Human Events Blog

Alan Colmes Accuses Rick Santorum of “Playing With” His Son’s Corpse

 

Liberal commentator Alan Colmes made a strong bid to end his undistinguished career Monday, during a Fox News segment in which he and Rich Lowry of National Review discussed Rick Santorum’s surge in the Iowa polls. 

In the course of offering his Really Deep Thoughts about why the Santorum surge wouldn’t last, Colmes mused that people would bail on the former senator from Pennsylvania once they “get a load of some of the crazy things he’s said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby when it died right after childbirth home and played with it so that his other children would know that the child was real.”  Lowry stepped up to the plate and tore Colmes to pieces without hesitation:

What actually happened, for the benefit of anyone foolish enough to accept Alan Colmes’ warped and hateful fantasies as the final word, is that Santorum’s son Gabriel had a fatal defect detected early in the pregnancy.  Rick and his wife Karen wanted to bring Gabriel into the world despite the towering odds against him, but Karen developed a potentially fatal intrauterine infection.  Birth was induced prematurely, and Gabriel only survived outside the womb for a couple of hours.

The Santorums slept all night in the hospital with Gabriel, then took him home so that his brothers and sisters could meet him.  The bond between the family and their lost child became the subject of a deeply personal book, Letters to Gabriel, authored by Karen Santorum.  Mother Teresa wrote the forward.  Alan Colmes should try reading it, instead of spending all day welding his brain shut with garbage from far-left blogs.

The confrontation between Colmes and Lowry is an instructive lesson in liberal “tolerance.”  Colmes whines endlessly about the supposed closed-mindedness of conservatives, but ten seconds in to a discussion about Santorum’s electoral prospects, he drags out the tragic death of Gabriel Santorum – which happened in 1996 – and unleashes his disgusting caricature of the incident.  It wasn’t a random slip of the tongue.  He couldn’t wait to bring this up, and probably went into the interview proud of himself for being among the first analysts to predict that swing voters momentarily charmed by Santorum will head for the hills when they learn how his family dealt with this fifteen-year-old tragedy. 

For an ostensibly “tolerant liberal,” Colmes is deeply, disturbingly obsessed with cultivating intolerance for this unusual act of devotion.  Somehow an army of other commentators, on both Left and Right, have been able to hold forth on the Santorum surge without painting a picture of the candidate “playing with” his lost son.  If there was any point in bringing Gabriel Santorum up at all, surely a sensitive, compassionate, tolerant liberal who talks for a living could have found a more sensitive way to describe the situation. 

Or is Colmes dumb enough to assume that merely being a liberal provides perfect insulation against charges of intolerance, even when he acts like a hatemongering ghoul?  Welcome to 2011, Alan.  That won’t work anymore.  On behalf of the conservative writing and blogging community, I guarantee it.

Besides being a “cheap shot,” as Lowry characterized it, Colmes’ comments were one of those “dog whistles” liberals love to natter on about, when they’re trying to insinuate that harmless comments by a Republican are encrypted with secret racism.  This particular dog whistle is aimed at the militant feminist, pro-abortion community – which is small, but surrounded by a much larger constellation of thin-blooded liberals who accept social and political programming from it.  The message is that Santorum is the most deranged of anti-abortion religious extremists.  If he becomes President, maybe you’ll all be forced to bring your dead children home from the hospital.

Colmes went on to offer an apology to Rick and Karen Santorum for his “hurtful comment,” which he said they “graciously accepted.”  Santorum discussed the incident with Sean Hannity, and gave Colmes an awful lot more credit for good intentions than I’m prepared to, even as the memory of his lost son made it momentarily difficult for him to speak.

Whatever other disputes I might have with Santorum over policy, and however long the odds against his winning the GOP nomination, I don’t need a single heartbeat to decide whether I prefer his philosophy in the White House to that of Alan Colmes.  What the Santorum family did in 1996 was unusual, to be sure… but I thought tolerance was all about accepting the “unusual.”  And while the method they chose to express their love was out of the ordinary, we would be a better nation if that love was commonplace.  It matters that Gabriel Michael Santorum lived, both within and beyond his mother’s body.  It’s a pity that grown men and women need that explained to them, having long ago talked themselves out of understanding it.

 


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