Tell Me I’m Dreaming This?

Rick Santorum seems to be camped out in New Hampshire. This is not good news for folks like me who got so fed up with him they voted for Bob Casey, who, in sharp contrast to Santorum, seems to keep a low profile. So low I often wonder if he’s still alive. My problems with Casey aside, it ought to be no surprise that Santorum is stumping on social issues:

Santorum will be heading to Boston to speak on Saturday on religion in public life at the “Symposium on Catholic Statesmanship” sponsored by the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

Hey Rick, I don’t know of anyone’s told you this, but I think people are a lot more concerned about government in private life than they are about religion in public life these days. But I’m sort of OK with Santorum throwing his hat into the ring, if only because he might suck enough of the religious conservative vote away from this guy to prevent that potential disaster in 2012.

I guess the only question would be “Why New Hampshire?” This is a state who’s motto is “Live Free or Die!” not “Love Jesus or Die!” Why not stump in Iowa with this message ahead of the game? He’s probably worried they’ll remember he hates ethanol, and in Iowa, if you hate ethanol, you hate corn, and if you hate corn, you hate Iowa. Iowans might love Jesus, but corn is their true religion.

In other news, it’s time to create a “2012 Election” category. It never stops, does it?

19 thoughts on “Tell Me I’m Dreaming This?”

  1. A few months ago I was talking to a pollster and described Santorum as “the Catholic Huckabee”. I got a chuckle for my efforts.

    St. Rick said he was exploring a Prez run because he didn’t see anybody who could beat Obama. I don’t see how his entry into the fray improves that assessment. I don’t know who his constituency in the GOP is, let alone the general electorate.

  2. Santorum is totally unelectable and anyone focusing on religion is going to lose the election. I’m willing to vote for a pro-gun or libertarian-leaning candidate who happens to also be religious. I’m not voting for a religious candidate who also happens to be pro-gun or libertarian-leaning.

    When you’re not at work, or around children, go do a search for santorum. Dan Savage ran a pretty good smear (no pun intended) campaign against Dick Santorum a few years ago and its stuck around (that was intentional) better than anyone expected.

  3. My father has been a republican since Goldwater, and was raised Catholic. Even he hates Santorum. Because he never shuts up about abortion, dad has called him a “one note Samba” for as long as I can remember.

    Santorum’s campaign slogan.
    “I only know one note, but I play it LOUD!!!!1111eleventy!”

  4. A startling 51% of Americans now call themselves “pro-life.” The 51% are not actually consistent in their position on this, but it does suggest that hollering about abortion isn’t quite the loser position that libertarians like to think.

    Worrying about the collapsing economy seems like a more effective strategy for winning election, however.

  5. Just because they call themselves pro-life doesn’t mean they want governmental restrictions on abortion. Nor does being opposed to Roe v Wade, for that matter.

  6. Casey was pro-life, or at least “pro life”, so that issue was largely a wash in 2006.

    Santorum’s intractable problem is that he comes across as harsh regardless of the potential defensibility of any of his positions. Is Wikileaks a terrorist org? Uh… that’s a stretch, tho I could argue it, but who cares about that? Is “Islamic Fascism” a technically accurate term? Yeah, but big frickin’ woo.

  7. “Just because they call themselves pro-life doesn’t mean they want governmental restrictions on abortion.”

    Actually, even many of those who said that they were pro-choice supported more governmental restrictions on abortion than are present today. As I pointed out concerning that poll last year:

    When you look at how Americans respond to very specific questions, you find that while a majority want restrictions on abortion, relatively few want abortion completely illegal–and I suspect that even the 22% in this survey that want abortion illegal under all circumstances probably would consider it acceptable to save the life of the mother (which is the position of the Catholic Church, and just about all evangelical Christians with whom I have ever spoken). There is a similarly tiny percentage–23%–that wants abortion legal under all circumstances

    Americans are of very mixed feelings about abortion. Only a tiny fraction really want abortion always legal. Even when abortion was theoretically unlawful except to save the life of the mother, legal abortions were really common. Oregon, for example, had 199 legal abortions per 1000 live births in 1970.

    The conflict between protecting human life and mercy for girls who make mistakes or (much less often) are raped produces some curious and inconsistent results that make ideologues of all sorts unhappy.

  8. I’m not surprised it’s inconsistent. I would consider myself pro-choice, but I don’t really support Roe. I believe abortion ought to be a state matter. But the reason I don’t really support overturning Roe is because in our current understanding of federalism, the federal government could ban abortion for the entire country. If we had a proper understanding of federalism, I’d have no problem if the people in one state want to draw the line (scraggly as it may be) of where a person becomes legally human differently than people in another state.

  9. “It’s a subject that I don’t care for any of the answers on, I know that.”

    Not many people do. Unfortunately, we often have horrible, ugly, repulsive choices. Should an 11 year old carry a child to term? I know someone who was sexually abused by her piano teacher at 10, ended up pregnant because of it, had a stillbirth. Even many pro-lifers look at a situation like that and start backpedaling. But when you see sympathetic accounts of abortions for reasons as absurd as the ones that I quote from a Los Angeles Times article, I can see why some pro-lifers get pretty rigid about the wrongness of this. One was a college student who kept forgetting to take her birth control pills, and kept coming back for abortions.

    His first patient of the day, Sarah, 23, says it never occurred to her to use birth control, though she has been sexually active for six years. When she became pregnant this fall, Sarah, who works in real estate, was in the midst of planning her wedding. “I don’t think my dress would have fit with a baby in there,” she says.

    I don’t know, maybe Sarah is too shallow to raise children.

  10. “But the reason I don’t really support overturning Roe is because in our current understanding of federalism, the federal government could ban abortion for the entire country.”

    Sebastian, you might want to reconsider that statement. Roe overturned state authority to make decisions about abortion laws, replacing state level decisions with a single federal rule. Pre-Roe the law was perfect federalism: every state was free to make its own decisions, and five states had relatively relaxed abortion laws as a result. How could overturning a decision that destroyed federalism lead to banning abortion for the entire country? Would Congress pass a law banning abortion–and then advocates for the law would cite Roe as the precedent that allowed it?

  11. I know, but it also restrains the feds from doing the same thing. I would be OK with overturning Roe if there was a guarantee the feds would stay out of the abortion debate, and let the states decide on their own.

    What I’m saying is I wouldn’t want to trade one blanket federal abortion policy for another, which is what I’d be concerned would happen.

  12. I should say though, that I’m not all that concerned if the Supreme Court does overturn Roe. I don’t think there’s any right to an abortion in the constitution, and there’s no history of such a right in common law.

  13. I can understand your position on Santorum, I guess a lot of people don’t like the perception of him as an elected official proselytizing. Fair enough. I can even understand someone voting for Bob Casey in 2006.

    But Bob Casey keeping a low profile? If by low profile you mean under the desk in the oval office, you’re probably right.

    Is it worse to have someone notoriously preachy pushing for public morality, or someone who’s a guaranteed vote for bigger government?

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