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Rick Santorum's 'Google Problem'

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RICK SANTORUM

Rick Santorum wants to maybe run for the GOP nomination for president and then not win that nomination and then, I guess, do something else with his life, like make speeches and write books and go on the teevee. In the meantime, he has something of a "Google problem," so naturally, he's out there, talking about his Google problem, ensuring that more people will find out about and add to his Google problem. Eventually, the former Pennsylvania senator will join an island colony of other people with Google problems, and there, he will lose their presidential nomination, too.

What is Santorum's Google problem? Chances are, you know it already -- "Savage Love" columnist Dan Savage started a website that linked the name "Santorum" to a transgressive sexual neologism. I'm in a bind, here, because explaining it or linking to it would only further it. And then I am "part of the problem." But if you Google "Rick Santorum" right now, the second result is a Wikipedia entry that explains it all. (Happily, the first entry is a Wikipedia entry that explains all of the other non-Google problem aspects of Rick Santorum's life.)

Per Roll Call's Steve Peoples:

Santorum himself sounded slightly defeated when asked about it recently.

"It's one guy. You know who it is. The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate. It's unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues. But he has an opportunity to speak," Santorum told Roll Call.

Most of the rest of the article is a lot of handwringing about what's to be done about an internet prank from 2003 now that it's 2011. I have to say, as far as malicious internet pranks go, Savage's was a pretty effective one. What's not discussed is that its overall cultural importance peaked years ago. I would imagine that most people who would be favorably inclined to vote for Rick Santorum likely wouldn't be swayed or impressed by the prank. Those that are represent a sunk cost to Santorum, anyway.

What's to be done about this? Over at Wonkette, Jack Stuef says:

If Rick Santorum wanted to get this sex thing the Internet did to him like a decade ago pushed down his Google results, he could do something relevant for the first time since then. To be fair, he's trying to do this by running for president. But even his presidential campaign is less relevant than some joke made about him years ago. Which is even funnier than the joke.

For what it's worth, this is not just a "Google problem." It's also a "Yahoo problem" and a "Bing The Decision Engine problem," too. Perhaps Santorum's best option at this point is to encourage people to start using Wolfram Alpha.

RELATED:
Santorum Talks About Longtime Google Problem [Roll Call]

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