Duck! and Gather

Archive for March 2009

In my last posting, I noted that in his lecture last night, Rick Santorum failed to once mention the “elephant in the room” of his talk. Santorum’s talk focused on the threat of radical Islamic fanatics getting hold of nuclear bombs and setting them off in our cities. The elephant in the room of his talk was Pakistan. That is, Santorum went on and on about Iran. But he never so much as even mentioned Pakistan.

In my last posting, I speculated on a reason why he ignored Pakistan. My answer is that Santorum has a gaping blind spot arising from his Christian fundamentalism. This post seeks to explore that answer further.

We start by noting that Santorum’s focus on Iran, and his ignoring of Pakistan, mirrors the public approach of Israel to those two countries. Indeed, in his talk, Santorum cited Israel’s positions on Iran to buttress his own arguments.

Like Santorum, Israel doesn’t have much to say about Pakistan either. Isn’t that interesting? Here is Pakistan, the home of the very sort of crazy Muslim fanatics who want to “push Israel into the sea” and to smite the “Great Satan” that is America. And here is Pakistan, an unstable country that has dozens of nuclear bombs.

To any citizen concerned with nuclear winter being caused by crazy religious nut-jobs, Pakistan is Ground Zero.

But not to Rick Santorum. Nor to Israel. Why is that?

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Went to a lecture tonight given by Rick Santorum at Stanford. My mother-in-law invited me. So I said: “Why not?”

Last I heard about Santorum was during those days when the Christian fundamentalists we’re pushing for a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. I remember Santorum being quoted comparing gay sex with bestiality in his arguments against gay marriage. So heading to the lecture tonight, my expectations for this particular fellow were rather low.

But he exceeded my low expectations. In fact, I was impressed by him. I mean, having served as a “hatchet” guy for the reactionaries in Congress, I was surprised to learn that, since he was booted out of the Senate in 2006, Santorum has spent his time boning up on history, and engaging his intellectual enemies. Quite admirable of him.

Made me feel even better about America than before. I mean, here was a true believer of the reactionaries. A genuine fire-breathing asshole. And yet, in person, he comes across as nothing but a passionate, well-read, harmless goober, with a certain charm. If that’s a “bad” guy in America circa 2009, then this is one great country.

Well, this is all by way of saying that, boy, this dude seems to be missing something huge. It’s like this huge thing is sitting in his blind spot. He reads, and reads, and reads. He talks, and talks, and talks. He listens, and listens, and listens. And yet this huge thing is still in his blind spot.

Why can’t he see it? I think the reason for it is his own personal fundamentalism. I suspect that that aspect of him blinds him to the most obvious things.

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for the money has gone too far

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March 2009