Before any Republican can gear up to defeat Barack Obama in 2012, they must first win over the hardest of their core, the base.

Before any Republican can gear up to defeat Barack Obama in 2012, they must first win over the hardest of their core, the base.

To win over the base, religious pandering and fear-mongering is crucial. And Republican candidate Herman Cain knows the base may be God-fearing, but they're Allah-terrified. That's why he said he will not appoint a Muslim to his Cabinet or to a federal judge position.

It's going to be tough to match that base pandering, but I think Newt Gingrich is up to the challenge.

"I have two grandchildren," Gingrich said. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular, atheist country - potentially one dominated by radical Islamists."

I don't mean to nitpick, but how could a secular, atheist country be dominated by religious extremists? What does an atheist Islamist do, pray five times a day to the god they don't believe exists?

Gingrich has to fight twice as hard for the moral vote because his values voter-cred is somewhat damaged by his value-pack amount of wives. He's working hard to explain past infidelities.

"There's no question that times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I feel about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were inappropriate," he said.

Yes, I strayed. But she was wearing a flag pin; to not have sex would let the terrorists win.

Eventually, they'll have to talk about the economy to win the base. In particular, how abortion has ruined it, as former Sen. Rick Santorum believes.

"The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don't have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies ends in abortion," Santorum said.

Abortion is bad because it reduced the number of young people who can pay for the baby boomers' retirement? You could also make the argument that we wouldn't be in this Social Security predicament if more baby boomers had just been aborted. Or if Hitler had won World War II.

Any candidate can make anti-abortion arguments, but Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour walks the walk of the womb, saying that thanks to Americans United for Life, Mississippi is "the safest state in America for an unborn child."

Interestingly, Mississippi has the highest mortality rate for newborns. Like it says on their license plate, "Mississippi, proud home of the biggest discrepancy between pre- and post-natal health."

For extra base credit, Barber explains why he'd reinstate "don't ask, don't tell."

"When you're under fire you don't need any kind of amorous mindset that can affect saving people's lives and killing bad guys," Barbour said.

Who, in the middle of a firefight, has an amorous mindset?! Besides, wouldn't the guy who has a crush on you be more likely to save your life?