Rick Santorum’s Anal Sex Problem

Rick Santorum's Anal Sex ProblemHow Dan Savage, Google, and a “frothy mix of lube and fecal matter” may take down a presidential candidate

Rick Santorum — the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania – has been running for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination virtually since he lost his seat in 2006 to Democrat Bob Casey. But he has one very uncomfortable hill he’s going to have to get over to make this happen. Remember how in the run-up to the 2008 election, Ron Paul launched his massive, blimp-using “Who is Ron Paul? Google Ron Paul” campaign? Well, Rick Santorum is currently banking on no one doing the same for him.

And why is that? Well, try it. Right now. Try Googling “Rick Santorum” and see what comes up. Sure, the first hit is his actual Wikipedia page, okay fine. But after that? It goes down hill fast for the presidential hopeful.

Second result: a Wikipedia entry for a “sexual neologism.” And the third result: the root of this neologism. Here you’ll see a link to SpreadingSantorum, which defines Santorum (san-TOR-um) n. as “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” Yikes.

So how did this happen? And how is it that doubtlessly thousands of Americans will find this entry when they attempt to learn more about the former senator as he gears up for 2012? That honor goes to columnist Dan Savage. In 2003, Savage launched a campaign against Santorum in response to Santorum’s frequent gay-baiting – most notably when Santorum called on the Supreme Court to uphold Texas’ anti-sodomy law. Then-Senator Santorum was the Senate’s most prominent “slippery-slope” theorist, arguing that legalized homosexuality would lead to not only polygamy and incest but also bestiality.

So Dan Savage launched what was probably the first coordinated Google-based attack. By spreading links around the Internet that associate Rick Santorum’s name with his reader generated “sexual neologism” since 2003, Savage managed to permanently taint Rick Santorum’s name. With presidential hopefuls relying on the Internet now more than ever to both attain name-recognition and advocate political stances, Rick “fecal froth” Santorum is seriously in a tough spot.

The former senator admitted as much to Roll Call today, saying that Savage’s campaign is an example of the “incivility” in today’s politics. And sure! I guess that’s a totally true and fair point for Santorum to make. But for that to be coming from the guy that said homosexuality would “undermine the fabric of our society” looks just a touch hypocritical. Sure, this is a pretty dirty, new-age political trick for Savage to pull. But it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy.

Matt Berman is a writer and student living in Washington, DC. He has also fumbled around the internet elsewhere. If you Google him, he is the one who has written for Talking Points Memo and Newswee ...read more

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