Just in case you missed them, last night, the Republican candidates for President blazed onstage in Arizona, for another debate, an opportunity for conservatives to make assholes of themselves on national television. Mitt got hypocritical, Newt got condescendingly pedantic, Ron got overlooked, and Santorum got racist. Not to be left out of the unrestrained display of twittitude, the audience offered a hearty boo to the mention of birth control. Boo to contraception and sex without pregnancy! Boo, you whores!
ThinkProgress notes that this audience's audible disdain for hormonal contraception joins other such noteworthy Republican debate crowd ejaculations as the time they booed the gay soldier, the time they cheered when Rick Perry talked about how many people he executed as Governor of Texas, the time they cheered when Newt Gingrich yelled at John King for asking him about leaving his ex wife, and the time they cheered for the story of a person who died because they didn't have health insurance.
If Republicans were hoping to win the 2012 election by showing America that they're not just a bunch of rich white dudes worried about saving their golfing buddies money and forcing their terribly unfun moral views on everyone else, last night's debate didn't do much to further their agenda. Instead, the spectacle primarily featured Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum poking each other in the eyes and getting into verbal slapfights while Newt Gingrich talked like a patronizing Southern sheriff with his thumbs hooked through a pair of neon purple suspenders. And no one could resist playing to the terrifying crowd, especially when it came to birth control.
Mitt Romney observed that the attack that the Obama administration was waging on religious conscience was unprecedented in the history of America. Unprecedented! Even worse than that time in the 1960's and 70's when almost a quarter million Americans were killed our wounded in Vietnam while killing more than a million Vietnamese troops? Yeah, good call, Mitt Romney. Telling religious employers that their female employees will be able to purchase birth control with their insurance is much worse than the the military draft and war you spent your college years avoiding (Mittens actually spent some of his college free time counterprotesting the anti war protesters on his college campus, like the conscientious objector that he was).
Ron Paul was basically the Grover Dill to Romney's Scott Farkas last night, and the two of them joined forces to take turns punching Rick Santorum in the sweatervest. On the positive side, Ron Paul doesn't think the federal government has any business dictating whether or not women can take birth control pills, which don't cause immorality. But then he followed that sane statement up by comparing people who were anti-pill to people who were anti-gun. Guns don't kill people; criminals do. Birth control pills don't cause harlotry, harlotry causes whorishness. Or something.
Newt Gingrich didn't do much of anything last night, but he never wanted to be President anyway; he just wanted to be on the precipice of possibly receiving the GOP nomination so that he can fetch gigantic speaking fees for future appearances wherein he'll tell rapt audiences exactly how the world would have been different if he'd been allowed to build a colony on the moon. Professional Monday morning quarterback, that one.
But it was Rick Santorum, frothy, brown haired Rick Santorum, who won the night's What In Tarnation Are You Doing award when he cited Charles Murray in supporting his argument of why birth control is bad. It's bad, you see, because according to this book by Charles Murray, it leads to unwed mothers. (Fact check: It isn't birth control that causes pregnancy and the motherhood that often follows; it's actually "unprotected sex" and "sperm." But lots of people confuse birth control and sperm; it was probably an honest mistake.) The most terribawesome part of Santorum's claim isn't that he expects people to believe that birth control causes pregnancy in much the same way that sunscreen causes skin cancer, it's that he cited Murray, who is most well known for writing a book that claimed that black people have lower IQ's than white people because black people are genetically not as smart as white people. Yikes.
One of these four knuckleheads will grace the top of the GOP ticket and face President Obama in the general election in November. And at this point, all he'll have to do to assure victory is buy airtime and fill it with footage of the 12,873 GOP debates' worth of appalling sound bytes. You decide, America.