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Memo to Iowa: REALLY?

Obviously, the big news in stupidity is the Iowa Caucus, the Midwestern dumboff that happens every four years and inexplicably alters American politics every damn time.

Obviously, the biggest news for fans of this column is that, thanks to the Iowa Caucuses, today was the day Michele Bachmann finally completed her ex-candidate therapy! Some people claim it's a fraud, a cruel attempt by zealots to repress a politician's born attraction to power and influence, but I think today we've all proven you really can pray away the votes.

But here's the thing. Ol' Batshit is still in Congress, and until and unless that changes, her ongoing awfulness will be a continuing source of fascination, consternation, and joculation on this website. Instead, we should take a moment to acknowledge that gay marriage opponents like Bachmann may have a point. Obviously, the two and a half years that gay marriage has been legal in Iowa have created new hordes of Santorum fans.

Yes, Rick "Silent P" Santorum won the Iowa caucuses yesterday by, if you'll pardon the expresion, coming in right behind Mitt Romney. A mere eight votes separated the two candidates, a margin so thin that Trojan wants to make a condom out of it. I kid Rick Santorum, because, well, he's an utterly appalling human being. Easily one of the vilest, most hateful, bigoted pieces of foaming shit produced by the rectum of American politics in the last 20 years, and if I don't kid about him, I'll just scream incoherently at him.

Let's keep in mind that as funny as it is, Rick Santorum was not "given" his Google problem. Unlike Mitt Romney's fortune, Newt Gingrich's wives, or Rick Perry's entire career, Rick Santorum EARNED the new meaning for his last name. Dan Savage's rebranding of "santorum" may well be the single greatest victory for the forces of poetic justice the world has ever seen. Let's take a second to remind ourselves just how fucking awful Rick Santorum is, and why his recent success is troubling. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"They're just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That's what the bottom line is. I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money." - Santorum, campaigning in Iowa.

Now, this sounds pretty damning. Pretty fucking racist, in fact. And wildly inaccurate, given the actual statistics of who receives government assistance in Iowa, when you divvy it up by race. But in Rick Santorum's defense, one prominent Rick Santorum expert who studied the tape of Rick Santorum speaking is pretty sure Rick Santorum didn't say "black".

"I looked at that, and I didn't say that. If you look at it, what I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of -- blah -- came out. And people said I said 'black.' I didn't." - Rick Santorum expert Rick Santorum, discussing the issue with amazement-that-black-people-use-forks expert Bill O'Reilly.

Got it? Rick Santorum STARTED to say a word, and that word was an adjective describing people on public assistance, sort of changed the word, and it came out "blah". But it wasn't "black!" In fact, someone who's extensively studied Rick Santorum's patterns of word usage backs up that claim."And I can tell you, I don't use -- I don't -- first off, I don't use the term 'black' very often. I use the term 'African-American' more than I use 'black'. I can tell you as someone who did more work for historically black colleges, I used to have -- every year, I used to bring all the historically black colleges into Washington, DC to try to help them..." - Rick Santorum expert Rick Santorum, using the word "black" four times to explain to Bill O'Reilly about how he almost never says "black".

For an opposing viewpoint, let's turn to another noted Rick Santorum expert, who discussed with CBS news what might have prompted Santorum's Klandian slip:

"Yesterday I talked for example about a movie called, um, what was it? ‘Waiting for Superman,’ which was about black children and so I don’t know whether it was in response and I was talking about that." - Rick Santorum expert Rick Santorum, using the word "black" to reference a movie that isn't actually about just black children.

But really, it doesn't matter whether you believe Rick Santorum's racist words, his first racist explanation to CBS, his wildly implausible excuse to Bill O'Reilly, or his self-contradictory statement to back up that wildly implausible excuse, what matters is that Rick Santorum almost won Iowa, and is clearly positioned to become the Last Wingnut Standing in the race to unify every Republican who thinks Mitt Romney is neither Christian enough nor bigoted enough to win the primary. And if that constituency is large enough, Rick Santorum could take the nomination.

Which is why the Republican establishment is lining up behind the Boremon. John McCain endorsed Romney today, in what many people see as a moneyed shot across Santorum's stern, but consider for a moment that the last two people John McCain thought were qualified to be president were John McCain and Sarah Palin. We'll see how much his endorsement helps in New Hampshire.