2 of 3

Part 2

eating_crow 3

How Do You Like Your Plate of Crow? 

I’m not attempting to get inside Deace’s head (which could prove to be a very scary place indeed) but one has to conclude he had some motive here to damage Santorum in the ears of his listeners, many who see Deace as their political guru and go to guy, their Pied Piper of sorts, trusting him to do their vetting for them. That is quite scary.

Deace didn’t quite expect to have his own Reagan Democrat-acknowledging article dug up and thrown back at him, but that is what he got on twitter, and the plate of crow was delivered with gusto, complete with the link to his article and piggybacked with articles of, by, and about blue collar Reagan Democrats. He didn’t like it. Not one bit. A twitter storm on his timeline ensued and he was bombarded with his own words coming back to haunt him after misleading his listeners that Santorum’s message was irrelevant. He also was roundly challenged during the twitterstorm for lumping Santorum in with Mitt Romney in supporting a minimum wage increase, falsely leaving listeners with the impression that Santorum, who supports a modest increase of .50 a year for 3 years, actually sided with Obama and the Democrats for the job killing, business ending living wage. Deace exploded on the air the following night reprimanding tweeters who filled his timeline with the truth, and he blocked many, compared us to the infamous Paulbots who dominated social media in 2012, and slapped us with the label of Santorum Drones or Sandrones and, incredibly, accused us of “worshipping” Santorum. Deace is well known for his intimidation tactics of trying to shut down enthusiastic supporters of any candidate other than Ted Cruz and even coined the juvenile term “slappy” to describe them. He declared he had to block us and threatened to take out his frustration on Santorum. I won’t go into further details but it got rather ugly. Actually I think Deace truly was shocked to see Santorum has people out here who have his back for him like this outside of an election year. Deace never once mentioned the actual reason for the twitterstorm, never once acknowledged that he, himself, had written about the importance of Reagan Democrats in the 2012 election and it was his hypocrisy and dishonesty that ignited the twitterstorm in the first place. Unless you followed this on twitter, you’d never have known this. I believe in shining the light of truth, so now you know the rest of the story. Steve Deace got served back a big dose of pushback to what he dishes out regularly. 

 

Political Kingmaker or Political Manipulator?

I’ve appreciated the content of many of Deace’s shows and have enjoyed listening to him and his guests on the occasions I’ve been able to tune in. He’s a pretty decent talk host and a good writer as well,  but he’s become quite the obnoxious talk show schoolyard bully since the emergence of Ted Cruz on the political scene. Deace has been in a perpetual swoon over him since 2013 and it’s been quite a tightrope act for him to give the impression he’s been vetting ALL the candidates fairly for 2016 when he’s been actively organizing behind the scenes and on the air building up for a Ted Cruz presidential run and using his airwaves bully pulpit and his sweet national journalistic gigs to heavily indoctrinate his listeners and readers in the way of Cruz. I suspected as much after watching Deace’s reaction to Cruz’s maiden speech in Iowa in July 2013. Deace was as giddy as a starry eyed tween-ager on the front row at her first rock concert, super satiated from Cruz’s red meat studded speech, and he proclaimed to the media feeding frenzy there that the freshman senator, barely half a year in office, was top presidential timber for 2016, even acknowledging he had a “mancrush” on him. Now, if that doesn’t fit Deace’s definition of a “slappy” I don’t know what does. 

Goal number one was to make sure Ted Cruz is the 2016 GOP nominee by promoting him ad nauseam and lassoing in as many big name endorsements for Cruz in Iowa and in early voting states as possible. Essentially Deace’s radio show appears to now serve as an extension of the Cruz campaign and he probably should register that with the FEC. This pretty much explains why Deace wants Santorum’s 2012 success erased from the minds of voters for 2016. The return of the gutsy, scrappy 2012 underdog for the 2016 election would be the worst possible scenario for Deace because Cruz would be making a major play for Santorum supporters from 2012. Santorum had to be put out of sight and out of mind for 2016, and Deace has the tools and gravitas at his disposal to help achieve that goal to some degree, especially with Iowa voters; or so he leads on that he has this kind of power or whatnot. Since Santorum’s entry in the 2016 race last May, Deace’s scorn for Santorum and his chances at a 2012 repeat has been anything but subtle, and he’s managed to amass a substantial partnership and following to aid the Cruz campaign in in all out effort to scarf up Santorum supporters from 2012. Whether or not his efforts pan out won’t be known until the voting in Iowa on February 1. Remember, Deace endorsed Newt Gingrich in 2011 and we see how that worked out for him. True, the difference is Deace endorsed months early this time and has been aggressively involved with the Cruz campaign for the last few years, but Deace’s self importance in this race seems overblown and to listen to him, you’d have to conclude practically every Iowan sees him as their sage personal political guru he makes himself out to be. 

Despite penning a few quasi-positive articles about Santorum and his chances for a 2016 comeback, Deace’s disdain for him as a  presidential candidate for 2016 is no secret, and he routinely relegates him to just being a nice, likeable guy, very knowledgeable on all the issues, but washed up politically. He’s made this point the very few times he’s even mentioned Santorum on his show. Not too many hosts on conservative talk radio have marginalized Santorum as a presidential contender as much as Deace, so it was no surprise to me how he totally dissed the premise of Santorum’s book which was getting critical praise and rave reviews from most of the national  conservative talk hosts including Mark LevinMichael Medved , Hugh Hewitt, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity , and other political heavyweights and commentators across the country. Deace is the only radio host I’ve heard pooh pooh Santorum’s blue collar message and denounce the existence of Reagan Democrats along with the possibility that American manufacturing jobs will ever be a reality again. I imagine had Ted Cruz written this book instead, Deace would have shouted its brilliance from the mountaintops. You can bet on that.  I have noticed that the two national talk hosts who have been very openly shilling for Cruz for some time, Deace and Rush Limbaugh, are the only two who have intentionally avoided any mentions of Santorum’s book whatsoever. 

 

 

Rick manufacturing plant

 

Reagan Democrats Heart Rick Santorum

Not since Reagan has any Republican focused attention and policy on blue collar America, and in 2012 Rick Santorum proved his mettle and muster as a  true champion of workers in Middle America who were frustrated with both parties as he and his message connected and resonated with voters across the South, the Heartland, and Rustbelt areas of America in those critical swing states starving for a real plan to revitalize manufacturing and other blue collar jobs. His campaign came out of nowhere from low single digits within days to win the Iowa Caucus and it caught fire from there taking Santorum to win 10 more states and more counties than the rest of the GOP field combined before he was forced to suspend in April. Against incredible odds, with a skeletal staff and being outspent by epic proportions, and with practically no media attention, Santorum proved that message and messenger, not big money and staff, is what wins over voters’ hearts and minds. The underdog family values, blue collar and small town America champion and foreign policy heavyweight nearly took out the billionaire funded Corporate America millionaire Mitt Romney in a race destined for the political history books. In the end, Santorum came up short when funds dried up as voters fell victim to the 24/7 establishment, media, and Romney campaign mantra that the primaries were dragging on too long creating nearly irreparable fissures in the party and it was time to end it and rally around the candidate who had the most money. And so they did. Santorum had the fire in the belly to take the race all the way to the convention if necessary, but you can’t run a campaign on fumes. He was able to stretch his meager (compared to Romney’s) funds enough to keep his David vs Goliath campaign going and it was the voters, not Santorum, who lost heart and gave in to the establishment drumbeat. Santorum for his valiant efforts, has the 6th highest vote and state tally in political history for a runner up to the party nomination. Pretty astonishing feat considering his humble shoestring campaign. His strong performance in 2012 is something no one can deny, yet Deace has treated it like a political fluke to diminish Santorum in advance of Cruz for 2016 instead of seizing on the tremendous opportunity to build on Santorum’s success for the next race, exactly like Reagan’s supporters did for him in 1980 after his similarly heroic run in 1976. That is a sure fire way to win. But Deace has placed his bets on propelling an inexperienced newbie into the spotlight in an effort to repeat Santorum’s feat with a new face in a now much more crowded and divided field of cookie cutter candidates.

Deace, to his credit, though, a few months after his on air tirade, did offer Santorum the opportunity to sub host for him while on vacation, and Santorum had 3 hours to talk about his book and take calls from listeners. Now, that sounds like a very benevolent gesture for Deace to do that, and I’m not saying it wasn’t. It was a terrific show and Santorum was enlightening, engaging, and winsome. But I have to point out that having Santorum on to talk about his book on Reagan Democrats excused Deace from ever mentioning Santorum’s book on his show. Maybe this was Deace’s olive branch after his own words from two years earlier came back to haunt him, twitter style, or perhaps jog his memory (well, that might be giving him too much credit here) but not once, that I’m aware of, did he ever reference Santorum’s book on any of his shows despite all the positive buzz it was getting on most major talk shows and in political circles. Since the twitterstorm episode, Deace has avoided the words “Reagan Democrats” and oddly refers to them as “blue collar Catholics.” I’m relatively sure that there are quite a few evangelicals and people of other faiths as well as the non-religious who make up that demographic of voter, so renaming these Reagan Democrats as “blue collar Catholics” seems really a bit off the wall. The reality is, Santorum’s book has become the framework for nearly every candidate’s message in the 2016 race.  

 

GO TO PART 3