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Tuesday
Feb282012

Santorum Sez: Going to College Turns You Into Barack Obama

As if that's a bad thing.

Rick Santorum, college graduate and presidential candidate, recently argued that Barack Obama, college graduate and current president of the United States, was a "snob" because he wanted all Americans to have the opportunity to go to college. Santorum argued that this seemingly benign thing had malevolent intent because college is the place Liberals are made -- or something. Ignoring the fact that pretty much everyone running for president, including himself, went to college, and in the case of the GOP candidates, somehow they all went to college and weren't turned into sodomites and radical black leftists. Nope. They went to college and are still their same obnoxious, narcissistic selves. Because, as you know, college is a place where you get an education, not a "re-education."

From The Washington Post:

“Not all folks are gifted in the same way,” Santorum told a crowd of more than a thousand activists at the Americans for Prosperity forum in Troy, Mich. “Some people have incredible gifts with their hands. . . . President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.”

This from Penn State graduate Santorum, who was famously late for the ultra-conservative wing of a conservative party who admitted he was pro-choice until he ran for public office.

How convenient. But also, how opportunistic to appeal to the most far of the far right who detest a fictional version of Obama, warped by a contradictory myriad of lies. How predictable a move for Santorum when running against a weak and "moderate" seeming Mitt Romney who has failed to set the electorate on fire.

When all else fails, appeal to people's celebration of ignorance.

America has always had an anti-intellectualism streak. Although you can obviously be a smarty-pants and come out on either side of the political divide, at different times in our history different political parties have grabbed the "keeping it real" mantel and bragged about how cool it is to not know "stuff."

For a long time, this was bread and butter for Southern Democrats who did not appreciate "Northern elites" or "yankees" telling them what to do with their "nigras." (*Cough, cough* State's rights!) George W. Bush famously lost his first run for office to a conservative Democrat in Midland, Texas who "out-Texan'ed and out-Christian'ed" him, painting the young Bush as an elitist snob from Yale, who liked to party and was out-of-touch from the real values of regular folk.

Many years later, Bush became president of the United States and in spite of his Blue Blood pedigree he was declared the candidate with whom voters would most likely enjoy having a beer. Just as Bush's posh background was rendered a footnote to a populace that largely saw him as some kind of windshield cowboy, the GOP went from a party that used to possess a such thing as a "Liberal" Republican, to a very Christian evangelical dominated, "down with smart people" party. 

Even the man who beat Bush in Midland all those years ago playing the anti-elite card is a Republican today.

In Obama's case, the "snob" argument lobbed against him gets a little silly. The President was born to a single mother and was raised mostly by his grandparents in Hawaii. No one was wealthy. He got were he did by his own hard work and wits, things modern Republicans typically praise, unless you don't agree with their ideology or you're in their way.

Obama is both.

Which is why it seems the GOP has "invented" a "scary" Obama to run against. One who will somehow take all their guns (even though he's made little effort to do anything regarding our gun laws), who will start preaching Black Liberation Theology (even though if you ask some black people he's not engaged in black issues enough), who is secretly a Muslim (which directly conflicts to the Christian-based Black Liberation Theology stuff he's supposed to believe in), who is weak on terrorism (by ordering the death of noted terrorist Osama bin Laden and facillitating actions that lead to the death of noted terrorism-backer Muammar Gaddafi) and is some bougie, class warrior for the poor who looks down on poor people while pandering directly to them (or some such nonsense). So much spouted about the president is a series of contradictions and riddles that he's become a black radical who's done nothing for black people (if you ask Newt Gingrich). A pro-gay maniac who's against gay marriage.

How anyone can look at Obama and see anything other than a genuinely nice, charming, smart but sometimes annoyingly tepid moderate who takes out most of his aggression on terrorists because that's the only thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on, is beyond me. His health care plan was the old GOP health care plan proposed in the 90s. He harkens back to a time when even if your president wasn't blissfully perfect, he was competent. Say what you will about "caretaker" Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush, you didn't worry about the world blowing up under their watch as we did for eight years of Bush-Cheney. And Obama doesn't even have the "flaws" that usually reduce caretakers to one-terms, like being unrelateable, distant, slightly unsophisticated sounding or too bluntly honest (in the case of Carter).

For all the screaming that Obama will be the end of things, that clearly has not occurred and he seems more than competent and up for the task, even if our politics are more polarized and unpredictable as ever.

Obama preached "compromise" for most of his first term until he finally realized the Republicans had no interest in such a thing. He tried to reason with them as "people" ignoring how powerful the bipolar, cynical, money-worshipping Doomsday Cult wing of the GOP had become. And I say all this as someone who likes and supports Barack Obama, thinks he's a smart guy and wants him to have a second term for both the history books and because the alternative seems so fringy and insane. 

I don't want to live under an executive branch that espouses "get government out of your life and into your uterus." And for all the talk about "Sharia Law," I think it's less about stopping "radical Muslims" and more about Christian fundamentalists not wanting any competing dogma when they dump the Constitutional clause separating church and state. And don't even get me started on Santorum's confusion that "freedom of religion" means forcing his views as a Catholic on the entire country and crafting laws that fit within Catholic dogma, ignoring the fact that not all Americans are Catholic, not all Americans are Christian, not all Americans believe in God and that some Americans are agnostic, athiest or secularists. The whole point of the religion clause is to protect everyone's beliefs, not to use the government to enforce the beliefs of the largest religious group.

And even if many Americans are Christians, Santorum ignores that among Christians there is lots of disagreement over who has the right take and interpretation on the Bible, hence the many, many, many different Christian dominations and sects, orders and groups. Catholics, Mormons, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians all claim to follow Jesus, but how they interpret the Bible, worship and determine who is and isn't a Christian, who can and cannot take communion and what you should or should not do vary extremely. To what end does Santorum push his view when even Christians can't agree among themselves on what the right view is?

Which, again, is why there's a separation between church and state, so you can have all these different types of followers of Jesus and not have anyone end up dead. You can live in a country where you can change your religion and you don't have to worry about being attacked. But start endorsing one view over the other and using the government to enforce that view you will find yourself on a slippery slope to bringing back the Holy Roman Empire in Iowa and all the drama that goes with it.

Which brings us back to college and how wanting people to go to college in a society where blue collar jobs have dried up and factories have closed and moved overseas and we are rapidly moving to an information-based, service-based society and the best paying positions often require a college education.

If the GOP nominates Rick Santorum to be their nominee, I'm not going to say you're going to lose, because anything could happen. Perhaps Obama will kill, cook and eat his dog "Bo" on live television, or suggest bringing back the Caliphate in Kansas. Maybe he'll have a very torrid and public affair with Kim Kardashian. But short of these things happening, even if the economy collapses tomorrow, you can't beat what's imperfect, but not at all scary or radical with something strange, fundamentalist, anti-education and "no sex" obsessed, who's not offering up any solutions for how he'd actually fix the economy or make Americans lives better other than shouting "Freedom!"

I like "freedom" too. Especially my uterus. But I get the impression Santorum's not talking about that kind of freedom.

He might beat Mitt Romney (and that's still a big might), but Obama still looks like a bridge too far if Santorum can't pivot from slinging "snob" red meat to the yokels to real solutions to the majority.

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  • Response
    If a man with a BA in political science, an MBA and a JD can call the President a snob for wanting all of America’s children to try and go to some form of college or vocational school than it is evident hypocrisy reigns supreme and there is no reasoning with ...

Reader Comments (3)

yea, that was pretty stupid.

LMAO.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterswiv

Yep, it sure is snobby to expect every American to go to college. That's not for Real Americans! Why do they need with all that fancy book-larning?

Santorum loves the regular guy so, so much. That's why Santorum is in favor of international trade policies which protect our blue collar jobs against offshoring, enforcement of labor regulations, strengthening unions' collective bargaining power, and guaranteeing government funding of health and education services, so that the average, low-skilled worker can live in comfort and dignity!

Oh wait, he's not? .... hmmmm.

Santorum: Fake populist, real theocrat.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersmartacus

Spot on post.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJustin
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