This time around we have Republicans in wide-eyed terror of the loonier fringes of their tribe, knowing full well that they will be obliged to go down on bended knee to Sarah Palin at some point, thereby decimating their chances for a general election victory. Democrats, meanwhile, sit in smug silence secure in the belief that their leader's powers of calm reasoning and logic will prevail upon the unruly masses to simmer down and go back to their usual reality-TV palliative.
Rick Santorum, a long-shot former Senator from Pennsylvania with a grim history of moral crusading, started the antics today by launching into a flaming, wacky, base-searing attack on liberals for their unfair bias against . . . the Crusades.
Let that soak in for a minute.
First a word about the Crusades, a hostile invasion by medieval European powers against a far-off land in the name of liberating Jerusalem from the infidel. Guess who they were? Ever wonder why Islam has a gripe against Western powers? Putting aside the fact that we've done plenty in the 20th century to piss them off, the Crusades were a brutal introduction to Christian charity that most Christians today would just as soon pretend didn't happen. Not to put to fine a point on it, but it's hard to find any vantage point that paints the Crusaders in a good light. These guys were out for blood, treasure, and glory and they got plenty of all three.
This is not to excuse the horrible actions committed in the name of Islam in recent years, only to make the simple point that, at the margins, both creeds are capable of equally appalling acts in direct contradiction of their most basic teachings.
“The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical,” Santorum said in Spartanburg on Tuesday. “And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom.”
He added, “They hate Western civilization at the core. That's the problem.”
Let's parse Professor Santorum's logic for a moment. Stay with me, this will be fun!
First he assets that the "fight of Chistendom against Islam" is not aggressive despite all contrary evidence that most fights do, in fact, include aggressors and history usually brands the invader with the aggressor label. Next he argues that the Crusades are not an "aggression on our part." I don't claim to be a historian of the Holy Wars, but I don't recall Islamic armies invading the European mainland. Next he claims that all those who differ with him are somehow "anti-historical." While people can have different opinions or interpretations about historical events I've never thought of history itself as a concept that lends itself to opponents. You can't oppose history, you just live with it. He goes on to grandly pronounce that American left generally believe that the Crusades were an aggressive act by Western powers. While my optimistic side wants to believe that most thinking people share this conviction, I wouldn't be so bold as to suggest that all people of a particular political persuasion think likewise. Do all Republicans go to tea parties? He adds insult to injury by suggesting that all people that veer left "hate Christendom." Is Christendom the same thing as Christianity? Either way, I'm not sure even the Professor means what he seems to be saying here. The Learned One further paints the left as a band of bitter souls filled with hatred for Western civilization despite the long-held perception that leftists have for years been card-carrying members of the dead-poets society, most of the said poets being former Europeans. He ties the whole thing in a big red bow by declaring without remorse or blush that "That's the problem." Which problem? Surely not the problem. If anything, perhaps only a problem, and then only a very little problem. After all, who really cares what the left thinks? Certainly no Professor Santorum.
This is the kind of unhinged behavior exhibited by a candidate exhausted by months of tireless campaigning, burdened by mountains of hopeless debts, and depressed by dismal poll showings. Trouble is this guy hasn't even announced his candidacy yet. I don't think a candidate has ever jumped the shark before throwing his or her hat into the ring. Where can we find other examples of such fearless daredevil antics? Let the fun begin!