Alex Massie

Rick Santorum’s Wilderness Years

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Ever wondered what happened to Rick Santorum after he lost his Senate race in Pennsylvania last year? Fret not, Michael Brendan Dougherty has done the yeoman work of listening to the appalling codswallop Mr Man on Dog is peddling these days. The whole thing is worth reading, but really Mr Santorum's loony-tunes sing for themselves:

For years, James Dobson, the Christian psychologist and popular radio talk-show host has been following Santorum’s efforts on behalf of socially conservative values. They both recently made Time’s list of the 25 most influential evangelicals, a true feat for a Catholic like Santorum. Like many evangelicals, Dobson’s interests now include foreign policy. In May, he dedicated two days of his show to broadcasting a Santorum stemwinder. In it, the former senator explained that his current work is “a family issue, because it concerns the security of every family in this nation.” Moving on to his list, Santorum asked impatiently, “Did you know that Venezuela will shortly spend $30 billion to build 20 military bases in neighboring [sic - AM] Bolivia, which will dominate the borders with Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil?” And this was of no small concern because Latin American leftism is apparently in alliance with Islamic fascists. “How so? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

But wait, there’s more. “You have Russia … increasingly looking like the old Russia in the way they support nations that align against the United States.” And so the list grows.

After dipping gingerly into the differences between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam, Santorum concluded that Iran poses the greatest threat to the United States. In previous centuries, he explained, Shi’ite regimes had been at peace with the West. But ever since Khomeini re-interpreted that tradition of Islam, Iran had been radicalized. “And so now we have Iran in a position to project power and to use Sunni-like theology, if you will…” he lowered his voice, “to conquer the world.”

After those last four words, you expect a laugh track to kick in, but it never comes. Instead, the speech grinds on as Santorum warns of the “gathering storm” and draws parallels between our time and the late 1930s and early ’40s. Warning that America will face an array of exotic threats alone, Santorum begins to quote the June 1940 address of Winston Churchill to the British people in which the prime minister girded them for the coming battle of Britain. In the audio recording sold by Focus on the Family, as Santorum’s voice solemnly quiets, the ghostly crackle of Churchill’s original rises. Santorum closes by explaining that defeat means to “sink into the abyss of a new dark age.” Dobson emerges to speculate that this may be some of “the most prophetic work” his ministry has brought to its audience, saying, “Rick Santorum gets it. He may have been the finest senator we have had in many decades. He is part of the heritage of Winston Churchill.”

Blimey! To borrow from head-slapping tabloid columnists everywhere, You couldn't make it up, could you?

[Via the bold young Whippersnapper who has fine thoughts of his own and is also, I'm glad to discover, a Red Dawn partisan. That there's some quality hokum.]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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