Idol Chatter Archive: October 2005

Beliefnet's daily weblog of religion and spirituality in pop culture.

Where Have All the Matt Santoses Gone?

The presidential campaign continues to heat up on

"The West Wing."

Last night, Democratic candidate

Matthew Santos


pulled the God-card for the second time this season on the

campaign trail

-with the kind of eloquence I so long to hear from

real, living candidates for whom we can actually vote.

Two weeks ago

Intelligent Design

was the issue that sparked discussion of the Big-G, and this time it was the don't-want-to-go-there, polarizing abortion debate that got Santos talking about the complexities of being Catholic and being pro-life (as a person) while at the same time being a pro-choice politician representing the Democratic party.


Controversy about abortion was initially sparked by a special interest group TV-spot that quoted Santos out of context saying he believed in "unlimited abortion." A Republican candidate's dream right? Not so, for Republican presidential hopeful

Arnold Vinick,


who responds to the attack add with as much anger as Santos. Oddly enough, this season's West Wing presidential campaign has pro-choice candidates on both side of the red-state, blue-state divide. Vinick has alienated the Republican religious right with his disinterest in religion, while Santos surprises the liberal left with his frequent God-talk.

Last night's best moment: Santos is confronted by the head of the fictional lobbying group Women's Alliance for Choice about his abortion views. The powerful organization is threatening to throw its support behind the pro-choice Republican Vinick and is unhappy about Santos' "yes I support abortion limits" response to the attack ad. Santos explains his understanding of the need for abortion "limits" by asking the group's leader if she believes in no-questions-asked abortion based on IQ tests, gender of the child, and the slippery slope that goes on from there. Answer to all of the above? No. Exactly, explains Santos. That's why I don't believe in unlimited abortion rights.

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