by: Johnny Gall
I’m somewhat convinced that the Republican presidential nominees are consciously trying to out-crazy each other. Think about it for a second. First Michele Bachmann wanders around with that I’m-gonna-stab-you face all the time, and she gets attention. So Rick Perry has to out-do her to get any attention, so he films an anti-equality message in which he “accidentally” wears a Brokeback Mountain jacket. So Herman Cain has to act crazier to get his moment in the press, which he does and more when he quotes Pokemon and attributes it to an old poet. And then Newt Gingrich runs in the first place, which starts a huge firestorm about why such a horrible person would even try to run as a values candidate.
They only way to explain it is that they’re consciously embarrassing themselves, because it’s the only way to get media attention, and apparently, the masses just vote for whoever’s been on the TV most. 
Another candidate, who hasn’t seemed to fully grasp this strategy, is Rick Santorum. Santorum has said plenty of crazy things, but he just hasn’t seemed to find the right mix of batshit insane to really draw attention. He’s certainly been trying, so as a way to help the poor guy out, we’re finally gonna spend some time giving him the media attention he deserves for one of his recent nonsensical arguments.
Recently in Iowa, the Senator discussed his chances in the race, arguing that he believes he still has one: “I’m consistent. My record isn’t swiss cheese. I mean it’s solid; it’s a solid block of cheese.”
You heard it here, folks. The new metaphor for consistency: block of cheese. The most steady, unchanging thing we can think of. Cheese.
Well, I believe the Senator when he says he’s a block of cheese. In fact, here are a few more ways the Senator is like cheese:
1. He comes with an expiration date.
Let’s be honest here. The race for the Republican nomination has come with more twists and turns than a Telenovela. Besides the accusations of molestation or clandestine meetings with sex workers and Gingrich cheating on his first two wives, one of whom was in the hospital for cancer treatments, the polls change every week. It was Bachmann, then it was Perry, then it was Cain, then it was Gingrich, and Mitt Romney’s been second the entire time.
Who hasn’t been on top? Ever? Santorum. Think about how pathetic that is. He can’t even be more popular than Newt Gingrich. Everyone knows it’s a matter of time before Santorum goes bad and is forced to be thrown away. Much like that cheese in the fridge.
2. He causes nightmares.
Have you ever eaten 6 pieces of pizza right before bed? And then you had terrible vivid nightmares about zombies.  And you woke up and your heart was still racing and you had to turn on all the lights and have a cup of tea before going back to bed?
Have you ever done the same thing after watching a Republican presidential debate?
3. He’s best served in small portions. And with wine.
Cheese isn’t really something you normally want to make a full meal out of. It’s best to have as an hors d’ouevre at a fancy party. Not something you sit down at a table and eat. Less is more with cheese.
And everyone knows cheese goes best with wine. They just complement each other.
Same for Santorum. He’s not someone you want to sit down and watch for an hour, because eventually you’ll get pissed and throw something at him and then you’ll break your TV. But a 30-second sound bite at a party with friends where you can all have a laugh at his expense, he’s perfect.
And likewise, he’s best served with wine. Lots and lots and lots of wine.
4. He’s fun to google.
Actually, I’ve never googled cheese. You probably haven’t either. Maybe it’s fun. I really don’t know.
But I still enjoy googling Santorum. Every time. I, in fact, enjoy googling Santorum so much that I’m willing to assume that cheese is also fun to google, just so I can remind you that every time you’re having a bad day, or someone’s telling you some intolerant tripe, you can always go home, type “Santorum” into your search engine, and get a good hearty laugh at the Senator.
5. He’s harder to digest for people of color.
Did you know that 80% of people of African descent are lactose intolerant? And 90-100% of people of Asian descent? And 80-100% of people of Native American descent? Really, the only way white people digest dairy better is because we tied evolution to a chair, slapped it in the face, and demanded that it allow us to continue producing the lactose enzyme past weaning.
Santorum really shouldn’t be easy to digest either. But, much like dairy, white America has forced itself to digest his convoluted logic for long enough that somehow it doesn’t make us sick. So, when Santorum starts railing against the gays, the Muslims, Obama, or whoever happens to be on his shit list that day, for millions of white, middle-class Americans, it doesn’t sound like complete crap, because they’ve been listening to the same tripe since McCarthyism and before.
Thankfully, there are plenty of voters out there who haven’t forced themselves to produce that particular enzyme which makes everything the Senator says seem not-crazy. And chief among them are the very others against which Santorum is constantly railing.
6. Pat Robertson doesn’t quite understand him.
Remember Robertson’s comments on Macaroni and Cheese? That he “doesn’t get it. Is it a black thing?” Because Robertson doesn’t really understand anything. At all.
Same goes for politics in general for Robertson. He thinks Republicans are the Christian values candidates. And maybe they are, if your Christian values include income disparity, over-sized military programs, and the exclusion of anyone who’s different from you in any way. In other words, all of the things that Jesus did not say.
What Robertson doesn’t understand about the GOP is that they are not serving him or his people. He thinks Santorum, Perry and Bachmann will protect the bigots from their enemies, give them rights to oppress in the name of “freedom of religion.” When really, Santorum and the rest will continue talking about “family” values to curry votes, while selling their influence to the highest bidder. Usually corporate. Usually not good for people. Never anyone who’s looking out for the interests of Middle America.
So before you ask, Pat, no. Santorum is not a black thing. He’s not a Christian thing. He’s not a middle class thing or a mid-West thing. He’s a corporate thing. And you should try to understand that.
7. He’s versatile. 
Think about all the ways you can prepare cheese? You can grate it and sprinkle it over your plate. You can cut it into little slices. You can cut it into little blocks and impale it on toothpicks. You can put it in the oven and melt it a little bit.
Santorum can be prepared all the same ways. You can grate him. You can cut him into little tiny slices. You can cut him into little blocks and impale him with toothpicks. And you can melt him. I’m not promising that any of these things are legal, but aren’t they so much fun to think about?
Johnny Gall is so, so very close to completing his B.A. from NYU in English and Creative Writing. He has hopes of moving on to seminary, and then to ordained ministry and works with several groups which advocate queer equality in the Methodist church. He is a feminist, anarchist, person of faith, part-time librarian and an all-around good guy.
 God help us if Kim Kardashian ever decides to run for public office.
 Or whatever you have nightmares about. Mine are always about zombies.
 Because if your religion tells you to oppress, exclude and psychologically torture people who are different from you, then freedom of religion trumps their civil rights.
 And no, I don’t mean that he can be both a top and a bottom. Though really, who knows?