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"Santorum Spreads Ignorance To History" by @DCPlod

[Here's a guest post for your enjoyment from luhf of ABLC's life, Danielle Blake aka @DCPlod. -ABLxx]

As a Brit with a keen interest in American history and politics, it always tickles me to see Americans, especially prominent ones, talk out their asses when it comes to their understanding of Britain and our history.

So take a bow, Rick Santorum.

Now, we already know that history is not the current GOP field’s strong point. Michele Bachmann, who has cast herself as the American ‘Iron Lady’, placed the Falklands conflict that defined Margaret Thatcher’s premiership in 1992, 10 years after it actually happened and a whole 2 years after Thatcher had resigned as Prime Minister. Seriously failtacular stuff. And Rick Perry of course presides over a state whose textbooks provide, shall we say, a less than factual account of history. But Santorum’s grasp of the fall of the British Empire is, as Conor Friedersdorf puts it, cartoonish:

“If you look at every European country that has had world domination, a world presence, from the French to the British — 100 years ago, the sun didn’t set on the British Empire,” Santorum said at an appearance in Sioux City, Iowa. “If you look at that empire today — why? Because they lost heart and faith in their heart in themselves and in their mission, who they were and what values they wanted to spread around the world. Not just for the betterment of the world, but safety and security and the benefit of their country.” “We have taken up that cause,” Santorum added. But now, he said, “We have a president who doesn’t believe in America.”

In the context given by the Huffington Post, Santorum was saying that what caused the decline of Britain’s empire wasn’t the 2 devastating world wars or restless natives getting rather fed up of being exploited and treated as non-citizens of their own countries, but the British social safety net. Wow – to think Gandhi could have had himself a good meal instead of fasting and struggling non-violently for Indian independence in 1947, by just waiting for the NHS created just the year before in 1946 to fell the mighty Empire. Poor guy.

What’s also apparent in this nonsensical “I believe in ‘America Fuck Yeah’, Fuck Yeah!” blather is that Santorum sees the end of the British Empire as a bad thing – ie Britain could and should have continued to rule the ungrateful natives in countries they appropriated without so much as a by-your-leave. But then, that’s what neoconservatism is – imperialism, just with a fancy political name that leaves the whole ‘white people invade and lord over coloured people’ subtext less in-your-face. Still, at least he didn’t suggest the former colonies should compensate their former masters for the privilege of having been oppressed for over a century.

[You can find Danielle at her  blog, View Across the Pond or on the Twitters]

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12 Responses to "Santorum Spreads Ignorance To History" by @DCPlod

  1. Well, given that the trend amongst these folks just last year was saying that the Plgrims came here to escape socialism, (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/27/gop-rep-rewrites-history-claims-europeans-fleeing-socialism/) you already had fair warning that their grip on history was sort of vague.

    It’s the one-size-fits-all approach to the world.

  2. Bra-fucking-vo my dear.

  3. My stars, Palin was just the thin edge of the historical fail wedge. A crying shame.

  4. That last paragraph nails it. The really revealing part about all those “OMG why did the British Empire fall and how can we avoid the same thing happening to us?” conversations is that they apparently think the British had a perfect right to be a world-spanning empire in complete contempt of the consent of the governed in India, half of Africa and elsewhere. Never occurs to them that maybe the British didn’t have a right to that huge honking empire in the first place, and that if America right now is indeed like the British Empire, we’ve got bigger problems than whether or not we’re about to fall.

  5. Reminds me of the editorial in Investors Business Daily (you can guess their political orientation) that said “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”

    Stephen Hawking replied indignantly that without the NHS he’d be well and truly dead — and a long time ago, too.

  6. Cripes, he doesn’t even know our history! Apparently that whole “American Revolution” thing got missed by Rick. That little tiff where some people in the British Empire decided that they were better off being independent. If only we’d have known that socialism would bring the Empire down!

  7. Heck, look at the way Dinesh D’Souza attacked the president as ‘anti-colonialist’. So, he’s supposed to be colonialist?

    Makes no dang sense.

    • Makabit says:
      Heck, look at the way Dinesh D’Souza attacked the president as ‘anti-colonialist’. So, he’s supposed to be colonialist?
      Makes no dang sense.

      Makabit, Dinesh D’Souza’s BS about Obama being some sort of anti-colonialist Mau-Mau guerrilla warrior only makes sense if you understand that “anti-colonialism” is only a bad thing if you’re a brown person, particularly a smart one that speak his or her mind.

      Remember this Equation:
      White People fighting for independence from other White People – Freedom Fighters
      Brown People fighting for independence from White People – Violent Darkies Who Don’t Know Their Place!!

      So, “Mr. Bell Curve”, an Indian-American conservative who never misses a chance to bash other non-whites who aren’t self-loathing, is basically calling Obama an angry uppity Negro. (Although he’s being rather crass about it.) Essentially, D’Souza hates what he sees in his own mirror everyday – a Brown man, and is pissed off that Obama want join him in the self-mutilation.

  8. Where would the United States of America be had the British not lost faith in themselves during the Revolutionary War? Ha!

  9. “Man on Dog” Santorum is supposed to be the new savior for the GOP? This weirdo who is so right wing Catholic he let his kids cuddle up to a fetus is the new anti-Romney? The guy who lost his Senate seat by almost 20 points as an incumbent? Wow, I almost hope he makes it to Tampa so Obama can spend more time focused on governing and less time campaigning. This wouldn’t even be a real fight, even more ridiculous than Paul vs. Obama. If this dope gets the nomination, Obama would need to dead hooker or a live boy in his bed to lose.

    I haven’t seen a Republican this out of touch and white bread since Lamar Alexander was rocking those goofy flannel shirts. And his grasp of history, or civil liberties or science has always been loose at best. The fact that this dork was ever a Senator should really scare people as well as demonstrate that almost anyone can get elected to public office.

    But it doesn’t matter to the morons who will boost him up as the counterbalance to Romney. Unlike Rick Perry, at least Santorum appears to be able to read and write in coherent sentences.

    It also doesn’t matter to Paul-bots that their fearless leader doesn’t think the government should protect you bad medications, check spoiled food or help rebuild towns after natural disasters.

    The problem with today’s conservatives is that they live in a right wing bubble of nonsense they refuse or simply can’t break free from. They live in a fact-free zone, where history, science and basic sociology about human connectivity do not apply.

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