That is the argument of Albert Mohler in a recent post on Rick Santorum. He writes:
Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan had it just right — someone had better read Rick Santorum his Miranda rights. In the big leagues of national politics, she warns, “Everything you’ve said can and will be used against you.”
Keep in mind that Rick Santorum has said a great deal, and is still talking. In a world accustomed to bland politicians, Santorum breaks the mold. He admires conviction politicians, and he aims to be one. He speaks his mind, and then keeps on talking. On crucial issues of a moral nature, Santorum not only states his position, he explains it in detail and then goes on to present his convictions in the form of an argument. He is willing to make comprehensive statements of cultural analysis and sweeping moral judgments.
And he concludes:
Finally, Rick Santorum attracts protests on college campuses because people believe him when he speaks. William McGurn of The Wall Street Journalpointed out recently that, even as Rick Santorum opposes same-sex marriage, so did Barack Obama when he ran for the White House in 2008 (and, at least in terms of official statements, even now). But Santorum gets jeered and Obama gets a pass. Why? McGurn understands: “There’s no mystery why. Mr. Santorum is attacked because everyone understands that he means what he says.”
That may be the real bottom line when it comes to the Santorum predicament. Saying such things might not be a problem, but saying them when everyone understands that you mean them . . . that is another thing altogether.
I don’t post often on political issues. Not because I’m uninterested or uncaring, but because I think others are more informed and better at it than I. Therefore, I’d rather direct you to them. Mohler is one such man, and his article is a helpful example of insightful cultural and political commentary. He will be worth following this election cycle.
For another angle on Rick Santorum, check out Ross Douthat’s recent article in the New York Times.