Yesterday the Senate confirmed Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense by a vote of 95 to 2. Who were the two dissenters? Barbara Boxer? Russ Feingold? John Kerry?

Nope. Republicans Jim Bunning and Rick Santorum, aka Senator Dementia and Senator Man on Dog.

Both Bunning and Santorum rejected the idea–peddled by Gates and many others–that the US should negotiate with Iran and Syria as a way of resolving the mess in Iraq. “I do not support inviting terrorists to the negotiating table,” Bunning said. “We should not be negotiating with Iran,” Santorum added, “we should be confronting Iran.”

In perhaps his final speech as a member of the Senate, Santorum did not mince words. He called the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, of which Gates was a member, “a prescription for surrender.”

With views like these, it’s little wonder why he’ll be unemployed next month.