Christopher Caldwell notes that, contrary to the expectations of Democrats, the public seems to be on Santorum’s side. Rather than being called out and forced to grovel, claiming that he was misquoted, and the usual dance, Santorum stood behind his statements and defended them logically. And the furor, such as it was, died down.

I find it interesting to compare this statement which, although I have defended it since the beginning, I concede is rather wreckless coming from a high public official, with the comments of the much younger, much dumber Dixie Chicks. They said something much more innocuous–that they were ashamed President Bush is from their home state–and certainly more defensible–it’s purely their opinion, not controvertible by facts. And yet the Chicks have had their career perhaps irreparably harmed and are still doing the TV grovel circuit weeks later. Could it be that the American public is actually conservative?

(Hat tip: Reductio Ad Absurdum)

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jim k says:

    Reaction depends on how the person handles it. I remember a number of years back when B.J. King was about to be pilloried for a lesbian relationship. She hit the media head on with the equivalent of “Yeah, so what”. The story died quickly. Saying you are misquoted when you wern’t or prefunctory groveling only throws more meat to the lions.

  2. joy says:

    Well, in all reality, as long as the people of Pennsylvania like Rick Santorum, that’s all he’s really got to worry about. Sure, he could lose some stature in Senate leadership if there were to be a huge Republican reaction, but that’s about it. (On the other hand, Trent Lott got smacked because he made enough enemies on *both* sides of the aisle…)

    Also, I honestly don’t think his statements really surprised anyone who is familiar with his philosophy. He’s known as a conservative Republican and did you really expect him to say anything different? Sure, he was ham handed while discussing the issue, but that’s the worst you could say about his interview.

    The Chicks on the other hand, are dependent upon pure popularity on a national scale. Also, I think the tiredness of celebrities having anything to say about politics (without actually running for office) also plays a role.

  3. Gail says:

    Santorum said what he said in the forum he would be expected to say it. Where he could be challenged, by those whose job it is to do so. The Chicks took the coward’s way. If they had said what they did at a concert in Texas, I would have disagreed but I would have thought, “at least they are willing to face their ‘foes'”. They washed ‘our’ dirty laundry in someone else’s home.