Monday, February 27, 2012

Some (Last?) Thoughts About Santorum

I found a lot to like in Andrew Sullivan's denunciation of Rick Santorum's theological conservatism. There were two things I thought were worth critically discussing. The first was his characterization of Santorum's faith:
he is not a man of questioning, sincere faith and should not be flattered as such. He is a man of the kind of fear that leads to fundamentalist faith, a faith without doubt and in complete subservience to external authority.
I like that "questioning, sincere faith" fits together as a phrase to Andrew -- I like people for whom this makes sense more than those for whom it doesn't. But I fear the latter are much more common than the former.

On a more tactical note, I wondered if anything like this actually works:
For now we can see in plain view the religious fanaticism that has destroyed one of the major parties in this country, a destruction that is perilous for any workable politics. It must be defeated - and not by electing a plastic liar and panderer like Romney. But by nominating Santorum and defeating him by such a margin that this theo-political Frankenstein, which threatens both genuine faith and civil politics, is dispatched once and for all.
Is this actually a dynamic that has any chance of working? If the Republican Party loses with Santorum, will the forces he represents really be dispatched? Or will Republicans dig themselves deeper into a hole of fanaticism and paranoia, inventing strange new theories that blame traitorous party moderates for the loss and continuing to nominate extremists? I'd expect Fox and Limbaugh to lead them the latter way.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter that much with Romney coasting towards the nomination, but I thought it was worth talking about. (Edit: maybe this sentence should sound less certain about Romney's chances -- I weary of predictions.)
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