The “follow-up question”? Nope. Can’t
say that I’ve ever heard of it.

I read Michael Sokolove’s wet sloppy kiss to Rick Santorum (R-Beagle) this morning at about 1AM, but I was too tired to go into it. But one thing that struck me was Sokolove’s complete lack of curiousity with regard to anything that Santorum had to say.

Example #1:

Santorum rarely argues from a purely religious viewpoint. His line of reasoning usually goes like this: The founding fathers were men of faith. They believed in a nation based on traditional, religiously derived values, the same ”moral absolutes” that he finds in his faith, and to diverge from them is to undermine the health of American society. The same reasoning, taken to its extreme, edges toward treating the Constitution as a kind of Christian document, but Santorum doesn’t go quite that far.

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.”

A good journalist, and I’m sure Sokolove knows a few, might have asked him, “Why? Why does it threaten your marriage? Is the fact that gay marriage isn’t an option the reason why you don’t dump Karen and take up with, say, Norm Coleman or Saxby Chambliss?” As a reader, I kind of expected Sokolove to ask the obvious, and was surprised when he just moved on.

Example #2:

To a woman who wanted to know how soon Roe v. Wade could be overturned, he said it was ”not imminent” and called for ”support for women with unintended pregnancies” and for ”love for all God’s children.” Several times he used the phrase ”culture of life,” which for religious conservatives generally encompasses opposition to abortion, embryonic stem-cell research and euthanasia (but not always opposition to the death penalty, which Santorum supports). Someone else in the audience complained that the local schools were substandard, and Santorum used that as an opportunity to touch a broader theme. ”What’s needed,” he replied, ”is to give parents real control, as opposed to what we have today, the control in the hands of the bureaucrats and the experts.”

His answer was an echo of Republican attacks on federal judges, the news media and perceived elites of all kinds, and I asked him about it later. Why would the parents in this struggling community, or any community, be better at running a school district than professionals trained to do just that? I began to say that in my own children’s schools, the curriculum is designed by —

”Experts!” he interjected. ”The curriculums are designed by experts. But even though they may be experts, they are narrow experts.”

…and then. Nothing.

Okay. I really shouldn’t have to hold Sokolove’s hand about this, but don’t you want to know what a “narrow expert” is? I do. I want to know why an expert, or even a “narrow expert”, is less qualified to run a school and develop a curriculum than a parent whose only qualification may have been a night of ‘hot and sweaty’ after a pitcher of mai-tais and a Josh Groban CD. Sokolove just seems to nod his head and say “Hmmmmmm. I know what you mean” like someone’s date who has stopped listening and is just wondering when they’re going to stop with the yadda yadda yadda and start getting naked.

Sorry. Mr Sokolove. Not well done (as Attytood points out) Next time, show work.

So we’re going to have to give this article a D…for dog


(I see Steve and I were, you know, kind of thinking along the same lines)

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