Saturday, January 7, 2012

Preacher Santorum's vain bonfires

ONCE UPON A TIME, a 15th century monk named Girolamo Savonarola, driven by his own fiery vision of sin, sent his helpers door to door in Florence to collect books, artworks, knick-knacks, whatever, to purge society of evil. They made a huge pile in the piazza and torched it.
In those days, such spectacles were called 'bonfires of the vanities". Alas, in the end, not even the Dominican monk was spared the flames by his opponents.

And then we have Rick Santorum. He's now moved his pulpit into New Hampshire, where he unapologetically says we need a "Jesus candidate," and who better than Rick to fill that role.
That, of course, is not what non-Christians (and many Christians) have in mind for a president. Despite his over-the-top pro-Israel offerings, Santorum was even rapped by Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Foxman huffed that Santorum's remarks were "unacceptable" and "un-American." I would add: crazy.

Maybe the time has come to ignore the hyper-righteous crusader on the stump. Wasn't it Santorum who once said the government ought to stop issuing food stamps because poor people were already too fat. So there!

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Scam artists! Those are the beasts that Sen. Sherrod Brown says will have the most to fear from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In his talk to the Akron Press Club Friday, Brown praised President Obama's appointment of Richard Cordray to head the agency that congressional Republicans have stonewalled as an intrusion into the financial industry's privately operated free enterprise system.

Unless you are a scam artist yourself, who can argue with the appointment that will activate the oversight of the CFP watchdog? Well, the jittery GOP praetorian guard that looks out for Big Money's best interests, that's who. And if you're still in doubt about the cause of the home mortgage mess, may I recommend Gretchen Morgenson's book, Reckless Endangerment/How outsized greed, and corruption led to economic Armadgeddon.

Brown's appearance filled the room at the Martin Center with about 200 guests, who gave him a standing ovation. (His Republican challenger, State Treasurer Josh Mandel has yet to accept an invitation to appear at the same Press Club podium. He has already turned down an offer on grounds that he was "too busy". ) Josh, for God's sake, is that any way to demonstrate your interest in serving the people?

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To all of the naysayers who suggest the unemployed aren't trying hard enough to find work, I'll refer you to some photos in the current Atlantic magazine. One shows a line as long as the Chinese wall that turned up for a job fair in Atlanta, Ga. Another shows a lineup of Trenton, N. J. (isn't that Chris Christie's state capital?) police officers who were among the more than 100 cops laid off. The caption says they are offering their "final salute" with their empty boots resting on the sidewalk in front on them.

1 comment:

David Hess said...

After brandishing himself as the Second Coming of the Messiah in Iowa, Santorum has told voters that he would not "impose" his views against contraception on others even though he personally believes it to be immoral. Not content to invade further the privacy of women to choose an abortion, he has repeatedly indicated he would do everything in his power, if elected president, to outlaw it. In both cases -- contraception and abortion -- he would have to overturn U.S. Supreme Court decisions (Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade) upholding the legality of both. That could be done, of course, either by constitutional amendment (the hard way) or by appointing "activist" Justices to the court who hold the same beliefs as he (the easy way). We now know that such radical Justices, as shown in the Citizens United case opening the door wide to plutocrats and billionaire casino owners bent on buying elections, would hold no brief for such concepts as precedence, known to lawyers as stare decisis.