I haven’t blogged much about the continuing anti-Mensa fest that has been the Republican primary moronathon. It just seemed too easy and I don’t want to be seen as someone who would pick on a political party riding the short bus off the side of the cliff. My general take has been that the republican power-brokers in their smoke-filled rooms had decided 2012 was a lost cause; so why waste any serious contenders. I mean…Newt, Rick, Mitt, Ron, Babs and the other Rick?? Really? The only other plan might be that they think these tools will so frustrate the lotus-eaters at the rnc convention that they could broker-in Jeb (…oh god…you don’t think they’d pull a Palin do ya…?)
Anywho, I’ve already unleashed on the Newt and he’s destroyed himself, by being himself, as I prayed to the good Buddha that he would. Bullet dodged. I’ve never really worried about Mitt; he’s just a post-modern version of a pro-business, anti-all of us, gilded age tool of the overlords. We’ve had them before, and they can’t really do that much damage. But, Holy Shit Batman – Santorum scares the bejesus outta me! This guy is a real life demagogue (they’re much more rare than you’d think), a pure reactionary, with all the insane self-confidence of a true sociopath. My hope is that the media wrote him off early and have let him slide, but after his super (as in super scary) Tuesday victories…it’s time for the Palin haters of the lame-stream media to get their socialist agenda notebooks out!
…and they have, good work fellow travellers!
Rick Santorum spent much of last week saying that the media should stop pigeon-holing him as a social-issues culture warrior. Then he spent the weekend saying a whole lot of things that made him sound like … a social-issues culture warrior. The highlights:
1. At a Tea Party event in Columbus, Santorum said that President Obama is pushing an environmental agenda that is “not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology.” Santorum later insisted that this was not meant to question Obama’s Christianity—“If the president says he’s a Christian, he’s a Christian.” And indeed, the uproar over the comments seems misplaced—it appears that Santorum was not wading into Obama-as-Muslim territory but simply trafficking in standard arch-conservative fare about godless liberal environmentalists. (He doubled down later by charging that environmentalists “elevate Earth above man.”) But he did not help himself by bringing in the t-word. Why not leave it at “ideology” instead? Especially given that Santorum’s Savonarola-esque theological views were already back in the news with MSNBC’s report of Santorum’s 2008 comments about main-line Protestantism being “gone from the world of Christianity.” Oops, there goes the southern vote!
2. At a Christian Alliance luncheon in Columbus, Santorum said that the government’s requirement that health insurance cover pre-natal testing amounted to government promotion of abortions. “One of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing in every insurance policy in America. Why? Because it saves money in health care. Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done, because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.” This is obviously a matter close to the heart for Santorum, whose 3-year-old daughter Bella was born with Trisomy 18. But coming in the midst of all the Republican talk against birth control and for mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking abortions…it’s not exactly likely to minimize the notion of Santorum as modern woman’s worst nightmare.
3. At a megachurch in Georgia last night, Santorum not-so-obliquely compared the threat Barack Obama posed to the country to the rise of fascism in the 1930s. “Your country needs you. It’s not as clear a challenge. Obviously, World War II was pretty obvious. At some point, they knew. But remember, the Greatest Generation, for a year and a half, sat on the sidelines while Europe was under darkness, where our closest ally, Britain, was being bombed and leveled, while Japan was spreading its cancer all throughout Southeast Asia. America sat from 1940, when France fell, to December of ’41, and did almost nothing. Why? Because we’re a hopeful people. We think, ‘Well, you know, he’ll get better. You know, he’s a nice guy. I mean, it won’t be near as bad as what we think. This’ll be okay.’ Oh yeah, maybe he’s not the best guy, and after a while, you found out things about this guy over in Europe, and he’s not so good of a guy after all.”
Such remarks confound the pundits, who cannot fathom why Santorum would keep veering off a pre-Michigan script that that was supposed to be geared toward the economy, manufacturing in particular. What this reflects, though, is a misconception grounded in our lack of experience with true political ideologues. We talk a lot these days about Washington having been overtaken by conservative ideologues, but this is an exaggeration. Many of those glibly parroting right-wing ideology these days—say, Eric Cantor—are mere opportunists. But Rick Santorum is a rare breed—a bona fide ideologue with a fixed and coherent world view. He can’t just switch some button and turn off the social stuff and talk jobs instead. It’s all woven together. “I’m not going to go out and lay out an agenda about how we’re going to transform people’s hearts,” he said today. “But I will talk about it.”
The contrast with Mitt Romney, the man who is all buttons and switches, couldn’t be any greater. In The Real Romney, the new biography by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, Romney’s longtime aide Eric Fehrnstrom is quoted saying that Romney is “not a very notional leader. He is more interested in data and what the data mean.” The authors correctly take this as a fairly revealing statement, an acknowledgment that Romney lacks much in the way of guiding ideas, theories, philosophy. Whereas Santorum is all about notions, particularly one very big one: we’re going downhill fast, in more ways than one, and can be saved only by a theology—the non-phony one.
Bonus Quotes! Caution, very scary stuff… read with a friend!
On the Catholic Church’s abuse scandals: “Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.”
On same sex marriage and bestiality: “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality…” Sorry, can’t even bring myself to type the rest of the quote.
On the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision to approve same sex marriage: “This is an issue just like 9/11. We didn’t decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?”
…Rick!, ya might wanna google “full faith and credit,” its from that contstitution thingy
On the link between same sex marriage and national security: “I would argue that the future of America hangs in the balance, because the future of the family hangs in the balance. Isn’t that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?”
On the war in Iraq: “As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It’s being drawn to Iraq. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the eye to come back to the United States.”
On contraception: “Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”
On the Affordable Care Act: “I would tell you that my first priority as a president of the United States is to repeal Barack Obama’s healthcare plan. I think it’s the most dangerous piece of legislation, well, in many generations. It is the reason that I’m running for office. Because I believe Obamacare is a game changer. I believe Obamacare will rob America, the best way I can put it is, rob America of its soul.”
On President Obama’s pro-choice stance: “I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”
On global warming: “I believe the earth gets warmer, and I also believe the earth gets cooler, and I think history points out that it does that and that the idea that man through the production of CO2, which is a trace gas in the atmosphere and the man-made part of that trace gas is itself a trace gas, is somehow responsible for climate change is, I think, just patently absurd when you consider all of the other factors, El Niño, La Niña, sunspots, you know, moisture in the air.”
You as scared as I am now? I need a hug (while they’re still legal)