Quin laments the failure of leading conservatives and Republicans to take a stand on the 2012 presidential race. Some of it is indeed a lack of leadership. Witness the social conservative activists who essentially needed the Iowa caucus-goers’ permission to endorse Rick Santorum, despite the former senator’s clear record on family and life issues. Others are not endorsing for the same reason they’re not running themselves — they don’t want to be associated with a losing effort, either in the primaries or in November.
But I suspect there are some prominent conservatives who are hesitant to put their imprimatur on any of the candidates. If you don’t like Santorum’s votes for Bush-era expansions of government, if you don’t agree with Ron Paul on foreign policy, and you don’t feel strongly about which past supporter of cap and trade or the individual mandate gets the nomination, the final four doesn’t hold much appeal to you. Obviously, Republicans have to pick a nominee. But if you are Jim DeMint, for example, you might be reluctant to brand a clear conservative choice.