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Can this possibly be for real?

A true-sounding aside from Alex Pareene: “Rick Santorum is the 2016 GOP nomination frontrunner.” It’s true because the runner-up of the last Republican primary always starts off with an advantage. McCain 2008. Dole 1996. Bush 1988. Reagan 1976. Romney looked like the candidate most likely to break the trend, but no longer.

Maybe! This is why I sort-of-but-not-really-but-then-again-maybe-seriously want Rick Santorum to win the nomination this year. The only hope for the future of the Republican Party is to finally nominate the conservative of their dreams and then go down to an epic, ego-shattering defeat. It would, perhaps, pound some sense into them and finally give the party’s moderates the backbone they need to wrest control away from the Limbaugh/Fox/Dobson/Norquist brigade. But if they nominate Romney and lose? Then, once again, it will be because they denied the one true faith. And that could, I suppose, make Santorum the frontrunner for 2016. Buckle up.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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