If you need a cheat-sheet update for your less-politically-addicted relatives, Lizzy Davies at the Guardian has an excellent “beginner’s guide to Rick Santorum“:
Bullets, lube and paper tigers: The ultra-conservative Republican who came good in Iowa has tried out a variety of discomfiting positions
Mitt Romney may have – just – emerged as the victor in Tuesday’s Republican caucus in Iowa but, for many, the night belonged to his rival Rick Santorum, the most socially conservative of all the Republican candidates and a man who once declared: “I just don’t take the pledge. I take the bullets.”
Not one to shy away from making his voice heard, the 53-year-old from Winchester, Virginia, has peppered his political career with divisive pronouncements ranging from the hawkish and reactionary to the plain offensive…
Gay marriage: During the Iowa campaign Santorum explained that not only would he support a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but he would also be in favour of annulling all currently legal same-sex unions. Not that this should come as much of a surprise: in 2003 the devout Catholic provoked outrage by appearing to compare homosexuality with paedophilia and bestiality. “Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman,” he said. “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.”…
Child abuse: Santorum has repeatedly said that the city of Boston’s “liberal culture” played an active role in Catholic child abuse. In 2002 he wrote: “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 centre of the storm.” Santorum did not apologise; three years later, he said he had singled out the city because it was the “epicentre” of the scandal at that time, and, for good measure, added: “I think what I’m saying is that the culture of liberal sexual freedom and the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s had a profound impact on everybody and their sexual mores. It had a profound impact on the church.”
I’m afraid there is no longer any way to discuss Santorum’s career without double-entendres, because he has worked so hard to make it so.
David Corn at Mother Jones invokes “Newt the Destroyer“:
In a bitter and spiteful concession speech last night in Iowa—Kanye West could do no worse—the former House speaker, who finished fourth, signaled a shift in his mission. He would no longer be running to obtain the Republican presidential nomination; he would be campaigning to obliterate Mitt Romney. He would be Sherman; the former Massachusetts governor would be Georgia.
If Gingrich does pursue this march—and there are two debates this weekend in New Hampshire in which Gingrich can be a suicide bomber—Gingrich will be reaching the peak of his 30-year career as a Republican demolition man. And now his target will be the candidate the GOP establishment believes possesses the best chance of unseating President Barack Obama…
From your keyboard to the gods’ ears, Mr. Corn!
And Noreen Malone at NYMagDaily Intel discusses President Obama’s Cordray appointment:
… It’s no coincidence that Obama will announce the appointment this afternoon in Cordray’s home state, which also happens to be the crucial battleground state of Ohio. But it’s also no coincidence that he’s announcing it in the state’s most Democratic district, outside Cleveland — this is a signal to the base, not swing voters. Also, in Intel Noreen’s mind, it’s very exciting that he’s announcing it AT HER HIGH SCHOOL, but that fact is probably less significant to, um, everyone else. Still, she can say with certainty, having attended a number of dances in the very same gym where he’ll be speaking, that upset middle-aged people saying things are “inappropriate” never really stopped anyone from doing what they wanted in there.