Since the Republicans are swimming in money, they ought to use some of it to hire a team of psychiatrists to test Rick Santorum.
The party's rank file (sic) deserve to know just how insane this guy is.
His crazy religious prattle is one thing. I'll leave it for clergymen and theologians to parse.
But his comments -- in Detroit of all places! -- in defense of the widening income gap raise questions about whether he should be running around loose, let alone running for the presidential nomination of the GOP.
Here is some of what he said:
“I’m not about equality of result when it comes to income inequality. There is income inequality in America. There always has been and, hopefully, and I do say that, there always will be.
“We should celebrate (it) like we do in the small towns all across America — as you do here in Detroit. You celebrate success. You build statues and monuments. Buildings, you name after them. Why? Because in their greatness and innovation, yes, they created wealth, but they created wealth for everybody else. And that’s a good thing, not something to be condemned in America.”
Detroit has the highest poverty rate of any major city in this economically troubled nation. It has the highest unemployment rate. It has 90,000 vacant homes and buildings. Some of them are public schools less than 10 years old. It has closed more than half its schools. (Rick thinks that's just fine. Public education, he says, is antiquated and useless.) That Santorum would choose this city as the forum for his paean to the growing gap between very rich and very poor -- with fewer and fewer people in between -- is the essence of insanity.
Who dresses this guy in the morning? No wonder they put sweater vests on him; they're easier to manipulate than, say, a straitjacket.
Rick's utter nonsense was reported by the stenographers who pose as journalists these days as if it had some legitimacy --as if it were news.
Of course these same stenographers have ignored virtually simultaneous warnings by qualified academicians and scientists that U.S. income inequality threatens our very continued existence as a free nation. The warnings come not from Keynesians like Paul Krugman and Simon Johnson, who have been shouting the alarms for years. They come from center-right straight shooters like Francis Fukuyama, senior fellow at Stanford’s Center on Democracy.
Fukuyama wrote an essay in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, entitled, The Future of History: Can Liberal Democracy Survive the Decline of the Middle Class? His answer: probably not.
His chilling prognosis:
There are a lot of reasons to think that inequality will continue to worsen. The current concentration of wealth in the United States has already become self-reinforcing: the financial sector has used its lobbying clout to avoid more onerous forms of regulation. Schools for the well-off are better than ever; those for everyone else continue to deteriorate. Elites in all societies use their superior access to the political system to protect their interests, absent a countervailing democratic mobilization to rectify the situation. American elites are no exception to the rule. (Emphasis mine.)
In a functioning democracy, it is the role of government to impose that countervailing force on the economy. The force is called regulation.
It is not a dirty word, although idiots like Santorum would make it so, along with "liberal."
Two things can save this country:
1. A return to liberal democratic government that properly regulates powerful business and financial interests.
2. Locking up the likes of Rick Santorum before they really hurt someone.