Monday, June 27, 2005

Tainted By Boston Liberals?

The blogosphere was abuzz today with reports of a three-year-old editorial by Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Senator (who lives in Virginia) where he places the blame for the ongoing Church child molestation scandals not on the abusers, but instead on the liberals. Here's the money quote (via CapitolBuzz, as seen on Atrios, Blue Mass Group, The Fray and Left in Lowell among others)

[W]hile it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.
I don't really have much to add. John at AmericaBlog points out that while Boston certainly got the most attention, the single largest sex-abuse settlement was not here, but in Kentucky -- hardly a bastion of liberalism.

It's hard for me to have any less respect for Senator Santorum, and this quote doesn't really reveal anything about him that I didn't already know -- despite the conservative mantra of personal responsibility, he will always blame liberals or atheists or secularists or whatever for any and every social ill. It's this mindset that I think is Mitt Romney's biggest obstacle to the presidency -- even more than his religion. He's tainted by his association with Massachusetts in the eyes of many Conservatives. The idea that he is somehow acceptable in Boston automatically means he unacceptable to these radicals. After all, if Boston liberalism can infect the Catholic Church, what chance does Mitt have?

[Update] Some people, notably our own David Eisenthal, are wondering why these three-year old comments are suddenly exploding over the past week. While Santorum's opinion piece is indeed old, the first time these remarks appeared in any mainstream publication was on Friday, in an op-ed by John Baer in the Philidelphia Daily News (reg req). Baer picked out some of Santorum's "greatest hits" and contrasted the controversial Senator with his presumed opponent, the mild-mannered Bob Casey. While it's true that the quote is a few years old, there's no statute of limitations on being a moron.