Politics

Santorum Flip-Flops on Intelligent Design

I sure hope Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, has a good chiropractor. ‘Cause he’s gonna need one by the time this election year is over — what with all his flip-flops, back-flips and political 180s. Either that, or he’s got a great future as an Olympic gymnast if his senatorial career comes to an end next November.

I’m trying to keep track of all the strange things Santorum has said and done since kicking his base in the teeth last year when he aggressively stumped for liberal Republican incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, who was being challenged by conservative Rep. Pat Toomey. But the list is just getting too long — including supporting Specter for Judiciary Committee chairman and calling for a hike in the minimum wage.

Nevertheless, social conservatives have stood by their man, through thick and thin. He hasn’t been able to shake their loyalty. Call it “Battered Conservative Syndrome.” But maybe some of them will now finally have had enough. Perhaps the latest from Sen. Santorum will be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back.

As I’m sure you’ve read, a federal judged ruled last week that an updated version of “creationism,” now called “intelligent design,” could not be taught in the Dover School District as science. Social conservatives are, as you would expect, outraged by the decision. As surely Sen. Santorum must be, right? After all, Santorum wrote an op-ed in 2002 declaring that intelligent design “is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes.”

Ah, but that was in 2002. This is an election year. And “Election Year Rick,” as his Democrat opposition is now calling him, is singing an entirely different tune now.

An organization called the Thomas More Law Center defended the Dover School District’s decision to teach intelligent design in its science classes. Santorum is on the advisory board of the Thomas More Law Center. Or I should say, WAS on the advisory board. He quit last week, telling the Philadelphia Inquirer, “I thought the Thomas More Law Center made a huge mistake in taking this case and in pushing this case to the extent they did.”

Huh?

If Santorum thought intelligent design was “a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes,” why is he now resigning from a Christian-rights organization that defended the school district that said intelligent design was a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes?

Santorum’s election-year political rush to the middle just might leave his base behind. It’s a high-risk gamble on his part. He’s betting there’s nothing he can do to cause his conservative supporters to stay home on Election Day or vote for another candidate. I hope he’s not betting the farm on it.

Or at least has Olga Korbut as his campaign manager.


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