Santorum: Satan Bad, Vote For Me

Matt Drudge has a new report out about a Rick Santorum speech from 2008 at Ave Maria University.

Here’s what the Republican frontrunner said:

Satan has his sights on the United States of America! … Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition …. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.

File this one under WTF. Santorum’s attack on Satan is an ill-advised, horribly misguided attempt to play on his religiosity yet again – and yet again, he has painted himself into the “religious nut” corner. The vast majority of Americans are religious and believe in the evil of Satan, but they also find such talk alienating when its speaker is now a candidate a mainstream political campaign. Santorum may win the anti-Beelzebub vote, but he isn’t likely to influence Americans who are more concerned about the economy and foreign policy.


Santorum’s peculiar language is also a major problem for him. Conservatives largely agree with him that American culture is oversexed. But his rhetorical flourish here, in which he suggests that Satan is using “sensuality” to attack America, comes off as fringe and, as Mitt Romney might put it, zany.

Conservatives can win on social issues. The polls prove it. But they cannot win if they paint social issues as a battle between the forces of Satan and the forces of God, rather than as an attempt to create a better life for all Americans by following the lessons of traditional morality learned over the course of thousands of years of world history. Santorum is actually giving social conservatism a bad name with nonsense like this.

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