Man On Dog II: Electric Boogaloo

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Memo to Rick "Silent P" Santorum: REALLY?

That's what you've got, huh? Well color me unimpressed. You've been out of the Senate for less than a year, you score a column-writing gig for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and that's the best you can do to kick it off?

I admit, I didn't expect honesty, and I didn't get it. While it would have been refreshing to have his column start with "I'm a huge fundie douche who's inspired vast amounts of well-deserved scorn over the course of my career", that wasn't gonna happen. But attempting to rehabilitate your image into that of a victimized centrist caught up in an environment of vitriolic hyperpartisanship? You have got to be shitting us, Rick. And doing a poor job of it at that.

I mean, the title alone, "Rare Welcome To A Red-Blooded Conservative" induces more gagging than all the cock-sucking you've spent your life trying to stamp out. Because when I look at the last decade, I sure as hell don't see an environment that rarely welcomes conservatives. For fuck's sake, look how long it took to make things unwelcome just for YOU, and you're right back getting paid for a few hundred words worth of spit-up every other week.

I'd suggest you quit your bitching, but it would clearly fuck with your editorial mandate. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Imagine these words next to your name in your high school yearbook - disingenuous, snake oil peddler, smug, arrogant, chicken-livered, intolerant and fatalistic. And most of those labels were in news stories.

Um, Rick? You weren't on the Student Council. You were a Senator. Deal with it. Plus, what high school did Santorum even go to? Unless Rick attended Wedgie Prep, a small, Bible-based high school populated entirely by English nerds with roid rage, the odds of anyone ever writing "chicken-livered" in his yearbook are pretty damn slim. I'm guessing Santorum's high school yearbook just has giant cartoon penises on all the boys. And probably some stuff his friends wrote in there, too.

But it's all part of the larger narrative - Rick Santorum, pilloried by the liberal media for being a complete tool, bravely venturing forth every other Thursday to offer the kind of insightful conservative commentary the liberal readership of the Philadelphia Inquirer would otherwise not be exposed to. For example, did you know that:

"It's an unfortunate fact that over the last decades, the institutional left - Hollywood, the mainstream media and academia - have not only become intolerant of dissent from their own orthodoxies, but also often attack anyone who espouses an opposing view." No, you didn't. Not until now. Not until Rick Santorum had the temerity - nay, the BALLS - to call out Hollywood and academia for their patently leftist orthodoxy and rigid enforcement of the same.

Trust me, the only reason you're not stabbing yourself in the face with a pen to distract you from Santorum is that I'm not quoting the whole damn thing. But the best part - better than him calling George Will a "token", better than him calling Michael "sissification of America" Smerconich "ideologically unpredictable", which I am forced to assume he means in much the same way that gravity is "vertically unpredictable".

No, here's the best part. Ready? Because I need you to keep an image of the author firmly in your mind as you read this. Rick "Man On Dog" Santorum:

"I have heard for years that Americans are disgusted with the polarization of politics. Much of that, it seems to me, is because people take the path of least resistance and join the crowd. That is why blue areas in America are getting bluer and red areas redder. Some have so personalized their contempt for the opposing view that they can no longer view issues with any sense of inquiry or objectivity. Neither is good for American democracy."

Really, Rick? You're going to sit there and use your new dead-tree platform to lecture the rest of us on political polarization and contempt for the opposing view? You're going to whip out YOUR sense of inquiry and measure it against the rest of ours? You little weasel. Fuck you, fuck your disingenuous, chicken-livered, smug snake-oil bullshit. And fuck the Philadelphia Inquirer for publishing it.

Which I guarantee you, by the way, that they're doing because of the old saw that columns like Santorums inspire lots of angry letter-writing and Internet commenting, which means interest, and interest sells papers. Which is also bullshit. If there's one coin the Information Age has devalued, and I say this knowing full well how close to home it hits, it's digital outrage. When it's as easy as it is for a big chunk of the population to comment on stuff, it is not a benchmark or a major achievement.

Or, to put it another way, when the whole world's been turned into Usenet, trolling it doesn't make you a clever publisher. It just makes you a dick.