18 July 2000 | heckles
I am surprised that no one in this comments index noticed how true-to-life this film turned out to be.
"Bob Roberts" was a 1992 'mock-umentry' about the election of a Republican know-nothing (the title character) to a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania; in the movie Roberts wins against a too-brainy-to win Democrat played by Gore Vidal. The real 1994 U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania featured Rick Santorum as the Republican candidate. Santorum not only had the same aggressively anti-intellectual outlook as Roberts (I understand his staff is afraid to leave him alone with the press lest he 'throw a brick'), he even used generous helpings of Roberts' faux-revolutionary rhetoric to claim that his election would be an empowerment of the common people of Pennsylvania against a murkily-described 'elite'. In fact, Santorum, like Roberts, was a front man for an economic interest - to wit, the health insurance industry - who bankrolled 95% of his lavish campaign and which was eager to replace his rival, Harris Wolford, who was an advocate for universal health coverage. Like the Vidal character, Wolford was disadvantaged by being a genuinely concerned person whose detailed worldview found it hard to stand effectively against the style of Santorum/Roberts.
Guess who represents our state today.