As you may have already heard, incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Santorum got a little goofy in his meeting with the editorial board of the Bucks County Courier Times. Here's an excerpt from "Santorum defends Iraq war," by Alison Hawkes, Intelligencer (sister paper of the Bucks County Courier Times) 10/18/06 (full text here):
Santorum used the analogy from one of his favorite books, J.R.R. Tolkien's 1950s fantasy classic “Lord of the Rings,” to put an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq into terms any school kid could easily understand.
“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.
“It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S.,” Santorum continued. “You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”
Mr. J took a look at this and said "Does that mean Mount Doom is somewhere in Pennsylvania? Where exactly are the hobbits?" Good questions. Santorum went on to say he had read The Hobbit to his children. When I read through his book I noted that he refers to the Lord of the Rings movies but not the books, so maybe he read The Hobbit and watched the rest.
I lived and breathed Tolkien in my younger years, learned the runic alphabet and interspersed runes in my college course notes to discourage "note moochers." But even I do not want a US senator who thinks it's okay to compare a war with real soldiers and a real death count to fiction. There are other ways to explain this to children.