Rick Santorum's Reverse Snobbery
Who would have guessed that President
Who would interpret President
Welcome to the weird world of
But, no, Santorum dug in deeper as a culture warrior, appealing mainly to those who already supported him and displaying the intemperance of a man who seemed determined to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.
"President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college," he told the conservative Americans for Prosperity in
The line brought predictable laughs and applause but, if facts still matter, Santorum's punch line relied on a misquote. Although the president has urged Americans to pursue some schooling or vocational training beyond a high school degree, he has not said that he wants everyone to go to college.
That's sensible. A recent
Besides, if anyone knows the value of a college degree, it is Santorum. He has three of them himself -- a BA from
But Santorum wasn't about to let mere facts get in the way of his reverse-snobbery or his conspiracy theories: "Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college," Santorum said. "He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his."
Obama wants to create jobs, too, as he repeated Monday to a
Obama is not the only president Santorum misinterprets. He also defended to Stephanopoulos his reaction in October to
"To say that people of faith have no role in the public square?" Santorum told Stephanopoulos. "You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?"
No, Kennedy did not want only "people of non-faith" in the public square. He did say, among other valuable points, that government should not show preferences for any religion and that churches should not tell parishioners how to vote.
The wall of separation, in other words, protects each side from the excesses of the other. Santorum would have won more support if he had taken that stance. But he disagrees with it. "I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," he said. His supporters cheer him on. But the more I hear Santorum talk, the more I believe Kennedy was right.
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Rick Santorum's Reverse Snobbery | Politics
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