Actually, as the thought of this blog entry began to take shape, in usual fashion, my choice of title was something that just jumps into my head – as it was with this particular post. However, after typing it, I googled it just to make sure I spelled it correctly. How serendipitous to find that the actual definition was so clearly accurate in describing how any extended exposure to Santorum makes any thinking human being feel.
Two other points – first, I had not intended to make this blog a political one to any great extent but with the sudden popularity of Santorum as the Republican debacle continues, the fodder is almost too good to pass it up. Second, he is such a flaming jerk and monumental neanderthal that I hope that anything I write that incenses his supporters can only help the cause.
Okay – the real stuff. This morning in our local paper, The Pocono Record, I read an article that was front page referring to Santorum as Pennsylvania “Favorite Son”. First off, most anything in the Pocono Record is suspect to begin with – it is a rag beyond belief and somewhat of an embarassment to many of us – but that is another blog entry for the future. One needs to question any portrayal of Santorum as “Favorite son” given the ass whooping he got in the 2006 Senatorial election where he got soundly defeated by Bob Casey Jr. Santorum not only lost to Casey by over 700,000 votes, he achieved the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent senator since 1980 and achieved the largest losing margin for an incumbent Republican senator ever. Not sure that necessarily puts him in the Favorite Son category but I guess there is something to be said for achieving something no one had ever done.
While I expect there were many reasons why Pennsylvania soured on the man who had been their senator for many years, there are several that stand out. For this reason alone, I’m hoping that Rick makes it to the Republican nomination because that’s when the fun begins and all the baggage and skeletons are on the table. It’s one thing when the Republicans fight among themselves. I can’t wait until the Democratic Party engine begins to purr and things really take off. But in the meantime, for those of you who haven’t really looked at Santorum’s history and why he is attempting a comeback rather than just continuing a long, illustrious and uninterrupted political career. I won’t drain the detail but let it suffice to do the fly-by of the highlights of his career.
– Santorum has twice been cited by CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ) as one of America’s most corrupt Senators – not once, but twice. You can dismiss CREW as being liberal leaning but they are pretty accurate in the details and, while including more Republicans than Democrats in their listing, it does not take away from the questionable actions that have been cited. Facts are facts. Santorum made the list in both 2005 and 2006. (Links: 2005 Report – http://goo.gl/cKL4U 2006 Report – http://goo.gl/6a1tu ) Hopefully these links work but the reports are also available directly at the CREW website). You can read the details in the reports but to really set a perspective, Santorum, who entered the Senate as one of the least wealthy congresspeople, bought a $2 million, 5,000 SF house in Great Falls, VA in 2007. This went along with the numerous rental properties he had accumulated over the previous years while in office. The number of corporations he helped with legislation he supported who gave him campaign donations while he was in office and then followed up with personal remuneration once he was out of office is staggering.
– While in Congress, Santorum passed out over a $1.6 Billion in earmarks — chunks of money directed to one specific recipient — according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. He voted for the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska and in the 2006 Defense appropriations bill, he personally inserted 54 earmarks that delivered $154 million of your tax money to special interests. Interesting, those special interests donated over $200,000 to his 2006 campaign.
– Very specific to why we loved him in Pennsylvania was he acceptance (and refusal to return) of $73K for tuition reimbursement from the Penn Hills school district for an online charter cyber-school even though he lived in Virginia. No question his kids might have attended the cyber-school but Virginia does not reimburse for attendance of a cyber-school – Pennsylvania does. Yes, he had a house in the Penn Hills school district but it is tough to position it as being a PA resident when he rented out that property for that timeframe. Scumbag behavior at best – unethical again.
– Remember the John Ensign adultery scandal (another fine upstanding Republican when it comes to family values)? Santorum, who was working for Fox News at the time, and another Fox reporter, were notified by Doug Hampton (the husband of the woman Ensign was sleeping with) who wanted to meet to decide how to best go public – sounds kind of stupid to me but they were all Republicans so who’s to know. Ricky immediately called Ensign to tell him the shit was about to hit the fan. Ensign worked to get ahead of the story but, in the end, had to resign anyhow after the Senate Ethics Committee determined he violated Federal law but the point here is more around Santorum’s ethics – or lack thereof.
– Special Treatment on his Mortgage – Philadelphia Trust is not your “everyday” bank where most of us would go for a mortgage. There customer base are those of more means and affluence. It offered special low mortgage rates to investors in the bank who have a quarter million dollars or more in liquid assets. Although Santorum’s financial disclosure filings prove that he did not meet either requirement at the time, the bank still gave him a $500,000 five-year loan at the low rates. The officers of the bank also donated a bit of money to his re-election campaign at that time. Again, a question of Ricky’s ethics.
Last point – I am far from a Sarah Palin supporter but I have to say that when someone like she dings Santorum, he must be pretty bad. A quote from Palin after Santorum criticized her in a 2011 interview:
“I think the reports were much worse than what he really said. I think some things were really taken out of context. So I will not call him the knuckle dragging Neanderthal that perhaps others would want to call him. I’ll let his wife call him that instead.” – Sarah Palin