Why He Runs: Rick Santorum's Own 'Fetus Jar' Story


Never thought about it, but where do you think they kept the fetus' body in this? Is it in the doll?It's been some time since Rick Santorum has been relevant to politics (NOTE: he still isn't), so it's easy to forget the stupid things he's said about his main issues, protecting the fetuses and attacking the gays. Here's something we forgot about: Santorum has his very own fetus story, but unlike Barbara Bush, when his wife miscarried in 1996, they didn't stick the thing in a jar and put it on display. Santorum wrapped the dead fetus in a blanket, took it out of the hospital, and "spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel [the fetus] with his three siblings." Sure, a miscarriage is a sad and rather strange experience for anyone to suffer, but, uh: "They took photos, sang lullabies in his ear and held a private Mass." That should be a cute family album to show primary voters! What kind of clothes did they dress it up in? Did they make the fetus the altar boy?

EVERY SINGLE PARAGRAPH of the first half or so of this old Washington Post story is just golden.

"That's my little guy," Santorum says, pointing to the photo of Gabriel, in which his tiny physique is framed by his father's hand. The senator often speaks of his late son in the present tense. It is a rare instance in which he talks softly.

Sounds like somebody's already picked a running mate! He really does seem to love that dead fetus more than anyone in his family.

Not a "fetus," either, as Rick and Karen were appalled to see him described -- "a 20-week-old fetus" -- on a hospital form. They changed the form to read "20-week-old baby."

How dare the hospital use medical terms for their medicine?

Santorum's wife wrote and published a book of letters to the fetus. You know, some light reading for when the dead fetus is at the beach or whatever.

"When the partial-birth abortion vote comes to the floor of the U.S. Senate for the third time," Karen writes to Gabriel, "your daddy needs to proclaim God's message for life with even more strength and devotion to the cause."

Must have been able to read at a pretty high level for a dead fetus.

He often speaks of the "coincidences" that occurred during Karen's pregnancy with Gabriel. "It struck me that if God is into sending messages, then I was getting some," Santorum says.

"I like this fetus more than your other spawn, so I'm going to show it mercy by killing it before it has to be raised by you," God said.

Finally, here's the Rick we know and love:

Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey once wondered whether Santorum is "Latin for [anus]."

[WP via Gawker]

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Well, goddamn it, a wonderful person we'd never heard of until last night is dead. Lyra McKee was 29, an investigative journalist who specialized in looking at the legacy of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. She was murdered by someone shooting at police during rioting in Derry, or perhaps Londonderry, depending on who you want to piss off by using either name for the city. The rioting broke out after police "started carrying out searches in the area because of concerns that militant republicans were storing firearms and explosives" in advance of attacks planned to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Police are blaming the violence and McKee's death on the "New Irish Republican Army," a radical republican group formed a few years ago from several smaller groups. Despite the name, the group has no ties to the old Provisional Irish Republican Army, which renounced violence and disarmed in 2005 following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which was supposed to have brought peace to Northern Ireland, and kind of did, at least much of the time.

McKee is being remembered by colleagues and readers as a promising journalist who was expected to go far. A year ago, McKee signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber; the first of the books, The Lost Boys, an investigation of eight young men who disappeared in Belfast during the Troubles in the '60s and '70s, will be published next year. A 2016 Forbes profile said "McKee's passion is to dig into topics that others don't care about." For instance, CNN reports, McKee spent five years investigating a story about the only rape crisis center in Northern Ireland and its long struggle to regain funding after the government eliminated it.

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