At Santorum’s first stop, in Polk City, the coffee shop’s maximum occupancy was listed as 49, but at least 200 filled the room and 100 more spilled into the street. In the media throng were journalists from Japan, Russia, France, Britain, Italy and Australia. “They weren’t here last week,” a pleased Santorum told the crowd. Enjoy it, Senator. They won’t be here for long. – Dana Milbank

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Alan Colmes is the dumbest Democratic pundit ever to be allowed in front of a camera. For this stupidity alone he should forfeit his seat at the next cool kids cable yakker dinner.

Mediaite captured video of the clash between Colmes and Rick Santorum, which revolved around the death of the Santorums’ prematurely born son. The story is now heating up the debate about Iowa. It will also become a standard caricature of the reaction of Democrats to deeply personal issues on life, which the right will use to bash Democrats, who will then be expected to disavow Colmes, and the beat goes on.

Colmes has apologized, but he’s been talking for a living for a very long time and as a veteran, this type of decision to weigh in on such a personal subject will follow him for a very long time.

This incident defines the ugliness of politics today and is just another reason people are walking away from both parties in droves, though since 2008 Democrats have been hemorrhaging more affiliated voters than Republicans.

Family values are the most important issue to Iowa Evangelicals, with Rick Santorum finally having his turn in the main ring of the Republican circus. It was also made possible by the right’s fear of Iran, which Ron Paul’s candidacy inflamed, and is the favorite foreign policy subject for Republicans in this election.

This is mainly because Pres. Obama has been revealed as a Republican hawk on foreign policy elements, channeling George W. Bush most of the time, leaving the right few lines of attack. If the 2012 election was about foreign policy, Pres. Obama would win in a walk.

It won’t be, which brings up another avenue for Rick Santorum to mine with conservative primary voters, who are desperately looking for someone other than Mitt Romney, while ignoring Ron Paul because being anti-war for the right is worse than a YouTube surfacing showing you beating your mother.

Rick Santorum has been active on poverty issues for most of his life and is the son of a coal miner who can talk about blue collar issues. He got his ass handed to him in his last election, losing by 18 points, but that was at a time when Republicans were out and Santorum’s extreme position on Terry Schiavo obviously didn’t sit well with Democratic Pennsylvania, nor does the reality that Rick Santorum is extreme in his social views, especially where individual rights and freedoms are concerned.

If Santorum could weld his “family values” platform with a blue collar pitch that weaves Christianity and charity with a middle class jobs priority pitch, he might have something, at least to give an honest run at Romney.

Newt Gingrich is about to revive his flame throwing routine, so it would be nice to have a positive candidate taking it to Romney where he’s weakest, but perceived strongest: on middle class and jobs, instead of his executive ownership and Wall Street protection racket platform.

There are whispers out of Iowa that this last event between Lowry and Colmes could give Santorum that last lift needed to land him in the winner’s circle.

However, none of the candidates are of the caliber of Pres. Obama, with Mitt Romney the only Republican who can come close to the campaign needed to take on Barack Obama, who is as formidable a politician as we’ve seen in the modern era, which is how he’s been able to fake Democrats and progressives out of their own party.

People ask all the time where have all the moderate Republicans gone?

They now comprise the bulk of the Democratic Party, with the most famous moderate Republican in America the President himself.