The "this weekend in offensive political news" item is Pastor Robert Jeffress’ description of Mormonism as a "cult" at the Value Voters Summit.
Jeffress, who has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the GOP presidential nod, was taking aim at Mitt Romney. Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s conservative columnist, today gutsily scores tip-toeing around the offense:
No Republican contender came close to Rick Santorum on whether Mormonism is a “cult”: “No, I . . .don’t. . . . Mitt Romney is a true — he says he’s a Christian. I believe he said Christian. I’m not an expert on Mormonism. All I know is that every Mormon I know is a good and decent person, has great moral values and, by and large, with the exception of Harry Reid, by and large, pretty consistent in the values that I share and that things I want to see happen to this country. And that’s what he should be judged on.” Really, is that so hard?
One would think not, but what stuck out for me was that even though Santorum earns the honorable man mantle in this kerfuffle, he has to make sure to broadcast his contempt for Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader.
Imagine, say, Louis Farrakhan’s "gutter religion" broadside delivered not to a Nation of Islam gathering, but at a colloquium of liberal-left groups, and not in the 1990s, but today.
Imagine Democrats who attended the event tip-toeing around Farrakhan, but imagine one blasting him out of the water, saying: "I’m not an expert on Judaism. All I know is that every Jew I know is a good and decent person, has great moral values and, by and large, with the exception of Eric Cantor, by and large, pretty consistent in the values that I share and that things I want to see happen to this country."
Rubin is right: Santorum comes out of this smelling like roses.
What’s going on with our political discourse?