Well, he survived the debate and we're all breathlessly awaiting the results from Michigan and Arizona, to see if this marvelous theater will go on. My own fascination with Rick Santorum is partly rooted in the fell prediction that Papa Robert Heinlein made, in his future history, way back in the 1950s... that a fundamentalist preacher would win the presidency on a court decision, without a plurality (sound like 2000?) and thereupon clamp down a theocracy as "Prophet of the Lord." That character was named Nehemia Scudder and it all happens in 2012.
But in fact, I do not expect Rick to win the nomination, this time around. That is because Republicans always follow a very precise pattern in their nominations.
(1) if there is a recent or sitting Vice President available and running, they always choose him. (In fairness, the dems do that too, almost as consistently.)
(2) If there is no available veep, they then nominate the guy whose "turn it is." The fellow who came in second for the nomination last time. Reagan in 1980, Dole in '96, McCain in 2008, etc. Hence, following that rule, it will be Romney in 2012…
...only dig it... that means Santorum in 2016. Was Heinlein off by only a little bit? I'll conclude this series with a comment on that. Including a prediction for how the GOP base will deal with it when -- the very second after he is nominated -- Mitt Romney instantly charges for the Center as fast as he can.
But first, let's get back to Rick Santorum, the gift that keeps on giving.
= Rick's Roll Goes On and On... =
What's he been saying lately?
State and federal governments should not have a role in operating schools.
No abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Women should "make the best out of a bad situation."
Birth control is "harmful to women."
The government should ban or refuse to pay even for pre-natal testing.
When Santorum's press secretary, Alice Stewart, called Obama a "radical islamist" to an open mike, was that just an innocent slip of the tongue? Or an inadvertent, but Freudian-honest rolling-out of what she - and many Santorum supporters - commonly say and believe in private?
And it goes on. Did Rick call Obama Hitler? See how he denies it... then weaves a draw-your-own-conclusions tapestry that inescapably says exactly that.
= "Fairness" is When YOU Want More... =
"Just like we have certifying organizations that accredit a college, we'll have certifying organizations that will accredit conservative professors. If you are to be eligible for federal funds, you'll have to provide an equal number of conservative professors as liberal professors." See this interview with Santorum.
So, governments should not operate public schools, and big federal interference is bad... but it should hammer down on colleges to force them to hire 50% conservatives? Wow. What's the principle here, Rick? Fairness and equal time?
Hm... then why do the GOP and Fox scream bloody murder over any mention of restoring the old equal time rule in broadcast news? The notion that the viewers deserve to see and hear rebuttals to outrageously partisan declamations on partisan cable "news" channels?
Why no opposing opinions or rebuttals... at all? That's the policy on Beck, Limbaugh, Fox&Friends, Hannity and so on. Only the resident "adult" at Fox, Bill O'Reilly, has the guts to bring on some guests with challenging viewpoints. Rarely. You say it's the same on the Left? Not. Jon Stewart has more opposition guests on his one show than the entire Fox network. He treats them courteously and hawks their books. They come back often and eagerly! There's a word for what Stewart does. It is Courage.
And thus, those who do the opposite are cowards.
Heck, I'd settle for a 10% rule, because having tough, smart opposition voices just that often on Fox would demolish their hypnotic trance. Rupert and Roger desperately fear the day their captive audience might hear alternative viewpoints. Or even -- (shudder) -- facts.
It seems that "equal time" is right and proper, depending entirely on who is getting "equalized."
Oh but I saved the best for last. It is by far the most important aspect to all of this, even though it will strike many of you as troglodytic and obscure. Because it shows where millions of our neighbors have been wandering, in their minds and in their increasingly fury-drenched attitude towards the rest of us.
= The role of religion: Rallying the faithful... vs the majority =
Here's the part that Rick Santorum considers paramount. And so we should take his word on that and spare the time to pay close attention, because the moral and logical essence is astonishing.
Santorum proclaimed that mainstream Protestantism is "gone from the world of Christianity" -- thereby dismissing all of the communions who are members of the National Council of Churches as heretical, and thus classifying - by inclusion - all Americans who abide by mainstream Protestant sects such as Lutherans, Episcopalians and Methodists. By all means. link to hear his speech laying out how Satan personally seeks to destroy America, and has so far succeeded in corrupting our colleges and our mainstream Protestant churches:
"And so what we saw was this domino effect, once the colleges fell and those who were being educated in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic. Sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it."
What a guy! I'd be delighted... at one purely political level... if I weren't also terrified. This, after all, being the year that Papa Heinlein forecast the election of a radical fundamentalist "prophet of the lord" named Nehemiah Scudder.
Woof. How do you answer stuff like that? Is the intention of all this to make half of Americans view the other half as purely satanic enemies? For it is no less than that. Can the United States of America govern itself when we're no longer arguing over negotiated policy solutions, but over pure and essential damnation?
Before you shrug, consider what this means. These folks try not to say it before an open mike, but their pastors (e.g. of Sarah Palin's church in Wassila) make plain that they both pray for and expect all of the events described in the Book of Revelation (BoR) to befall us in the very near future, and that those who do not hold to their exact doctrines are inherently in for grotesque torment and eternal damnation. (Do, by all means, read Revelation and see what they pray for, including "fire from the sky," lavish agony for the vast majority of us, and an end to all democracy and to the United States of America.)
Many of us were already used to being consigned to that category by the BoR-fetishists. Only now Rick makes it clear -- it includes a majority of his fellow citizens.
But let's return to that bit about Satan personally having it in for the good old USA. Consider it logically.
Let's suppose that someone, say Satan -- (or else an immensely rich foreign royal family with its eye on ending and replacing Pax Americana) -- did conspire and plot to see the U.S. ruined. Would the devil -- or those princes -- not want exactly this volcanic fury vented by Rick Santorum and his allies?
Raging, hate-propelled civil war? Demonizing our neighbors over any disagreement? An end to all chance for Americans to negotiate with one another as free minds, willing to learn and adapt in the face of evidence? To make us incapable of negotiating with our neighbors as calm adults.
Wasn't that our strength, the eager optimism of our song?
And who'll be laughing with delight the day that music dies?