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Rick Santorum vs. Dan Savage: It’s on

Imagine a bully is tormenting you endlessly, and you know the right reaction is to ignore him. How long can you stand it? Years?

Since 2003, writer Dan Savage has been bullying Rick Santorum. Savage has been waging an online campaign to make the first Google search result for “Santorum” a page with this description: “Santorum 1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. 2. Senator Rick Santorum.”

Santorum, the former Senator turned Republican presidential candidate, has remained demure about this for 8 years. Eight years! But everyone has a breaking point. Today, Santorum sent out a fund-raising letter swinging back hard at Savage. You could describe the letter many ways (“amazing,” “remarkable,” “surprisingly defensive”) but you probably wouldn’t call it “presidential.”

Here’s the full text (emphasis mine):

Name,

Bill Maher, host of “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, is famous for taking shots at true conservatives like me on his show. However this past Friday, he and his guests went too far. Well friends, it’s time we fought back!

On last week’s episode, Maher hosted hate activist Dan Savage. Instead of focusing on the issues and having an intellectual conversation, they broke into vile attacks against me and other conservatives. I refuse to repeat these disgusting, sexually explicit references because these ridiculous attacks are far too inappropriate. However, I wanted to share my interview with Steve Malzberg of WOR in New York City – a responsible radio host who, like you and I, is disgusted by the media’s treatment of conservatives like us.

Imagine if this happened to a liberal. Maher and his friends in the Mainstream Media would hit the roof – and rightly so! But when it happens to a conservative, they applaud and laugh.

Some conservatives in the media like Sean Hannity have lambasted these attacks, but we have to do more! We cannot let such filth stand. Your contribution of any amount right now will help strengthen our campaign to protect us from these outrageous comments and obscene attacks in the future.

Remember this is not the first time Savage has attacked us on our stance of supporting American values. Savage and his perverted sense of humor is the reason why my children cannot Google their father’s name. I took the high road for nearly a decade by not dignifying these mindless attacks, then even defending his 1st Amendment right to spew this filth. And to this day, liberals like Rachel Maddow serve as Savage’s lackeys on national television, pushing his smut.

Yes, he may have the right to belittle and degrade us, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit by and not fight back. That is why I need your support today, and your contribution of $25, $50, $100 or $250 to my campaign will help us do just that!

With your help we will make this country great again. You can help right now by making a small or large contribution to my campaign. Don’t let Dan Savage and the extreme left win.

Thank you for your support.

Fighting For America,

Rick Santorum

P.S. Fighting for America takes all of us – please join the fight today!

Some thoughts:

1. “I took the high road for nearly a decade”… until the low road looked like a way to raise money.

2. Nobody thinks Bill Maher is “mainstream.” Especially compared to Sean Hannity, who on a daily basis pulls 2 million viewers.

3. Santorum once compared gay marriage legalization to the 9/11 attacks. Now he’s trying to be president. He should expect—really, he deserves—to have mud slung, tricks played, and passionate activists use every tool available to force him out of the race. You only get to be president if you can endure that without losing your cool.

4. It’s tempting to blame Google. After 8 years to fix this bug, they’re still letting their search results be gamed. But hang on. In Google’s estimation, Dan Savage’s Santorum campaign is simply a bigger deal and more important than Rick Santorum’s. And really, it should be.

I don’t agree with Savage half the time, but he started the It Gets Better Project (which I wrote about here). With that campaign to empower gay youth, Savage is doing more good for America’s future than anything Rick Santorum has ever done.

* * * *

Below: Here’s the clip of Dan Savage on Real Time:

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Politics, Uncategorized

15 comments

  1. Sharon says:

    Yes, but what Dan Savage has done re Rick Santorum undermines his It Gets Better campaign, at least IMO. If Dan Savage had chosen the high road from the start, I might care about the It Gets Better thing, but I don’t. Sure, bullying is horrible, but Dan Savage is a bully, and Maher is just a grotesque old shell of human being at this point. Santorum is not someone I’d ever vote for, but better to have walked away from that sort of idiocy and risen above. It was Savage who chose the low road and has remained solidly planted on it ever since.

    • TeddyLJ says:

      These are grown men, to call one of them a bully- specially when faced against a potential presidential candidate- is a ridiculous infantilization of one or both of them.

      When the issue at hand is civil rights, there is a right side and wrong side. Savage may not have taken the higher road, but to believe that his mockery of Santorum somehow takes away from the positivity of his “It gets better” campaign, is to also believe that these are two men with a simple difference of opinion.

      One seeks to use the GOVERNMENT and LAW to deny rights to human beings. The other uses google to make fun of the first. Who is really taking the low road? Is Santorum really the honorable one because he hedges his hate with polite words? How could you have such an opinion?

    • Hooraycookies says:

      You are incorrect.

  2. marisa says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. Santorum’s political positions are anathema – quote: “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.”

    I think Savage’s approach – change the dialogue, go straight after the ideologues in a very personal way – is spot on.

  3. Kelly says:

    Santorum, in my opinion, is a toad. However, there are plenty of low roads and double standards all around. Sharon makes some good points.

  4. Rick says:

    The right wing has completely dominated public perception for the past decade or so. The right wing has misconstrued, maligned, and flat out lied about what the left represents and aims to accomplish. The right has been doing this from the head of their party to their lowest lackey. It’s about time the left has something even approaching the smears the GOP has been slinging. If the left was as good as the right at denigrating the opposition, and influencing public opinion, Republicans would get maybe 15% of the vote — and those 15% would be the millionaires and the folks too poor to afford a TV or radio (because more of the Republican base is people who are poor but tricked and lied into voting GOP.) We need more smears like Santorum. The right is filthy, they need to be treated as such.

  5. Jim March says:

    Santorum started the fight by trying to legislate against gays AND verbally compared them to beastiality freaks.

    He started a fight, and he lost BIG. And now he’s whining about it like a toddler that lost it’s lolly. Screw him.

  6. aaaaa says:

    He has such a frothy mix of angry or crudeness.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Santorum STARTED on the low road when he compared GLBT persons to pedophiles & lovers of bestiality. Savage merely took the fight to Santorum’s level, and now Frothy Mix is showing what a poor loser he is.

    Honestly, he should THANK Savage, because, let’s face it, he’s going to use this issue to raise a large pile of money from the right.

  8. dan meyer says:

    Since when is it ‘bullying’ for calling people out on their bullshit? This is essentially a media debate, and the person who can get the most ears to hear tends to win – ala the Google search results.

    You don’t think Santorum’s a bully? He’s a bigoted asshole who is campaigning against gays. This world will be better when a majority of voters reject this nonsense and the Bachmann’s and the Santorum’s out there can’t get more votes by hating gays.

  9. Hittman says:

    Savage is expressing hate toward an individual, which is (or should be) perfectly acceptable. Santorum has repeatedly expressed hatred for a harmless group, which is not.

    And the only way one can be a bully is by being bigger and stronger, which in this case means having more access to the media. Obama could bully me, I can not bully Obama. Santorum can bully gays, and Savage, but Savage can’t bully him – he can only make him look like a fool, and he’s done a very fine job of that.

  10. Heather says:

    Santorum and his perverted sense of morality is the reason why many gay people can’t have children at all.

  11. Andrew says:

    I am super liberal, and love Bill Maher’s show, but I just read a extended article on Marcus Bachmann’s clinic. And well he doesn’t really do much “Torture,” that is kinda of ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the Bachmann’s, but don’t over exaggerate an all ready pretty good story. It is just dumb.

  12. Lou Cooper says:

    What is happening to us America? We are being falsely led down a wrong lane of issues. We imploding by wasting energy on these issues. Let us not take our eyes off the real problems that need our attention like bills written to benefit the uber wealthy. Taxes to run this country are paid by the middle class and poor. Don’t let someone get you riled up with false issues. The LBG issue is getting solved by the younger generation who have a firmer understanding of their fellow man and woman.Don’t let the political terroists ruin this country from within!!

  13. I agree with Lou Cooper to some extent. But we still need to hold people accountable for the misguided actions. Dan Savage, like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, is a source of trusted information for many of the youth today. I consider myself in this target age bracket an see my peers blindly regurgitating information they hear from these venues.

    I think during this entire debate we are missing the real problem with the whole Dan Savage vs. Rick Santorum issue. Sure you can call it hypocrisy that Dan Savage, leader of the It Gets Better Project, slanders the names of people/groups he opposes. Dan Savage is the definition of a cyber-bully. But we’re missing the part where Dan Savage hurts innocent people in the wake of his attacks. I think of any teenager that happens to share the last name “Santorum” being subject to bullying with the aid of Savage’s ammunition. Is it fair that they now have to live with the actions of one misguided man? Furthermore, should we support an organization that has this person as their leader?

    This would be neither here nor there if it were not for Savage’s involvement with an anti-bully organization. The hypocrisy should be criminal. Personally, I do not necessarily agree with Rick Santorum on the issues that started this mess. But to attack a name in such a vile way shows that Dan Savage does not know the first thing about tact and civility. Nor does he have the foresight to understand that his actions have farther reaching consequences than intended. Essentially he brought a grenade to a knife fight and has hurt people that do not deserve it.

    In closing, it is important to address these issues to shine light on bad behavior. It takes a different perspective to sway minds that are presently being molded to think a certain way. Regardless of personal background we all need to start looking at the big picture. This will help us see the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    To read an open letter regarding this issue visit:

    http://elephantweignore.blogspot.com/2011/07/it-gets-better-rick-santorum.html

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