14 February 2012

Santorum Visits Tacoma

Rick Santorum, he of the Google problem (don't click that link if you're at work; just know that it clicks through to the top result for Santorum's name), visited Tacoma yesterday to give a campaign speech.

The fact that the avowedly anti-gay former senator did this just hours after a gay marriage bill was signed into law by Washington's governor meant that some fireworks were to be anticipated; the event didn't disappoint.

The Stranger's Paul Constant was there, and came back with a few choice vignettes that he fused into an article titled "The Rick Santorum Rally in Tacoma Probably Could Have Gone Better":

Members of Occupy Tacoma embedded in the crowd mic checked Santorum on several different occasions. (Occupy Tacoma headquarters were just 500 feet away from the rally site.) Marriage equality activists started a pro-gay-marriage chant that silenced the candidate for something like two minutes, and they encouraged passing traffic to honk in support of marriage equality and taxing the wealthy, adding to the general cacophony. The concrete plaza in front of the Washington State History Museum entrance, with its sweeping coliseum-style seating surrounded on two sides by abrupt, tall brick walls, was a perfect echo chamber, muddling both Santorum's speech and the shouts of protesters into one dull, angry roar.

[...]

Santorum drew a crowd of hundreds of angry Washingtonians to the event. One brave man carrying an anti-Santorum sign ("FREEDOM FROM RELIGION," on one side, "Stop the Drama, Re-elect Obama") was followed around the rally by several Santorum supporters pinching their noses and miming as though they were swatting away flies. "I can't stand the smell of this guy," one fly-swatter said, adding, "it's like he's got garbage in his pockets." An old woman told the nose-pinchers, as she squeezed past the whole scene, "Watch out for the maggots." Another woman clucked her tongue, and told her friends, "If you're an atheist, you'll just believe in anything."

[...]

A man carrying a sign that read "Go Rick/PRO-LIFE/PRO-NORMAL-MARRIAGE" ranted at a supporter of marriage equality who asked him what a "normal" marriage was. Gay marriage, the man explained, "is sick. It's against nature. Nature itself says it's wrong, not to mention the Bible."

[...]

"Is this about contraception? No it is not," Santorum said, "It's about our rights." As he talked about the rights given to us by God as clearly stated in the Constitution, a liberal heckler to my left shouted, "3/5ths of a person!" The crowd around me cheered their agreement with his sentiment, even though I suspect many of them didn't understand exactly what they were cheering.

According to the article, Santorum was also glitter-bombed; according to the Wall Street Journal, at least two protesters were arrested.

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