Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Monday, July 25, 2005

"Missionary Zeal for the Commonweal"

In the softball New York Times Magazine article on Senator Rick Santorum which ran a month or so ago, one of his staffers related that they thought the Senator was something of a "missionary." I agree. The problem is, he was elected to be a politician from the State of Pennsylvania, not a moralizing preacher.

But he is a missionary, there is not doubt of that. He hews to their basic tenants, which can be summed up thusly;

"We are bringing the truth to you heathen savages, whether you like it or not. Whatever you know, or think you know, is wrong. Ours is the one true way. And, by the by, many of you will probably die in the near future, since we have brought with us, not just bibles and the gospel of guilt, but also, many voracious diseases for which you have no immunity. But that's okay, because it is God's will...and ours."

The junior Senator from PA has been anxious to get back in the good graces of his base since his endorsement of Arlen Specter sent them into fits of apoplexy and his new "Bible according to Rick" is nothing more than a very long, hardcover bit of political advertising. After all, it would have been hard to fit all this moronic drivel into a direct mail piece, since the postage would have been way too high. So the trick was to get people to buy his political screed, not just fish it out of their mailboxes. Also, the "earned media" he's getting is part of this parlor trick as well. The more people say he's nutty, the more his base drifts back and forgives him (I mean, they are capable of forgiveness, no?) for his sins.

Let's be clear about one thing. When it comes to politicians, NOTHING they say or do hasn't been vetted or tested or mulled over. Santorum didn't just go off and write this because he always wanted to be an author, or a preist, he (or a equally noxious ghost) wrote this book with a very specific political agenda in mind. Whether it's the first salvo in his nascent Presidential bid, or his last smirking screed as a Senator remains to be seen.