Rick Santorum Wants to Save Us From Barack Obama

Fear and loathing on the campaign trail

“That is a fundamentally different country than our founders set up,” he continues, his eyes somberly scanning the crowd. “For the first time in the history of the world, we were going to have a structure of government that said the people are the ones who have rights, not the sovereign. And where do those rights come from?”He asks this rhetorically, but the crowd is so in sync with the message that they respond out loud. “God,” they murmur in unison.

“Right. God,” Santorum says softly. “The Constitution recognized rights that are inalienable. That God has given us.”

After the talk, Santorum stands outside the restaurant, shaking hands. Joe Wilson’s mother-in-law appears, and Santorum raises his eyebrows in a playful “How’d I do?” expression.

She grabs his hand and smiles. Santorum may be preaching to the converted, but the converted are clearly happy to sit and listen to the sermon.

GOOGLE THE NAME “Rick Santorum,” and among the first results you get — before his PAC, before the column he’s been writing for the Inquirer since 2007, second only to his Wikipedia entry — is a link to a website called Spreadingsantorum.com. There, the word “Santorum” is defined as — please skip the rest of this sentence if you’re the prudish type — “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.” The definition is courtesy of edgy syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who seven years ago, in the wake of some notorious comments Santorum made about a Supreme Court homosexuality case (Santorum argued that using the right to privacy to allow homosexual sex opened the door to any kind of consensual sex, including “man on dog”), challenged his readers to concoct an appropriately mocking new meaning for the Senator’s surname. They didn’t disappoint.

Santorum’s “Google problem,” as it’s become known, is a reminder of just how much of a punch line, at least among liberals, Rick Santorum had morphed into by the time he left the Senate in the first days of 2007. And maybe not just liberals. In the 2006 election, even the conservative blue-collar voters who were the bedrock of Santorum’s base seemed to abandon him, giving Democrat Bob Casey Jr. a yawning 18-point win (the gap in this area was anywhere from 24 points in Delaware and Montgomery counties to an astonishing 68 points in Philadelphia) and presaging the great wave of anti-Republicanism that would sweep Barack Obama into office in 2008.

Four years after being told to take a hike, however, Rick Santorum is not only back on the public stage, but boldly, unexpectedly — okay, some might say psychotically — eyeing the biggest prize of all: the White House. Since January, Santorum has made more than a dozen trips to early primary states Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, spreading the love for conservative candidates there and laying the groundwork for a potential presidential run in 2012.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 < Previous Next >View as One Page

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • James

    I didn’t subscribe to Philadelphia Magazine to get right wing propaganda. If I did, I would have subscribed to NewsMax and National Review.

  • John

    BigCheese…propaganda. This article reads like journalism – very rare these days.

  • Scott

    Philadelphia Magazine, when did you move so far right ? what a disgusting article from a disgusting individual

  • DEBORAH

    What is wrong with Phily Mag wrining a nice article about Rick Santorum!! Does the Left Wing Media have the right to bash any canadate simpley because they have a different political belief. What a re