Breaking: Rick Santorum said something stupid

You guys, I know we're all scared about leaving 2011 behind for 2012 and prepping for the Apocalypse (TM) Starring Lloyd Dobler and all that. But I swear, this year is totally not gonna be all that different! You see, it's almost 24 hours into January 1st, and the sun is still rising and the stars are still shining in the sky and HuffPo is still running approximately 10.5 stories about Kim Kardashian's beach body and former senator/GOP candidate Rick Santorum is still saying unbelievably stupid and offensive shit: except this time, he's saying that President Obama should be pro-life because he's African-American. Welcome to the New Year, y'all!

Recently, an interview with CNS from January 2011 surfaced on BuzzFeed in which Santorum, who is currently surging in the Iowa polls, implied that Obama should be anti-choice because of his race, questioning the president's position by stating that the issue of personhood shouldn't even be up for debate. During the interview, Santorum, who is a proponent of a constitutional ban on abortion, stated the following:

"The question is...is that human life a person under the constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well, if that human life is not a person then...I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, 'Now, we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.'"

To which, I would of course respond with a big fat LOLcat-style: ORLY, Rik? Bcuz not only does that statement not make any sense to a human being whose veins are not teeming with Hate Juice, but I find it almost remarkable for a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter to decide who counts as a person under constitutional law, and who doesn't count as a person. Last I checked, what comes out of your butt after a hot and sweaty bout of anal penetrative intercourse does not have any constitutional rights, and should therefore not go on television with his lavendar shirt and spray-on hair, declaring to other people what they should be doing with their own bodies. In short, I iz not amused. 

Commentarium (21 Comments)

Jan 02 12 - 12:15pm
Observer

What is it about Santorum that makes the already dim nerve writers become positively moronic?

You see, we have this national stain in the Constitution that valued the slaves - they were from African and are the ancestors of many of today's African Americans - at less than a whole person. Also, abortions in the US end the lives of African American babies at a rate far outweighed by the proportion of the population that is African American.

I am looking forward to the articles written by the SF Zoo monkey. Surely they will be written with more intellectual content than this story.

Sorry you couldn't cobble together a story without the name-calling worthy of a 16 year old boy ("I like to call Santorum names because he opposes homosexual marriage and I'm going to do it the way my idiotic friend Dan Savage does it! Aren't I cool?") but you really should give being professional a shot. You'll probably fail but it's all about the effort.

Jan 02 12 - 12:18pm
Roy Lee Harwell

At least EJ Dickson has the courage to sign their name to their work, as opposed to trolls like you that hide behind an anonymous handle.

Jan 02 12 - 10:27pm
Observer

Yes, because people who write online always use their actual names. Moron.

Jan 03 12 - 10:29am
Roy Lee Harwell

Well, the author of the Nerve article did. Of course you don't, because you don't have the cojones. YOu only have the gumption to name-call, a sure sign of the defeated.

Jan 06 12 - 3:00am
Observer

How sure are you that the author used her real name, dumbass?

Jan 08 12 - 9:39pm
EJ Dickson

Because I did. :-)

Jan 02 12 - 1:20pm
profrobert

@Observer makes the point that Santorum likely was trying to make, albeit that Santorum was typically inarticulate and hypocritical. In the 1960s, reproductive choice was supported by many otherwise-conservative Republicans (remember that Catholics, who were always opposed to abortion, were largely Democratic supporters -- Al Smith and JFK were both Democrats). There was legitimate concern in the black community that "birth control" was aimed at the poor, and thus at much of their community, in order to hold down their numbers. Indeed, it had to be marketed to them as "family planning" rather than "birth control," because the latter sounded like "controlling the black population."

I assume that was the point that Santorum was ineptly trying to make. I think the real criticism of his comment (besides how stupidly he phrased it) is that it is hypocritical. He says that it's "remarkable" that a black man (who, BTW, is actually half black and half white; let us pause to consider the implied racism there) would want to define who is and is not a person. Yet Santorum, who is white, feels perfectly fine supporting a constitutional amendment that does just that, defines fertilized ova as "people." So the true implication of Santorum's remarks is that it's the job of white people like him to define who's a person, not something that black people should have a say in. Yup, that seems pretty consistent from a guy who compares sex between consenting same-sex adults with sex with an animal. He's all about denying the humanity of others. I won't deny that Santorum is a human person, but he is a disgrace as one.

Jan 02 12 - 2:40pm
Silent Dogood

I agree with Observer. Santorum has been unfairly treated by the media and society because he follows his religion and believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. You realize that he has the same right to believe in this as those who believe in gay marriage, right? When the liberal media (and let's face it, Nerve is not objective, they are clearly liberal) hears something that doesn't agree with their own line of thought, then they go on a barrage to decimate that person's character. Does everyone see the hypocrisy in this?

The comment that caused Dan Savage and a majority of people to go into hysterics is "Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. 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." Clearly, he was just listing scenarios not to equate them to homosexuality, but to emphasize his point that marriage is between a man and a woman. I do not believe that he worded this correctly, but I do not see how it is fair to defame a man to the point where santorum has come to be defined by a disgusting sexual act because he believes in something different from you.

Let's talk about this video. First of all, it is not the entire interview so you do not know what was said afterward. Secondly, the point Santorum is trying to make is that once upon a time, politicians and society believed that under the Constitution black people were not people. The issue at hand is that many believe that under the Constitution, it is a debate as to whether or not a fetus is considered a person. Santorum is simply highlighting what he believes to be an irony.

Overall, Santorum's treatment and subsequent reputation is a result of ignorance and extreme bias on the behalf of liberals. He believes in marriage between a man and a woman, and will fight to protect it. Okay. Sounds a lot like those who are fighting to allow gay marriage. Santorum said black man to emphasize a historical irony in Obama's decision making. Okay, so what? I am not exactly sure what Nerve wants to be, but to say that Rick's Santorum statement was stupid is stupid in itself and does not give this blog/news source any credibility. The fact that the article is about Santorum saying something about Obama being black, and then follows this up by making fun of Santorum for his beliefs in traditional marriage, is pathetic.

I am not saying that Santorum is a saint. In fact, I have been a democratic voter for the last 27 years and plan on voting for Obama next year. However, I do believe in fair treatment and equality. Santorum has clearly not been afforded this simply because his views are extremely traditional and religious, which contrast from an extremely liberal society and media. But my point is: dislike him, hate his policies, but do so with evidence and facts. Santorum was not saying that Obama should be pro life because he is African American, he is simply saying it is ironic. For everyone to hate on Santorum for his beliefs and for what he says, instead of highlighting the flaws in his policies directly, is one of the major fallacies of logic - ad hominem.

The treatment of Santorum by regular people and by media (such as Nerve) shows me that our country has much bigger problems. We are unintelligent, hypocritical, and savage if the only way we can disagree with a person is by defining him as a "frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter" and state the he says things when he doesn't really. Everyone needs to grow up and mature. It's not healthy.

Jan 02 12 - 3:14pm
julian

Well said.

Jan 02 12 - 4:00pm
profrobert

Here's the full transcript. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-04-23-santorum-excerpt_x.htm Here's the pull-quote:

"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 —

"AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

"SANTORUM: And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire."

I read that as him saying homosexual acts are not one of these other things, but they are all of a kind that the government can and should forbid because each of them undermines his view of marriage. In other words, the same legal/moral theory that allows the government to criminalize bestiality allows it to criminalize homosexual acts.

@Silent Dogood, I appreciate the serious, thoughtful comment, but I disagree with it to the extent that is suggests that personal values of political candidates are not legitimate targets of criticism. I condemn Santorum both for his general political policies, with which I vehemently disagree, and also for whatever of his personal philosophy leads him to conclude that homosexual acts between consenting adults can and should be banned under the same legal and moral theory by which government bans acts of bestiality.

Jan 02 12 - 5:06pm
Silent Dogood

@profrobert - I appreciate the feedback. I am not sure if I got this across effectively, but the point of my comment wasn't to say that the personal values of political candidates are not legitimate targets of criticism. In fact, I completely support that because it affects their policies, views, and leadership. However, the crux of my argument was that Santorum's personal values are not being criticized in a legitimate manner. Look at the final paragraph of the above article for example. He is consistently bashed and made fun of to an extreme. I hate to say it, but perhaps Santorum is correct in saying that there is a "gay jihad" against him. When there is a blog devoted to "Spreading Santorum" and almost every liberal commentator simply insults Santorum, it weakens the argument against his views.

Furthermore, I do not think he was equating homosexuality directly to bestiality. I think he was using what has become known as the "Floodgate Argument". In this country all legal decisions are based mostly on legal precedent. In Santorum's view, if traditional marriage is redefined to include gay marriage, then how can you stop any other definitions of marriage? To exaggerate his point, I believe Santorum was just thinking off the top of his head, trying to name the most extreme examples. What if someone wanted to marry their dog? What if they wanted marriage to be between three people? etc. I think it was somewhat an innocent comment on Santorum's behalf, that was taken very offensively by many. Nothing wrong in that, but they should criticize him intelligently instead of this whole santorum stuff.

Jan 03 12 - 9:22am
profrobert

@Silent Dogood: I agree that the last paragraph of the post undercuts the effect of the criticism of the substance of what Santorum said about Obama. (Although, I will be candid and admit that as a general matter, I've enjoyed the vilification and obvious discomfort it causes Santorum. As I said above, I think he's a disgrace as a human being, and I have no qualms about name-calling against him or turning his name into a national joke. He brought this on himself with his hate speech.)

In this thread, I've been trying to address the substance of what Santorum says and to articulate why I find him and his choice of words so deeply offensive -- by contrast, there are people who are anti-abortion or anti-Roe with whom I disagree, but I respect their principles and how they express them, and of course, on same-sex marriage, Obama is opposed to it (well, at least until November 7, 2012!), but I understand, even if I don't like, the political expediency of taking that position.

I don't think Santorum's remarks were innocently made, but if they were, he's had over eight years since that interview to correct, clarify, amplify or otherwise explain them. I understand that it's a "floodgates" or "slippery slope" argument -- that's what's so offensive! The idea that legalization of same-sex marriage or even of just private, homosexual acts between consenting adults somehow logically opens the door to requiring legalization of incest, polygamy or bestiality is not simply poor and misguided logic; it is simply insulting. @road. tedscuri below illustrates some of the differences. Incest and polygamy are in many, many cases not consensual, or where consent is obtained only by a power dynamic such that it makes sense to prohibit those practices. And of course it should be needless to say that a dog is not a consenting adult -- needless to say to anyone except Rick Santorum.

Jan 03 12 - 10:47am
Sy Ding

"Incest and polygamy are in many, many cases not consensual, or where consent is obtained only by a power dynamic such that it makes sense to prohibit those practices."

Marriage consent in many, many cases (and indeed through much of history as well) is obtained only by a power dynamic. We don't see marriage being banned.

Jan 03 12 - 11:09am
completely

I actually find the argument "If gay marriage can exist, why can't polygamous marriage?" quite compelling. There are many cases where polygamy is not consensual, but increasing numbers of cases where it is. Obviously there are many more legal hurdles there (changing marriage from two people to multiple, equally powered people would make divorce, custody, parenthood etc. significantly more complicated) than there were with gay marriage, and of course it has a sordid history and a much higher "ick" factor. But tedscuri him/herself says "you cannot equate molestation, rape... with consensual sex between consenting adults of any number." (Yes, s/he said "two consenting adults," but I am assuming that this was written semi-automatically... tedscuri, you are welcome to correct me.) I cannot, personally, think of an ideological reason consenting polygamy should not be legal. I would not be surprised if, in the next 50-100 years, the idea of polygamous marriage works into the political consciousness.

Oh, and incestuous marriage is actually legal in more states than homosexual marriage, under varying conditions. So it's a little late to use that in a slippery slope argument.

Jan 03 12 - 4:41pm
Sy Ding

completely, I agree. If the definition of marriage is extended to include homosexual union then it must also be extended to include polygamy. There are legitimate medical/scientific reasons why incest (and bestiality, for that matter) should not , however, be considered.

Profrobert, I find some of your arguments to be reasonable, but others lack validity.

Jan 03 12 - 8:37pm
robert paulsen

What a train of horse patties. You people are the biggest lot of self-absorbed wankers I've ever seen.

Jan 04 12 - 9:49am
Hypocrite Watch

"I don't think Santorum's remarks were innocently made, but if they were, he's had over eight years since that interview to correct, clarify, amplify or otherwise explain them."

And so he has, ad infinitum, although he has not gone back eight years to "correct" a relatively meaningless interview with an argumentative AP reporter. To suggest that he do so implies a naivete, to say the least, that is not meaningfull. He has also not changed his position to agree with yours which, you have to admit, is the only thing that would be acceptable to many of his rabid detractors.

Jan 04 12 - 12:26pm
profrobert

I don't expect him to change his position, and I would still oppose his candidacy. What I would expect a decent human being to do is to say something like, "I am sorry that the way I discussed my view that the government can and should prohibit same-sex marriage and same-sex acts suggested that the same rationale applies to the government prohibiting incest or bestiality. A better articulation is simply that I do not believe there is any right to sexual privacy in the constitution, and that government has the right to prohibit any acts other than heterosexual intercourse in the context of marriage. The reason homosexual acts can and should be banned is the same as the reason adultery should be banned or consensual acts of heterosexual sodomy." I don't agree with that formulation, of course, but it is a coherent theory that allows government to prohibit acts between consenting adults generally, rather than analogizing some of those adults to animals or child molesters. It is Santorum's statements that dehumanize or vilifiy homosexuals that I find beyond the pale of acceptable political discourse.

Jan 02 12 - 5:55pm
davy

Why would anyone care about Rick "man on dog" Santorum?

Jan 02 12 - 11:12pm
road. tedscuri

Well, Mr. Man-On-Dog, where your whole analogy falls short is that neither the child nor the dog is a consenting adult, and on those points I agree with you completely that the state has ever right to place limitations on those activities. (Limitations in this case being completely illegal and out of bounds.)

However, you cannot equate a man/child molestation or the rape of a dog or a sheep or a chicken with consensual sex between two consenting adults of any gender combination or number. It is comments like this that make you a complete tool, and distract from any other message you might be trying to get across (be them well-intentioned or not).

Jan 04 12 - 9:51am
Hypocrite Watch

Not sure. You'll have to ask the Iowans who selected him in their caucus, albeit in a tie.