Friday, February 17, 2012

In Attack Mode

Foster Friess, Rick Santorum's sugar daddy,  told Andrea Mitchell onThursday  

We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex -- I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are.       This contraceptive thing, my gosh it's such [sic] inexpensive. 

Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly.

Later, Friess apologized (sort of) for his ludicrous and offensive remark, blogging

After listening to the segment tonight, I can understand how I confused people with the way I worded the joke and their taking offense is very understandable.       To all those who took my joke as modern day approach I deeply apologize and seek your forgiveness.

It was closer to an unequivocal admission of wrongdoing than heard from most public figures (politicians, athletes, and others) who make a disgusting remark and was, relatively speaking, fairly classy.

Not so than the guy he wants to put into the White House and control.          Appearing Friday morning on CBS' Morning Show, Santorum commented

This is someone who is a supporter of mine, and I'm not responsible for every comment that a supporter of mine makes.        It was a bad joke, it was a stupid joke, and it is not reflective of me or my record on this issue.

Good, Rick, now stop speaking.       But no, he just couldn't:

This is what you guys do. You don't do this with President Obama. In fact, with President Obama, what you did was you went out and defended him against someone who sat in a church for 20 years, and defended him, that he can’t possible believe what he listened to for 20 years.      That’s a double standard, this is what you’re pulling off, and I’m going to call you on it. 

Friday afternoon, he referred to the dustup as "crap" and boasted "I went at Charlie Rose this morning a little bit for bringing this stuff up."

Be honest, readers.      When you saw Foster Friess opine on contraception, you thought:   "oh, my gosh!     This is just like Jeremiah Wright!"    No.

Probably not.     One fellow is a minister, the other is a former investment manager.      One guy is middle class, the other worth approximately $530 million.         One guy is black, the other white.  

They don't look or sound like the other.     But Santorum is right about one thing.      This wasn't done to Barack Obama (not President Obama, Rick:    it was Senator/candidate Obama).       No, Foster Friess volunteered his remark and his candidate was given the opportunity to respond to it.       But the media, without being prompted, broke the news of Reverend Wright and his relationship to the presidential candidate.     Longtime ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross wrote in March, 2008

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor for the last 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side, has a long history of what even Obama's campaign aides concede is "inflammatory rhetoric," including the assertion that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own "terrorism.   

In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial." He said Rev. Wright "is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with," telling a Jewish group that everyone has someone like that in their family.Rev. Wright married Obama and his wife Michelle, baptized their two daughters and is credited by Obama for the title of his book, "The Audacity of Hope."

An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright's sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans. 

Thus began a controversy which continued for months, and continues- to this day- in the words of conservative Republicans, including Rush Limbaugh.       And now Rick Santorum, who, dogwhistle firmly between lips, brings it up in a wholly unrelated matter.

But there is- or may prove to be- yet another difference between the Foster Friess and the Jeremiah Wright matters.  Soon after Wright's existence came to light, Obama condemned the loathsome remarks the minister had made.         The following month, the Senator went further, asserting "I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday."      Shortly afterward, he and his wife left the church.

There is still time for Santorum, who blamed the media for reporting what his most important and powerful supporter had said, to concede that his excuse was nearly as loathsome as Reverend Wright's sermons.      Though Oba ma disassociated himself from his pastor, Santorum need not unload his benefactor, who more or less apologized.   But his own invocation of media bias where none exists was inaccurate and demonstrated a severe (as Mitt Romney would have put it) lack of character.

Barack Obama did what was necessary, cutting ties to a man who did not deserve (or need) his loyalty.      Santorum, however, blamed others for his troubles.       He merely may have been reflexively paranoid.      Alternatively, he was cunning, attacking the media which, Newt Gingrich has found, is effective Repub campaign strategy.     The response of media matters will be enlightening, as they confront and probe Rick Santorum's inflammatory response-  or roll over and play dead, allowing the GOP to intimidate them.

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