What campaigns reveal

About three weeks ago, I thought about endorsing Rick Santorum.

He had done well in the debates. He was talking about the importance of manufacturing jobs and he had a plan to bring them back. He was a blue-collar guy who cared about family values, cared about helping the poor, cared about normal people.

Campaigns reveal things, though, and in three short weeks, we have found out a bunch of things about Rick Santorum.

We found out that he wanted to “throw up” after reading John F. Kennedy’s famous speech on the separation of church and state. Remember, this was the speech that helped catapult the only Catholic president in our nation’s history into the White House. Santorum’s Catholic, right?

We found out that he thinks Satan has infiltrated higher education in this country. Listen, if he has a problem with his alma mater (Penn State), that’s his problem, but don’t lump my alma mater (Marquette) in with that problem, OK?

We found out that Santorum, who home-schools his kids (not that there is anything wrong with that), believes that having the state fund public education is “anachronistic.” I guess Rick thinks everybody should home-school their kids. 

We found out that Rick believes that President Obama is a “snob” because he thinks more people should go to college. The unemployment rate for college graduates is about 4 percent. For those who don’t attend college, it is about 12 percent. I’m with the snob on this one.

He calls colleges “indoctrination mills.” Yep, I hate that kind of indoctrination that gets you a job.

We found out that his wife, Karen, believes that it is God’s will that Rick Santorum become president. I thought it was God’s will that Rick Perry become president, or at least that is what Perry’s wife thought. I, for one, think that God must be getting awfully tired hearing people claiming his endorsement. If He wants to endorse somebody, I am sure He will let us all know.

We found out that Santorum can take a perfectly winning issue, religious freedom, and turn it in to a deep discussion of contraception, which, if you look at the polls, is a big loser for conservatives.

We are glad to hear that you are against contraception personally, Rick, and we are glad that you are so against contraception that you voted to fund it on occasion. Now can you just shut up about it?

We found out, according to the Gospel of Rick, that “we’re not here to serve the earth. The earth is not the objective. Man is the objective.” I thought God was the objective, and in any case, neither man nor God is served well if we completely trash this little place we call home. 

We found out that Santorum believes that Obama is practicing a “phony theology.” But we can’t quite get out of the former senator what he means by that. Is the president a Freemason, a Muslim, a Mormon, a Mennonite, or perhaps a Scientologist? 

In total, we have found out that Santorum believes he is on a mission from God, that he doesn’t believe in public education, doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state, that he doesn’t believe in contraception and that Satan has somehow possessed a bunch of people that he disagrees with. He sounds like our Founding Fathers.

No, not Jefferson, Washington, Ben Franklin and all of the Enlightenment folks.

He sounds like the Puritans who kicked Roger Williams out of Massachusetts and exiled him to Rhode Island because he was too liberal.

If Santorum gets the GOP nomination, I will be voting for Ron Paul (who I hope will be running as a Libertarian), thank you very much. 

H. L. Mencken once defined Puritanism as “the haunting fear that somebody somewhere might be happy.” Should Santorum become the Republican standard-bearer, the only person truly happy will be Barack Obama.

Feehery is president of Quinn 
Gillespie Communications and 
spent 15 years working in the 
House Republican leadership. He is 
a contributor to The Hill’s Pundits Blog and blogs at thefeeherytheory.com.