With good news on the economic front, you had to know the Republicans would activate Plan B – for bigotry. So, ladies and gentlemen, we give you the quintessential bigot, former senator Rick Santorum. I am sure I don’t have to tell you this far-right crusader is the GOP flavor of the month – or at least of the day. If you own a TV you know that Santorum won all three Republican contests last night and the pundits are proclaiming him a serious contender for the party’s presidential nomination.
In a rational world, such an idea would be unthinkable. But how many American voters think?
A lot of them might vote for Santorum in November if he gets the nomination. They’ve voted for him before.
Pennsylvanians sent him to Congress in 1990 and to the U.S. Senate in 1994. They didn’t get sick of him till the Obama sweep of 2008.
Santorum makes no secret of his beliefs. He keeps reminding Republicans that he is a true conservative. And he is – if you define “conservative” as intolerant. A devout Roman Catholic, he is so anti-abortion that he believes rape victims should bear their rapist’s child. Naturally, he is getting a lot of traction from the Obama Administration’s recent ruling that requires employers – including religious organizations – to provide free contraceptives for female employees.
He is aggressively intolerant of gays, and opposes same-sex marriage as an abomination. He is reliably far-right on such issues as immigration, welfare and national defense. He disputes evolution and scoffs at the idea that pollution is a major contributor to climate change.
The UK Guardian portrayed him this way::
Social conservatism has been the most defining factor in Santorum’s political and personal life…. As a senator, Santorum became a vibrant symbol of the power of the religious right and by 2005 was named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelists in America. Santorum has raised doubts about the theory of evolution and wants a constitutional ban on gay marriage. He has called the scientific evidence behind global warming “junk” and “patently absurd”. He opposes abortion even in cases of rape.
He also opposes diversity. The Guardian notes that he warned an Iowa meeting that “if we celebrate diversity, we create conflict,” and accused President Obama of “un-American activities.”
What do you think those code words mean – “diversity” and “un-American”? I think they are signals to the racist element still festering in right-wing America. I think that when Santorum talks about his “stark contrasts” to Barack Obama, he isn’t talking just about policies, he is talking about skin color. Or at least that’s how some Republicans hear it.
I shudder to contemplate the possibilites when I read that a Rasmussen national poll puts Santorum ahead of the president 45% to 44%.
But the prospect of a Santorum presidency is unthinkable. Isn’t it?