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Arnie Reisman Headshot

Severely Out of Order

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I am now under a doctor's care because through a series of tests I found out that I was severely liberal. What's more, with each assault on my senses from factual inaccuracies, deceitful misrepresentations and uneducated opinions brought on by Republicans my condition has become -- progressive.

I am now residing in a hospital called Our Lady of the General Electorate. The patient across the hall is Mitt Romney, the former governor of a state he'd rather forget and the candidate for a nomination he seems to have misplaced. But he's not in here because of aphasia. He's here for two different reasons. He is severely conservative and he needs to undergo a procedure for a core implant.

The rest of the building appears to be completely occupied with members of the Republican Party suffering from a whole host of disorders. Many are experiencing a form of delirium tremens because they have delusions that they are following people with leadership skills and that they themselves have never ever participated in any government program or federally subsidized safety net.

Some patients are Tea Partiers who have an unfortunate disease that's been around since the dinosaurs -- the strangulation or deprivation of context. On the one hand, they blindly believe politicians who claim their words are taken out of context; on the other hand, they have no understanding of what context is.

One patient is Alice Stewart, a spokesperson for Rick Santorum, who referred on TV to President Obama's "radical Islamic policies."

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Then when she later saw herself saying that, she said she misspoke. What did she mean to say? The President's radical Illinois policies? Are these people missing a gene, an enzyme or what?

And what disorder does Santorum himself have? DMD -- Deliberate misinterpretation disorder? Some bizarre verbal form of Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome?

Speaking to a Tea Party group in Troy, Michigan, Santorum said: "President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them."

Obviously the president was not putting down people who did not go to college by saying every American should be able to go to college. But Santorum wrenched the wording so he could have the opportunity to knock all higher learning as brainwashing. Education is for the devil's workshop and ignorance is bliss.

The New York Times reported that Santorum declared that colleges were no longer a "neutral setting" for people of faith and said he wanted to throw up after reading John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech calling for the strict separation of religion and politics.

"What kind of country do we live in that says only people of nonfaith can come into the public square and make their case?" Santorum said on ABC News' This Week, February 26, 2012.

What kind of person can make a misinterpretation like that? It's as if every time he stands in front of a public restroom for men he must shake his head and wonder how women could ever go to the bathroom.

Walking down the hall, I heard conversation coming from an open door. Inside I could see a doctor chatting with his patient. On the wall were framed college and medical school degrees. Then I realized the patient was Rick Santorum. He looked disgruntled. Maybe he felt out of sorts without Ms. Stewart, his misspokesperson.

Santorum: You know I don't think you should go any further with this exam.

Doctor: Why, because Dr. Ron Paul recommended me?

Santorum: No, because I see by what's on your wall that you went to college to become a doctor. I can't have that. A college guy?

Doctor: Would you rather a physician who learned the medical profession through a correspondence course?

Santorum: I'd feel a lot better. Only a snob like President Obama thinks a doctor has to go to college.

Doctor: What's wrong with colleges?

Santorum: They're indoctrination mills. They teach kids to become moderate in their thinking and to vote Democratic.

The doctor drank in Santorum's words, paced, bit his lips.

Doctor: I think I know what you're suffering from. To quote Alexander Pope, a little learning is a dangerous thing.

Santorum: Well, I don't know about Alexander but among all the Popes I admire, the one that stands out is Pope Hilarius who I believe once said a lot of learning is a dangerous thing.

Doctor: The Catholic Church had a Pope named Hilarius?

Santorum: The fifth century. My favorite.

In the next room Newt Gingrich had dismissed his physician and was in the process of operating on himself.

As I raise a shade in the hospital corridor, I see the dawning of a new era: All politics is viral.

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