Santorum: Latin for Insane?

Rick Santorum should be an unworthy target for anybody with half a brain. The former Pennsylvania senator surely is one of the most simple-minded politicians to achieve national notoriety since, well, since Michele Bachmann.

The problem, of course, is that Mr. Santorum is a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. That makes him a legitimate subject of scorn and ridicule, despite his unfortunate intellectual shortcomings.

Mr. Santorum recently announced that the hallowed American idea of separating church and state makes him want to “throw up.” Luckily there is medication available for that particular ailment. More worrisome than Mr. Santorum’s delicate digestive system is his thought process. He criticized John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech to Baptist ministers in Houston, a speech in which JFK declared that there must be no religious test for public office in the United States. There was a time—oh, about a month or so ago —when Kennedy’s argument was considered an accepted fact. No longer, or at least not in Mr. Santorum’s odd little world.

Mr. Santorum is entitled to his religious beliefs. The problem is that he wishes to impose those beliefs on all of us. He does not believe in contraception; therefore, in his America, there will be no contraception. How long before he announces that he will restrict his Cabinet to those who share his religious beliefs? (Somebody ought to ask him that question.)

It is a sad commentary on the state of the Republican Party that Mr. Santorum has emerged as a legitimate candidate for its highest honor. It is equally sad that New York Republicans have been silent while Mr. Santorum demands that we tear down the wall separating church and state. New York, more than most places, understands the importance of tolerance. Mr. Santorum may be the most intolerant voice in American politics today. It’s time for other Republicans to call him out.