Wouldn’t you rather have Santorum?

Rick Santorum has won the Missouri. Colorado, and Minnesota delegate battles last night.   I know we’ve talked about his faults.  But all things being equal and leaving Ron Paul and electability out of the equation, wouldn’t you rather have him than Newt Gingrich?  Wouldn’t you rather have him than Mitt Romney?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Harry Phillips

    The Colorado caucus was a beauty contest, not a binding vote. I suspect Mitt Romney will end up with the Colorado delegates. The patrician lions whose votes count in the state convention later this year seldom pay attention to us huddled masses. Many have already publicly endorsed Romney.

  • Harry Phillips

    The Colorado caucus was a beauty contest, not a binding vote. I suspect Mitt Romney will end up with the Colorado delegates. The patrician lions whose votes count in the state convention later this year seldom pay attention to us huddled masses. Many have already publicly endorsed Romney.

  • Lou G.

    Yes, absolutely. I’ve had some questions about his naivety and so forth, but given the options, I’m ready. I would have no problem getting on the Santorum train. Whootwhoot!

  • Lou G.

    Yes, absolutely. I’ve had some questions about his naivety and so forth, but given the options, I’m ready. I would have no problem getting on the Santorum train. Whootwhoot!

  • Steve Billingsley

    Santorum is my choice. If he is still in the race when our primary rolls around he has my vote.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Santorum is my choice. If he is still in the race when our primary rolls around he has my vote.

  • Joe

    I’d certainly take him over Newt.

  • Joe

    I’d certainly take him over Newt.

  • Josh Hanson

    Honestly, Santorum scares me more than Romney (and I’m one of those libertarian types–definitely no fan of big government). Santorum seems not only to lack many of the fruits of the spirit–when was the last time you saw anything resembling love, peace, patience, or gentleness from him?–but also seems to have no regard for diplomacy. He’s the type who would antagonize the rest of the world, and I believe, encourage further hatred of the United States. Romney may not cut spending, but he at least wouldn’t be as reckless.

  • Josh Hanson

    Honestly, Santorum scares me more than Romney (and I’m one of those libertarian types–definitely no fan of big government). Santorum seems not only to lack many of the fruits of the spirit–when was the last time you saw anything resembling love, peace, patience, or gentleness from him?–but also seems to have no regard for diplomacy. He’s the type who would antagonize the rest of the world, and I believe, encourage further hatred of the United States. Romney may not cut spending, but he at least wouldn’t be as reckless.

  • http://www.frankgantz.com Frank Gantz

    In answer to your 2 questions, Yes and Yes.

  • http://www.frankgantz.com Frank Gantz

    In answer to your 2 questions, Yes and Yes.

  • Cincinnatus

    No. Santorum is George W. Bush all over again (as is Obama for that matter in terms of his corporatism and interventionist foreign policy) with the notable addition of populist moralism. Do we really want to ignite the culture wars at the federal level all over again for no particular reason? Do we really want a President who seems to be running his campaign on the promise to invade Iran sooner than the others (and I think we underestimate how deeply objectionable this sort of demagoguery is)? Do we really want a President whose proposals so far would potentially add 1.3 trillion additional dollars to the deficit (vs. $600 billion for Romney)? It doesn’t help that Santorum was, in 2006, ranked as one of the three most corrupt members of Congress–surely a difficult honor to attain.

    I’m yet to be convinced that there is anything to like about Santorum, either on his own or when compared with the other horrific excuses for G.O.P. presidential candidates. If Santorum picks up the nomination, I predict that Obama would glide to an easy win (which would not necessarily be the case if Romney were his opponent)–and, perhaps, rightfully so.

  • Cincinnatus

    No. Santorum is George W. Bush all over again (as is Obama for that matter in terms of his corporatism and interventionist foreign policy) with the notable addition of populist moralism. Do we really want to ignite the culture wars at the federal level all over again for no particular reason? Do we really want a President who seems to be running his campaign on the promise to invade Iran sooner than the others (and I think we underestimate how deeply objectionable this sort of demagoguery is)? Do we really want a President whose proposals so far would potentially add 1.3 trillion additional dollars to the deficit (vs. $600 billion for Romney)? It doesn’t help that Santorum was, in 2006, ranked as one of the three most corrupt members of Congress–surely a difficult honor to attain.

    I’m yet to be convinced that there is anything to like about Santorum, either on his own or when compared with the other horrific excuses for G.O.P. presidential candidates. If Santorum picks up the nomination, I predict that Obama would glide to an easy win (which would not necessarily be the case if Romney were his opponent)–and, perhaps, rightfully so.

  • WebMonk

    Sigh. Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich. Wow. How can I possibly curb my enthusiasm.

    Romney is hardly any different than President Obama in all the worst ways, and the good aspects of him are good only in comparison to worse options.

    Gingrich is a firebrand, and I think he would be a horrible executive – driving division and extreme views on all sides. His good ideas get drowned out by his stupidly boneheaded ideas.

    Santorum has very little experience in any sort of executive position. (Yes, I know President Obama came in with even less, and that’s part of my point.) I like the intent of a lot of his positions, but his methods are atrocious. And his international diplomatic skills are far and away the worst among ANY of the candidates.

    I could get behind Santorum as a candidate, but it would be with very little enthusiasm. I couldn’t support either Romney or Gingrich, so I guess I have to cheer on Santorum, but still ….

    At the moment, I expect my vote will go to Ron Paul again as I sit this election out for the most part.

  • WebMonk

    Sigh. Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich. Wow. How can I possibly curb my enthusiasm.

    Romney is hardly any different than President Obama in all the worst ways, and the good aspects of him are good only in comparison to worse options.

    Gingrich is a firebrand, and I think he would be a horrible executive – driving division and extreme views on all sides. His good ideas get drowned out by his stupidly boneheaded ideas.

    Santorum has very little experience in any sort of executive position. (Yes, I know President Obama came in with even less, and that’s part of my point.) I like the intent of a lot of his positions, but his methods are atrocious. And his international diplomatic skills are far and away the worst among ANY of the candidates.

    I could get behind Santorum as a candidate, but it would be with very little enthusiasm. I couldn’t support either Romney or Gingrich, so I guess I have to cheer on Santorum, but still ….

    At the moment, I expect my vote will go to Ron Paul again as I sit this election out for the most part.

  • Josh Hanson

    I definitely agree with Cincinnatus. Santorum would be demolished by Obama in a general election. I think Romney would likely lose as well, but it would at least be close.

  • Josh Hanson

    I definitely agree with Cincinnatus. Santorum would be demolished by Obama in a general election. I think Romney would likely lose as well, but it would at least be close.

  • SKPeterson

    Steven Harper. We need to nominate Steven Harper.

  • SKPeterson

    Steven Harper. We need to nominate Steven Harper.

  • WebMonk

    Wow Cin, I normally expect you to do your homework better than that. Have you actually read the report which made that claim? It’s a pretty nasty hatchet job.

    You normally do better than that.

  • WebMonk

    Wow Cin, I normally expect you to do your homework better than that. Have you actually read the report which made that claim? It’s a pretty nasty hatchet job.

    You normally do better than that.

  • aletheist

    Santorum gained exactly zero delegates last night–all three elections were essentially “beauty contests”–but he probably changed the narrative of the campaign going forward. He can accurately point out that of the eight states that have voted so far, he has won four to Romney’s three and Gingrich’s one. He should see a nice bump in press coverage and fundraising over the next couple of weeks. Obviously, whether it will be enough to alter the final outcome remains to be seen.

    Something else that Santorum has going for him is his fundamental decency. Despite having come across as a bit whiny and petulant in some of the early debates, he is widely perceived as the nicest guy left in the race, and I think that he has noticeably improved as a candidate over time. Studies have consistently shown that likeability is a very big factor in elections, especially general elections, so Santorum’s large positive margins in most favorable/unfavorable polling give him good reason for optimism.

    Josh Hanson: Did you not see love, peace, patience, and gentleness in Santorum’s handling of his daughter’s recent illness? In what sense has Romney (or any other politician) exhibited these traits more consistently? Is it the president’s job to convince the rest of the world to love the United States, or to do what he believes is necessary to defend its people? I know that polls in February are of limited value in November, but what do you make of the recent Rasmussen survey showing that Santorum is the only Republican who comes out ahead of Obama?

    WebMonk: As someone who believes that the best preparation for becoming president is serving as a governor, I share your concern about Santorum’s lack of executive experience. If he is the nominee, I think that he should choose a sitting or former governor (Bobby Jindal?) as a running mate.

  • aletheist

    Santorum gained exactly zero delegates last night–all three elections were essentially “beauty contests”–but he probably changed the narrative of the campaign going forward. He can accurately point out that of the eight states that have voted so far, he has won four to Romney’s three and Gingrich’s one. He should see a nice bump in press coverage and fundraising over the next couple of weeks. Obviously, whether it will be enough to alter the final outcome remains to be seen.

    Something else that Santorum has going for him is his fundamental decency. Despite having come across as a bit whiny and petulant in some of the early debates, he is widely perceived as the nicest guy left in the race, and I think that he has noticeably improved as a candidate over time. Studies have consistently shown that likeability is a very big factor in elections, especially general elections, so Santorum’s large positive margins in most favorable/unfavorable polling give him good reason for optimism.

    Josh Hanson: Did you not see love, peace, patience, and gentleness in Santorum’s handling of his daughter’s recent illness? In what sense has Romney (or any other politician) exhibited these traits more consistently? Is it the president’s job to convince the rest of the world to love the United States, or to do what he believes is necessary to defend its people? I know that polls in February are of limited value in November, but what do you make of the recent Rasmussen survey showing that Santorum is the only Republican who comes out ahead of Obama?

    WebMonk: As someone who believes that the best preparation for becoming president is serving as a governor, I share your concern about Santorum’s lack of executive experience. If he is the nominee, I think that he should choose a sitting or former governor (Bobby Jindal?) as a running mate.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP: Stephen Harper. ‘ph’, not ‘v’.

    BTW, The newest Canadian census figures are out, and our population growth since 2006 is the highest of the G8, 2/3 fuelled by immigration. Judging by your comment, and the immense enthusiasm for the Presidential election above, is it going to grow further after November? ;) Apparently too, the biggest growth is out here in the West, where they come, looking for jobs (AB & SK, mostly).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP: Stephen Harper. ‘ph’, not ‘v’.

    BTW, The newest Canadian census figures are out, and our population growth since 2006 is the highest of the G8, 2/3 fuelled by immigration. Judging by your comment, and the immense enthusiasm for the Presidential election above, is it going to grow further after November? ;) Apparently too, the biggest growth is out here in the West, where they come, looking for jobs (AB & SK, mostly).

  • WebMonk

    I spent too long typing that up.

    My #11 was to Cin #7 about the claim that Santorum was the third most corrupt member of Congress.

    I’m (rather obviously) not a Santorum fanboi, but that report was pretty cheap and nasty. It never actually showed anything wrong, but just talked about donations his PAC received from groups that were affected by legislation he voted for/against. None of the donations were of any significant size, and none came even close to violating any rules, much less legalities. Most of them were even donations which came after he had voted for or against a bill. This happens all the time to everyone in Congress, frequently without the Senator/Congressman ever knowing about it until their staff alerts them that the donation came in.

    There are members of congress whose PACs receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from businesses and groups, whereas the largest single collection they list for Santorum’s PAC was less than $50,000 dollars spread out over thousands of individual donors.

    I don’t know what they had against Santorum, but they were obviously scraping the very bottom of the barrel to find anything that they could conceivably use that would look even vaguely bad.

    I lived in PA at the time, so I paid a bit of attention to it. It was pretty silly.

  • WebMonk

    I spent too long typing that up.

    My #11 was to Cin #7 about the claim that Santorum was the third most corrupt member of Congress.

    I’m (rather obviously) not a Santorum fanboi, but that report was pretty cheap and nasty. It never actually showed anything wrong, but just talked about donations his PAC received from groups that were affected by legislation he voted for/against. None of the donations were of any significant size, and none came even close to violating any rules, much less legalities. Most of them were even donations which came after he had voted for or against a bill. This happens all the time to everyone in Congress, frequently without the Senator/Congressman ever knowing about it until their staff alerts them that the donation came in.

    There are members of congress whose PACs receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from businesses and groups, whereas the largest single collection they list for Santorum’s PAC was less than $50,000 dollars spread out over thousands of individual donors.

    I don’t know what they had against Santorum, but they were obviously scraping the very bottom of the barrel to find anything that they could conceivably use that would look even vaguely bad.

    I lived in PA at the time, so I paid a bit of attention to it. It was pretty silly.

  • mikeb

    We didn’t award delegates in Mo. last night. Out state legislature got in a turf war with the GOP state committee and our convention delegates will be selected at party caucuses (or is it caucusi?) next month.

    My wife and I both voted for Mr. Sweatervest, though she tried to claim she voted for Newt to get me riled up. He wasn’t on the ballot.

    Given our current choices, here’s my preference:

    1. Santorum
    2. Romney
    3. A damp sponge
    4. Bert, with Ernie as VP
    5. Paul
    6. Anybody else but Newt

  • mikeb

    We didn’t award delegates in Mo. last night. Out state legislature got in a turf war with the GOP state committee and our convention delegates will be selected at party caucuses (or is it caucusi?) next month.

    My wife and I both voted for Mr. Sweatervest, though she tried to claim she voted for Newt to get me riled up. He wasn’t on the ballot.

    Given our current choices, here’s my preference:

    1. Santorum
    2. Romney
    3. A damp sponge
    4. Bert, with Ernie as VP
    5. Paul
    6. Anybody else but Newt

  • Josh Hanson

    Aletheist, that’s my point. There is nothing about Santorum I can see that would make him favorable over either Romney or Gingrich. To echo 1 Timothy 5:46-47, the evidence of our faith can be seen not in how we love our friends and family, but by how we love our enemies.

  • Josh Hanson

    Aletheist, that’s my point. There is nothing about Santorum I can see that would make him favorable over either Romney or Gingrich. To echo 1 Timothy 5:46-47, the evidence of our faith can be seen not in how we love our friends and family, but by how we love our enemies.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Wouldn’t you rather have Santorum?”

    Just about anybody’s better than Obama.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    “Wouldn’t you rather have Santorum?”

    Just about anybody’s better than Obama.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    No, he is still big government. I am kinda with Webmonk. If my enthusiasm went any higher, it might have a pulse. I would like to see some real change. You know a smaller more fiscally responsible Federal government. I am tired of the status quo in Washington.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    No, he is still big government. I am kinda with Webmonk. If my enthusiasm went any higher, it might have a pulse. I would like to see some real change. You know a smaller more fiscally responsible Federal government. I am tired of the status quo in Washington.

  • SKPeterson

    Gingrich or Santorum in 2012. War with Iran in 2013.

  • SKPeterson

    Gingrich or Santorum in 2012. War with Iran in 2013.

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk: Fair enough. I made no claims about the veracity of the accusations, but perhaps that should have been reason not to mention it. Whether true or not, it doesn’t change my assessment: Santorum would be an awful choice.

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk: Fair enough. I made no claims about the veracity of the accusations, but perhaps that should have been reason not to mention it. Whether true or not, it doesn’t change my assessment: Santorum would be an awful choice.

  • Jerry

    We’re seeing the first strong signs of a Romney-Santorum ticket…

  • Jerry

    We’re seeing the first strong signs of a Romney-Santorum ticket…

  • JunkerGeorg

    Between the “Big Government Three” (Romney, Santorum, Grinch), there is a little ultimate difference. Comments like this one below are really alarming to those of us who feel that the government is already too involved in too many details of our lives.

    Santorum said,

    “One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”
    ————-

    As others here have mentioned, his “If we only spend more money on militarism we would win” foreign policy views scare the dickens out of me. If nothing else, such a military industrial complex means perpetual warfare regardless of whether it is just and beneficial or not, as, after all, you’ve got to spend the money to justify its current budgetary level/future increases. We are Rome.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Between the “Big Government Three” (Romney, Santorum, Grinch), there is a little ultimate difference. Comments like this one below are really alarming to those of us who feel that the government is already too involved in too many details of our lives.

    Santorum said,

    “One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”
    ————-

    As others here have mentioned, his “If we only spend more money on militarism we would win” foreign policy views scare the dickens out of me. If nothing else, such a military industrial complex means perpetual warfare regardless of whether it is just and beneficial or not, as, after all, you’ve got to spend the money to justify its current budgetary level/future increases. We are Rome.

  • aletheist

    Josh Hanson: I am not sure what Scripture you meant to reference, but please name a politician who has shown love for his or her political opponents to your satisfaction. It is a tough, rough-and-tumble business; does this mean that faithful Christians ought to stay out of it? While Romney and Gingrich were slinging mud at each other in Florida, Santorum insisted that the focus of the debate should be on the issues, rather than personal attacks.

    Dr. Luther: The Founders deliberately crafted the Constitution in such a way that it would preserve the status quo in the absence of broad consensus that change is necessary. In the highly polarized environment that we have now, such widespread agreement obviously does not exist and is unlikely to coalesce anytime soon. This being the case, Santorum is no more “big government” than Romney or Gingrich and is right about Ron Paul (God bless him)–”all the things that Republicans like about him he can’t accomplish and all the things they’re worried about he’ll do day one.”

    Incidentally, the most efficient form of government is an absolute dictatorship, and President Obama’s frustration with this aspect of our system is becoming more and more apparent. He is getting bolder–brazen, even–about implementing his agenda by whatever means necessary, including using parlaimentary tactics such as “reconciliation” to pass healthcare reform, circumventing Congressional oversight by making “recess” appointments when the Senate was still in session, and supporting executive actions like the HHS contraception mandate.

  • aletheist

    Josh Hanson: I am not sure what Scripture you meant to reference, but please name a politician who has shown love for his or her political opponents to your satisfaction. It is a tough, rough-and-tumble business; does this mean that faithful Christians ought to stay out of it? While Romney and Gingrich were slinging mud at each other in Florida, Santorum insisted that the focus of the debate should be on the issues, rather than personal attacks.

    Dr. Luther: The Founders deliberately crafted the Constitution in such a way that it would preserve the status quo in the absence of broad consensus that change is necessary. In the highly polarized environment that we have now, such widespread agreement obviously does not exist and is unlikely to coalesce anytime soon. This being the case, Santorum is no more “big government” than Romney or Gingrich and is right about Ron Paul (God bless him)–”all the things that Republicans like about him he can’t accomplish and all the things they’re worried about he’ll do day one.”

    Incidentally, the most efficient form of government is an absolute dictatorship, and President Obama’s frustration with this aspect of our system is becoming more and more apparent. He is getting bolder–brazen, even–about implementing his agenda by whatever means necessary, including using parlaimentary tactics such as “reconciliation” to pass healthcare reform, circumventing Congressional oversight by making “recess” appointments when the Senate was still in session, and supporting executive actions like the HHS contraception mandate.

  • aletheist

    JunkerGeorg: Santorum was just expressing one of the differences between being a traditional conservative and being a libertarian. In fact, the way I see it, each candidate still running for president this year has a distinct view on what is the most important social institution in our society.

    For Obama and other liberals, it’s the government.
    For Romney and other corporate executives, it’s business.
    For Paul and other libertarians, it’s the individual.
    For Gingrich–well, it’s Gingrich himself!

    For Santorum, it’s the family. He has been a consistent and outspoken advocate of the notion that the most effective way to restore our nation’s economy and address its other challenges is to strengthen its families. It will be interesting to see whether this message starts to resonate as he gets some more attention.

  • aletheist

    JunkerGeorg: Santorum was just expressing one of the differences between being a traditional conservative and being a libertarian. In fact, the way I see it, each candidate still running for president this year has a distinct view on what is the most important social institution in our society.

    For Obama and other liberals, it’s the government.
    For Romney and other corporate executives, it’s business.
    For Paul and other libertarians, it’s the individual.
    For Gingrich–well, it’s Gingrich himself!

    For Santorum, it’s the family. He has been a consistent and outspoken advocate of the notion that the most effective way to restore our nation’s economy and address its other challenges is to strengthen its families. It will be interesting to see whether this message starts to resonate as he gets some more attention.

  • –helen

    I haven’t been able to drum up enthusiasm for any of the Republicans, not the Ueberrich Romney; the serial adulterer Gingrich or Santorum(?)

    But Obama just put himself beyond the pale with his HHS mandate.
    Another term and he’ll be “president for life”!

  • –helen

    I haven’t been able to drum up enthusiasm for any of the Republicans, not the Ueberrich Romney; the serial adulterer Gingrich or Santorum(?)

    But Obama just put himself beyond the pale with his HHS mandate.
    Another term and he’ll be “president for life”!

  • CRB

    If it’s true that the “Wins” by Santorum do not really count, what would be the point in wanting him to be the candidate when it appears he has little chance?

  • CRB

    If it’s true that the “Wins” by Santorum do not really count, what would be the point in wanting him to be the candidate when it appears he has little chance?

  • Josh Hanson

    Sorry…Matthew 5:46-47:

    “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,9 what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”

    I had started typing 1 Timothy 5:8, and then redirected. Twice now, you’ve made the claim that Santorum is not doing anything that others aren’t doing. I agree with you, and my point is only that many Christians are supporting Santorum because he is supposedly the “Christian” candidate. I am arguing that one’s willingness to use government force to coerce sinners into an outward appearance of Christianity is not enough to make a candidate the perfect choice for Christian voters. Given the fact that Santorum is a very weak candidate in general, I fail to see what makes Santorum preferable to any other. He’s done nothing to show that he can appeal to independents, and he’s done nothing to show that he would limit governmental overreach.

  • Josh Hanson

    Sorry…Matthew 5:46-47:

    “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,9 what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”

    I had started typing 1 Timothy 5:8, and then redirected. Twice now, you’ve made the claim that Santorum is not doing anything that others aren’t doing. I agree with you, and my point is only that many Christians are supporting Santorum because he is supposedly the “Christian” candidate. I am arguing that one’s willingness to use government force to coerce sinners into an outward appearance of Christianity is not enough to make a candidate the perfect choice for Christian voters. Given the fact that Santorum is a very weak candidate in general, I fail to see what makes Santorum preferable to any other. He’s done nothing to show that he can appeal to independents, and he’s done nothing to show that he would limit governmental overreach.

  • aletheist

    CRB: Last night’s results do not count toward accumulating delegates, but they certainly count when it comes to altering the trajectory of the race. That being the case, in what sense does it appear to you that Santorum “has little chance”? Sure, Romney is still the Republican front-runner, and Obama will have all the advantages of incumbency come November; but the one thing that we should have learned from this campaign by now is that things can change quickly and nothing is “inevitable.”

    Josh Hanson: That reference makes more sense, thanks. I am not one of those who is supporting Santorum “because he is supposedly the ‘Christian’ candidate”; in fact, you are the one who implied that his alleged failure to exhibit the fruits of the spirit is disqualifying. I disagree with your characterization of his position as “willingness to use government force to coerce sinners into an outward appearance of Christianity”; where do you see that? Why do you consider Santorum “a very weak candidate,” more so than any of the other contenders? Winning four times in Pennsylvania certainly suggests that he can appeal to independents (and even Democrats), despite losing big to the pro-life namesake son of a highly popular former governor in a very bad election year for conservatives nationwide because he stood by his convictions. Unlike Romney and Gingrich, he has consistently opposed mandatory health insurance, the Wall Street bailouts, and cap-and-trade–all examples of governmental overreach.

    I do not want to overstate the case here; I am fine with Romney as the nominee if that is what ultimately happens, mainly because of his executive experience. However, Santorum strikes me as having a much more coherent underlying philosophy, having thought through (and fought for) its tenets himself. Gingrich has lots of interesting ideas, but I find him to be temperamentally unsuited to the presidency. Paul, by his own admission, is more interested in getting a movement going than actually winning.

  • aletheist

    CRB: Last night’s results do not count toward accumulating delegates, but they certainly count when it comes to altering the trajectory of the race. That being the case, in what sense does it appear to you that Santorum “has little chance”? Sure, Romney is still the Republican front-runner, and Obama will have all the advantages of incumbency come November; but the one thing that we should have learned from this campaign by now is that things can change quickly and nothing is “inevitable.”

    Josh Hanson: That reference makes more sense, thanks. I am not one of those who is supporting Santorum “because he is supposedly the ‘Christian’ candidate”; in fact, you are the one who implied that his alleged failure to exhibit the fruits of the spirit is disqualifying. I disagree with your characterization of his position as “willingness to use government force to coerce sinners into an outward appearance of Christianity”; where do you see that? Why do you consider Santorum “a very weak candidate,” more so than any of the other contenders? Winning four times in Pennsylvania certainly suggests that he can appeal to independents (and even Democrats), despite losing big to the pro-life namesake son of a highly popular former governor in a very bad election year for conservatives nationwide because he stood by his convictions. Unlike Romney and Gingrich, he has consistently opposed mandatory health insurance, the Wall Street bailouts, and cap-and-trade–all examples of governmental overreach.

    I do not want to overstate the case here; I am fine with Romney as the nominee if that is what ultimately happens, mainly because of his executive experience. However, Santorum strikes me as having a much more coherent underlying philosophy, having thought through (and fought for) its tenets himself. Gingrich has lots of interesting ideas, but I find him to be temperamentally unsuited to the presidency. Paul, by his own admission, is more interested in getting a movement going than actually winning.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Alethist @24: What an interesting breakdown you made in the various emphases in conservatism!:

    For Obama and other liberals, it’s the government.
    For Romney and other corporate executives, it’s business.
    For Paul and other libertarians, it’s the individual.
    For Gingrich–well, it’s Gingrich himself!
    For Santorum, it’s the family.

    We might bracket the criticism and say that Gingrich in his ideology tends to be nationalistic (as in his dream of making the moon the 51st state). So that his version of the most important social institution, if we were to actually ask him, might be the nation.

    But your categories are worth discussing in themselves!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Alethist @24: What an interesting breakdown you made in the various emphases in conservatism!:

    For Obama and other liberals, it’s the government.
    For Romney and other corporate executives, it’s business.
    For Paul and other libertarians, it’s the individual.
    For Gingrich–well, it’s Gingrich himself!
    For Santorum, it’s the family.

    We might bracket the criticism and say that Gingrich in his ideology tends to be nationalistic (as in his dream of making the moon the 51st state). So that his version of the most important social institution, if we were to actually ask him, might be the nation.

    But your categories are worth discussing in themselves!

  • SKPeterson

    GV @ 29 and Aletheist @ 24 – Categorical emphases perhaps, but not exclusivities. I’m not sure how one can emphasize the family and de-emphasize the individual – what do families consist of if not individuals? Unless, one views families in some sort of hierarchical clan-tribal structure that transforms or coalesces at some point into a Gingrichian nation or people; yet, I don’t see Santorum holding up the future of the U.S. as a Christianized version of Somalia.

  • SKPeterson

    GV @ 29 and Aletheist @ 24 – Categorical emphases perhaps, but not exclusivities. I’m not sure how one can emphasize the family and de-emphasize the individual – what do families consist of if not individuals? Unless, one views families in some sort of hierarchical clan-tribal structure that transforms or coalesces at some point into a Gingrichian nation or people; yet, I don’t see Santorum holding up the future of the U.S. as a Christianized version of Somalia.

  • Grace

    Santorum? YES! It’s about morals and it leaves SOCIALISM in the dust bin.

    I posted this article on February 6th, maybe no one noticed. However 70 Million Roman Catholics is a huge number of voters, that would out vote Romney tout suite. Then count all the Evangelical Christians who do not want a cultist in the White House, and you have your answer. Abortion is a huge issue, Romney is a flip flopper!

    Catholic League Poised To Go To War With Obama Over Mandatory Birth Control Payments

    Donohue Says 70 Million Of His Voters Ready To Alter Presidential Election

    February 6, 2012 7:44 PM
    “NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Catholic leaders upped the ante Monday, threatening to challenge the Obama administration over a provision of the new health care law that would require all employers, including religious institutions, to pay for birth control.

    As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, it could affect the presidential elections.

    Catholic leaders are furious and determined to harness the voting power of the nation’s 70 million Catholic voters to stop a provision of President Barack Obama’s new heath car reform bill that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-producing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees.

    “Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/06/catholic-league-poised-to-go-to-war-with-obama-over-mandatory-birth-control-payments/

  • Grace

    Santorum? YES! It’s about morals and it leaves SOCIALISM in the dust bin.

    I posted this article on February 6th, maybe no one noticed. However 70 Million Roman Catholics is a huge number of voters, that would out vote Romney tout suite. Then count all the Evangelical Christians who do not want a cultist in the White House, and you have your answer. Abortion is a huge issue, Romney is a flip flopper!

    Catholic League Poised To Go To War With Obama Over Mandatory Birth Control Payments

    Donohue Says 70 Million Of His Voters Ready To Alter Presidential Election

    February 6, 2012 7:44 PM
    “NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Catholic leaders upped the ante Monday, threatening to challenge the Obama administration over a provision of the new health care law that would require all employers, including religious institutions, to pay for birth control.

    As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, it could affect the presidential elections.

    Catholic leaders are furious and determined to harness the voting power of the nation’s 70 million Catholic voters to stop a provision of President Barack Obama’s new heath car reform bill that will force Catholic schools, hospitals and charities to buy birth control pills, abortion-producing drugs and sterilization coverage for their employees.

    “Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,” said Catholic League head Bill Donohue.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/02/06/catholic-league-poised-to-go-to-war-with-obama-over-mandatory-birth-control-payments/

  • aletheist

    Dr. Veith: Thanks for the kind words, I would certainly welcome further discussion.

    SKPeterson: I characterized those categories as what each candidate views as the most important social institution in our society, so of course they are not mutually exclusive; but emphasizing the family is not the same thing as emphasizing the individual.

  • aletheist

    Dr. Veith: Thanks for the kind words, I would certainly welcome further discussion.

    SKPeterson: I characterized those categories as what each candidate views as the most important social institution in our society, so of course they are not mutually exclusive; but emphasizing the family is not the same thing as emphasizing the individual.

  • Josh Hanson

    SKPeterson & Aletheist,

    It would appear that Santorum’s thinking is that individual rights can and should be restricted if they are not beneficial for families. For Christian libertarians, protection of individual liberties is wholly consistent with an emphasis on the family. As I see it, there is nothing more harmful to families than the idea that distant politicians are better suited to deal with moral decay than are friends, families, and churches.

  • Josh Hanson

    SKPeterson & Aletheist,

    It would appear that Santorum’s thinking is that individual rights can and should be restricted if they are not beneficial for families. For Christian libertarians, protection of individual liberties is wholly consistent with an emphasis on the family. As I see it, there is nothing more harmful to families than the idea that distant politicians are better suited to deal with moral decay than are friends, families, and churches.

  • Cincinnatus

    Santorum is a statist in the paternalist sense. Would anyone disagree with me? This isn’t a casual potshot; I’m attempting merely to summarize several of the comments that have gone before.

  • Cincinnatus

    Santorum is a statist in the paternalist sense. Would anyone disagree with me? This isn’t a casual potshot; I’m attempting merely to summarize several of the comments that have gone before.

  • aletheist

    Josh Hanson: Which specific individual rights do you believe Santorum wants to restrict because they are not beneficial for families? He has strongly emphasized the assertion in the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from our Creator, and thus are unalienable, and not from the government, in which case they could just as easily be taken away. When has he ever suggested that “distant politicians are better suited to deal with moral decay than are friends, families, and churches”?

    Cincinnatus: Please define your terms. What is “a statist in the paternalist sense”?

  • aletheist

    Josh Hanson: Which specific individual rights do you believe Santorum wants to restrict because they are not beneficial for families? He has strongly emphasized the assertion in the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from our Creator, and thus are unalienable, and not from the government, in which case they could just as easily be taken away. When has he ever suggested that “distant politicians are better suited to deal with moral decay than are friends, families, and churches”?

    Cincinnatus: Please define your terms. What is “a statist in the paternalist sense”?

  • DonS

    As between Santorum and Romney, since those are the available choices, I would lean Santorum. The notion that he’s a “statist”, when at the same time we are talking about a true statist, Obama, in the midst of changing the fundamental notions of what the First Amendment means to those who value their free exercise rights, is absurd.

    Regardless, it will be Romney.

  • DonS

    As between Santorum and Romney, since those are the available choices, I would lean Santorum. The notion that he’s a “statist”, when at the same time we are talking about a true statist, Obama, in the midst of changing the fundamental notions of what the First Amendment means to those who value their free exercise rights, is absurd.

    Regardless, it will be Romney.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Paul/Kucinich

    Kucinich/Paul

    Bipartisan, anti-war, honest

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Paul/Kucinich

    Kucinich/Paul

    Bipartisan, anti-war, honest

  • WebMonk

    “Statist” has quite a bit of baggage attached to it.

    I think that generally Santorum tends to actively use the federal government to bring about changes – as in have the federal government mandate XYZ be done, rather than pulling the federal government out of the decision.

    Want to block homosexual marriage? His solution would be to have the federal government pass legislation banning it.
    Want to cut down abortion? Federal government should pass laws blocking it.
    Want to cut down on teen pregnancy? Federal bill to do/fund fill-in-the-blank.
    Want to cut down on gambling/prostitution/drug use/etc? Pass a federal bill to handle the problem.

    That approach might come close to fitting the dictionary definition of “statist”, but it doesn’t really match what the term actually conveys in conversation.

  • WebMonk

    “Statist” has quite a bit of baggage attached to it.

    I think that generally Santorum tends to actively use the federal government to bring about changes – as in have the federal government mandate XYZ be done, rather than pulling the federal government out of the decision.

    Want to block homosexual marriage? His solution would be to have the federal government pass legislation banning it.
    Want to cut down abortion? Federal government should pass laws blocking it.
    Want to cut down on teen pregnancy? Federal bill to do/fund fill-in-the-blank.
    Want to cut down on gambling/prostitution/drug use/etc? Pass a federal bill to handle the problem.

    That approach might come close to fitting the dictionary definition of “statist”, but it doesn’t really match what the term actually conveys in conversation.

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk et al.

    Statism is quite simply (and uncontroversially) the notion that the state should exercise some influence/authority over the economic and/or social realms (among other possible realms, I grant). It should be quite clear, for the very reasons you enumerate, that Santorum shares this notion. He favors a strong state that is competent to buttress actively his particular vision of an ordered society–again, your list clarifies this point. In fact, he’s willing to manipulate economic policy to advance his social vision. I’m not sure what you’re quibbling with; I probably live under a rock, but “statist” doesn’t seem to be the same sort of ideological code word that “socialist” has come to be. When I hear a politico use the word “statist,” I think of someone who favors a strong state willing to exercise its power for any number of proactive goals. Which Santorum is. Obviously, the term would be pejorative if one is a libertarian. But Santorum supporters, by definition, must not be libertarians.

    I’m not arguing, DonS, that Santorum is “worse” or “more statist” than Obama. But I fail to see how Santorum is meaningfully better.

    Whatever the case, I always oppose statists.

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk et al.

    Statism is quite simply (and uncontroversially) the notion that the state should exercise some influence/authority over the economic and/or social realms (among other possible realms, I grant). It should be quite clear, for the very reasons you enumerate, that Santorum shares this notion. He favors a strong state that is competent to buttress actively his particular vision of an ordered society–again, your list clarifies this point. In fact, he’s willing to manipulate economic policy to advance his social vision. I’m not sure what you’re quibbling with; I probably live under a rock, but “statist” doesn’t seem to be the same sort of ideological code word that “socialist” has come to be. When I hear a politico use the word “statist,” I think of someone who favors a strong state willing to exercise its power for any number of proactive goals. Which Santorum is. Obviously, the term would be pejorative if one is a libertarian. But Santorum supporters, by definition, must not be libertarians.

    I’m not arguing, DonS, that Santorum is “worse” or “more statist” than Obama. But I fail to see how Santorum is meaningfully better.

    Whatever the case, I always oppose statists.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 38: I agree. Which is one reason why I tire of seeing comments equating Santorum and Obama as a pair of “statists”. As if their proposed ideal policies and governing styles would be anything close to similar.

    As for the specific issues you raised, I agree with you completely on the last two — the federal government should stay out. To the extent the government is involved in these issues at all, it should be at the state and local levels only. The abortion issue was, unfortunately, federalized by the left, when it sought a court decree that abortion is protected under the U.S. Constitution. I actually believe the Court should find the unborn to be humans entitled to the protection of the Bill of Rights, like every other person in this country.

    As for the marriage issue, as I’ve thought through it, I think that is legitimately a federal one because we frequently move from state to state. It already is federalized under the Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, Section I of the Constitution), which requires states to give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. On this basis, states are required to recognize legal marriages of another state, which is what DOMA was fashioned by Clinton and the Congress to attempt to subvert in the case of gay marriage. We as citizens have an important interest in knowing that if we are married in State A, if we move to State B we will be legally married there as well. I think a federal definition of marriage will be essential in the long run.

    To my knowledge, Santorum has never proposed a policy that he did not intend to implement through the democratic process. That is a big difference from the left, which has demonstrated an historic willingness to implement their favored policies through undemocratic means, such as the courts, if they don’t believe they have majority support.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 38: I agree. Which is one reason why I tire of seeing comments equating Santorum and Obama as a pair of “statists”. As if their proposed ideal policies and governing styles would be anything close to similar.

    As for the specific issues you raised, I agree with you completely on the last two — the federal government should stay out. To the extent the government is involved in these issues at all, it should be at the state and local levels only. The abortion issue was, unfortunately, federalized by the left, when it sought a court decree that abortion is protected under the U.S. Constitution. I actually believe the Court should find the unborn to be humans entitled to the protection of the Bill of Rights, like every other person in this country.

    As for the marriage issue, as I’ve thought through it, I think that is legitimately a federal one because we frequently move from state to state. It already is federalized under the Full Faith and Credit Clause (Article IV, Section I of the Constitution), which requires states to give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. On this basis, states are required to recognize legal marriages of another state, which is what DOMA was fashioned by Clinton and the Congress to attempt to subvert in the case of gay marriage. We as citizens have an important interest in knowing that if we are married in State A, if we move to State B we will be legally married there as well. I think a federal definition of marriage will be essential in the long run.

    To my knowledge, Santorum has never proposed a policy that he did not intend to implement through the democratic process. That is a big difference from the left, which has demonstrated an historic willingness to implement their favored policies through undemocratic means, such as the courts, if they don’t believe they have majority support.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS:

    Hold up. Few honest observers now deny that Bush and Obama have governed in dramatically distinct ways. Both pursued bailouts, both pursued various landmark big-government social program, both pursued interventionist foreign policies in the Middle East and elsewhere. Both have issued controversial executive orders that consolidate their own power. Both deeply politicized the Justice Department. Both kow-towed to big business and the financial sector. Both attempted to bend the Supreme Court to their will. We can quibble about the details in emphasis, etc., but the point is that the two are largely similar in terms of the governing philosophies.

    Meanwhile, Santorum was clearly one of Bush’s strongest allies during his tenure. Indeed, he’s still dancing to the “invade the world” tune. Assuming that I’m right about Obama/Bush–and I’ve yet to see convincing evidence that I’m not–then why am I to believe that Santorum would govern in a way dramatically different from Bush. The story of the Presidency for the past three decades has been a story of the accretion and consolidation of executive power. This is bad no matter which party sits in the White House. Why should I welcome Santorum, obviously a Hamiltonian in terms of his embrace of kingly executive authority, but reject Obama?

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS:

    Hold up. Few honest observers now deny that Bush and Obama have governed in dramatically distinct ways. Both pursued bailouts, both pursued various landmark big-government social program, both pursued interventionist foreign policies in the Middle East and elsewhere. Both have issued controversial executive orders that consolidate their own power. Both deeply politicized the Justice Department. Both kow-towed to big business and the financial sector. Both attempted to bend the Supreme Court to their will. We can quibble about the details in emphasis, etc., but the point is that the two are largely similar in terms of the governing philosophies.

    Meanwhile, Santorum was clearly one of Bush’s strongest allies during his tenure. Indeed, he’s still dancing to the “invade the world” tune. Assuming that I’m right about Obama/Bush–and I’ve yet to see convincing evidence that I’m not–then why am I to believe that Santorum would govern in a way dramatically different from Bush. The story of the Presidency for the past three decades has been a story of the accretion and consolidation of executive power. This is bad no matter which party sits in the White House. Why should I welcome Santorum, obviously a Hamiltonian in terms of his embrace of kingly executive authority, but reject Obama?

  • Cincinnatus

    Ahem: Few honest observers now deny that Bush and Obama have governed in dramatically similar ways.

    Kind of important mistake…

  • Cincinnatus

    Ahem: Few honest observers now deny that Bush and Obama have governed in dramatically similar ways.

    Kind of important mistake…

  • aletheist

    WebMonk: I agree that Santorum advocates a more active federal role in dealing with social issues than some other conservatives (and all libertarians). I am a bit ambivalent on that front myself, but I think that “statist” is indeed too strong a label for his approach. As DonS noted, legislation is a more appropriate solution than an executive action or activist court decision. In the case of same-sex marriage and abortion, it will take a Constitutional amendment; the federal government has already enacted laws in those areas, but the Obama administration has simply decided not to enforce them (DOMA in particular).

    Cincinnatus: Your definition of statism seems awfully broad–unless you believe that the state should exercise no influence/authority whatsoever over the economic and/or social realms, you too are a statist! Wikipedia even suggests that the opposite of statism is anarchism. If your primary criterion in selecting a presidential candidate is that he or she must be someone who wants to weaken the power of the office, then you are correct not to embrace Santorum or any of the other candidates, with the possible exception of Paul–although he would certainly want to flex his muscles when it comes to the Federal Reserve and foreign entanglements.

  • aletheist

    WebMonk: I agree that Santorum advocates a more active federal role in dealing with social issues than some other conservatives (and all libertarians). I am a bit ambivalent on that front myself, but I think that “statist” is indeed too strong a label for his approach. As DonS noted, legislation is a more appropriate solution than an executive action or activist court decision. In the case of same-sex marriage and abortion, it will take a Constitutional amendment; the federal government has already enacted laws in those areas, but the Obama administration has simply decided not to enforce them (DOMA in particular).

    Cincinnatus: Your definition of statism seems awfully broad–unless you believe that the state should exercise no influence/authority whatsoever over the economic and/or social realms, you too are a statist! Wikipedia even suggests that the opposite of statism is anarchism. If your primary criterion in selecting a presidential candidate is that he or she must be someone who wants to weaken the power of the office, then you are correct not to embrace Santorum or any of the other candidates, with the possible exception of Paul–although he would certainly want to flex his muscles when it comes to the Federal Reserve and foreign entanglements.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay maybe Obama and Santorum are statists/big government types that just want government to enforce different things. Assuming that is the case, we have the problem that society is so pluralistic it is extremely hard to gain any consensus on what should be enforced. The Soviet Union didn’t tolerate religion because it was a competing ideology. However, here we have every ideology, ethnicity etc. We can’t actually get consensus on much of anything because we are too pluralistic. All we have to hold us together is prosperity. We are truly a divided house. Perhaps a society like ours would function better under libertarian capitalism, and more ideologically homogenous societies can have more authority in the state because people are more in agreement and have more affinity for their fellow countrymen. Any thoughts?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Okay maybe Obama and Santorum are statists/big government types that just want government to enforce different things. Assuming that is the case, we have the problem that society is so pluralistic it is extremely hard to gain any consensus on what should be enforced. The Soviet Union didn’t tolerate religion because it was a competing ideology. However, here we have every ideology, ethnicity etc. We can’t actually get consensus on much of anything because we are too pluralistic. All we have to hold us together is prosperity. We are truly a divided house. Perhaps a society like ours would function better under libertarian capitalism, and more ideologically homogenous societies can have more authority in the state because people are more in agreement and have more affinity for their fellow countrymen. Any thoughts?

  • TLB in Minnesota

    To be brief, I wouldn’t vote for Romney or Gingrich. My first choice would be Paul.

    Now for the not so brief…

    Santorum makes me nervous. I don’t know that he has the experience under his belt to make a good President. He, to me, falls into the category of being the kind of Republican that will do whatever he can to cut Democrat budget items but not Republican budget items. To me, that’s not leadership…that’s being a yes man of the political establishment.

    His war rhetoric is scary. The last thing we need is another war. We shouldn’t seek out war with anyone but if we are pressed into war we should fight hard, fight fiercely, and get out quickly when the clearly defined victory objectives are met. The American military complex is HUGE. It could use some trimming here and there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for strong defense. A strong national defense is one of the things the federal government is supposed to provide. A strong defense, however, should not mean a large intrusive government presence. Big government is big government whether it is blue or red. Santorum is too much of a war hawk and favors big (red) government.

    I think Santorum plays the “Faith” card too much. It seems like a political chip to him. Now I would never cast into doubt his Catholic confession and he seems like a strong pro-life and pro-traditional family/marriage candidate. Personally, being a theologically conservative Lutheran, I can get on board with that. Yet, for some reason, I am uneasy about his approaches to government policy regarding social issues, particularly his Defense of Marriage Act. It’s not that I don’t agree with his stance that marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman. I agree with him. What I haven’t come down on is whether or not it is the role of the federal government to decide this for all people or whether it should be left up to the states. My gut says, “Let the states decide”.

    I may not like the outcome some states go with but, chances are, two out of three states will back traditional marriage in their constitution. Those states whose majorities choose to reject the created natural order will reap what they sow, even though their decisions would affect the U.S. as a whole. On the other hand, gay marriage being illegal nationwide would send a strong message. I believe it would also galvanize the Left and ignite a social firestorm. It certainly won’t put an end to the issue in many peoples minds. At any rate, I have not landed on the approach to that issue yet.

    The thought of a Rick Santorum presidency just makes me uneasy. Would he be better than Romney and Gingrich? Yes…in some ways.

    Ron Paul, no matter his electability, is still my candidate.

  • TLB in Minnesota

    To be brief, I wouldn’t vote for Romney or Gingrich. My first choice would be Paul.

    Now for the not so brief…

    Santorum makes me nervous. I don’t know that he has the experience under his belt to make a good President. He, to me, falls into the category of being the kind of Republican that will do whatever he can to cut Democrat budget items but not Republican budget items. To me, that’s not leadership…that’s being a yes man of the political establishment.

    His war rhetoric is scary. The last thing we need is another war. We shouldn’t seek out war with anyone but if we are pressed into war we should fight hard, fight fiercely, and get out quickly when the clearly defined victory objectives are met. The American military complex is HUGE. It could use some trimming here and there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for strong defense. A strong national defense is one of the things the federal government is supposed to provide. A strong defense, however, should not mean a large intrusive government presence. Big government is big government whether it is blue or red. Santorum is too much of a war hawk and favors big (red) government.

    I think Santorum plays the “Faith” card too much. It seems like a political chip to him. Now I would never cast into doubt his Catholic confession and he seems like a strong pro-life and pro-traditional family/marriage candidate. Personally, being a theologically conservative Lutheran, I can get on board with that. Yet, for some reason, I am uneasy about his approaches to government policy regarding social issues, particularly his Defense of Marriage Act. It’s not that I don’t agree with his stance that marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman. I agree with him. What I haven’t come down on is whether or not it is the role of the federal government to decide this for all people or whether it should be left up to the states. My gut says, “Let the states decide”.

    I may not like the outcome some states go with but, chances are, two out of three states will back traditional marriage in their constitution. Those states whose majorities choose to reject the created natural order will reap what they sow, even though their decisions would affect the U.S. as a whole. On the other hand, gay marriage being illegal nationwide would send a strong message. I believe it would also galvanize the Left and ignite a social firestorm. It certainly won’t put an end to the issue in many peoples minds. At any rate, I have not landed on the approach to that issue yet.

    The thought of a Rick Santorum presidency just makes me uneasy. Would he be better than Romney and Gingrich? Yes…in some ways.

    Ron Paul, no matter his electability, is still my candidate.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 41/42: Aletheist is quite eloquent @ 43 — by your definition, you are also a statist! So, now we are talking about degrees of statism.

    I would argue that your perspective is warped because of your extremely strong libertarian tendencies. It’s like someone looking through a telescope at the moon and the sun and declaring that they are about the same distance away because they are both in space! Well, yeah, but one is about 280,000 miles away and one is 93 million miles away — your view is distorted. The moon is Santorum and the sun is Obama. I’ll take Santorum as between the two, rather than throw up my hands and say, well, they’re both in space so who cares?

    I’m not a big Bush fan — you know that. I give him grace because of the extraordinary times he governed during, concerning foreign interventionism and the Patriot Act, but particularly the Patriot Act was harmful to our civil liberties well beyond any resultant security advantage. I opposed the Medicare pharmacy benefit as being a big government boondoggle.

    But, here’s the thing. What, of Bush’s big government programs or initiatives, has Obama repudiated? He continued Bush’s plan for winding down Iraq, he escalated Afghanistan, and he doubled down by intervening in Libya, where we had no reason to be. Has he scaled back the Patriot Act? Hardly. He’s added more to it, namely Internet “security” proposals, additional intelligence gathering, etc. Has he scaled back the Medicare programs? Ha! Instead, he massively increased the government boondoggle by broadening it to the entire population — hence the exceedingly intrusive health insurance regulations we are battling today.

    Any of the Republican candidates and Obama are definitively NOT “dramatically similar” in their approach to governance, and their respect for Constitutional limits.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 41/42: Aletheist is quite eloquent @ 43 — by your definition, you are also a statist! So, now we are talking about degrees of statism.

    I would argue that your perspective is warped because of your extremely strong libertarian tendencies. It’s like someone looking through a telescope at the moon and the sun and declaring that they are about the same distance away because they are both in space! Well, yeah, but one is about 280,000 miles away and one is 93 million miles away — your view is distorted. The moon is Santorum and the sun is Obama. I’ll take Santorum as between the two, rather than throw up my hands and say, well, they’re both in space so who cares?

    I’m not a big Bush fan — you know that. I give him grace because of the extraordinary times he governed during, concerning foreign interventionism and the Patriot Act, but particularly the Patriot Act was harmful to our civil liberties well beyond any resultant security advantage. I opposed the Medicare pharmacy benefit as being a big government boondoggle.

    But, here’s the thing. What, of Bush’s big government programs or initiatives, has Obama repudiated? He continued Bush’s plan for winding down Iraq, he escalated Afghanistan, and he doubled down by intervening in Libya, where we had no reason to be. Has he scaled back the Patriot Act? Hardly. He’s added more to it, namely Internet “security” proposals, additional intelligence gathering, etc. Has he scaled back the Medicare programs? Ha! Instead, he massively increased the government boondoggle by broadening it to the entire population — hence the exceedingly intrusive health insurance regulations we are battling today.

    Any of the Republican candidates and Obama are definitively NOT “dramatically similar” in their approach to governance, and their respect for Constitutional limits.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS: Two things

    1) My definition of statism is endorsed by Wikipedia. And, more importantly, Tocqueville. This goes for aletheist as well. I would not be a statist if, in the American “conservative” (i.e., classical liberal) tradition, I insisted that the role of the state apparatus is to defend us from external enemies and the internal crimes of evildoers. I would be a statist, in the standard definition, if I also believed that the state apparatus should take a strong and proactive role in other realms of human life–e.g., coercively regulating family relationships or economic associations. Santorum is a statist by this definition. Statist does not = Stalinist. It does not = totalitarian. Conversely, it does not = anyone who believes that the state should be allowed to exist and do something. I don’t see why this is controversial. Would even Santorum’s supporters deny that he is, in fact, a statist–as is Obama, and as was Bush?

    Also, DonS, I enjoy how everyone who agrees with you is “eloquent.” I am honored to have been deemed eloquent by you in the past, though the acclaim seems to connote ideological rather than rhetorical virtuosity for you.

    2) First of all, we don’t know how Santorum would approach governing once in executive office. This is the curse of democratic elections, of course. We didn’t know how Obama would govern either, and the way he turned out has actually surprised many of his supporters. But suppose you actually know how Santorum would govern. I’m still baffled as to how his governing methodology would differ significantly from Obama’s. Obviously, the ideological emphases might be a tad different (though, again, probably not in practice: it’s one thing for Santorum to demagogue the social values questions, but the meat and potatoes of presidential governance generally involves foreign policy, etc.–realms in which Santorum doesn’t even differ substantively or methodologically from his hypothetical predecessors). Please enlighten.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS: Two things

    1) My definition of statism is endorsed by Wikipedia. And, more importantly, Tocqueville. This goes for aletheist as well. I would not be a statist if, in the American “conservative” (i.e., classical liberal) tradition, I insisted that the role of the state apparatus is to defend us from external enemies and the internal crimes of evildoers. I would be a statist, in the standard definition, if I also believed that the state apparatus should take a strong and proactive role in other realms of human life–e.g., coercively regulating family relationships or economic associations. Santorum is a statist by this definition. Statist does not = Stalinist. It does not = totalitarian. Conversely, it does not = anyone who believes that the state should be allowed to exist and do something. I don’t see why this is controversial. Would even Santorum’s supporters deny that he is, in fact, a statist–as is Obama, and as was Bush?

    Also, DonS, I enjoy how everyone who agrees with you is “eloquent.” I am honored to have been deemed eloquent by you in the past, though the acclaim seems to connote ideological rather than rhetorical virtuosity for you.

    2) First of all, we don’t know how Santorum would approach governing once in executive office. This is the curse of democratic elections, of course. We didn’t know how Obama would govern either, and the way he turned out has actually surprised many of his supporters. But suppose you actually know how Santorum would govern. I’m still baffled as to how his governing methodology would differ significantly from Obama’s. Obviously, the ideological emphases might be a tad different (though, again, probably not in practice: it’s one thing for Santorum to demagogue the social values questions, but the meat and potatoes of presidential governance generally involves foreign policy, etc.–realms in which Santorum doesn’t even differ substantively or methodologically from his hypothetical predecessors). Please enlighten.

  • Dan

    They picked Rick. It was a pleasant evening in American politics, a stunning rebuke to Romney, an appropriate dismissal of Newt (who is now no more than a regional candidate from a region the GOP can count on), and a reminder that Ron Paul’s message has made significant in-roads.

    aletheist @12 – I think Susana Martinez matches well with Santorum and gives “governor experience.” Regardless, Santorum has leadership experience from the federal government, which is at a totally different level than Obama had. I do wonder if Santorum needs a non-Catholic in the VP slot or if that’s now a non-issue.

    Jerry@21 – Doubt it. Santorum doesn’t have the support of important people in the party. He has true grassroots support. And Romney can get the base more excited with Rubio, plus getting a Hispanic angle. Santorum’s not playing for Veep. He’s here so the party will have a conservative alternative to Barack Obama.

    Aletheist@24 – Santorum has argued, contra-libertarians, that you can’t have small government when the family is weak, that when the government works to strengthen the family structure, it enables itself to shrink. I’m not convinced that he’s right it works in reverse, but I do think he’s right to note a connection between the family weakening as an institution and government growing.

    TLB@45 – “War rhetoric” – Santorum, back when GWB decided to go after Iraq, argued that Iran was the bigger threat. I do not think that Santorum would have responded to 9/11 exactly the way Bush did (although Santorum did support his president). Santorum is convinced that Iran will use a nuke against either Israel or the US. I believe Iran has stated as much, so this is different than the situation with Iraq. There are two questions here, then: 1) Do you disagree that Iran would use a nuke? 2) If not, what are you willing to do to stop them from getting a nuke? There’s a follow-up point to make also. The posture the US president takes towards Iran affects the posture other world leaders take. A stronger posture towards Iran could help sanctions work better than a weak posture.

    TLB@45 Re: DOMA – Santorum does not think that a situation can exist where a couple is married in one state, and then moves to a state without gay marriage. Eventually the Supreme Court will nationalize a single gay “marriage” policy. I was not a fan of the 2004 push on gay “marriage,” but I do ask myself this – would I rather have this decided legislatively or judicially?

    Finally, the argument that there is no difference between Santorum and Obama says more about the perspective of the arguer than it does about Santorum or Obama. There’s not much difference between the weather in Alaska and Hawaii if you’re standing on the moon.

  • Dan

    They picked Rick. It was a pleasant evening in American politics, a stunning rebuke to Romney, an appropriate dismissal of Newt (who is now no more than a regional candidate from a region the GOP can count on), and a reminder that Ron Paul’s message has made significant in-roads.

    aletheist @12 – I think Susana Martinez matches well with Santorum and gives “governor experience.” Regardless, Santorum has leadership experience from the federal government, which is at a totally different level than Obama had. I do wonder if Santorum needs a non-Catholic in the VP slot or if that’s now a non-issue.

    Jerry@21 – Doubt it. Santorum doesn’t have the support of important people in the party. He has true grassroots support. And Romney can get the base more excited with Rubio, plus getting a Hispanic angle. Santorum’s not playing for Veep. He’s here so the party will have a conservative alternative to Barack Obama.

    Aletheist@24 – Santorum has argued, contra-libertarians, that you can’t have small government when the family is weak, that when the government works to strengthen the family structure, it enables itself to shrink. I’m not convinced that he’s right it works in reverse, but I do think he’s right to note a connection between the family weakening as an institution and government growing.

    TLB@45 – “War rhetoric” – Santorum, back when GWB decided to go after Iraq, argued that Iran was the bigger threat. I do not think that Santorum would have responded to 9/11 exactly the way Bush did (although Santorum did support his president). Santorum is convinced that Iran will use a nuke against either Israel or the US. I believe Iran has stated as much, so this is different than the situation with Iraq. There are two questions here, then: 1) Do you disagree that Iran would use a nuke? 2) If not, what are you willing to do to stop them from getting a nuke? There’s a follow-up point to make also. The posture the US president takes towards Iran affects the posture other world leaders take. A stronger posture towards Iran could help sanctions work better than a weak posture.

    TLB@45 Re: DOMA – Santorum does not think that a situation can exist where a couple is married in one state, and then moves to a state without gay marriage. Eventually the Supreme Court will nationalize a single gay “marriage” policy. I was not a fan of the 2004 push on gay “marriage,” but I do ask myself this – would I rather have this decided legislatively or judicially?

    Finally, the argument that there is no difference between Santorum and Obama says more about the perspective of the arguer than it does about Santorum or Obama. There’s not much difference between the weather in Alaska and Hawaii if you’re standing on the moon.

  • aletheist

    sg: As I mentioned previously, the Founders set up our Constitutional system specifically to prevent the federal government from implementing major changes at the national level without broad consensus. The lack of such consensus today means that the federal government cannot do very much to impose a solution to controversial issues, except by using questionable tactics like budget reconciliation, illegitimate recess appointments, and executive orders. Even if libertarian capitalism would be the most appropriate system for our pluralistic society, good luck getting consensus on that!

    TLB: When it comes to an issue that is not explicitly addressed in the Constitution, like same-sex marriage or abortion, there is no inconsistency between leaving it up to the states for now and advocating the adoption of a Constitutional amendment to settle the issue one way or the other nationwide. Santorum has specifically argued along the lines mentioned by DonS above that it will not work to have different definitions of marriage in different states. I think that similar considerations apply when it comes to a fundamental principle like the definition of human life.

    Cincinnatus: How can the state “defend us from external enemies and the internal crimes of evildoers” without exerting any influence/authority whatsoever over the economic and/or social realms? or, using Wikipedia’s terminology, without controlling either economic or social policy or both to some degree? It seems to me that national defense and law enforcement inevitably have both economic and social policy impacts. Furthermore, libertarians often claim to be strict Constitutionalists, but I do not see how forming a more perfect union, establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty can be boiled down to only the two roles of the state that you accept.

  • aletheist

    sg: As I mentioned previously, the Founders set up our Constitutional system specifically to prevent the federal government from implementing major changes at the national level without broad consensus. The lack of such consensus today means that the federal government cannot do very much to impose a solution to controversial issues, except by using questionable tactics like budget reconciliation, illegitimate recess appointments, and executive orders. Even if libertarian capitalism would be the most appropriate system for our pluralistic society, good luck getting consensus on that!

    TLB: When it comes to an issue that is not explicitly addressed in the Constitution, like same-sex marriage or abortion, there is no inconsistency between leaving it up to the states for now and advocating the adoption of a Constitutional amendment to settle the issue one way or the other nationwide. Santorum has specifically argued along the lines mentioned by DonS above that it will not work to have different definitions of marriage in different states. I think that similar considerations apply when it comes to a fundamental principle like the definition of human life.

    Cincinnatus: How can the state “defend us from external enemies and the internal crimes of evildoers” without exerting any influence/authority whatsoever over the economic and/or social realms? or, using Wikipedia’s terminology, without controlling either economic or social policy or both to some degree? It seems to me that national defense and law enforcement inevitably have both economic and social policy impacts. Furthermore, libertarians often claim to be strict Constitutionalists, but I do not see how forming a more perfect union, establishing justice, ensuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty can be boiled down to only the two roles of the state that you accept.

  • Dan

    DonS@46 –
    Looks like we came up with the same argument regarding distance. I hadn’t read yours when I posted mine. Yours was better stated.

    As for your second point, I don’t see Santorum earning a rebuke on social issue demagoguery in this campaign. He’s used his discussion of family to pivot back to the economy in the stump speeches. In NH he got asked a lot of questions about gay marriage and answered honestly. He’s focused 1) on the economy and 2) foreign policy, without backing away from his social positions. In these speeches and town halls, he’s detailed quite a bit how he would try and govern on numerous issues. It’s worth investigating.

    Also, I’m not sure what you mean by “hypothetical predecessors.”

  • Dan

    DonS@46 –
    Looks like we came up with the same argument regarding distance. I hadn’t read yours when I posted mine. Yours was better stated.

    As for your second point, I don’t see Santorum earning a rebuke on social issue demagoguery in this campaign. He’s used his discussion of family to pivot back to the economy in the stump speeches. In NH he got asked a lot of questions about gay marriage and answered honestly. He’s focused 1) on the economy and 2) foreign policy, without backing away from his social positions. In these speeches and town halls, he’s detailed quite a bit how he would try and govern on numerous issues. It’s worth investigating.

    Also, I’m not sure what you mean by “hypothetical predecessors.”

  • Cincinnatus

    aletheist@49:

    Not to launch a fallacious appeal to authority, but let me remind you that my definition of statism is not idiosyncratic or unusual. Again, it’s the standard Wikipedia definition, though I’m ultimately deriving it from Tocqueville, who envisions a paternalistic administrative state benevolently manipulating ordinarily private social and economic interactions for the “good” of the people.

    Do you really not see a difference between the State, say, funding a police force to prevent and punish murders and the State directly intervening in sexual relations or, for example, the size of corporations? Teddy Roosevelt was a statist: he insisted upon a strong, centralized state empowered to control the marketplace and ensure that various economic actors behave in a way he saw fit. This isn’t controversial. Though I make a point of opposing statism on principle (because my concerns may be distinct from those of the average social conservative; please read Dan), statism is not synonymous with bad or evil. But in the modern world, there are various realms of human activity and experience. The state’s role is traditionally relegated to ensuring order in a very literal, minimalist sense (cf. Machiavelli’s early ruminations on the nation-state apparatus); its expansion into other realms is the classic definition of statism. I don’t really know how many other ways I can phrase this and, again, if you can’t see the distinction between Washington deploying the military to quash the Whiskey Rebellion (for better or worse) and Santorum proposing to manipulate taxation and redistribution policies to induce certain private social outcomes, then I’m not sure what else I can say.

    You’re right: most recent Presidents (and Americans for that matter) have been statists of one sort or another. And? That doesn’t mean the definition is overly broad; I’m more inclined to conclude that most recent Presidents have been overly paternalistic. It wasn’t always this way (though, e.g., the national bank was a statist proposal; hence it’s vociferous opponents).

  • Cincinnatus

    aletheist@49:

    Not to launch a fallacious appeal to authority, but let me remind you that my definition of statism is not idiosyncratic or unusual. Again, it’s the standard Wikipedia definition, though I’m ultimately deriving it from Tocqueville, who envisions a paternalistic administrative state benevolently manipulating ordinarily private social and economic interactions for the “good” of the people.

    Do you really not see a difference between the State, say, funding a police force to prevent and punish murders and the State directly intervening in sexual relations or, for example, the size of corporations? Teddy Roosevelt was a statist: he insisted upon a strong, centralized state empowered to control the marketplace and ensure that various economic actors behave in a way he saw fit. This isn’t controversial. Though I make a point of opposing statism on principle (because my concerns may be distinct from those of the average social conservative; please read Dan), statism is not synonymous with bad or evil. But in the modern world, there are various realms of human activity and experience. The state’s role is traditionally relegated to ensuring order in a very literal, minimalist sense (cf. Machiavelli’s early ruminations on the nation-state apparatus); its expansion into other realms is the classic definition of statism. I don’t really know how many other ways I can phrase this and, again, if you can’t see the distinction between Washington deploying the military to quash the Whiskey Rebellion (for better or worse) and Santorum proposing to manipulate taxation and redistribution policies to induce certain private social outcomes, then I’m not sure what else I can say.

    You’re right: most recent Presidents (and Americans for that matter) have been statists of one sort or another. And? That doesn’t mean the definition is overly broad; I’m more inclined to conclude that most recent Presidents have been overly paternalistic. It wasn’t always this way (though, e.g., the national bank was a statist proposal; hence it’s vociferous opponents).

  • aletheist

    Dan: I thought of Martinez as well, but she does not have as much gubernatorial experience as Jindal; Mitch Daniels is another possibility that comes to mind, since he has been in office even longer. Good point about the correlation between weak families and big government; I think that should be part of Santorum’s argument that he presents the starkest contrast with Obama, given what I suggested about their respective views on what is the most important social institution.

  • aletheist

    Dan: I thought of Martinez as well, but she does not have as much gubernatorial experience as Jindal; Mitch Daniels is another possibility that comes to mind, since he has been in office even longer. Good point about the correlation between weak families and big government; I think that should be part of Santorum’s argument that he presents the starkest contrast with Obama, given what I suggested about their respective views on what is the most important social institution.

  • aletheist

    Cincinnatus:

    I invoked the Wikipedia definition of statism: “the belief that, for whatever reason, a government should control either economic or social policy or both to some degree.” You “insisted that the role of the state apparatus is to defend us from external enemies and the internal crimes of evildoers.” Therefore, unless you are able to show that the state can carry out this role without controlling either economic or social policy or both to any degree whatsoever, you are–by Wikipedia’s definition, which you claim as your own–a statist.

    Consequently, although Santorum (for example) is apparently more of a statist than you are, you cannot cogently argue that he is a statist and you are not. Likewise, I highly doubt that it is controversial to assert that Obama is more of a statist than Santorum (or Bush, for that matter). Obama believes that the government should control more economic and social policy than Santorum (or Bush) does. If you are not a statist in comparison with Santorum, then he is not a statist in comparison with Obama.

    You said, “The state’s role is traditionally relegated to ensuring order in a very literal, minimalist sense.” When in history has that ever really been the case?

    Finally, to what specifically are you referring when you say that Santorum is “proposing to manipulate taxation and redistribution policies to induce certain private social outcomes”?

  • aletheist

    Cincinnatus:

    I invoked the Wikipedia definition of statism: “the belief that, for whatever reason, a government should control either economic or social policy or both to some degree.” You “insisted that the role of the state apparatus is to defend us from external enemies and the internal crimes of evildoers.” Therefore, unless you are able to show that the state can carry out this role without controlling either economic or social policy or both to any degree whatsoever, you are–by Wikipedia’s definition, which you claim as your own–a statist.

    Consequently, although Santorum (for example) is apparently more of a statist than you are, you cannot cogently argue that he is a statist and you are not. Likewise, I highly doubt that it is controversial to assert that Obama is more of a statist than Santorum (or Bush, for that matter). Obama believes that the government should control more economic and social policy than Santorum (or Bush) does. If you are not a statist in comparison with Santorum, then he is not a statist in comparison with Obama.

    You said, “The state’s role is traditionally relegated to ensuring order in a very literal, minimalist sense.” When in history has that ever really been the case?

    Finally, to what specifically are you referring when you say that Santorum is “proposing to manipulate taxation and redistribution policies to induce certain private social outcomes”?

  • Cincinnatus

    aletheist:

    Perhaps you need to define what you mean by “social” and “economic.” As it is, I can think of dozens of state actions that would constitute typical order-keeping responsibilities that don’t involve direct intervention in identifiable social or economic processes. And I have a hard time believing that you can’t. For example, how about prohibiting murder and executing those who commit such crimes? Obviously, this could have various secondary economic or social effects, but I don’t see a direct intervention there.

    Here’s the thing: an American President today, in spite of whatever checks the Constitution or Congress might offer, has powers that Louis XIV couldn’t even have imagined. The President presides over a vast administrative, paternalistic state that wasn’t even conceivable in the seventeenth century. In other words, many “typical” government actions that we today take for granted are new, modern, and…statist. Tocqueville, conversely, was writing in a time when some government actions that could qualify as statist (under his own conception) existed: the government in America had abolished primogeniture, for instance–a policy with economic and social effects that were arguably direct and not merely symptomatic. But the American government wasn’t yet statist in any broad, generic sense, nor were its elected leaders. It’s petty casuistry to go about arguing in that “gotcha” manner: “AHA! You might favor a particular policy that affects the economy or society (insofar as these are separate domains, another assumption of modernity)!” Maybe, but I certainly don’t advance a consistently, holistically statist platform like Santorum.

  • Cincinnatus

    aletheist:

    Perhaps you need to define what you mean by “social” and “economic.” As it is, I can think of dozens of state actions that would constitute typical order-keeping responsibilities that don’t involve direct intervention in identifiable social or economic processes. And I have a hard time believing that you can’t. For example, how about prohibiting murder and executing those who commit such crimes? Obviously, this could have various secondary economic or social effects, but I don’t see a direct intervention there.

    Here’s the thing: an American President today, in spite of whatever checks the Constitution or Congress might offer, has powers that Louis XIV couldn’t even have imagined. The President presides over a vast administrative, paternalistic state that wasn’t even conceivable in the seventeenth century. In other words, many “typical” government actions that we today take for granted are new, modern, and…statist. Tocqueville, conversely, was writing in a time when some government actions that could qualify as statist (under his own conception) existed: the government in America had abolished primogeniture, for instance–a policy with economic and social effects that were arguably direct and not merely symptomatic. But the American government wasn’t yet statist in any broad, generic sense, nor were its elected leaders. It’s petty casuistry to go about arguing in that “gotcha” manner: “AHA! You might favor a particular policy that affects the economy or society (insofar as these are separate domains, another assumption of modernity)!” Maybe, but I certainly don’t advance a consistently, holistically statist platform like Santorum.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 47: That was an eloquent comment ;-) I guess I had better vary my language a little more (maybe I’ll try Obama’s pet word “extraordinary” for a while?), though I do appreciate a good argument whether or not I agree. “Eloquent”, for me, is shorthand for “I agree, and the comment was well written and logical”. I guess I don’t typically acknowledge the eloquence of a comment with which I disagree because I’m too busy formulating a response.

    As for your substantive point, you said “I would be a statist, in the standard definition, if I also believed that the state apparatus should take a strong and proactive role in other realms of human life–e.g., coercively regulating family relationships or economic associations.” Aletheist already touched on my objection to this @ 49. Even a strict constitutionalist acknowledges, for example, the Commerce Clause, which requires the state (federal) apparatus to regulate family relationships or economic associations to some extent. Any regulation is necessarily and definitionally coercive, so I’m not sure what you mean by that. The Treasury function is specifically authorized by the Constitution, which also requires economic regulation. So, I don’t know really where you are going with this argument, but unless you are abrogating all of these other constitutional functions but the two you specifically recited, you, too, are a “statist”, by your accepted definition.

    You say you don’t know how Santorum would govern. Well, I don’t either, but I do know that he at least acknowledges an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, and its guarantee of our Creator-derived individual rights and liberties, and he certainly would nominate far better judicial candidates to the federal bench than Obama has/will. We know that Obama not only endorsed and continued Bush’s big government initiatives, he doubled down and radically expanded them, at the expense of our individual liberties. He will continue to do this, with or without popular support, and through undemocratic means, if necessary. We cannot do four more years of that.

    At best, Cincinnatus, maybe 5% of Americans are as libertarian as you are. There is no feasible path to power for true libertarians within my lifetime, and perhaps within yours. You, therefore, have a choice. You can choose to consign the country to ruination by declaring that all of the feasibly electable candidates are the same, and it doesn’t matter who gets in, and just sit out of the process, or you can engage, educate, work for change in the outlook of upcoming generations, and in the meantime vote for or work to elect the candidates who will move us the least far from the ideal state. My philosophy is that, in the primaries, I vote for and work for the candidate of my dreams, if he/she is running. It’s important to get the message and the education out there. Then, in the general, I pick the best, or least worst, candidate on the ballot. In other words, referring to my analogy above, I vote for the moon, not the sun. It’s not just about me. It’s about my kids and soon to be born grandchild. We, collectively, have put those kids, and you, since you’re still young, in a world of hurt. Working our way back to a point where our population begins to understand what this country is really about is not an overnight process. It will take generations, and a lot of incrementalism. In your case, you’ve got to move more than 45% of the population to the right. But, the first step is to get rid of politicians like Obama, who not only have no concept of small government values, they abhor them.

    Or we can just throw up our hands and walk away. We each make that choice individually, I guess.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 47: That was an eloquent comment ;-) I guess I had better vary my language a little more (maybe I’ll try Obama’s pet word “extraordinary” for a while?), though I do appreciate a good argument whether or not I agree. “Eloquent”, for me, is shorthand for “I agree, and the comment was well written and logical”. I guess I don’t typically acknowledge the eloquence of a comment with which I disagree because I’m too busy formulating a response.

    As for your substantive point, you said “I would be a statist, in the standard definition, if I also believed that the state apparatus should take a strong and proactive role in other realms of human life–e.g., coercively regulating family relationships or economic associations.” Aletheist already touched on my objection to this @ 49. Even a strict constitutionalist acknowledges, for example, the Commerce Clause, which requires the state (federal) apparatus to regulate family relationships or economic associations to some extent. Any regulation is necessarily and definitionally coercive, so I’m not sure what you mean by that. The Treasury function is specifically authorized by the Constitution, which also requires economic regulation. So, I don’t know really where you are going with this argument, but unless you are abrogating all of these other constitutional functions but the two you specifically recited, you, too, are a “statist”, by your accepted definition.

    You say you don’t know how Santorum would govern. Well, I don’t either, but I do know that he at least acknowledges an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, and its guarantee of our Creator-derived individual rights and liberties, and he certainly would nominate far better judicial candidates to the federal bench than Obama has/will. We know that Obama not only endorsed and continued Bush’s big government initiatives, he doubled down and radically expanded them, at the expense of our individual liberties. He will continue to do this, with or without popular support, and through undemocratic means, if necessary. We cannot do four more years of that.

    At best, Cincinnatus, maybe 5% of Americans are as libertarian as you are. There is no feasible path to power for true libertarians within my lifetime, and perhaps within yours. You, therefore, have a choice. You can choose to consign the country to ruination by declaring that all of the feasibly electable candidates are the same, and it doesn’t matter who gets in, and just sit out of the process, or you can engage, educate, work for change in the outlook of upcoming generations, and in the meantime vote for or work to elect the candidates who will move us the least far from the ideal state. My philosophy is that, in the primaries, I vote for and work for the candidate of my dreams, if he/she is running. It’s important to get the message and the education out there. Then, in the general, I pick the best, or least worst, candidate on the ballot. In other words, referring to my analogy above, I vote for the moon, not the sun. It’s not just about me. It’s about my kids and soon to be born grandchild. We, collectively, have put those kids, and you, since you’re still young, in a world of hurt. Working our way back to a point where our population begins to understand what this country is really about is not an overnight process. It will take generations, and a lot of incrementalism. In your case, you’ve got to move more than 45% of the population to the right. But, the first step is to get rid of politicians like Obama, who not only have no concept of small government values, they abhor them.

    Or we can just throw up our hands and walk away. We each make that choice individually, I guess.

  • Dan

    altheist –
    I think Santorum will be attacked by the Obama team as anti-woman and anti-gay. Having a female VP may be significant for him in defanging the anti-woman argument.

    Similarly, Santorum will want to avoid Daniels (and others connected to the Bush admin) because he does not want the Obama campaign to center in on him as Bush II too easily. Santorum’s proposed policies are definitely not “more of the same” (from my perspective) but they could be painted that way if he picked someone from the Bush organization.

    I think Republicans want to make a play for the Hispanic vote, especially after the DHHS decision. I had thought Brian Sandoval was the most likely VP candidate, since Martinez and Rubio are a little green. If Romney wins, I’d still put my money on Sandoval.

    But that’s all focused on the demographics, regionality, and party politics. I could see Santorum going against all that to pick the person he thinks would be the best qualified to run the country.

  • Dan

    altheist –
    I think Santorum will be attacked by the Obama team as anti-woman and anti-gay. Having a female VP may be significant for him in defanging the anti-woman argument.

    Similarly, Santorum will want to avoid Daniels (and others connected to the Bush admin) because he does not want the Obama campaign to center in on him as Bush II too easily. Santorum’s proposed policies are definitely not “more of the same” (from my perspective) but they could be painted that way if he picked someone from the Bush organization.

    I think Republicans want to make a play for the Hispanic vote, especially after the DHHS decision. I had thought Brian Sandoval was the most likely VP candidate, since Martinez and Rubio are a little green. If Romney wins, I’d still put my money on Sandoval.

    But that’s all focused on the demographics, regionality, and party politics. I could see Santorum going against all that to pick the person he thinks would be the best qualified to run the country.

  • DonS

    Dan @ 50: Yes, we did use similar illustrations at the same time — hopefully that validates our point? ;-)

    I’m not sure I understand the rest of your comment. I didn’t say “hypothetical predecessors”, and I didn’t really specifically address Santorum’s policies @ 46. I think you meant to direct that part to Cincinnatus @ 47.

  • DonS

    Dan @ 50: Yes, we did use similar illustrations at the same time — hopefully that validates our point? ;-)

    I’m not sure I understand the rest of your comment. I didn’t say “hypothetical predecessors”, and I didn’t really specifically address Santorum’s policies @ 46. I think you meant to direct that part to Cincinnatus @ 47.

  • aletheist

    Cincinnatus:

    It’s your definition (and Wikipedia’s), not mine. To me, it sounds like the old canard that “you can’t legislate morality,” when the reality is that all legislation is a form of imposing morality. Prohibiting murder and executing those who commit such crimes is a social policy. Again, Wikipedia indicates that only an anarchist is not a statist on some level.

    So the argument then becomes not whether the state should control economic and/or social policy, but to what extent. I get it–you are a minimalist in this regard, and Santorum is not; but neither is he a maximalist, and he certainly does not advocate as much state intervention as Obama does. As someone once said, “This isn’t controversial.”

  • aletheist

    Cincinnatus:

    It’s your definition (and Wikipedia’s), not mine. To me, it sounds like the old canard that “you can’t legislate morality,” when the reality is that all legislation is a form of imposing morality. Prohibiting murder and executing those who commit such crimes is a social policy. Again, Wikipedia indicates that only an anarchist is not a statist on some level.

    So the argument then becomes not whether the state should control economic and/or social policy, but to what extent. I get it–you are a minimalist in this regard, and Santorum is not; but neither is he a maximalist, and he certainly does not advocate as much state intervention as Obama does. As someone once said, “This isn’t controversial.”

  • DonS

    Dan @ 56: I agree with you. Were Santorum to win the nomination (and I still think that it is a long shot — Romney clearly remains the front-runner), Martinez would be a smart pick for the reasons you state — she is female, moderate, Hispanic, and far less controversial than someone like Palin. She is also from the west. Santorum has the luxury to pick someone like that, given his conservative cred, whereas Romney might have to reach much more to the right to counter his moderate, New England reputation.

  • DonS

    Dan @ 56: I agree with you. Were Santorum to win the nomination (and I still think that it is a long shot — Romney clearly remains the front-runner), Martinez would be a smart pick for the reasons you state — she is female, moderate, Hispanic, and far less controversial than someone like Palin. She is also from the west. Santorum has the luxury to pick someone like that, given his conservative cred, whereas Romney might have to reach much more to the right to counter his moderate, New England reputation.

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS@55: Actually, I’m quite comfortable labeling not the Treasury Department itself–after all, the government has money, and it needs accountants–but its function of printing and monopolizing currency as statist. I’m rather a fan of decentralist economic structures. For example, check out BerkShares sometime. They’re doing the Lord’s work. For that matter, I’m also opposed to the damned commerce clause, as were some of the Constitution’s framers.

    At the same time, however, it seems a bit odd to consider this typical, liberal function of the government as “statist” in the same sense as, say, Bismarck’s welfare proposals (which we later imitated) or Santorum’s proposals regarding federal interventions in issues of morality and family. Sure, I’ll grant the point that both you and aletheist seem to be making: the “ideal-type” of the non-statist state (in Max Weber’s terms) doesn’t actually exist anywhere of which I’m aware in the world; hence, it’s an “ideal-type” for definitional purposes. But that certainly doesn’t mean I have to make myself comfortable with Santorum’s rather obvious, strong statism in practice, nor does it mean that I must renounce my opposition to statism in general.

    (Meanwhile, what does the fact that most Americans wouldn’t agree with me regarding the role of the state have to do with anything? I’m not running for office here.)

  • Cincinnatus

    DonS@55: Actually, I’m quite comfortable labeling not the Treasury Department itself–after all, the government has money, and it needs accountants–but its function of printing and monopolizing currency as statist. I’m rather a fan of decentralist economic structures. For example, check out BerkShares sometime. They’re doing the Lord’s work. For that matter, I’m also opposed to the damned commerce clause, as were some of the Constitution’s framers.

    At the same time, however, it seems a bit odd to consider this typical, liberal function of the government as “statist” in the same sense as, say, Bismarck’s welfare proposals (which we later imitated) or Santorum’s proposals regarding federal interventions in issues of morality and family. Sure, I’ll grant the point that both you and aletheist seem to be making: the “ideal-type” of the non-statist state (in Max Weber’s terms) doesn’t actually exist anywhere of which I’m aware in the world; hence, it’s an “ideal-type” for definitional purposes. But that certainly doesn’t mean I have to make myself comfortable with Santorum’s rather obvious, strong statism in practice, nor does it mean that I must renounce my opposition to statism in general.

    (Meanwhile, what does the fact that most Americans wouldn’t agree with me regarding the role of the state have to do with anything? I’m not running for office here.)

  • Cincinnatus

    Aletheist@58:

    So the argument then becomes not whether the state should control economic and/or social policy, but to what extent.

    I agree with this statement. As you say, uncontroversial. Depending on the day, I lean or at least feel anarchist. But not today. Again, we’re talking about ideal-types here.

    I get it–you are a minimalist in this regard, and Santorum is not; but neither is he a maximalist, and he certainly does not advocate as much state intervention as Obama does.

    I disagree with this statement. Show me the evidence. While I warrant that Santorum might direct the resources of the State to different interventions than Obama might prefer, I’ve seen nothing that would indicate that he’ll be “less” statist, on the whole, than Obama. Fine, Obama’s willing to use his executive authority to make Catholics pay for contraceptives. Santorum would be willing to use his executive authority to tackle various social problems rather than leaving such to the social structures best equipped for the same. Meanwhile, let’s get down to the proverbial brass tacks: would Obama launch unilitaral foreign military interventions? Yes. Would Santorum? Apparently. Would Santorum approve bailouts like Obama? We don’t know, as he conspicuously avoided voting on any of them while in Congress. Obama has exploded the deficit. Would Santorum lower it? No; his proposals would already add 1.3 trillion. Would Santorum check the security state that has proliferated since 9/11? No. In fact, on most issues of actual importance to the contemporary United States, I see no evidence that Santorum would govern any differently or, more to the point, less statist(ly?) than Obama. He might pander to some social hot-button issues, but everyone knows that’s little more than pandering. In the domains over which the President can actually exercise meaningful influence, Santorum is George W. Bush III.

  • Cincinnatus

    Aletheist@58:

    So the argument then becomes not whether the state should control economic and/or social policy, but to what extent.

    I agree with this statement. As you say, uncontroversial. Depending on the day, I lean or at least feel anarchist. But not today. Again, we’re talking about ideal-types here.

    I get it–you are a minimalist in this regard, and Santorum is not; but neither is he a maximalist, and he certainly does not advocate as much state intervention as Obama does.

    I disagree with this statement. Show me the evidence. While I warrant that Santorum might direct the resources of the State to different interventions than Obama might prefer, I’ve seen nothing that would indicate that he’ll be “less” statist, on the whole, than Obama. Fine, Obama’s willing to use his executive authority to make Catholics pay for contraceptives. Santorum would be willing to use his executive authority to tackle various social problems rather than leaving such to the social structures best equipped for the same. Meanwhile, let’s get down to the proverbial brass tacks: would Obama launch unilitaral foreign military interventions? Yes. Would Santorum? Apparently. Would Santorum approve bailouts like Obama? We don’t know, as he conspicuously avoided voting on any of them while in Congress. Obama has exploded the deficit. Would Santorum lower it? No; his proposals would already add 1.3 trillion. Would Santorum check the security state that has proliferated since 9/11? No. In fact, on most issues of actual importance to the contemporary United States, I see no evidence that Santorum would govern any differently or, more to the point, less statist(ly?) than Obama. He might pander to some social hot-button issues, but everyone knows that’s little more than pandering. In the domains over which the President can actually exercise meaningful influence, Santorum is George W. Bush III.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 60: All right, fair enough. I guess you’re a little more radical than I thought. I said 5%, it’s probably more like .5% ;-)

    “(Meanwhile, what does the fact that most Americans wouldn’t agree with me regarding the role of the state have to do with anything? I’m not running for office here.)” My point, of course, had nothing to do with you running for office or otherwise winning a popularity contest. It was, rather, a reminder that your ideal world is nowhere in the foreseeable future. 99.5% of Americans are more statist than you, I would guess. So, what are you going to do about it? You’re young, and will presumably be raising a family in this un-ideal, statist country. The country is set up, moreover, to be changed only incrementally. The checks and balances we cherish as a blockade against a tyrant like Obama rapidly making things worse are also an impediment to moving things in a positive direction, especially rapidly. Statism isn’t binary, it’s a matter of degree.

    It will take decades/generations to move the country back substantially toward its originalist roots, as it took that long to get us into our present disaster. It’s a massive education project, and a matter of grooming young people who can be the good, well grounded candidates we don’t see out there today. Personally, I am in favor of any incremental move away from the statism favored by Obama and his ilk.

    Food for thought — even if Santorum were every bit as much of a statist as Obama — and I think that notion is patently ridiculous on its face, for reasons explained in depth above — he would still be a far better person to occupy the White House than Obama. Why? Because his statist proposals would be aggressively opposed by all of the forces of the elitist establishment — media, higher education, unions, etc. Obama, on the other hand, is coddled and enabled by these same establishment institutions.

    You at least have to acknowledge that to be true.

  • DonS

    Cincinnatus @ 60: All right, fair enough. I guess you’re a little more radical than I thought. I said 5%, it’s probably more like .5% ;-)

    “(Meanwhile, what does the fact that most Americans wouldn’t agree with me regarding the role of the state have to do with anything? I’m not running for office here.)” My point, of course, had nothing to do with you running for office or otherwise winning a popularity contest. It was, rather, a reminder that your ideal world is nowhere in the foreseeable future. 99.5% of Americans are more statist than you, I would guess. So, what are you going to do about it? You’re young, and will presumably be raising a family in this un-ideal, statist country. The country is set up, moreover, to be changed only incrementally. The checks and balances we cherish as a blockade against a tyrant like Obama rapidly making things worse are also an impediment to moving things in a positive direction, especially rapidly. Statism isn’t binary, it’s a matter of degree.

    It will take decades/generations to move the country back substantially toward its originalist roots, as it took that long to get us into our present disaster. It’s a massive education project, and a matter of grooming young people who can be the good, well grounded candidates we don’t see out there today. Personally, I am in favor of any incremental move away from the statism favored by Obama and his ilk.

    Food for thought — even if Santorum were every bit as much of a statist as Obama — and I think that notion is patently ridiculous on its face, for reasons explained in depth above — he would still be a far better person to occupy the White House than Obama. Why? Because his statist proposals would be aggressively opposed by all of the forces of the elitist establishment — media, higher education, unions, etc. Obama, on the other hand, is coddled and enabled by these same establishment institutions.

    You at least have to acknowledge that to be true.

  • Grace

    I don’t believe Susana Martinez would be considered as a VP candidate; the reason:

    “In March 2010, Martinez was named New Mexico’s “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Prosecutors Section of the State Bar of New Mexico. Additionally, Martinez was the District Attorney for the Third Judicial District in Doña Ana County between 2005 – 2007 in the notable case where Stephen Slevin was jailed, indefinitely detained without trial in solitary confinement, and deprived of mental, physical and dental care for more than 22 months. Mr. Slevin was initially arrested for driving while intoxicated though ultimately all charges were dismissed by the county court.

    In 2012, a federal jury found Mr. Slevin was deprived of constitutional rights and procedural due process rights during his 22 month indefinite detention. The federal jury awarded Mr. Slevin damages of $22 million after the federal case filed in 2008 against Doña Ana County came to trial. The listed objective of the District Attorney for the Third Judicial District in Doña Ana County “is to secure justice in each case with the safety and welfare of the Doña Ana County citizens being of upmost concern.”

  • Grace

    I don’t believe Susana Martinez would be considered as a VP candidate; the reason:

    “In March 2010, Martinez was named New Mexico’s “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Prosecutors Section of the State Bar of New Mexico. Additionally, Martinez was the District Attorney for the Third Judicial District in Doña Ana County between 2005 – 2007 in the notable case where Stephen Slevin was jailed, indefinitely detained without trial in solitary confinement, and deprived of mental, physical and dental care for more than 22 months. Mr. Slevin was initially arrested for driving while intoxicated though ultimately all charges were dismissed by the county court.

    In 2012, a federal jury found Mr. Slevin was deprived of constitutional rights and procedural due process rights during his 22 month indefinite detention. The federal jury awarded Mr. Slevin damages of $22 million after the federal case filed in 2008 against Doña Ana County came to trial. The listed objective of the District Attorney for the Third Judicial District in Doña Ana County “is to secure justice in each case with the safety and welfare of the Doña Ana County citizens being of upmost concern.”

  • Helen K.

    Well, its confession time. Haven’t read through all your comments yet, but we voted for Rick S. Had planned on Romney (who probably will get the nomination) but somehow I decided that Rick is the lesser of the evils. I do like the man. I think he is a person of integrity. Each candidate has positives and negatives.

    AZ’s primary is 28 Feb and we already received our mail-in ballots so the deed is done and I feel good about it! Cheers.

  • Helen K.

    Well, its confession time. Haven’t read through all your comments yet, but we voted for Rick S. Had planned on Romney (who probably will get the nomination) but somehow I decided that Rick is the lesser of the evils. I do like the man. I think he is a person of integrity. Each candidate has positives and negatives.

    AZ’s primary is 28 Feb and we already received our mail-in ballots so the deed is done and I feel good about it! Cheers.

  • aletheist

    Dan: Good point about Daniels having served in the Bush administration; I had not thought about the potential for that being perceived as a liability. Rubio has flat-out denied on multiple occasions that he will be on the ticket; at some point we should just take him at his word and stop assuming that he is merely playing coy. Sandoval has been a governor for the same amount of time as Martinez, so I am not sure that he has any advantages over her.

    DonS: I agree that Romney should pick a solid conservative as his running mate if he is the nominee.

    Cincinnatus: We have probably reached the point where we should just agree to disagree. However, I would still like to know what you specifically had in mind when you said that Santorum is “proposing to manipulate taxation and redistribution policies to induce certain private social outcomes.” Which “social problems” do you believe that he (inappropriately) “would be willing to use his executive authority to tackle”? What calculation indicates that Santorum’s proposals would increase the deficit by $1.3 trillion? Of course, different people will have different opinions on which particular issues are “of actual importance to the contemporary United States.” In what sense is Santorum “pandering” on “social hot-button issues,” as opposed to expressing his sincerely held views? I have actually seen his approach described as “pander-less populism,” and many observers perceive him as the most authentic of all the candidates.

  • aletheist

    Dan: Good point about Daniels having served in the Bush administration; I had not thought about the potential for that being perceived as a liability. Rubio has flat-out denied on multiple occasions that he will be on the ticket; at some point we should just take him at his word and stop assuming that he is merely playing coy. Sandoval has been a governor for the same amount of time as Martinez, so I am not sure that he has any advantages over her.

    DonS: I agree that Romney should pick a solid conservative as his running mate if he is the nominee.

    Cincinnatus: We have probably reached the point where we should just agree to disagree. However, I would still like to know what you specifically had in mind when you said that Santorum is “proposing to manipulate taxation and redistribution policies to induce certain private social outcomes.” Which “social problems” do you believe that he (inappropriately) “would be willing to use his executive authority to tackle”? What calculation indicates that Santorum’s proposals would increase the deficit by $1.3 trillion? Of course, different people will have different opinions on which particular issues are “of actual importance to the contemporary United States.” In what sense is Santorum “pandering” on “social hot-button issues,” as opposed to expressing his sincerely held views? I have actually seen his approach described as “pander-less populism,” and many observers perceive him as the most authentic of all the candidates.

  • Grace

    “In January, 2012 a Federal court awarded former County prisoner Stephen Slevin a $22 million award[5] for inhumane treatment and for keeping him jailed for 2 years without a trial.[6] [7] In a radio interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program As It Happens broadcast February 7, 2012, Slevin’s lawyer indicated that he was arrested for “DWI”. During his incarceration, Slevin was placed in solitary confinement. When his health deteriorated, Slevin was removed to a hospital, but after two weeks in the hospital, he was returned to solitary confinement. The lawyer stated that pictures taken before and after Slevin’s time in jail were key to the trial’s outcome. The District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County during the 2005 – 2007 indefinite detention without trial of Mr. Slevin was Susana Martinez, the current Governor of New Mexico.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do%C3%B1a_Ana_County,_New_Mexico

  • Grace

    “In January, 2012 a Federal court awarded former County prisoner Stephen Slevin a $22 million award[5] for inhumane treatment and for keeping him jailed for 2 years without a trial.[6] [7] In a radio interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation program As It Happens broadcast February 7, 2012, Slevin’s lawyer indicated that he was arrested for “DWI”. During his incarceration, Slevin was placed in solitary confinement. When his health deteriorated, Slevin was removed to a hospital, but after two weeks in the hospital, he was returned to solitary confinement. The lawyer stated that pictures taken before and after Slevin’s time in jail were key to the trial’s outcome. The District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County during the 2005 – 2007 indefinite detention without trial of Mr. Slevin was Susana Martinez, the current Governor of New Mexico.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do%C3%B1a_Ana_County,_New_Mexico

  • aletheist

    Grace: Just wondering–what direct involvement, if any, did Martinez have in that particular case? I have not been able to find anything about this. Just because she was the District Attorney at the time does not entail that she had anything to do with the conditions of Mr. Slevin’s incarceration. In any case, apparently she flatly stated a couple of weeks ago that she “has no interest in serving as vice president.”

  • aletheist

    Grace: Just wondering–what direct involvement, if any, did Martinez have in that particular case? I have not been able to find anything about this. Just because she was the District Attorney at the time does not entail that she had anything to do with the conditions of Mr. Slevin’s incarceration. In any case, apparently she flatly stated a couple of weeks ago that she “has no interest in serving as vice president.”

  • Grace

    aletheist @ 67

    “In any case, apparently she flatly stated a couple of weeks ago that she “has no interest in serving as vice president.”

    GREAT, that’s a good choice.

    The questions I pose are:

    Why was Stephen Slevin’s incarceration ignored, for TWO YEARS?
    Susana Martinez was the District Attorney during Slevin’s incarceration and she had no clue?
    Why wouldn’t she have any knowledge of this man not being given a trial or medical attention?
    Are there no records of up-coming trials?
    Who ordered solitary confinement for 19 months?

    As for her not not wanting to be a VP candidate, that’s probably wise. The population in her county in 2010 was about 205,000 – that’s not a lot of people. It must have been less in 2005 – 2007

    NM man who pulled own tooth in jail awarded $22M
    “Deplorable” conditions allowed him to “decay” for almost two years in solitary confinement
    By Rene Romo
    Albuquerque Journal

    January 22, 2012

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When Stephen Slevin was booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on Aug. 24, 2005, for DWI and other charges, he was physically healthy and weighed 185 pounds. After spending most of 19 months in solitary confinement, he was sent in May 2007 to the state Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas for a psychiatric review.

    By that time, he was malnourished, 50 pounds thinner, unkempt and looked like a wild man. “His toenails had grown so long, they curled under his feet,” and he suffered from bedsores and a fungal infection on his skin, according to court filings in the federal lawsuit that went to trial last week in Santa Fe.

    A jury awarded Slevin $22 million in damages against Doña Ana County for depriving him of his right to humane treatment in the county’s lockup.

    Slevin suffered from depression when he was arrested, but while incarcerated, his mental health deteriorated due to the lack of medical care and prolonged solitary confinement.

    http://www.correctionsone.com/treatment/articles/4976378-NM-man-who-pulled-own-tooth-in-jail-awarded-22M/

    NO ONE KNEW about this man?

    No one receives 22 million for nothing.

  • Grace

    aletheist @ 67

    “In any case, apparently she flatly stated a couple of weeks ago that she “has no interest in serving as vice president.”

    GREAT, that’s a good choice.

    The questions I pose are:

    Why was Stephen Slevin’s incarceration ignored, for TWO YEARS?
    Susana Martinez was the District Attorney during Slevin’s incarceration and she had no clue?
    Why wouldn’t she have any knowledge of this man not being given a trial or medical attention?
    Are there no records of up-coming trials?
    Who ordered solitary confinement for 19 months?

    As for her not not wanting to be a VP candidate, that’s probably wise. The population in her county in 2010 was about 205,000 – that’s not a lot of people. It must have been less in 2005 – 2007

    NM man who pulled own tooth in jail awarded $22M
    “Deplorable” conditions allowed him to “decay” for almost two years in solitary confinement
    By Rene Romo
    Albuquerque Journal

    January 22, 2012

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When Stephen Slevin was booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on Aug. 24, 2005, for DWI and other charges, he was physically healthy and weighed 185 pounds. After spending most of 19 months in solitary confinement, he was sent in May 2007 to the state Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas for a psychiatric review.

    By that time, he was malnourished, 50 pounds thinner, unkempt and looked like a wild man. “His toenails had grown so long, they curled under his feet,” and he suffered from bedsores and a fungal infection on his skin, according to court filings in the federal lawsuit that went to trial last week in Santa Fe.

    A jury awarded Slevin $22 million in damages against Doña Ana County for depriving him of his right to humane treatment in the county’s lockup.

    Slevin suffered from depression when he was arrested, but while incarcerated, his mental health deteriorated due to the lack of medical care and prolonged solitary confinement.

    http://www.correctionsone.com/treatment/articles/4976378-NM-man-who-pulled-own-tooth-in-jail-awarded-22M/

    NO ONE KNEW about this man?

    No one receives 22 million for nothing.

  • BW

    Santorum? No, thank you. As a Pennsylvanian, I remember when Santorum first showed up on the scene and everyone thought he was going to fight for what he believed in and stick to his guns. But, in the end, he just seemed to tow the party line. He campaigned a lot as a pro life guy, but he backed Arlen Specter, who most certainly was not a conservative and not pro life, but was still in the Republican party at that time. Add to that the tax scandal, and in the end he didn’t appear to be what everyone thought he’d be.

    His presidential campaign seems to be the same thing his other campaigns were, get everyone really, but then don’t follow through with anything. Not to mention the issues with his policy and budget that Cincinnatus and Webmonk and others have pointed out.

  • BW

    Santorum? No, thank you. As a Pennsylvanian, I remember when Santorum first showed up on the scene and everyone thought he was going to fight for what he believed in and stick to his guns. But, in the end, he just seemed to tow the party line. He campaigned a lot as a pro life guy, but he backed Arlen Specter, who most certainly was not a conservative and not pro life, but was still in the Republican party at that time. Add to that the tax scandal, and in the end he didn’t appear to be what everyone thought he’d be.

    His presidential campaign seems to be the same thing his other campaigns were, get everyone really, but then don’t follow through with anything. Not to mention the issues with his policy and budget that Cincinnatus and Webmonk and others have pointed out.

  • Michael B.

    I don’t mind Romney, and there’s a lot of good one could say about Romney, but I’ll be voting for Obama. I detest Santorum.

  • Michael B.

    I don’t mind Romney, and there’s a lot of good one could say about Romney, but I’ll be voting for Obama. I detest Santorum.

  • BW

    In the second paragraph, it should read “His presidential campaign seems to be the same thing his other campaigns were, get everyone really *excited…”

  • BW

    In the second paragraph, it should read “His presidential campaign seems to be the same thing his other campaigns were, get everyone really *excited…”

  • http://redemptivethoughts.com John H. Guthrie

    When Santorum was named as the 3rd most corrupt member of the House in 2006, the report charged about 35 House members as being corrupt. With about 4 exceptions, all those named were Republicans and most were in the House leadership at the time. That ought to to be an indicator of the partisan leaning of those who put out that report.

  • http://redemptivethoughts.com John H. Guthrie

    When Santorum was named as the 3rd most corrupt member of the House in 2006, the report charged about 35 House members as being corrupt. With about 4 exceptions, all those named were Republicans and most were in the House leadership at the time. That ought to to be an indicator of the partisan leaning of those who put out that report.

  • Grace

    John H. Guthrie @72

    YOU POSTED: “When Santorum was named as the 3rd most corrupt member of the House in 2006, the report charged about 35 House members as being corrupt. With about 4 exceptions, all those named were Republicans and most were in the House leadership at the time. That ought to to be an indicator of the partisan leaning of those who put out that report.”

    Who were the the ones making these accusations? We’re they Republican or Democrats? By name please.

    Who were the exceptions?

  • Grace

    John H. Guthrie @72

    YOU POSTED: “When Santorum was named as the 3rd most corrupt member of the House in 2006, the report charged about 35 House members as being corrupt. With about 4 exceptions, all those named were Republicans and most were in the House leadership at the time. That ought to to be an indicator of the partisan leaning of those who put out that report.”

    Who were the the ones making these accusations? We’re they Republican or Democrats? By name please.

    Who were the exceptions?

  • Grace

    BW @ 69

    YOU WROTE: “Add to that the tax scandal, and in the end he didn’t appear to be what everyone thought he’d be.”

    Who is “everyone”? Is that you, and your pals, just who is “everyone?”

  • Grace

    BW @ 69

    YOU WROTE: “Add to that the tax scandal, and in the end he didn’t appear to be what everyone thought he’d be.”

    Who is “everyone”? Is that you, and your pals, just who is “everyone?”

  • mikeb

    John H. Guthrie @ 72

    Rick Santorum wasn’t a member of the House in 2006. He was a senator. But as a senator in 2006 he was named by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to their list of corrupt politicians. His crime? Being a Republican. You see, CREW has a bit of a credibility issue, such that the likes of the Washington Post, McClatchy news service, and the New York Times have noted that they are “liberal”, “left-leaning”, “progressive”. Key staff include former aids to Hilary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden. I think that’s a better indicator of their partisan leanings.

  • mikeb

    John H. Guthrie @ 72

    Rick Santorum wasn’t a member of the House in 2006. He was a senator. But as a senator in 2006 he was named by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to their list of corrupt politicians. His crime? Being a Republican. You see, CREW has a bit of a credibility issue, such that the likes of the Washington Post, McClatchy news service, and the New York Times have noted that they are “liberal”, “left-leaning”, “progressive”. Key staff include former aids to Hilary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and Joe Biden. I think that’s a better indicator of their partisan leanings.

  • Jonathan

    I’m not sure how it’s such a tragedy to have legislation on abortion. Personally the only issue I’m going to get worked up over is abortion, because it has direct consequences (dead people). There is no difference between legislating bans on killing adults and legislating bans on killing babies. It doesn’t matter if people get a little upset over it.

    There are calls to leave it to the states to do this. If they did, great! But it doesn’t appear to be a huge trend…
    Isn’t it, by definition, *not* statism if the acts of the state coincide _directly_ with one of its principal roles (preventing/punishing evildoers, i.e. murderers)?

    As for marriage, which I’m far less concerned about, you could still argue that since it’s not a secular invention, anyone wishing to deal with marriage must play by God’s own rules. Yes, the ways in which the government handles recognition of marriage and other things like benefits is certainly man-made, but how is it statism if the government is simply saying, “we like this thing called marriage, and we want to recognize it in a secular setting for the benefit of our society, but the book we got the idea from says that marriage has a single, clearly defined definition: MplusF.”
    If you really want the federal government to stay out of the gay marriage issue, then it should really be dropping the _whole concept of marriage altogether as a state-recognized institution_.

    Once again, I’m a bazillion times more concerned about killing babies than I am about people making poor sexual choices (or pursuing genetic predispositions, if you like that better).

  • Jonathan

    I’m not sure how it’s such a tragedy to have legislation on abortion. Personally the only issue I’m going to get worked up over is abortion, because it has direct consequences (dead people). There is no difference between legislating bans on killing adults and legislating bans on killing babies. It doesn’t matter if people get a little upset over it.

    There are calls to leave it to the states to do this. If they did, great! But it doesn’t appear to be a huge trend…
    Isn’t it, by definition, *not* statism if the acts of the state coincide _directly_ with one of its principal roles (preventing/punishing evildoers, i.e. murderers)?

    As for marriage, which I’m far less concerned about, you could still argue that since it’s not a secular invention, anyone wishing to deal with marriage must play by God’s own rules. Yes, the ways in which the government handles recognition of marriage and other things like benefits is certainly man-made, but how is it statism if the government is simply saying, “we like this thing called marriage, and we want to recognize it in a secular setting for the benefit of our society, but the book we got the idea from says that marriage has a single, clearly defined definition: MplusF.”
    If you really want the federal government to stay out of the gay marriage issue, then it should really be dropping the _whole concept of marriage altogether as a state-recognized institution_.

    Once again, I’m a bazillion times more concerned about killing babies than I am about people making poor sexual choices (or pursuing genetic predispositions, if you like that better).

  • Michael B.

    @Jonathan

    “Once again, I’m a bazillion times more concerned about killing babies ”

    It’s almost never that you find someone who is pro-fetus who isn’t anti-gay, but I’ll bite: If you’re really concerned about the killing of “babies”, do you realize that how many embryos die during the first few days of existence? Birth control pills and the morning after pill often prevent them implanted in the woman’s uterus. Why don’t you focus more on Walmart and other pharmacies that sell the birth control pill? And given the high natural death rate of early embryos, why don’t you support medical research to stop this?

  • Michael B.

    @Jonathan

    “Once again, I’m a bazillion times more concerned about killing babies ”

    It’s almost never that you find someone who is pro-fetus who isn’t anti-gay, but I’ll bite: If you’re really concerned about the killing of “babies”, do you realize that how many embryos die during the first few days of existence? Birth control pills and the morning after pill often prevent them implanted in the woman’s uterus. Why don’t you focus more on Walmart and other pharmacies that sell the birth control pill? And given the high natural death rate of early embryos, why don’t you support medical research to stop this?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Michael B – interesting point there in # 77: I went and looked for the numbers:

    20% of all preganancies end in miscarriage, the vast majority of those in the first Trimester (up to 12 weeks), as small amount therefater, and only 1% after 20 weeks (termed Stillborn).

    For 2010 I found the following statistics:

    There were roughly 4 Million births in the US.
    1.2 million Abortions were performed.
    Thus, calculating from known pregnancies, there were 20% of 5.2 million = 1.04 million Miscarriages.

    With the decline in abortion numbers, we are fast approaching the point in the US (and might have pased that point in canada, I didn’t check the numbers), where miscarraiges are again the biggest cause of prenatal death. Your argument is not invalid.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Michael B – interesting point there in # 77: I went and looked for the numbers:

    20% of all preganancies end in miscarriage, the vast majority of those in the first Trimester (up to 12 weeks), as small amount therefater, and only 1% after 20 weeks (termed Stillborn).

    For 2010 I found the following statistics:

    There were roughly 4 Million births in the US.
    1.2 million Abortions were performed.
    Thus, calculating from known pregnancies, there were 20% of 5.2 million = 1.04 million Miscarriages.

    With the decline in abortion numbers, we are fast approaching the point in the US (and might have pased that point in canada, I didn’t check the numbers), where miscarraiges are again the biggest cause of prenatal death. Your argument is not invalid.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Silly mistake there. The numbers would of course not be 20% of 5.2 million.. – it would be 25% (silly me), to make 20% of the new total amount. Thus 1.3 million – and it is already the biggest cause.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Silly mistake there. The numbers would of course not be 20% of 5.2 million.. – it would be 25% (silly me), to make 20% of the new total amount. Thus 1.3 million – and it is already the biggest cause.

  • http://redemptivethoughts.com John H. Guthrie

    Mikeb- Thanks for pointing out my error, I must not have been operating on full brain power when I wrote my comment.

  • http://redemptivethoughts.com John H. Guthrie

    Mikeb- Thanks for pointing out my error, I must not have been operating on full brain power when I wrote my comment.

  • Dan

    Michael B @77 –

    “It’s almost never that you find someone who is pro-fetus who isn’t anti-gay” – this sounds like the statement of someone whose political conversations have a narrow scope. It’s not hard to find people who are gay and pro-life, not to mention pro-life and heterosexual and not anti-gay. For my part, I don’t know anyone who wants to give rights to the unborn and also wants to take rights from gay Americans.

    The opponents of fetal rights’ current strategy is to shift all debate on abortion, which they are losing, to debate on birth control.

  • Dan

    Michael B @77 –

    “It’s almost never that you find someone who is pro-fetus who isn’t anti-gay” – this sounds like the statement of someone whose political conversations have a narrow scope. It’s not hard to find people who are gay and pro-life, not to mention pro-life and heterosexual and not anti-gay. For my part, I don’t know anyone who wants to give rights to the unborn and also wants to take rights from gay Americans.

    The opponents of fetal rights’ current strategy is to shift all debate on abortion, which they are losing, to debate on birth control.

  • Jonathan

    Michael B. @77:

    “do you realize that how many embryos die during the first few days of existence? … given the high natural death rate of early embryos, why don’t you support medical research to stop this?”
    Yes. It’s terrible. I’m not sure how that has anything to do with abortion though. Old people too die of murder AND natural causes… I never implied I didn’t support medical research to prevent death. Stopping abortions and stopping any other natural death are in the same category: prolonging life.

    “Birth control pills and the morning after pill often prevent them implanted in the woman’s uterus. Why don’t you focus more on Walmart and other pharmacies that sell the birth control pill?”
    I would. But if all human life is protected, then Walmart wouldn’t even be allowed to sell certain birth control agents, and there would be absolutely no reason to even discuss Walmart et al at all.

  • Jonathan

    Michael B. @77:

    “do you realize that how many embryos die during the first few days of existence? … given the high natural death rate of early embryos, why don’t you support medical research to stop this?”
    Yes. It’s terrible. I’m not sure how that has anything to do with abortion though. Old people too die of murder AND natural causes… I never implied I didn’t support medical research to prevent death. Stopping abortions and stopping any other natural death are in the same category: prolonging life.

    “Birth control pills and the morning after pill often prevent them implanted in the woman’s uterus. Why don’t you focus more on Walmart and other pharmacies that sell the birth control pill?”
    I would. But if all human life is protected, then Walmart wouldn’t even be allowed to sell certain birth control agents, and there would be absolutely no reason to even discuss Walmart et al at all.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “1.2 million Abortions were performed.
    Thus, calculating from known pregnancies, there were 20% of 5.2 million = 1.04 million Miscarriages.”

    One quibble. Miscarriages are more common as women age and abortions more common among the young. So, taking the miscarriage average of 20% is going to be somewhat inaccurate. Don’t forget that generally miscarriages have something wrong with them, that aborted children on average do not. So, abortion kills a high percentage of healthy kids. Miscarriage does not. They die of natural cause.

    Also, you can compare the (calculated) miscarriage rate to the actual abortion rate on a state by state basis for women aged 15-19 at
    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/USTPtrends.pdf

    Finally, the Lord may call us whenever he wishes. We do no have the same prerogative to take life.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “1.2 million Abortions were performed.
    Thus, calculating from known pregnancies, there were 20% of 5.2 million = 1.04 million Miscarriages.”

    One quibble. Miscarriages are more common as women age and abortions more common among the young. So, taking the miscarriage average of 20% is going to be somewhat inaccurate. Don’t forget that generally miscarriages have something wrong with them, that aborted children on average do not. So, abortion kills a high percentage of healthy kids. Miscarriage does not. They die of natural cause.

    Also, you can compare the (calculated) miscarriage rate to the actual abortion rate on a state by state basis for women aged 15-19 at
    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/USTPtrends.pdf

    Finally, the Lord may call us whenever he wishes. We do no have the same prerogative to take life.

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