It’s getting really hard to be topical. In the issue of New Yorker magazine dated January 9, 2012 – that’s today -- the lead article is about the rise of Newt Gingrich.
Newt who? Newt Gingrich? Is he the guy who thought that if he stuck four fingers between the buttons in his shirt, he actually became Napoleon?
(By the way, America, Newt Gingrich is very disappointed in you. I just thought you should know that.)
But this note is not about Newt Gingrich; it’s about Rick Santorum. Who remains topical until 8 p.m. tomorrow, when the polls close in New Hampshire. Because New Hampshire Republicans are finding it difficult to square a Santorum state ban on contraception with the motto “Live Free or Die.”
But this note is not about contraception; it’s about weather forecasts. Which are always topical.
Rick Santorum tried to ban weather forecasts. Actually, not all weather forecasts. Just government weather forecasts.
I realize that you could possibly be a little skeptical about that, so here is the bill, at the official Senate website. Sections 2(b) and 2(d) of the National Weather Services [sic] Duties Act of 2005, S. 786, 109th Cong., 1st Sess.
By the way, Santorum introduced this bill a few months after four different hurricanes hit Central Florida, where I live. In one of those hurricanes, a big chunk of my roof collapsed, right into the living room. So weather forecasts are sort of important in my community. A matter of life and death, you might say.
Now you must be thinking, "Wow, that guy Santorum is a REAL conservative." Santorum recognizes that government weather forecasts are meteorological socialism; they are a serious infringement on your constitutional right not to know whether it will rain tomorrow. Santorum sees that weather forecasts are a government takeover of the skies. In fact, Santorum is such an astute and profound conservative thinker that he probably realizes that traffic lights are a government takeover of the roads.
But this note is not about traffic lights. It’s about Rick Santorum and government weather forecasts. And why Rick Santorum tried to ban them.
Here’s why. It’s because AccuWeather is a commercial weather forecasting company, and AccuWeather employees gave Santorum more than $5,000 in campaign contributions. Then he introduced the bill. Which subsequently and consequently led to Santorum being named as one of Congress’s “most corrupt politicians.” Which is saying a lot.
I can picture the conversation:
AccuWeather lobbyist: “Here is $5000 in bundled contributions from AccuWeather. Now introduce a bill to ban government weather forecasts.”
Santorum: “OK. Sure. Why not? Whatever. I love this cheesecake.”
And that is what I’ve seen over and over again. This thing called “conservative ideology” has degenerated to the point where it exists simply to spew out rationalizations for something else entirely: whatever the corporate lobbyists want.
A topic that will remain topical, I’m sure, well after the polls close in New Hampshire tomorrow night.