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GOP DEATH WATCH

It’s Time to Get Serious and Redefine “Santorum”

By now everyone is familiar with is euphemistically called Rick Santorum’s “Google problem.” A decade ago, Dan Savage tweaked the former Senator from Pennsylvania and always-current homophobeby defining the word santorum to mean “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.”

What should have been a short-lived prank took on a life of its own—For years, the website defining “santorum” was the first result that turns up on a Google search of the wannabe presidential nominee’s name. (At the moment, it is now in second place.)

That site is also turning out to be the place where at least one of Santorum’s rivals for the GOP presidential nomination is running ads. An official ad from Mitt Romney’s campaign keeps turning up on the prank site, apparently as part of buy that uses mystical algorithms to determine where to place an ad. (To be fair. Queerty has had ads by anti-gay politicians served up by Google from time to time.)

Now, we’re second to none in our contempt for Santorum’s rabid antigay rhetoric. Even among the noxiously anti-gay GOP presidential candidates he stands out in his obsession with our sex lives and the vitriol of his rhetoric.

Having compared homosexuality to “man on dog” sex, Santorum says sodomy laws, he claims, are justified to prevent acts which “undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family.”

His performance at Saturday night’s GOP candidate debate was vintage Santorum: chilling for his refusal to acknowledge our equality or even our humanity. We’re looking forward to the not-too-distant day when Santorum gets his comeuppance at the hands of Republican voters, just as he did in his last landslide defeat at the hands of Pennsylvania voters. (We’re not looking forward to whom they choose in his place, of course.)

Still, shouldn’t “santorum” be a synonym for last-gasp homophobia instead of the aftermath of a sex act? Much as we have liked to chuckle about the Google problem, it cheapens Santorum as a real threat, representative of the virulent strain of antigay hatred that animates the Republican right wing.

At this point, making fun of his name is a lot like making fun of Romney’s first name or even his Mormonism: it feels good perhaps, but let’s face it, it’s pretty juvenile.

It was stupid when Dick Armey made fun of Barney Frank’s name; it’s not a whole lot smarter just because we’re in the right. It makes us look like we can’t defeat Santorum’s bigotry head on with the power of our arguments and our organizing, and must instead resort to schoolyard name-calling.

As the Saturday night GOP presidential candidate debate demonstrated, LGBT equality will be a major issue in the presidential election. Santorum perfectly captures the anti-gay sentiment of the Republican right, but he’s hardly the only candidate who does. Marriage equality is on the line, and conservatives will push for the return of DADT. It’s a deadly serious game that we’re involved in.

Let’s not treat it like a joke.

 

By:           John Gallagher
On:           Jan 9, 2012
Tagged: ,
  • 27 Comments
    • Triple S
      Triple S

      The Santorum thing has gone on a little long; it does cheapen gays as childish. I’m certainly not defending him, but it doesn’t do us any favours either.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 6:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom J
      Tom J

      I suspect many of us feel like the elections are far off, and there’s nothing serious going on yet in this primary battle. On the contrary. When I look at the those guys running, it gets really scarey. I realize Obama isn’t the greatest, (never known a perfect president), but the alternative , again, is really scarey.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 6:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steven S2
      Steven S2

      so what what santorum or any other politician, anyone at all for that matter, thinks about your personal life, as long as you aren’t on welfare and depending on their tax dollars to survive. everyone is entitled to their own opinions whether the next person agrees or not. if you don’t like him don’t vote for him if he gets the nomination, which he won’t.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 7:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      Queerty campaigning against a juvenile joke? Times have changed

      Jan 9, 2012 at 7:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TMikel
      TMikel

      I agree with this in principle, yet the definition does cause Santorum great grief and I think language can be used to highlight such rapid and hateful people’s stands. However, Mr. Frothy Mix DOES have a first name. Can we not come up with a new difinition that makes that name mean the last gasp of an execrable and detestable homophobe. And I disagree that the frothy mix definition cheapens out struggle. How long have we suffered because the heterosexual bigots such as Santorum have used words against US?

      Jan 9, 2012 at 8:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EdWoody
      EdWoody

      The damage has been done. It can’t be undone now, whether we want to or not.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • adam
      adam

      santorum earned the definition of his name through his own childish, juvenile homophobia in the first place, and i’d say the name is rightly bestowed. he can earn himself a more mature denotation when he accepts a broader-minded understanding of adult sexuality, and not until then. bring on the frothy mix, slippery rick!

      Jan 9, 2012 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tallskin2
      tallskin2

      I think as long as it causes that vile christian homophobic bigot annoyance, hurt, inconvenience, embarrassment then long may the Google Problem persist.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      Rick Santorum has defined himself. He’s an anachronism. Unevolved and uninformed.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 9:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marie Cohn
      Marie Cohn

      Once Santorum happens, and gets all over, like EVERYWHERE, it is impossible to eradicate. You can’t put the Astroglide back into the dispenser, honey.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      He earned the name… but there aren’t enough such definitions to go around to all who’ve earned them, and the joke is getting old. But no need to come up with a replacement; just stop using the joke, even obliquely, if you truly don’t like it.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      “”Much as we have liked to chuckle about the Google problem, it cheapens Santorum as a real threat,””
      _______________

      One thing I always notice is that something that seems to have helped gays always seems to be attacked as “Cheapening” gays.

      People coming out of the closet, the Santorum site, which has been credited with not only helping to kill his reelection to the Senate, but to keep him down in this primary as well., Court cases for marriage, the March on Washington, Pushing HRC and Congress to move rather than sit back. Directing verbal defense at the Mormon Church for it’s attacks on us.

      Every single one of them had articles like this coming out and basically saying that unless we sit back, do nothing, and huddle in the corner we are somehow cheapening ourselves.

      Well here’s a thought, since the people attacking us seem to have no concern for cheapening THEMSELVES attacking us, I have no problem defending gays. Better to cheapen ourselves and have full civil rights, then go back 15 years to having nothing and staying quiet but apparently being “Good” gays.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rolling Eyes
      Rolling Eyes

      Queerty is just jealous that something Dan Savage did years ago still gets attention, unlike anything Queerty will ever do.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ToptoBottomNYC
      ToptoBottomNYC

      The only problem with Santorum vs. santorum is that I have long since accepted that santorum is a fact of life. If you are going to have anal sex, santorum will always be there. Not such a great metaphor, is it?

      But as for the movement, I think it’s brilliant. If you’re going to seek vengeance, why not enjoy a few giggles with it? Nothing annoys the enemy more.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MAP
      MAP

      Exactly, Cam. There’s a whole lot of hand licking and not enough ass kicking by gay men and women.

      I have nothing but contempt for Santorum, and he returns the favor. I regret that Dan Savage didn’t run for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania against Santorum (he would have won–hell anyone would have won)–that’s the only part of the renaming I regret.

      Is there a minute in your dim gay lives that you believe these people don’t hate your guts, believe that you’re less than human, and actively seek ways to HARM you? The only reason there hasn’t been a kristallnacht against gays in the country is that they haven’t needed one–so far, they’ve succeeded everything they want to stick a boot up your ass.

      And you spread…

      Jan 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MAP
      MAP

      Exactly, Cam. There’s a whole lot of hand licking and not enough ass kicking by gay men and women.

      I have nothing but contempt for Santorum, and he returns the favor. I regret that Dan Savage didn’t run for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania against Santorum (he would have won–hell anyone would have won)–that’s the only part of the renaming I regret.

      Is there a minute in your dim gay lives that you believe these people don’t hate your guts, believe that you’re less than human, and actively seek ways to HARM you? The only reason there hasn’t been a kristallnacht against gays in the country is that they haven’t needed one–so far, they’ve succeeded every time they want to stick a boot up your ass.

      And you spread…

      Jan 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy Shepherd
      Tommy Shepherd

      The thing is – it’s only an insult if you hate gay sex. Me – I’d love to see some Santorum in my bed – cos it means I just f**ked a guy!

      Jan 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Tommy Shepherd: No, it’s still an insult. You may want to see some in your bed, but you presumably don’t want to *be* it.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon H
      Brandon H

      A Romney is when you blow a guy while he’s taking a shit in the morning.

      Oh wait, thats a blumpkin.

      This is how satire and comedy work. If you think it’s immature thats your problem. For the powerless, immaturity is often the only weapon we have.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kelrick
      Kelrick

      I disagree with the premise that this has gone on long enough. These are the consequences of being a public figure with views that damage people. I agree that his google problem isn’t a mature response – Dan Savage isn’t known for mature responses; he is known for being an activist and a writer. I may agree that there are more productive methods of addressing homonegativity like Santorum’s but it is done and I am not going to decry his comeuppance.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Storm
      Storm

      Personally, I think there’s room in any movement for a little juvenilia, a little humor and a little fun. There are plenty of people pointing out the dead seriousness of Rick Santorum’s homophobia, and that’s a very good thing. But it also helps sometimes to point and laugh and mock and make fun of some of any extremist’s rantings. It has its place in the entire process. Ask Tina Fey or the SNL staff.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      @Cam:

      Precisely cam and Map. When the bigots and homo-haters spew their filth at the LBGT community, they are “expressing their freedom of speech”and we are expected to react with dignity, decorum and respect.

      However, when we speak up and defend ourselves and give the haters a taste of their own medicine, we are accused by them, as well as our own GOProud crowd as being “childish”.

      The pearl clutchers in our midst never ease to amaze me. What they fail to realize is that respect must be earned. It is not a right to which they are entitled. They (the pearl clutchers) fail to realize that when they deliberately and with no good reason go out of their way to make enemies of themselves.

      No war, and make no mistake about it, this is a war…was ever won by showing the attackers respect. As the old adage goes, all is fair in love and war.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • just sayin
      just sayin

      Despite what you say, it’s actually a very useful word with no ready replacement. I’ve used it in conversation.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drake
      Drake

      This plea is paid for by Rick Santorum.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drake
      Drake

      I take it back. GOProud has to be in on this with Queerty.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAINTOM
      PLAINTOM

      I want Santorum’s great great great grandchildren to still have a Google problem.

      Jan 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 22 · just sayin: “Despite what you say, it’s actually a very useful word with no ready replacement.”

      How about “lubefroth” as a replacement?

      The use of “santorum” giving that he’s been in the news lately does cause some slightly awkward situations. While sitting with a group in a coffee shop, a straight women wanted to know what it meant (other straight people in the group already knew). I smiled and said it wasn’t appropriate to say in a coffee shop. She said, “we’re all adults,” and I replied, “but some of us are eating breakfast.”

      Jan 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
      Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

      Sen. Santorum is hardly the first public-figure for who’s name has become an common epitaph or unpleasant verb; Lynch, Boycott, Gerrymander, Benedict Arnold, Capt. Bligh

      Or in fiction; Scrooge, Shylock, Cassandra

      Jan 10, 2012 at 1:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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