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Dan gets down and dirty
December 4, 2003 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Spreading Santorum. Dan Savage intensifies his smear campaign against Sen. Rick Santorum. How far is too far? How low can he go? Here's some background on the whole dirty, frothy affair. The Santorum-Savage feud was also previously discussed here. (first link is NSFW)
posted by Ljubljana (58 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
But doesn't a feud imply that both sides care?
posted by xmutex at 2:09 PM on December 4, 2003


Oh, I'm sure he's thrilled.
posted by goethean at 2:21 PM on December 4, 2003


I think there's such a thing as being too enamored with the power to Googlebomb.
posted by brownpau at 2:23 PM on December 4, 2003


The third Google hit on Santorum is Dan Savage's column. The fifth is the Metafilter discussion. I'll bet he knows.
posted by goethean at 2:23 PM on December 4, 2003


This is getting a lot of support.
posted by waldo at 2:27 PM on December 4, 2003


I'm not fond of Santorum (the politician, that is), but Dan Savage's crusade is little more than a childish attention-getting behavior...

And besides, Savage's definition of "santorum" is ridiculous. Anybody with half a brain knows that a "santorum" is an embarrassing public comment which inadvertently reveals a secret fascination with bestiality.
posted by troutfishing at 2:32 PM on December 4, 2003


Savage's vendetta doesn't come close to the lowness of Santorum's vile slurs against gays.
posted by Daze at 2:35 PM on December 4, 2003


Daze - Like the crafty octopus, Santorum squirts out a thick black ink screen of anti-gay slurs to distract the public from his now not-so-secret "Man-on-dog" obsessions.
posted by troutfishing at 2:43 PM on December 4, 2003


Just a day or two ago, a convicted bigamist in Utah declared that he intends to use the Massachusets ruling on gay marriage to appeal his own conviction. Santorum's claim that the legalization of bigamy would follow gay marriage was not crazy. It doesn't follow from his saying what he said that homosexuality is "as bad" as any of the other things he mentioned. (What the narrowminded Daze called "vile slurs", in an affront to bigamists, adulterers and furry types everywhere...) He's making the point that a culture that doesn't recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman isn't going to be in a position to say that marriage isn't between three people, or between a human and an animal.

And Santorum is right. But it's much more fun to pretend that he said that bestiality is no worse than sodomy.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:46 PM on December 4, 2003


I wonder if systematically being equated with fecal sludge in a newspaper falls under "defamation of character" or not. Does the senator being a public official rule out the possibility of a libel case? After all, Savage's campaign seems malicious enough, and it could be argued that it does do damage to the senator's character. (Anyone?)

Then again, even if Santorum could take legal action, doing so would probably make everything that much worse, both for himself and for all the reporters trying to explain the details of the case without using the words "anal" or "fecal."
posted by Ljubljana at 2:49 PM on December 4, 2003


This was excellent reading and damned if "santorum" isn't a great word. You have a great orgasm and then go and wipe the santorum off your unit.

Classic! Now how do we go about letting little Ricky know?
posted by fenriq at 2:50 PM on December 4, 2003


Ljublijana, I don't see a point in Santorum responding. Savage craves attention. There's no reason for Santorum (or anyone else) to give it to him.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:52 PM on December 4, 2003


I have a great slogan:

"Put Santorum in A Sanitarium."
posted by jonmc at 2:53 PM on December 4, 2003


"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything,"

- Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania

Utah Polygamist Invokes Lawrence v. Texas

While I would be willing to wage that Senator Santorum in not the biggest fan of homosexuals, that has nothing to do with what he is talking about. He was correct in his quote above. While I personally do not care if homosexuals have sex, and I do not believe that the law should be on the book, the SCOTUS' sweeping decision has opened pandora's box. Everything from polygamy to drug use is now in question since the SCOUTS strengthened this so-called "right to privacy" that they have found in the Constitution.

What Mr. Savage is doing is shouting really loud, in the hopes that anyone who cares forgets what the Senator actually said. Any who takes the time to read the Santorum quote, will see that he is not comparing gay sex to bigamy, polygamy, incest, or even adultery...

But lets not let a little thing like reality stand in our way....
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:03 PM on December 4, 2003


Ljubljana - I am merely a first-year law student, so I may be off the mark. But I think that Santorum could not pursue a claim against Savage unless Savage accused him of something that an outside observer might reasonably think is true.

So "Santorum is a pile of shit" is a slur, not a defamation. But "Santorum smoked crack rocks with quonsar in '83" is an accusation that, if made in malice, is defamation. (don't sue me, quonsar. My pockets are empty.)
posted by PrinceValium at 3:07 PM on December 4, 2003


He's making the point that a culture that doesn't recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman isn't going to be in a position to say that marriage isn't between three people, or between a human and an animal.

Which is a non-sequitur. That's like saying that a culture that doesn't recognize that a man is, by nature, white isn't going to be in a position to say that a man isn't a woman or a pig.

By what mechanism does saying that a marriage is between two people (sex not specified) prevent us from saying that marriage isn't between three people, or between a human and an animal? I mean, if you tell me that taking the spark plugs out of my car's will make it not run, you should be able to explain to me how and why the spark plugs are vital to the functioning of the engine. So you should be able to tell me how and why the idea of marriage as between a man and a woman is vital to the functioning of society's ability to define things like marriage.
posted by kindall at 3:09 PM on December 4, 2003


I don't like this campaign. I don't think it helps the cause of equal rights for gays at all. It's self indulgent and ultimately destructive.

And besides, the last thing I want to think about while I'm having anal sex is a Republican Senator.
posted by alms at 3:13 PM on December 4, 2003


Steve_at_Linwood, thanks, it was the Texas sodomy case, not the Massachusetts gay marriage case, that the bigamist in Utah is using in his appeal. Which is even better, because Santorum's comments were about the Texas case.

Santorum said that if there is a constitutional right to sodomy, there will end up being a constitutional right to bigamy, and now there's a real, live convicted bigamist in Utah trying to use the very ruling Santorum was talking about to have his own bigamy constitutionally protected.

Do any of the anti-Santorum people want to address this issue?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:13 PM on December 4, 2003


While I personally do not care if homosexuals have sex,

oh my God this is so _nice_ of you, Steve. so enlightened and _compassionate_

;)

Any who takes the time to read the Santorum quote, will see that he is not comparing gay sex to bigamy, polygamy, incest, or even adultery...

heh. (italics mine):

...this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong, healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality _

AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

posted by matteo at 3:19 PM on December 4, 2003


Santorum said that if there is a constitutional right to sodomy, there will end up being a constitutional right to bigamy

And this makes no sense, because sodomy is a sexual act, and bigamy is a legal marriage contract. There's nothing preventing Utah guy from having sex with two women.

Santorum's basically just spouting backwardsness with no factual basis for his hysteria.
posted by PrinceValium at 3:22 PM on December 4, 2003


Just for the record, bigamy should not be legal because why?
posted by majcher at 3:24 PM on December 4, 2003


Just for the record, this could not have been added to the previous thread because why?
posted by languagehat at 3:28 PM on December 4, 2003


kindall, I agree that defenders of marriage would have to make the kind of case you demand, and I agree that they haven't made it. The main reason for this is that the legitimacy of divorce isn't something many people want to reexamine. Maggie Gallagher has some interesting insights into the rationale behind the Massachussetts decision here. She might sound like Mrs. Lovejoy, imploring us all to "think of the children", but she has a point. The problem is that there's no way to apply that point to the issue of gay marriage without connecting it to the issue of divorce.

The Catholic Church has taught all along that first comes contraception, then comes divorce, then comes abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, then comes legalized sodomy, and ultimately legal pan-sexualism. Being proved correct in a matter as grave as the self-destruction of a culture is cold comfort.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:28 PM on December 4, 2003


Santorum said that if there is a constitutional right to sodomy, there will end up being a constitutional right to bigamy, and now there's a real, live convicted bigamist in Utah trying to use the very ruling Santorum was talking about to have his own bigamy constitutionally protected.

That doesn't mean he'll win.

And besides, Lawrence v. Texas has nothing to do with marriage law, but rather privacy law. Bigamy is not protected by the right to privacy, while anal sex is.
posted by me3dia at 3:31 PM on December 4, 2003


He's making the point that a culture that doesn't recognize that marriage is between a man and a woman isn't going to be in a position to say that marriage isn't between three people, or between a human and an animal.

And Santorum is right.


Budduh whuh? This doesn't follow at all. Why not say that a culture that doesn't recognize that marriage is between a white man and a white woman isn't going to be in a position etc. etc. etc.

The line by which we legally define marriage is already pretty arbitrary. Redrawing the line so that it's not egregiously unfair doesn't take away the power to draw lines all together.

That said, I am crazy tired of the Santorum thing. It was funny for about 6 minutes, but now it just sounds sort of sad.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 3:31 PM on December 4, 2003


Do any of the anti-Santorum people want to address this issue?

The texas case was sweeping and could be interpretted beyond the intent of that case, I do agree it will be problematic in the future, but not in the case of a bigamist. Apples and Oranges and all...

A completely separate case is that of gay marriage which accidentally got mentioned above but many comments keep mentioning it, and I'd restate exactly what Kindall said. A law saying marriage equals two people will prevent it from being applied to three or more, or to anything non-human.

And the savage/santorium thing is stupid and unfunny. I wish he'd move on.
posted by mathowie at 3:36 PM on December 4, 2003


Just for the record, bigamy should not be legal because why?

Well, one reason I can think of is that it would really screw up legal benefits. For instance, spouses have automatic decision making power in the event that a person is incapacitated. But what if there's 3 spouses? Maybe there's a good way to get around that, but it's a concern.

The Catholic Church has taught all along that first comes contraception, then comes divorce, then comes abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, then comes legalized sodomy, and ultimately legal pan-sexualism. Being proved correct in a matter as grave as the self-destruction of a culture is cold comfort.

No, first comes sex. Or marriage in general. Oh, wait, first comes being human. No, first comes orginal sin. Well, crap. These slippery slope arguments are always so useful, you know?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 3:44 PM on December 4, 2003


Contraception? check.
Divorce? erm, single.
Abortion? check.
Infantcide? covered above.
Euthanasia? Haven't seen the Pope get trotted out lately before the tourist masses like some sort of drooling, sluring, shaking Golden Calf, eh?
Sodomy? whenever possible.
Pan-sexualism? bring it on, babe

So do I get excommunicated now? Pretty please???!!
posted by romakimmy at 3:46 PM on December 4, 2003


I'm still disappointed the few people have pounted out that what Santorum said was aboslutely right -- we do, or should, have the right to do whatever we bloody well want with consenting partners in our own bedrooms. I don't care if you're fucking a man or three women or your own sister, just mind your own business and get on with it.

It's just not the bad thing he thinks it is...
posted by jammer at 3:53 PM on December 4, 2003


I wish he'd move on.

nah. immediately after the interview, most sane Republicans (except DeLay who of course gleefully praised him) seemed to be pretty wary of Santorum, who gave them another nice Bob Jones moment.
but now they've found a nice way to spin the whole sorry homophobic mess -- gay-bashing is OK because it keeps bigamists at bay, apparently.
God forbid one finally admits that even those Satanic, depraved gays sometimes just fall in love with someone, and they wish to marry that person to begin a life together.
what a terrible, immoral thing to do, right? good to see how many people can still be scared by what, in the final analysis, is just love

BOO!

So many gay people (who are also citizens and taxpayers, by the way) want to get married and want to enlist in the Armed Forces. it's interesting to see how Republicans should be the first to encourage marriage and a career in the military. but they'd rather appease their fundy friends.

Inner Santorum - (n): a place where stupidity and bigotry is worshipped; where logic, common sense and decency is shunned, and a fun time had by all rich, white, heterosexuals
posted by matteo at 3:54 PM on December 4, 2003


And this makes no sense, because sodomy is a sexual act, and bigamy is a legal marriage contract

&

Bigamy is not protected by the right to privacy, while anal sex is

This is the crux of the issue. Lawrence v. Texas does NOT legalize gay sex. It states that a community, via the state, can not set it's own standards. That it can not deiced what is morally or socially acceptable in terms of relationships people have in that community.

Lawrence v. Texas is yet another nail in the coffin of federalism.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:56 PM on December 4, 2003


gay-bashing is OK because it keeps bigamists at bay

Pull the partisan wool from your eyes, and learn to read. Your continual spin on Santorum's quote is not fooling anyone.

If you understood one single iota of the argument at hand, you would know you can be opposed to Lawrence v. Texas with out being "anti-gay".

But it is so much easier for you to shout "bigot" and "gay basher" etc, etc, that actually explain to me why the SCOUTS had any authority to over turn the State of Texas' law, and why gay activists did not pursue a reversal of the law via the state house, rather than the court house ... etc etc etc...

I complete disagree with sodomy laws, but this is an issue that should have been taken care of in the Texas state house... not by activist Judges on our so-called "conservative" Supreme Court...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:05 PM on December 4, 2003


The SCOUTS?

metafilter: BOO!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:06 PM on December 4, 2003


SCOTUS, rather...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:39 PM on December 4, 2003


I wish he'd move on.

nah. immediately after the interview....


I was talking about Savage moving on from this thing with Rick, not Rick's dumb comments.
posted by mathowie at 4:40 PM on December 4, 2003


I thought people wanted to get politicians OUT of the bedroom...
posted by cell divide at 4:48 PM on December 4, 2003


The problem I have with Santorums' little interview is not that he equates bestiality with sodomy (which he doesn't - well, actually he does, but only in the context that both fail to product children, except in furry stories).

The problem I have with the good senator is that he believes that we do NOT have a right to privacy. He believes that if sex isn't for the purpose of pro-creation, then it should be illegal. If I understand him correctly - and I think that I do - then he disapproves of blowjobs that end in ejaculation (thereby avoiding impregnation) and would have them be illegal.

Don't forget folks - in most states anything other than penicular penetration of the vaginimus is sodomy.
posted by jaded at 4:51 PM on December 4, 2003


No, first comes sex. Or marriage in general. Oh, wait, first comes being human. No, first comes orginal sin.

I thought it was
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes LittleMissCranky in a baby carriage.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:55 PM on December 4, 2003


Santorum deserves it, all of it. Perhaps Santorum deserves worse.
posted by Bag Man at 4:58 PM on December 4, 2003


Steve, you are misreading Lawrence v. Texas. Here's a crucial part of Kennedy's opinion, 123 S.Ct. 2472, 2478:

To say that the issue in Bowers was simply the right to engage in certain sexual conduct demeans the claim the individual put forward, just as it would demean a married couple were it to be said marriage is simply about the right to have sexual intercourse. The laws involved in Bowers and here are, to be sure, statutes that purport to do no more than prohibit a particular sexual act. Their penalties and purposes, though, have more far- reaching consequences, touching upon the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, and in the most private of places, the home. The statutes do seek to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals.

This, as a general rule, should counsel against attempts by the State, or a court, to define the meaning of the relationship or to set its boundaries absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects. It suffices for us to acknowledge that adults may choose to enter upon this relationship in the confines of their homes and their own private lives and still retain their dignity as free persons. When sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring. The liberty protected by the Constitution allows homosexual persons the right to make this choice.


The right that Lawrence grants has nothing to do with a marriage ceremony. It recognizes the right to privacy in consensual individual behavior. The government does not have to recognize or condone gay sex. It just can't put you in jail for it. Certainly that's a freedom worth embracing, regardless of political affiliation.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:10 PM on December 4, 2003


It recognizes the right to privacy in consensual individual behavior.

But doesn't that pave the way for letting people do otherwise illegal things at home? I can imagine someone getting busted for smoking pot in their backyard saying that Lawrence vs. Texas protects them from being arrested for their harmless activity.

I'm not trying to back up these wild claims that bigamy and incest will be legal now, but I guess I've been surrounded with fuming constitutional lawyers ever since the decision came down and they're convinced it's a possibile apart from their personal politics or views.
posted by mathowie at 5:17 PM on December 4, 2003


MetaFilter: penicular penetration of the vaginimus.

Frankly, it ain't nobody's business if you do. As long as the action is between informed, consenting adults, it should be legal.

As long as I'm allowed to keep my family unit of one wife and two tow-headed children, I really don't see that other people's marital and sexual relationships have any effect on me.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:44 PM on December 4, 2003


what pv said--Lawrence v. Texas clearly is restricted to sexual acts between 2 consenting adults in private. I also think that criminalizing a whole group of people because of what they do in private was doomed to begin with. These laws were used to ruin whole lives for years and years.

And for pot, you need the pot--for sex, you don't need anything else (unless you're into that ; > or having safe sex)..i think pot (which should be legal) might be legally seen as similar to contraception (and people fighting for legalization might be able to use those laws) since it's about using a product in private.
posted by amberglow at 6:05 PM on December 4, 2003


But doesn't that pave the way for letting people do otherwise illegal things at home? I can imagine someone getting busted for smoking pot in their backyard saying that Lawrence vs. Texas protects them from being arrested for their harmless activity.

I agree that extending Lawrence to private consumption of drugs is a logical next step. But it's extremely doubtful that any court (except maybe the 9th Circuit, of course) will take that step.

The justices in Lawrence have finally figured out that private consensual sex between adults is a completely harmless activity. But drug consumption is part of a larger stream of commerce, one that often involves small-time dealers, big-time distributors, and international kingpins. As long as it's the policy of Congress to regulate, ban, or interfere with the stream of commerce (as is its constitutional right,) it would be paradoxical to condone and protect the behavior of participants in an illegal stream of commerce.

Thus the right to privacy has always been limited by larger social concerns. As those social concerns fade, as they will eventually with regard to distribution and consumption of marijuana, Lawrence will be one of the valuable tools used to justify the right to this, or other, private consensual behaviors.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:36 PM on December 4, 2003


An obvious point worth mentioning: the Utah polygamist may think Lawrence v Texas voids all the charges against him (including the statutory rape charges stemming from his "marriage" to a 13-year-old), but that doesn't mean he's right. Judges aren't required to accept every preposterous argument a defendant makes. Doesn't anyone else here watch Law and Order?
posted by Daze at 7:53 PM on December 4, 2003


The problem with human/animal sex is that the animal has no ability to give clear consent to a human sex partner and to corroborate that consent to a third party. Therefore, bestiality violates principles of law relating to animal cruelty.

As far as incest goes, the vast majority of incest cases that are prosecuted involve at least one partner who is under the legal age of consent. I'm sure there are adults out there who are having sex with their adult siblings or aunts or uncles (even apart from those who are on Jerry Springer) whose activities are overlooked by law enforcement because no one is being harmed.

I would be interested to see how many incest prosecutions have actually been brought against two adults. My guess is not many.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:57 PM on December 4, 2003


Daze, you make a good point--if Lawrence v. Texas doesn't work, I'm sure that guy's next strategy will be the "gold fringe on the flag means a naval court is in session" palaver.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:58 PM on December 4, 2003


As long as I'm allowed to keep my family unit of one wife and two tow-headed children, I really don't see that other people's marital and sexual relationships have any effect on me.

Once the queers are allowed to marry, your kids will 12% less tow-headed.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:42 PM on December 4, 2003


The problem with human/animal sex is that the animal has no ability to give clear consent to a human sex partner and to corroborate that consent to a third party. Therefore, bestiality violates principles of law relating to animal cruelty.

Remember folks, you can eat'em, just don't @#%*'em!
posted by dgaicun at 8:48 PM on December 4, 2003


I can imagine someone getting busted for smoking pot in their backyard saying that Lawrence vs. Texas protects them from being arrested for their harmless activity.

And, again, how is this a bad thing?

Dear Government: What I do with my body, or the bodies of any number of consenting adults on my property is none of your damn business. Build some roads, pay some teachers, and get the fuck out of my face. Love, majcher.
posted by majcher at 9:00 PM on December 4, 2003


all i can say is WTF?
posted by MrLint at 9:10 PM on December 4, 2003


Once the queers are allowed to marry, your kids will 12% less tow-headed.

I find the expression "tow-headed" disturbing for some reason.
posted by jonmc at 9:41 PM on December 4, 2003


Why would the term "tow-headed" be any more disturbing than the phrase "wooly-minded"?
posted by cookie-k at 11:05 PM on December 4, 2003


Pull the partisan wool from your eyes, and learn to read.

I'm learning. SCOUTS, anyone?
;)

If you understood one single iota of the argument at hand

ready to compare Law School grades anytime, sweetie pie


Lawrence v. Texas is yet another nail in the coffin of federalism.


nah. it was Bush vs Gore -- it vacuum-sealed the coffin and put it 6,000 feet under

oh, and what Prince Valium said, of course
posted by matteo at 12:58 AM on December 5, 2003


I thought it was
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes LittleMissCranky in a baby carriage.


Well, actually, if you're talking about my parents, it's First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes years of bitter resentment and several incidental baby carriages.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2003


"Tow" is a kind of rope (generally flax or hemp) used for... well, towing, usually boats and such. It has a characteristic yellowish color, which is also sometimes called "tow". Thus, "tow-headed" = "yellow-haired". Nothing disturbing about it.
posted by majcher at 8:09 AM on December 5, 2003


Judges aren't required to accept every preposterous argument a defendant makes. Doesn't anyone else here watch Law and Order?

Based on Law and Order, it seems that judges are more than willing to agree to the most absurd defenses. But then again, I think it's basically jumped the shark by now.
posted by norm at 9:53 AM on December 5, 2003


I can imagine someone getting busted for smoking pot in their backyard saying that Lawrence vs. Texas protects them from being arrested for their harmless activity.

Maybe a law student/lawyer can pipe up here, but I think in a way this is already protected. You can't have the pot itself, or any of the paraphernalia. However, they can't throw you in jail for having the drug in your system. This is assuming you are just sitting on your couch at home immobile; but for the hand moving the chips to the mouth.

So, posessing the substance is illegal, but once it is ingested you are legal. I think. I would guess internal, ah, smuggling is trated differently.
posted by jester69 at 2:31 PM on December 5, 2003


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