There is something to that whole "cartoon villain" thing, I believe.
Some among us have noted that Santorum is unpopular in the extreme, even while people like Perry, Bachmann, Cain and Newt have all flourished then floundered in the spotlight. With the notable exception of Saint Ron Paul, he has been the only one completely neglected without reservation by the base. For practical purposes let's discount the like of Rohmer, Huntsman and The Rent is Too Damn High Guy, although Santorum seems to be doomed to languish with the likes of them forever.
Why the fuck is that? On paper, it's an absolute mystery. Santorum should be vastly more popular than he is now- at least beating ROMNEY, of all people- and yet he hovers at a tenuous 3%. What the shit has he done wrong!?
Well, technically, nothing. His Conservative record is nigh unimpeachable- he is the rare flower that reflects absolutely every reactionary party line, without souring deviations like Perry's lack of heartlessness to Immigrants and children's health, Newt's past environmentalism, or Romney's EVERYTHING. He's the One. Why, why, why won't they accept him!? The answer, I believe, is this: Santorum makes the Conservatives uncomfortable about themselves. He's the epitome of "Be careful what you wish for." He's like a mirror that reflects the Ugly of conservatism, unnerving the conservatives themselves. They can't bear to see the embodiment of their ideals, because it scares them to see what they really are without any reservations or self-delusion. Cartoon villain, indeed.