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Players: Rick Santorum, fading GOP hopeful for 2012 and a former senator of Pennsylvania who has a well-known "Google Problem"; Saturday Night Live

The Opening Serve: SNL got political again this past weekend with another debate skit. The seating for the faux debate was based "on the likelihood of the candidate winning the nomination"--Herman Cain (Keenan Thompson) and Mitt Romney (Jason Sudeikis) were seated at the table and, citing his irrelevancy, the SNL writers placed Rick Santorum (Andy Samberg) in "a crowded gay bar in the Castro district." The cuts to Samberg's Santorum were few but when they did feature him, the segments centered on Santorum groaning about being uncomfortable. 

The Return Volley: New Hampshire radio station WGIR caught up with Santorum and asked him his thoughts about the skit. "We’ve been hammered by the left for my standing up for the traditional family and I will continue to do so," Santorum told WGIR's "White House Brief" show despite admitting that he had not seen the skit yet. "The left, unfortunately, participates in bullying more than the right does. They say that they’re tolerant, and they’re anything but tolerant of people who disagree with them and support traditional values."  Santorum added, "I welcome the criticism, go ahead. I'm going to stand up for the values that made this country great ..."

What They Say They're Fighting About: Santorum's values  Santorum's noted feuds with Dan Savage and Google about his "Google problem" stems from his views on the LGBT community and those views are arguably his claim to (fading?) fame. SNL thought that putting Samberg's Santorum in a gay bar would bring the laughs. 

What They're Really Fighting About: Santorum's waning relevancy. While SNL's obvious joke here is Santorum's awkwardness in a gay bar, and the obvious defense is that Santorum feels like he's being attacked for having views on homosexuality, the fight here is really about making fun of Santorum's irrelevancy (note the lack of Samberg in the skit) and Santorum seizing an opportunity to become the left's favorite punching bag (again)

Who's Winning Now: Saturday Night Live. The joke could've used a little more brainpower than just plopping "gay" men around an uncomfortable "Rick Santorum." But the lack of attention they paid Samberg's Santorum (in the skit and the joke) merely reflects the 1-3% the real Santorum is averaging in the polls. At this point in Santorum's run for GOP glory, he has bigger things to worry about --sagging poll numbers, campaign spending, etc.-- and will need more than his recycled argument of "the left's" (and presumably SNL's) intolerance of his intolerance of the LGBT community and his bullying complaints to remedy those problems. 

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