Rick Santorum exemplifies that special strain of religious conservative that people miss less and less the longer they're out of office: smug, purse-lipped, and obsessed by their own fantasies of what animals people would have sex with if gay marriage were legalized.
When the Pennsylvanian lost his Senate re-election bid in 2006, nobody cried except for members of his own family. It was hoped he would fade gracefully from public view, concentrate on some worthy civic mission like filling all the potholes in the parking lot of his neighborhood Wal-Mart, and maybe, if we were lucky, leave behind some insane Dargeresque million-page novel about warring naked cherubim that would only be discovered after he'd died.
But! But instead he insists on writing silly columns in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
His latest concerns the amazing fact that Barack Obama and John McCain might find each other politically useful in the future. Just imagine this, if you can, and clap your hands over your ears because your brain might explode: Barack Obama, a Democrat who ran on "bringing people together" and "finding common ground" and "disagreeing without being disagreeable," could probably stand to solicit the cooperation of his old foe John McCain, a Republican who ran on "being a maverick" and "reaching across the aisle" and "fostering bipartisan compromise."
This is all pretty straightforward stuff; it's both good politics and common sense that Obama and McCain would want to work together. But Rick Santorum is not satisfied with just stating the obvious. He has to add a little dash of resentful, sneering stupidity about what a little tart John McCain is when it comes to the media.
McCain was once the mainstream media darling, back when he joined Democrats on a host of issues. He prized his maverick moniker and used it to propel himself onto the national scene in the 2000 Republican presidential primary. Early in the Bush years, he shored up his status as the media's favorite Republican by opposing Bush on taxes and the environment.Yes, in case anybody had forgotten, part of the reason John McCain could not get elected was people in his own party, people like Rick Santorum, hated him for being such a liberal. Meanwhile, people outside McCain's party either thought he was a decent guy, if sort of old, or an ancient, ill-tempered creep.
[...] He knows the path to "Big Media" redemption. Working with the man who vanquished him in November will show them all the real McCain again.
Remember, it was this onetime prisoner of war who led the charge to open diplomatic relations with Vietnam. If that past is prologue, and McCain's legislative record is any guide, he will not just join with Obama but lead the charge in Congress on global warming, immigration "reform," the closing of Guantanamo, federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research, and importation of prescription drugs.
It's not surprising he didn't win when he couldn't get significant portions of his own party to support him. It is surprising that Rick Santorum would still be banging the same old conservative drum when it failed to win him re-election, failed to secure a Republican presidency, and only promises to be less popular in the future.
But perhaps that's why Rick Santorum is out of a job, while John McCain is still mavericking around the Senate.