I am writing to thank you. I remember reading your definition of "santorum" — "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex" — when it first appeared. I remember thinking it was a cute way to make fun of a dickhead politician. I never thought it would go this far. But after Iowa, Rick Santorum is in the spotlight. And so is that frothy mixture. And that's fucking awesome.
Jeff In Wisconsin
Don't thank me. Thank Rick Santorum for making his bigotry clear in a 2003 interview with the Associated Press. Santorum equated consensual gay sex with child rape and dog-fucking, he stated that birth control should be illegal, he argued that states should be able to imprison people — gay and straight — for private, consensual sex acts.
Thank the Savage Love reader who urged me to invite readers to submit new definitions for Santorum's last name. And thank the readers who selected "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex" from a field of equally repulsive candidates.
I counted the ballots, I created a website (www.spreadingsantorum.com) that remains the No. 1 return when you google "Santorum." But if it weren't for my readers, an otherwise distressing news cycle — a washed-up bigot tied for first place in the Iowa caucuses?!? — would not have been leavened by such unintentionally hilarious headlines as "Santorum Surges from Behind."
Dan Savage is one sick, pathetic excuse for a human being. Especially trying to "insert himself" — pun intended — into the GOP presidential race.
Savage Isn't Completely Kind
We redefined "santorum" back in 2003, long before Santorum was running for president. So the GOP presidential race has inserted itself into me. I hope there isn't any santorum on the GOP presidential race when it pulls out — that would be embarrassing!
Also embarrassing: Elise Foley's gushing profile of Elizabeth Santorum, Rick's adult daughter, that appeared on the Huffington Post before the Iowa caucuses.
"It is tough [being] a young surrogate for a candidate/father clinging to an older worldview," Foley writes. "Her father's stance on same-sex marriage and gay rights, in particular, has caused some friction from non-supporters. ... Opposed to same-sex marriage herself, Elizabeth said she has gay friends who support her father's candidacy based on his economic and family platforms."
Yeah, it's tough out there for a 'phobe. Rick Santorum was nearly booed off a stage in New Hampshire last week after he insisted that legalizing gay marriage would lead to the legalization of polygamous marriage. (The same argument was made against legalizing interracial marriage — and here we are, 44 years after the Supreme Court declared laws against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional, and Tiger Woods can marry only one busted Olive Garden hostess at a time.)
You know what else is tough? Gay widowers losing their homes after the deaths of their spouses because they don't qualify for the same Social Security benefits as other married couples. Also tough: seeing your wife deported because the federal government doesn't recognize your marriage.
But, hey, Elizabeth Santorum isn't a bigot! She has gay friends!
Who are these gay people who support Rick Santorum despite his promises to write anti-gay bigotry into the Constitution, forcibly divorce legally married same-sex couples, and ban adoptions by same-sex couples?
To Ms. Foley and other political reporters: When someone like Elizabeth Santorum tells you that she has gay friends and her gay friends support her "family platform" — gay people shouldn't be allowed to have families — your subject is making an astonishing claim. Your response should be to demand the names and phone numbers of these gay friends. Tell the homophobe that you will need to verify the existence of her gay friends because you're a journalist, not a stenographer. You'll either catch the homophobe in a revealing lie — what does it tell us that even bigots like Rick and Elizabeth Santorum perceive a political risk in being perceived as homophobic? — or land a fascinating interview with a crazy-ass faggot.
Today, a friend and I got into a debate about you. My friend says your campaign to redefine "santorum" flies in the face of your anti-bullying "It Gets Better" campaign. Would you please address this issue?
First, the campaign is over: Santorum has been redefined.
Second, taking the piss out of a bigot who has viciously attacked a tiny minority for personal and political gain is not the moral equivalent of beating the shit out of a vulnerable 13-year-old queer kid in rural Texas.
Third, circling back to Elizabeth Santorum's blowjob on HuffPo: "[Elizabeth] is aware of her father's so-called ‘Google problem,' part of a campaign by columnist Dan Savage. ... ‘That just makes me sad. It's disappointing that people can be that mean,' she said."
I'm sorry for giving you a sad, Elizabeth. You know what gave me a sad? Reading about Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond. The women, together 18 years, were vacationing in Florida in 2007 with three of their four children when Pond suffered an aneurysm. Langbehn and the children were barred from Pond's room when they arrived at the hospital.
Lisa Pond was a human being. And her wife and children were prevented from saying good-bye to her because people who agree with you and your father persecuted them as Pond lay dying.
By opposing legal protections for gay and lesbian families, Elizabeth, you and your father are trying to make sure that other families headed by same-sex couples will suffer as Langbehn, Pond and their children were made to suffer.
It is disappointing how mean some people can be.
Time to follow through on your threat to redefine "rick," Dan.
Matt Via Twitter
Already done: To "rick" is to remove something with your tongue — the "r" from "remove," the "ick" from "lick" — which makes "rick santorum" the most disgusting two-word sentence in the English language after "vote Republican."
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.