MORE SANTORUM….A few more miscellaneous thoughts about the Rick Santorum flap:

  • One of the remarkable things about the Santorum interview is that as short as it is, virtually every single paragraph has something to shake your head at. I kept seeing post after post from different bloggers along the lines of “Yeah, that was bad, but did you catch this sentence!?”

    Sure, you’ve got the whole “gay sex leads to incest” angle that started it, but you’ve also got the “man on dog” thing, the priestly pedophile thing, the “gays are OK but gay sex isn’t” thing, the whole “right to privacy is bogus” thing ? and all this in only about a thousand words! Give the man credit for pithiness if nothing else.

  • Santorum’s main beef relied on a “slippery slope” argument: if the government can’t ban gay sex, then it also can’t ban incest, bigamy, or adultery. This reminds me of why I dislike slippery slope arguments so much: they rely on the unspoken assumptions that (a) all arguments will eventually be followed to their most extreme conclusion, and (b) there are people whose ultimate goal is to gain acceptance of those extreme positions.

    In some cases ? abortion opponents and gun control advocates come to mind ? there really are people hoping to use a small change as a thin wedge toward a more radical goal, but this isn’t one of those cases: no one is lobbying for legalization of incest or bigamy. And even if there were, God endowed us with the common sense to ignore them if we want to. Life is all about competing rights, and acceptance of a right to privacy doesn’t imply that it trumps every other societal interest. Santorum ought to be bright enough to realize that.

    (Adultery, on the other hand, does seem to have considerable support, doesn’t it? Hmmm….)

  • In my first post on this I suggested (again) that gay rights could be a good campaign topic. Jay Caruso, however, thinks I’m probably wrong: “I know people that are as anti-gay as people can get, but wouldn’t be caught dead voting for a Republican.” My assumption was that the stone homophobes were mostly Republican voters already, so a Democratic candidate had nothing to lose by bringing it up. But maybe not.

It’s nice to see that a couple of Republican Senators have now criticized Santorum, but since the two are Olympia Snowe and Lincoln Chafee, part of the tiny “I vote like a Democrat but for some reason I’m actually a Republican” crowd, it probably doesn’t mean much.

And the president? No comment, of course, since he’s smart enough to know what’s good for him. Which is exactly why I think that trying to force him to comment is such a good idea.

UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds has an entertaining post about the Santorum mess. In addition to everything else, he wants to know why Santorum is so damn incoherent. So: he’s both pithy and incoherent! A winning combination for a politician.