Sunday, January 22, 2012
My Sunday Feeling
I have said this before and I will say it again. I typically am not remotely interested in the past or current sex lives of politicians. After all, none of us are without sin. And it would be unrealistic to believe that our political leaders are completely immune from the human condition. So I have a pretty high bar when it comes to levels of hypocrisy that offends even me.
Maybe it isn't the hypocrisy of Rick and Karen Santorum that offends me as much that I am stunned by their sheer gall. As is widely known, Santorum is running for the Republican nomination for President. His is an exceedingly conservative platform in which he would make abortion illegal even in the case of a woman impregnated by a rapist. He is opposed to some, if not all, forms of birth control. And he and his wife both profess to be opposed to sexual relations outside of the bonds of matrimony.
That's fine. He has tapped into a constituency out there that sings off this same sheet music. Doesn't bother me. I wouldn't vote for Santorum if he was running for dog catcher unopposed. Indeed, I pretty much tune out most of the static over on that side of the aisle. I am immune.
But the story of Karen Santorum's creepy past got my attention. Here is the Reader's Digest condensed version of the story. When Karen Garver was in her twenties she lived for years without the blessing of clergy with with an OB/GYN in Pittsburgh. So far, who cares? Right? Here's where it gets interesting. The good doc was some 40 years older than her when they began shacking up. Not only that, he was an abortion provider. And if that isn't sufficiently stunning in and of itself, little baby Karen Garver was brought into this world by guess who? You got it. The guy she took up with later on in life. You can read about it here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/16/karen-santorum-rick-santorum-abortion_n_1208867.html
As I said on my Facebook page the other night, you just can't make this stuff up.
To which a friend of mine from high school posted something along the lines of "people can change. You should have seen me 24 years ago."
Of course people can change. Indeed my Bible encourages both change and repentance. We all know a person who has struggled or has had a family member struggle with drugs or alcohol only to come out of that experience opposed to their use. There are are militant former smokers. And, like my high school friend, we all have done stuff in our collective past lives that we are not particularly proud of.
But it is one thing to "have done with lesser things" as the old hymn puts it. It is quite another thing altogether to urge that the law of the land be changed regarding certain behaviors and medical procedures based on a belief system that you evidently did not embrace yourself during one fairly long stretch of your life.
Again, what were these people thinking? That Karen Santorum's past would never be a campaign issue in a Republican race in which the candidates are falling all over themselves to prove who has the greater commitment to "traditional moral values?"
Which leads me to the question concerning whether this is all just a scam anyway. And I'm not just talking of the Santorums although their hypocrisy in this regard is simply the more stunning example. Maybe none of the guys running to be the GOP standard bearer in November really believes this junk in the first place. Maybe they are just pandering to the lunatic political base that has taken over the Republican party? Indeed, a former associate of serial philanderer, and fresh from the oven newly devout Roman Catholic, Newt Gingrich said that if the prevailing political winds were blowing from the left, Newt would be a liberal.
I don't know and I don't much care. I do know that it is easier to wrap yourself in the flag and to pound the Bible than it is to actually run the country. But I digress.
People can change. And thank God for that.
But just because you have changed doesn't mean that you are necessarily the best person in the world to be out front and center on issues that evidently didn't concern you very much at all at one point in time. Most similarly situated people might prefer to keep what is past in the past. But most people with dubious pasts don't have the gall to inject themselves into the searing light of a political campaign.
The old smoke filled rooms that used to produce candidates look better and better to me each election season.