Matt Taibbi on Extremist Altar Boy Rick Santorum

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So Rick Santorum, the unbelievably conservative former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, is officially running for president. But who is Rick Santorum, really? Take it away, Matt Taibbi (writing in 2006, just after Santorum lost his Senate seat):

A fiercely devout Catholic with an altar-boy face, Santorum has been an icon of America's political divisiveness for the past dozen years — a pioneer of the religious, crusading politics that helped wipe out the ideological middle and divide the country into two seething, paranoid camps fueled by implacable hatreds.

By religious, I don't mean the injection of biblical themes into his campaigns, though that was also a feature of his style. No, the hallmark of Santorum politics was to say something utterly outrageous and insulting about his opponents, incur a national outcry and then refuse to take even a half a step back, digging in with his convictions in the manner of a man of faith. He blamed pedophilia in the Boston Archdiocese on Massachusetts liberalism. He compared Democrats engaged in a filibuster to Nazis. He likened homosexuality to "man on dog" sex. He described the charity group Care as being "pro-prostitution" and "anti-American." And in his reelection campaign this fall, he accused his opponent, state treasurer Bob Casey, of making state-pension investments that support "terrorism and genocide." Thus, to the Santorum point of view, opponents were at various times whores, dog-fuckers, terrorists, Nazis, mass killers, boy-touchers and traitors. Even McCarthy never got that creative.

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