The Washington Post’s E.J Dionne shares his opinion…
Santorum: Weird extremism, or shrewd politics?
By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Just when you thought that Rick Santorum had gone as far toward social-issue right as he possibly could, he takes several steps farther off the edge. His statement that John F. Kennedy’s historic 1960 speech on religious tolerance made him want to “throw up” and his declaration that President Obama is a “snob” for wanting kids to go to college took him to places that even very conservative Republicans dare not go.
It’s true that Santorum’s criticism of Kennedy’s speech echoes views common on the Catholic right. (For one of the very best and most thoughtful discussions of JFK’s speech, check out the transcript of this excellent event at Fordham University’s Center on Religion and Culture.)
But Santorum’s rather disgusting “throw up” line was, to say the least, very un-presidential. And if Santorum is seeking votes in Michigan today from older Catholic Reagan Democrats — and Catholics who converted to the GOP in the Gipper’s time — attacking the nation’s first and only Catholic president seemed very unwise. Many of these voters were once John F. Kennedy Democrats.
He polarizes people, that Rick Santorum (why else the Google bombing on his name?)
Observers wedded to a horse race or cock-fight model of the process (which is, I think, a fair view) are licking their lips at the drama of Mitt Romney’s ‘inevitability’ as GOP candidate being roiled.
Shades of the Hilary Clinton vs Obama primary contest.
I love observing American politics (…when it doesn’t make me want to throw up).