Today Brooks writes of Rick Santorum, “I’m delighted that Santorum is making a splash in this presidential campaign. He is far closer to developing a new 21st-century philosophy of government than most leaders out there.”
Seriously. And what philosophy would that be? Giving lobbyists votes in Congress?
Brooks describes Santorum as a Catholic scholar-philosopher, a modern-day Thomas Aquinas, and not the bigoted, corrupt yahoo that he actually is. But in truth, the pig in this case isn’t so much Santorum as the Republican party itself. Santorum’s rise to near-frontrunner status is the stuff slapstick comedy is made of. It is a joke played by the cosmos. And, sadly, we are all the butts of it.
Update: Michael Gerson likewise applies tinted emollient to the lips of an even-toed ungulate —
Rick Santorum is not just an outspoken social conservative; he is the Republican candidate who addresses the struggles of blue-collar workers and the need for greater economic mobility. He talks not only of the rights of the individual but also of the health of social institutions, particularly the family. He draws out the public consequences of a belief in human dignity — a pro-life view applied to the unborn and to victims of AIDS in Africa.
Is it me, or is it getting frothy out there?