Huffpost Politics
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Mark Axelrod Headshot

Rick Santorum: The Cowardly Elephant, or the Mouth That Roared (With Apologies to Ali)

Posted: Updated:
Print
AP
AP


I never went to Vietnam. The draft board declared me medically unsuited for that. Had I been medically suited, I probably wouldn't have gone for two reasons: 1) I didn't believe in the war and 2) I was probably too cowardly. I think I would have come from a long line of cowards at that time including, but not limited to, potential draftees like George W. Bush and Dan Quayle. Since Nixon we've had eight presidents only four of whom, Nixon, Carter, Bush, the Elder and Gerald Ford, had seen real combat. Yes, Reagan was ordered to active duty in 1942, but due to "eyesight problems," he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. The others either didn't serve or served in a non-combatant status like the Reserves. Curiously, those who didn't serve and became President didn't overlook their non-combatant combatant roles the most notable being Nixon's Vietnam and Bush the Younger's Iraq and Afghanistan which Obama inherited then made his own. Now I'm not saying that those who didn't enlist to fight in one way or another were cowards, but I am saying that this new/old breed of Republican presidential contenders don't have a lot of credibility when it comes to the gnarly decision to go commit mass murder on a nuclear scale.

Enter Rick Santorum.

Now Rick Santorum, the Faith, Family and Freedom mogul, has gone on record as stating that if he were elected president, he would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities unless they were opened for international arms inspectors. He's also said that Obama hasn't done enough to prevent the Iranian government from building a nuclear weapon and has risked turning the U.S. into a "paper tiger" a phrase he apparently gleaned from his reading of Chairman Mao. Curious that they'd have that connection. Without going into what Jesus may have thought about this kind of unilateral and dictatorial incursion (doesn't Congress have a Constitutional say about that?) it's clear that Santorum himself had no intention of joining the military under any circumstances since that sort of the thing wasn't in his master political plan after college and law school. There's nothing that I can find which would indicate Santorum had any intention of serving his country in any military capacity yet his mouth roars otherwise. I've often wondered how politicians can act ( or espouse to act) with such mindless alacrity when it comes to hopping on the "let's blow 'em up bandwagon" when, in fact, they've never seen combat except, perhaps, on Netflix. Santorum is one of those characters. What makes him a bigger "hypocrite" (a marvelous Greek word meaning "mask") than most of the other political hypocrites is that he disguises himself as a Christian and a family man while simultaneously espousing a potential policy that could, in fact, murder thousands of Christians and family men who relish their own freedom as much as he does his all in the name of "his" notion of freedom which is more or less the same thing as "his" notion of Christianity. "Negotiating" (a word which has its 16th century origins as 'coming to an agreement') is not in Santorum's lexicon.

Nope, the cowardly elephant would flex his military muscles and bomb away. Of course, Santorum's stand on this sort of thing runs counter to anything I could find in any Biblical concordance. You know, quoting from Proverbs 14:17 that "A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated" or Proverbs 15:18 that "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel" or, and best of all, Proverbs 16:32 that "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." Perhaps, Santorum, the Faith, Family and Freedom mogul, has a different edition of the Bible. Perhaps, his edition has been culled of proverbs related to negotiation. Then again, perhaps, he's merely wearing a mask of faith, family and freedom.