Iowa has given us a reason to be afraid. Very afraid. It’s not just that people refuse to vote for Mitt Romney because he’s….*gasp*….a politician! It’s that in their pursuit of anyone-but-Romney, they bounce from one increasingly insane option to the next. Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich. They’re all crazy in their own way but it’s a generally harmless crazy because they’re ultimately cartoons.
Iowa just gave us a new kind of crazy, a crazy that’s scary because it actually believes what it says. It’s the kind of crazy that gave us the Crusades and the Salem witch trials. It’s a crazy that earnestly stares you in the eyes and tells you that it cares about you while inserting a knife between your ribs and watching the life drain out of you. And it means every word it says.
As America woke up the day after the Iowa caucuses, I’m sure a fair amount of people scratched their heads and wondered who exactly this Rick Santorum guy is. And the truth is, Santorum is still defining himself…although it seems pretty clear that he’s not the sort of guy who’ll just happily let you live your life the way you see fit.
I’m hopeful that the Republican flirtation with Santorum will last about as long as a Pittsburgh Pirates’ playoff run. And considering that the good people of the state of Pennsylvania turned him out by an 18% margin in his last Senate contest, he obviously has some downside. But in the meantime, let’s just try to focus on what Santorum’s presence means to the realm of comedic headlines. (If you don’t get why this headline is funny, go to google, enter “santorum” in the search box and scroll down until you understand.)