Thursday, March 29, 2012
Over the last four and one-half years, the Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra has composed a body of work, in both scope and volume, that is remarkable. In total, 10 hours and 43 minutes of music has been composed over the last four and one-half years. If the average length of a symphony is roughly 30 minutes, then that's 21 symphonies-worth of compositional output.
More remarkable is that the vast majority of this 21 symphonies-worth of composition is the work of two people: Matt Pace and Brien Seyle. (Each of the ensemble's other members have contributed slivers of score here and there, and Kevin O'Connor has written two 20-minute scores.) Even with most of the compositional work split between two people, that's a remarkable amount of output for each person.
Still more remarkable (to me, anyway) is that the entirety of this gigantic body of work has been composed without grants, or fellowships, or stipends. It's truly phenomenal. It's been truly phenomenal for me to see and to perform. Again ... I'm not boasting. I'm really just along for the ride.
That's not to say that the ensemble hasn't received crucial support and encouragement from the film arts and music community. The Webster University Film Series, Cinema St. Louis and the Lee School in Columbia, MO each in a very real sense have commissioned most of the ensemble's work, offering the ensemble sponsorship, space, and what amount of scratch they can gather for the ensemble to premiere new work to the public. Local "rock" venues including Off Broadway, El Lenador and the Heavy Anchor (as well as some backyard owners who shall remain nameless) have welcomed the ensemble with open arms. The Ragtag Cinema in Columbia has hosted the ensemble several times. Ragtag has become the ensemble's "home away from home" in many respects.
And, of course, all of the people who bother to come and see and hear us, and all of the bands who have been nice enough to share a bill with us.
The photograph above was taken roughly two years ago. I love this photograph. It was taken after we performed our score to Go West for the students, parents and faculty of Lee School in the Missouri Theatre in Columbia. It was a beautiful performance in a beautiful place. The students laughed hysterically at every gag. Their laughter filled up that big room as much as and often more than our music did. We were all making the soundtrack together.
I love this photograph for a lot of reasons, and one big reason is that the photograph depicts us as if we've just arrived at some new place - as if we're all peering at something ahead of us. That performance really felt like that to me: an arrival for the ensemble.
Next Thursday April 5th at the Luminary, I feel that an arrival of sorts will happen again for the ensemble. The Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra opens for the legendary songwriter, composer and arranger Van Dyke Parks. It's a remarkable opportunity for us, and a remarkable event as our admiration for Parks has now come full-circle. It feels like another arrival.
So ... back to the phenomenal ... and here I will boast (because it's a civic boast):
None of this - not the 21 symphonies-worth of composition - not the ensemble's beautiful show in Columbia - not the ensemble's opportunity to perform on the same bill as a bona fide genius - none of this would have happened without St. Louis. None of this would have happened without an arts and music community that cares less about who you know and more about what you do. Our willingness to support each other's endeavors is a willingness to cultivate the best out of each other. Take it from me, this is very rare and special for a "scene."
There's been a lot of talk lately that our town's arts and music scene is at or close to a tipping point - that it has or is about to "arrive" on a more national profile. I think that talk is correct.
If and when we do "arrive," let's remember how we arrived. Let's remember how to sustain ourselves toward the next arrival.
(Maybe I'll see you Thursday, April 5th at the Luminary?)
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Do yourself a favor and don't watch cable news on a primary election night. Well, don't listen to cable news on a primary election night, anyway. It seemed to me that every twenty minutes or so a panelist would mention that turnout in Illinois was down compared to 2008, the implication being that Illinois Republican primary voters aren't "enthusiastic" about their choices for the nomination (and their frontrunner).
The first part of this observation is technically true: primary turnout indeed was lower in 2012 than it was in 2008. The reason for this was that in Illinois there were two major-party contests for president in 2008 and only one this year. One of those major-party contests happened to have a local politician running as well. Perhaps you remember that.
So, let's look at the numbers:
In the 2008 Illinois Republican Primary, 899,422 votes were cast for the presidential nomination.
In the 2012 Illinois Republican Primary, 922,146 votes were cast for the presidential nomination. 2012 Illinois Republican Primary turnout was 103% of what it was in 2008. Turnout slightly increased.
GOP turnout wasn't down in Metropolitan Chicago either. In 2008, GOP primary turnout in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties was 496,014. In 2012 for those counties, GOP turnout was 509,785. 2012 GOP turnout in the Chicago area was ... wait for it ... 103% of what it was in 2008. So, both in "Chicagoland" and "Downstate," GOP turnout was slightly up, and up rather evenly throughout the state.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
There is a small but nevertheless significant chance that the front-runner for the GOP nomination this year will not have won 50% + 1 of the delegates to allow him to have a lock on a first-ballot nomination at this year's Republican National Convention. The last time that this happened was at the 1976 Republican National Convention. In 1976, Gerald Ford was the "front-runner," but nevertheless fell short of a delegate lock. Ronald Reagan was close behind. A floor fight ensued at the convention before the first ballot, and the story goes that, after Reagan announced that he would pick a "liberal" running mate, the Ford team was able to convince an unbound Mississippi delegation to throw its support to Ford (Gerald Ford, with his career spent mostly in the U.S. House of Representatives, had a team who knew how to whip a floor vote). The Mississippi delegation put Ford over the top and secured the nomination on the first ballot. That's the story, anyway.
Here and now in 2012, there's a chance that Romney could go to Tampa without the requisite 50% + 1 delegates to clinch the nomination on the first ballot. Even if this should be the case, the Romney team, as did the Ford team, could still easily clinch the nomination on a first ballot. It would be a matter of lobbying and convincing unbound delegates to shift their support to Romney. While the political junkie geek in me would relish a bona fide floor flight with multiple ballots (what theater!), the rational political science geek in me believes that such a floor flight with multiple balloting likely would not occur. The very well-organized Romney team, like the very well-organized Ford team, would have it covered.
In this modern (post-modern?) era of political parties and the political primary system, it's exceedingly rare that even the possibility of a contested nominating convention could come about. The last time there was a real possibility of multiple convention ballots for either party was 1976 - some 36 years ago. (I'm an old man ... and even I wasn't alive in 1976!) In other words, even the possibility of a contested convention isn't "supposed to happen" in the modern system. By now, there should be a "solid front-runner." And, even if there isn't a solid front-runner, as was the case on the Democratic side in 2008 when two candidates seemed near-evenly matched, there should be very little talk of a "contested," "brokered," et cetera convention. But this year, there is such talk.
So, why is there so much talk as there was in '76? Why in 2012 are the dynamics of Republican Party's presidential nomination process similar to the dynamics in 1976? The one big similar factor that I can think of is that both 1976 and 2012 occur in the wake of a very unpopular twice-elected Republican President. George W. Bush's second-term approval ratings were right down there with Nixon's.
The difference within the similarity between 1976 and 2012 is this: Nixon was forced to resign the presidency two years before '76, while George W. was not forced to resign at all before 2008. Bush Jr. finished his second term.
So, only now in 2012 is the Republican Party working out how to proceed as a national party after its de facto leader and the leader's coalitional regime has collapsed. In 1976, the GOP had a head start on this process because its de facto leader (and the leader's coalitional regime) had stepped down two years prior. In 2012, the GOP can only now work it out. At the time that the Republican Party could have worked it out in 2008, the de facto leader of the party (and the leader's coalitional regime) was still in place. A party can't really work out its "post-failed-regime plan" until the failed regime has actually stepped down.
This isn't the type of observation that has any bearing on which party will win in November. The Democratic Party went through this process of "working it out" to a large extent in 1960 (a year when the Democratic Party won the Presidency with Kennedy), and to a lesser extent in 1992 (when the Democratic Party won the Presidency with Clinton). Going back to 1976, Gerald Ford almost defeated Jimmy Carter in November for a full term - a shift of a couple thousand votes in Ohio was all Ford needed, but Ford came up short there.
So, putting predictions aside, this seems to me what's going on in the Republican Party right now: A debate as to how to proceed as a national party after the fallout from George W. Bush. This was the same process that occurred in 1976: a debate as to how to proceed as a national party after the fallout from Richard Nixon.
The 2012 Republican primaries are a manifestation of the Republican Party's debate as to how to proceed after its coalitional regime has collapsed. It's coming a little bit late this time as compared to '76, because unlike Nixon, the Bush regime left office after the last presidential election, not two years before.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, who’s helped Republicans win in both states, told TPM that the national candidates need to tread lightly.
“You can’t really avoid talking about social issues in those states,” he said. “There are certain code words you can use down there that don’t come back to haunt you in the rest of the country."
What are the certain code words, Ford O'Connell?
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I'm going to have to re-read the story and re-watch the film, but I think that the way bowling is a big part of each is a tell that "The Dude" consciously alludes somewhat to Rip.
This will be fun. Hopefully, there will be enough for a blog post out of it.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Nixon first consciously pursued it as a national strategy. Later, Atwater codified its rhetoric. (Oh right ... let's not forget Saint Ronald, either.) Then in 1994, Gingrich's "revolution" retired what was left of the "boll weevils" who hadn't yet retired. (One boll weevil was smart enough to switch to Republican before it was too late.) The Old South was now decidedly Republican. For his House leadership team in 1995, Speaker Gingrich (R-Georgia) brought on Dick Armey (R-Texas) as his Majority Leader and Tom Delay (R-Texas) as his Majority Whip - a Southern leadership for a Southern party.
It's kind of fitting, then, to see Gingrich make what very well could be his "last stand" in the heart of Dixie. It's Dixie that what made him.
Los Angeles Times:
Montgomery, Ala. — A day after losing all but one Super Tuesday contest, Newt Gingrich retreated Wednesday to the Deep South, abandoning plans to campaign in Kansas in a gamble that victories next week in Alabama and Mississippi can salvage his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.
“We clearly have limited resources, and we decided that it would make sense to focus those limited resources on Mississippi and Alabama,” the former House speaker told reporters here after a rally in a hotel atrium.
Shall the Newt rise again?
Huffington Post, 02-21-12:
If January's trend lines held through February, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign ran out of money two days ago.
The former Massachusetts governor announced Monday night that he had raised roughly $6.4 million in January. More significantly, however, he reported having only $7.7 million cash on hand -- which means that over the course of 31 days, his campaign spent approximately $18.7 million.
[Campaign advertising spending by state:]Romney, as do all of the candidates, fits in fundraising events practically everywhere he goes. The problem for Romney is that he seems to have mostly tapped out his big-money donors for the primary season (the individual maximum is $2,500). Check out the chart (red = $2,500 donors):
Alabama: Restore Our Future (pro-Romney $840,000), Winning Our Future (pro-Gingrich) $290,000
Hawaii: Paul $39,000
Illinois: Restore Our Future $660,000, Gingrich $16,000
Kansas: Winning Our Future $144,000
Louisiana: Restore Our Future $460,000, Winning Our Future $3,000, Gingrich $1,000
Mississippi: Restore Our Future $750,000, Winning Our Future $240,000, Santorum $4,000
Notice that the pro-Romney Super PAC -- but NOT the Romney campaign -- is advertising in these states. It's yet another sign that the Romney campaign doesn't have much money left (the FEC report on March 20 will be interesting to see).
Does anybody want to bet that the Romney campaign's March 20th FEC report will show that Mitt Romney loaned his campaign some money? At the moment, I'd say that it's even odds.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This year's Ohio Republican Presidential Primary was truly contested. In 2008, the Ohio Primary occurred roughly a month after Super Tuesday. McCain had for all practical purposes wrapped up the nomination by then. Huckabee was still in it, but there was nowhere near the level of contesting that there was this year. Ohio GOP primary turnout in 2012 as compared to 2008 was greater. 1,196,566* votes were cast in this year's Ohio GOP primary. That's 113% of the total votes in the Ohio GOP primary in 2008.
Romney barely edged Santorum in a squeaker, 38.0% to 37.0%.
As has been the pattern in previous contests this year and as was expected in Ohio, Romney won the metropolitan areas while Santorum won the rural/small town areas. The possible exception to this pattern in Ohio was Toledo (if you consider Toledo and its surroundings to be metropolitan). Santorum narrowly beat Romney in Toledo's Lucas County and tallied sizable margins in the counties immediately surrounding Lucas (Fulton, Henry, Wood and Ottawa).
Though Santorum lost the big metropolitan areas (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati) to Romney, it appears that Santorum was able to cut into Romney's metropolitan margins. This was especially true in Franklin County where Columbus is located. Romney bested Santorum in Franklin County 40.7% to 36.1%. While that's certainly a win for Romney, it wasn't equal to Romney's drubbing of Santorum in Cleveland's Cuyahoga County 48.7% to 29.6% and in Cincinnati's Hamilton County 48.9% to 29.3%.
Santorum, meanwhile, dominated the more rural areas of Ohio. It was almost enough for him to win - almost, but not quite.
Here's what's interesting in comparing the Ohio GOP primary vote in 2008 with 2012. Turnout in 2012 was higher everywhere, but it was a tad higher still in the metropolitan areas. If you add up the total 2012 vote in the "Cleveland area" counties (Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Summit), the "Cincinnati area" counties (Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Warren) and the "Columbus area" counties (Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union) you get 596, 457*. That's 49.8% of the total Ohio vote in 2012. If you do the same for 2008, then you get 514,655 votes - 48.6% of the total 2008 Ohio vote.
So, while turnout increased across the board from 2008 to 2012, the share of the vote coming from "metropolitan" areas of Ohio increased from 48.6% to 49.8%.
What this increase in "metropolitan" share of the vote suggests to me is not necessarily that the Romney campaign made an effort to turn out metropolitan voters generally. Instead, it suggests to me that the Romney campaign had a larger, more organized and more effective canvassing effort than did Santorum. Romney voters tend to be more suburban/urban than Santorum voters. If the Romney campaign did a better job at identifying and turning out its likely voters (wherever they may reside), then a good (albeit correlative) piece of evidence confirming it would be an uptick in the "metropolitan" share of the primary vote from 2008 to 2012. There is indeed an uptick.
In Michigan, Romney's endorsements and support from local and statewide elected officials gave his campaign the ability through the officials' campaign apparatuses to dominate Santorum's campaign in the early voting/absentee campaign. Romney's 2-1 margin in the early vote (some 16% of Michigan's total vote) provided for Romney the cushion he needed to eke out a victory. In Ohio, Romney's more organized campaign appears to have done a better job than Santorum's seat-of-the-pants campaign in identifying its likely voters and turning them out. When the margin of victory or defeat is 1 percentage point, organization is all the difference.
Of course, money helps an awful lot too.
*At the time of this writing, 81% of Medina County's precincts have reported. I have extrapolated Medina's as well as Ohio's total vote accordingly.
Monday, March 5, 2012
It's a bad habit. It's most apparently a bad habit in how it makes a person static. The more one thinks and feels in a resentful way, the more such a person hides from and obscures his or her own personal failings and disappointments. Such a person can never grow and live as well as she/he could.
There's another perhaps less apparent but certainly more insidious reason it's a bad habit. It's horrible on a person's spirit. It makes a person a little ugly inside. When theologians talk about sin and its effects on the soul, I think that this is what they're getting at.
I have this bad habit in a big way. It's as tough to quit as smoking. It's a habit just as dangerous and unhealthy as smoking. If you believe in anything like a soul, then the habit of resentment is even more dangerous and unhealthy than smoking.
We're already a couple of weeks into Lent. I'm a little late to the game, but I think I've found what I'm going to try and give up for Lent, and what I'm going to try and give up after Lent too.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity [Thanks, Rick], three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
My choice of words was not the best [Thanks, Mitt], and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
I set it out in my previous post, and whether it's true or not, there is a perception shared by both Limbaugh and by Republican presidential hopefuls that if a GOP presidential candidate gets on Rush's "bad side" in any way, then that GOP presidential candidate will lose. Limbaugh believes that he has this power. More importantly, the 2012 GOP candidates believe that Limbaugh has this power. Hence the exercise in apologetics on behalf of Limbaugh from Santorum, and the lack of criticism from Romney on the substance of Limbaugh's three days of vicious attacks on Fluke.
Rick Santorum's college-aged daughter is a campaign surrogate on Santorum's behalf. Mitt Romney's mother ran for the Senate from Michigan. Each of these men have or had close female family members engaged in the public discourse. That neither man was willing to go any further than criticize Limbaugh's choice in semantics in his assault on Fluke not only indicates Limbaugh's power within the Republican Party. That neither man was willing to criticize Limbaugh also indicates from each man a lack of family values and a lack of courage to stand up for those values.
Friday, March 2, 2012
The Rush Limbaugh Show, 12-20-07 ("Huckabee Forces Attack El Rushbo"):
Huckabee forces are attacking me, ladies and gentlemen. Yes siree, Bob, the Hucksters are on the warpath! From the Atlantic magazine, this is from their blog. The author is Marc Ambinder. "What's the Huckabee universe's take on why Rush Limbaugh does not like the man from Arkansas? I asked a prominent DC-based Huckabee ally," and here's what the "prominent" Washington-based "Huckabee ally" said: "'Honestly, because Rush doesn't think for himself. That's not necessarily a slap because he's not paid to be a thinker -- he's an entertainer. I can't remember the last time that he has veered from the talking points from the DC/Manhattan chattering class. If they were praising Huckabee, he would be, too. Also, I have to think that he's dying to have Hillary in the White House. Bill Clinton made Rush a megastar. Having another Clinton back in power would make him the Leading Voice of the Opposition once again.'" Now, this is so off the mark, I can't believe that Huckabee would have somebody this ignorant on his staff -- somebody on the campaign staff or supporter or what have you, that's so ignorant about this program and what happens on this program. Part of the DC-Manhattan chattering class? When was the last time I was for illegal immigration, for example?
This is absurd, but look, I think it's funny. Huck forces are attacking El Rushbo.
If you really are a Huckabee supporter, whoever said this, your campaign is in trouble, because if that's what people on Huckabee's team thinks, your ignorance is going to get your candidate in big, big trouble.
I realize that there are a lot of you out there: You got a candidate, and you think that if I got behind your candidate it would put 'em over the top, and you might be right. But, at this point, it's just an age-old belief that I have, and I remain true to my beliefs and principles. Now, some people have written me, "I hear you say this, but you're full of it. What about 2000 with Bush and McCain in South Carolina?" Special circumstance. You had a two-man race, and what was happening in South Carolina, McCain was going so far off the conservative reservation, so far off of it, that it was necessary to step in. Huckabee is getting close, I'm going to have to tell you. Huckabee's getting close to the same stuff. Huckabee is using his devout Christianity to mask some other things that are distinctively not conservative. He is against free trade. He's really doesn't believe in free market. Well, let me read what George Will wrote today. This is when I go along with "the DC-New York axis." But I just want to read from George Will's column, a paragraph today. "Huckabee's campaign actually is what Rudy Giuliani's candidacy is misdescribed as being -- a comprehensive apostasy against core Republican beliefs. Giuliani departs from recent Republican stances regarding two issues -- abortion and the recognition by the law of same-sex couples. Huckabee's radical candidacy broadly repudiates core Republican policies such as free trade, low taxes, the essential legitimacy of America's corporate entities and the market system allocating wealth and opportunity. [C]onsider New Hampshire's chapter of the National Education Association, the teachers union that is a crucial component of the Democratic Party's base. In 2004, New Hampshire's chapter endorsed Howard Dean in the Democratic primary and no one in the Republican primary. Last week it endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary -- and Huckabee in the Republican primary." It likes Huckabee on education.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, have you thought back to the 2008 election? Have you asked yourself who was responsible for that loss? Have you asked yourself who really should shoulder the blame and the burden for the defeat of Senator McCain? A lot of people have been speculating this, a lot of postmortems on the election. Let's go to the BBC. BBC World Service, host Stephen Sackur spoke with former McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and asked Rick Davis on whose shoulders rests the burden of the McCain defeat.
DAVIS: We didn't successfully reach out to them. I mean, but you look at the leadership John McCain gave which is counter to the direction that the party was headed, when you have the Rush Limbaughs of the world who, you know, literally almost feed the nativist attitude toward immigration reform, what do you think the Hispanic voter, the Latino voter is gonna remember? They're gonna remember the attacks, not the efforts by people like John McCain to try and reform.
RUSH: So there you have it, Rick Davis, the campaign manager for McCain, has dumped on my shoulders the reason McCain lost and others like me alienated Hispanic voters. This is so wrong on so many levels, but it explains why this campaign was so inept. A brief time-out. Just wanted you to hear that so you could stew over it.
McCain lost people because he couldn't generate enthusiasm for his candidacy. You know, people have long memories, something that you... Rick Davis, you know what you ought to stop and think about, too? When your guy went into the tank with the mainstream media and did everything he could to make the mainstream media love him, calling the mainstream his "base."
You Republican consultants, you're going to have to learn something very fast: Republican voters that you need to win elections think the mainstream media is as much the enemy as any Democrat candidate is going to be. And sidling up and trying to get the approval of a bunch of incompetent boobs who have sided with Democrats for the last 50 years is not the way to engender support, ongoing support and get a mandate. This campaign never had a prayer and everybody knew it from the get-go. It never had a prayer. (sigh) I mean, for crying out loud, McCain became Sominex. There wasn't any caffeine until Palin came around and it just wasn't enough. I'm glad that at least he didn't blame Palin. I think he's a little off message. The Republican Party's message is to blame her!
[A caller asks Limbaugh why Limbaugh did not support Huckabee for the nomination in '08]
RUSH: Let me help you with something here. You are asserting here that I had the power to coalesce people around Huckabee, and since I chose not to do it, we got McCain, and therefore you are somewhat blaming me --
CALLER: Yes, I am.
RUSH: -- that we lost because McCain is the nominee. All right, you tell me what I am supposed to do when I am sent an e-mail quoting a Huckabee campaign advisor speaking anonymously saying, "We don't care about Limbaugh, he's just part of the Republican National Committee talking points, he just says what he's being fed to say by the Republican establishment." I mean the e-mail I got was entitled, "Huckabee Forces Attack Limbaugh." Now, what am I supposed to do there, Ivan?
CALLER: Well, Rush, what I want to say is --
RUSH: I don't endorse people during primaries anyway. Candidates are supposed to win elections, not me.
CALLER: You're absolutely right, Rush, and I'm gonna say I agree with what you said, but at the same time I believe that for the sake of the country, I believe that you are bigger than that, to jump past it, and you have to look at what's best for the country, and I think, you know, while I don't know a lot about Huckabee, I just know that Huckabee would have been a better candidate than McCain.
RUSH: Well, I should be a bigger man than that. It's not that it insulted me, it's not that I was being petulant and saying, "Oh, yeah, you're sending your guys out to anonymously insult me, then screw you," that wasn't my attitude. My attitude was why did these guys need to start taking shots at everybody else in the Republican Party? It showed a temperament and a campaign organization that kind of did not inspire confidence. So it had nothing to do that I was offended and decided I wasn't going to support.
But what it boils down to, and the reason the Republican primary -- and I will agree with you, by the way, Ivan, I will agree with you that I have the power you have assigned to me. I don't doubt it at all, and it's just a question to me of the responsible use of the power. And I must tell you as I -- well, I'm long here. I gotta take a time-out. Nobody inspired me, is the point.
[BLITZER:] But let me - let me play this little clip, because he's - he's - Rush Limbaugh is suggesting that by supporting government insurance, paid insurance for contraceptives, birth control pills or whatever, Rush Limbaugh suggesting she's a slut or a prostitute. And then he even goes further.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: So Ms. Fluke and the rest of you femi-Nazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and, thus, pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right, go ahead.
I - I want you to respond to Rush Limbaugh.
SANTORUM: Well, he's taking - you know, he's being absurd. But that's, you know, an entertainer can be absurd. And - and he's taking the absurd, you know, the absurd - absurd, you know, sort of, you know, point of view here as to how - how far do you go?
And, look, I'm - he's - he's in a very different business than I am.
CLEVELAND – Mitt Romney responded for the first time this evening to comments made by Rush Limbaugh in which he referred to a college student as a “slut,” saying that it’s “not the language” he would have used.
“I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used. I’m focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today, and that’s why I’m here talking about jobs and Ohio,” Romney said to reporters on a rope line after a rally at Cleveland State University.