Santorum and me

I haven’t quite ignored the GOP primary as it’s gone through it’s desperate, jumbled array of front runners. But my ears really perked up in early February when Rick Santorum began to move ahead in the polls and rack up electoral and caucus wins, including in Missouri. Over the objections of some of my more strategic friends who perceive Santorum as an extremely weak candidate for a general election, I couldn’t contain my deep-seated revulsion at the prospect of a President Santorum and put up a series of posts on Facebook highlighting some of his more extreme positions and statements:

Ladies, Santorum thinks you’re too emotional and that the best place for you is in the home.

Married ladies, Santorum is very concerned about what you do in your bedroom with your husband.

“One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.” It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

He goes on to describe this as “an important public policy issue.”

Ladies, Santorum wishes you were pregnant. Because that would be good for you – and for society.

Here is Santorum’s own “‘Goddam America’ sermon,” and he delivered it himself. In it he outlines how every institution in America has already been destroyed by Satan; from academia to politics with even the church having already fallen under His sway – not the Catholic church, but “mainline Protestantism” which is in such “shambles” that it is not even Christian any longer.

Santorum said this speech makes him throw up.

Do you want your kids to go to college? Santorum thinks you are a “snob.”

And after Santorum was bested in contests in Michigan and Arizona in part due to losing every category of women voters polled:

Thank you, Ladies! Once again demonstrating your collective good sense.

Discussion ensued in the posts, driven mostly by exchanges between myself and the wonderfully opinionated Steven Campbell. A few commenters engaged to defend Santorum’s positions, but never to profess support for Santorum himself. One interlocutor jestfully defended Santorum’s position on contraception by reminding me of my own large number of beloved siblings. Thinking about my family helped me unearth a motive for my own strategically questionable outpouring on Santorum and I found myself responding thus:

I’m sure my dad would be the first to say he has moved on from quite a lot of stuff since those days; birth control is the least of it. If that counts as a mistake my parents made, it was the one with the happiest consequences. I have 6 loving brothers and sisters, not to mention my own existence. Now I’m hoping to convince any of my siblings that are reading (and you) that Santorum represents and stands for much about that dark, repressed, judgmental worldview that we as a family were all ensnared in and from which our father eventually took courageous steps to lead us free. Maybe that’s why this is so important to me.

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