Sunday, May 22, 2005

Senator Man-on-Dog's Shaky Marriage

From Michael Sokolove's portrait of Rick Santorum in today's NY Times Magazine:

When I asked him if he viewed gay marriage as a threat to his own marriage, he answered quickly. ''Yes, absolutely,'' he said. ''It threatens my marriage. It threatens all marriages. It threatens the traditional values of this country.''
I'll leave the broader dissection of Santorum in general and Sokolove's article in particular to abler minds than my own. Lord knows, between the bilge he spews and the hand jobs offered up by Unca Joe Lieberman, Mushy Republican Susan Collins and others (including, at some points, Sokolove himself), we all should be busy for the next day or two.

I was just taken by the passage above. Unfortunately, the article does not move beyond the demagoguery in his comments; there was no follow up in which he is asked to explain exactly how he thinks two guys getting hitched in P-Town has anything to do with what goes on in his own home.

"It threatens the traditional values of this country"? So what? What does that have to do with the conversation at the Santorum kitchen table at dinner or the warmth of their marital bed at the end of the day? I don't know who he hangs with, but my friends and relatives, of all religious stripes, appreciate the fact that the strength of their marriages are entirely a function of the spouses' commitments to one another. Big church weddings, expensive wedding bands, even the embossed paper provided by City Hall--they're all nice and to many very meaningful, but ultimately not terribly relevant to whether the marriage lasts or not.

If the Santorums measure the strength of their marriage not by the depth of their feelings for one another but by the exclusivity of the club they're in, I feel sorry for them.


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