July 15, 2005

The ideologue who squeaked

Boston Globe

By Scot Lehigh | July 15, 2005

ON WEDNESDAY, US Senator Rick Santorum had to answer a fundamental question. Is he a man or is he a mouse?

So how did the Pennsylvania Republican decide the issue? Well, here's an audio clue: Squeak, squeak.

The back story: Three years ago, Santorum suggested that Boston's liberalism was to blame for the pedophile scandal rocking the Catholic Church.

Here's what he wrote in an online column back in 2002 -- comments unnoticed back then, but that recently burst into the headlines: ''When the culture is sick, every element of it becomes infected. . . . it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."

Now, Santorum is an ideologue much given to admonishments about the dire consequences of a tolerant culture. He is, for example, one who frets that if states can't prosecute homosexuals for consensual sexual activity that occurs in the privacy of their own homes, the very foundations of Western civilization will crumble. In April of 2003, he warned that if the US Supreme Court didn't uphold a Texas sodomy law under review, ''then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything." It's absurd, of course, to equate decriminalizing sodomy with permitting incest or establishing the right to marry multiple partners. This, then, is a man unable to draw important intellectual distinctions.

Posted by kshaw at July 15, 2005 07:15 AM