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Right-wing GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum upped the ante Sunday on his pledge to launch a war on obscenity if elected to the nation’s top political job.
No, not a war against the obscenity that is American politics and government but an all-out assault on pornography — the kind where people have sex in books, on the Internet and on screen.
Interviewed on ABC’s this week, Santorum said:
We would, of course, as president enforce those laws, because obviously Congress in its wisdom understood that hardcore pornography is very damaging, particularly to young people, and that exposure on the Internet can be very damaging. There are laws against purveying hard-core pornography. And that–we have attorney generals in the country, at least under the Bush administration, who did prosecute that. And this administration isn’t. And I simply said I would follow the law, which I know in the case of Barack Obama can be somewhat of a hefty challenge for him, but we’re going to do it as president.
His self-righteous indignation left GOP veterans shaking their heads:
“Jesus, won’t this guy ever learn,” a top GOP consultant told Capitol Hill Blue Sunday. “The American people want jobs, they want money to pay their mortgages, they want a future. They don’t care about dirty books or movies with people screwing on screen. Hell, if it weren’t for the Baptists ordering dirty videos the porn industry would go bankrupt.”
Here at Capitol Hill Blue, we agree. We’d rather watch a XXX classic like “Debbie Does Dallas” than another GOP debate any time. After all, what is more obscene than a bunch of old, smug white men claiming to be leaders? What is more obscene than a political primary season where — at one time or another — the “frontrunners” have included a serial adulterer (Newt Gingrich) and a sexual predator (Herman Cain)? The GOP is — after all — the party that includes Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, the “hunk” who showed off his pubes in Cosmo.
Santorum also forgets about former Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan of Illinois, whose ex-wife — actress Jeri Ryan — testified in a court deposition that her then husband took her to sex clubs and wanted her to perform sexual acts in public.
Or why doesn’t he talk about Rita Jenrette, the director of research for the Republican Party of Texas, who defected to the other side, married Democrat John Jenrette of South Carolina and then dumped him after he went to prison in the ABSCAM scandal in 1980.
Ms. Jenrette then appeared in nude in Playboy in a photo layout about older women and younger men and told the magazine that she and husband John liked to have sex in public, including the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Santorum, in typical political fashion, didn’t get specific about what he considered pornographic or just who or what his administration would target. He also failed to mention that Bush’s war on pornography was — by and large — a bust. The effort, launched by then Attorney General John Ashcroft — a Bible-thumping Missouri right-winger who lost his Senate seat to a dead man — concentrated on mom and pop distributors of erotic material and the Justice Department lost nearly all their cases — either in original jury verdicts or on appeal.
Ashcroft, a moralizing political hypocrite who also authored the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act, declared sex as “dirty,” ordered naked statues in the Justice Department covered with drapes and launched a full-frontal assault on an elderly couple who owned a book store that sold what he considered to be “dirty books.” As in most cases, he lost. Among the “dirty books” cited by Ashcroft in the case: Playboy magazine, the same magazine where Rita Jenrette, the former GOP research director for Texas, appeared cavorting with her younger lover and the same magazine where a former staff member of former right-wing GOP staff member Mike DeWine — and the author of a sexually-explicit blog that detailed her affairs with married Washington politicians and political appointees — displayed her full-frontal nudity just a few year ago.
Ashcroft and Bush left the producers of porn alone. Many of them are die-hard Republicans who contribute heavily to the party.