January 20, 2006

Dumbest Political "Scandal" of the Year

Fake outrage doesn't get faker than this: Senate majority leader Harry Reid is "under fire" from "activists" because supposedly made a comment critical of Sen. Rick Santorum that Santorum's aides are calling a vicious racial slur.

The comment? "Having Sen. Santorum talk about reform is like having John Gotti talk about doing something about organized crime. He's one of the problems."

Why is it offensive? You guessed it: the Sons of Italy are upset that Reid's conflation of Gotti to Santorum "shows a profound lack of respect for a Senate colleague as well as the nation's estimated 26 million law-abiding Italian-Americans," because Santorum is "the highest-ranking Italian-American in the Senate."

There's so much wrong with this it's hard to know where to start. First of all, who knew Santorum was Italian-American? I didn't, you didn't, and I'm guessing Reid didn't either. Secondly, why should Italian-Americans be offended by a shot at John Gotti, one of the most notorious criminals and mass murderers in American history? Thirdly, how could anyone possibly think that the generally mild-mannered Santorum with being compared to a mobster? And fourth, I don't remember the Sons having such a problem with Rick being "disrespectful" when he compared homosexuals to people who have sex with dogs.

It was ridiculous when Al D'Amato construed Senate opponent Bob Abrams' description of him as a "fascist" as some sort of reference to Mussolini, but somehow this is about ten times worse. No reasonable person could possibly be outraged by this, so spare us the righteous indignation, please.

Posted by Stephen Silver at January 20, 2006 01:59 PM

I knew that Santorum was an Italian-American (and first generation to boot: his father was born in Italy), but then again I'm hardly representative of the public at large.

Posted by: Joe K. at January 20, 2006 06:16 PM

He he. You said santorum.

Posted by: Jeff S at January 20, 2006 07:10 PM

He he. You said santorum.
Posted by Jeff S at January 20, 2006 07:10 PM

Jeff S wins!

Posted by: LilB at January 20, 2006 10:54 PM

Gotti a "mass murderer"?

Just curious as to your usage, Steve. Are you attributing all of Sammy the Bull's murders to Gotti (Gravano claimed what, 17?)? I could very well be mistaken, but I can't recall Gotti himself being accused / convicted of more 2 or 3 murders.

I would think that in the realm of true, hands on the gun / knife / rope / button / throat serial killers or mass murderers, Gotti wouldn't rate in the top 50.

I guess we need to break out Natural Born Killers. Wasn't the Woody Harrelson character obsessed with his death count, and didn't he keep close track of where he was versus other noted serial killers?

Posted by: Benedict at January 21, 2006 10:59 AM

Amen. And I didn't know Santorum was Italian either.

Posted by: A at January 22, 2006 08:43 PM
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