Posts Tagged “2012 republican primary”

Rick Santorum addresses the Ohio Christian Alliance conference, Feb. 18, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. (Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay)The presidential campaign of Rick Santorum, former US Senator from Pennsylvania, continues to churn out ludicrous religiofascist gibberish. I’ve cited some of it previously, including his claim that the Crusades were not “aggression,” and his implication that the pro-choice movement are Nazis. Most recently he claimed President Obama had a “‘weird’ theology.”

It’s that last item that triggered the next spurt of Christofascist nonsense from his campaign. CBS News reports his spokeswoman was forced to take back comments she made in support of that assertion (WebCite cached article):

Rick Santorum’s new presidential campaign spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, retracted her comment Monday that compared President Obama’s policies to “radical Islamic policies.” …

“He was not questioning the president’s character, he wasn’t questioning the president’s religion,” Stewart said. “As he’s said, he has clarified the statement. He was talking about radical environmentalists. There is a type of theological secularism when it comes to the global warmists in this country. He was referring to the president’s policies, in terms of the radical Islamic policies the president has, particular in terms of the energy exploration.”

It’s true that Ms Stewart retracted these remarks, but they were said, so a retraction is like trying to un-ring a bell. And the fact that she said them, reveals a lot.

The problems with these comments are so numerous that I hardly know where to begin. First of all, she talks about “theological secularism,” which quite obviously is a contradiction in terms. There can never be anything “theological” about “secularism” because “secularism” is a rejection of “theological” influence.

Second, she talks about “global warmists.” I have never heard of this phrase before, although a Google search shows it’s not really new. It is a neat propaganda trick, to make “global warming” an ideology of its own. While some global-warming advocates may be ideologues, I’m not sure it really deserves that kind of a general apellation (not yet, anyway). But even if it did, there’s no evidence that president Obama adheres to it as an ideology.

Third, she said Obama has “radical Islamic policies.” This can’t be the case, though, because the president is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. This fits in with the old Rightist mantra that Obama is a Muslim — which is untrue, nevertheless it persists among Rightists.

What Ms Stewart was trying to do here is an old rhetorical trick, that of sprinkling certain keywords into her comments, ones the Santorum campaign hopes will trigger GOP primary voters to support him. In the process she ends up spewing nonsensical gibberish … nonsensical because it’s self-contradictory, and does not coincide with reality. That her remarks ended up being gibberish doesn’t matter; primary voters will have heard those keywords, and the implication that Obama is a Muslim, and will only remember that. Her retraction won’t matter to them, because they heard what they wanted to hear.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay, via CBS News.

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