A Rick Santorum reader

If this be a method, there’s madness in it.

I don’t get up early enough or stay up late enough to keep track of every strange, foolish, insultingly ludicrous, blasphemous or fantastical thing my former senator, Rick Santorum, has been saying lately. The Republican presidential candidate has produced such an astonishing string of wild accusations, pure hokum, and fringe lunacy that it all sort of bleeds together at this point. And he’s produced so much of it that no one blogger could hope to keep pace.

So here’s a collection of responses, rebuttals and refutations of some of Santorum’s recent statements, roughly arranged topically, from some of the smarter observers on the Web.

Rick Santorum’s Dutch death panels lie:

Frances Martel: “Dutch TV Anchor to Rachel Maddow: The Dutch Are Furious At Santorum Over Euthanasia Claim

RTL News anchor Erik Mouthaan, ran through the list of claims Santorum made, in order: “totally not true,” “not true,” “not true and insulting,” “not true and funny,” and “would be cool, but no.”

Robert Mackey: “Dutch Puzzled by Santorum’s False Claim of Forced Euthanasia

Dutch journalists found it easy to refute Mr. Santorum’s statistics, and made fun of his “fact-free” claim that euthanasia was forced on anyone, but they had no idea where he got the idea that the nation’s elderly wear “Do not euthanize me” bracelets.

Ms. Bundy, the embassy spokeswoman, told The Washington Post, “According to the Ministry of Health, ‘Do not euthanize me’ bracelets do not exist in the Netherlands.”

Mr. Santorum’s campaign did not respond to a request to explain who or what the candidate’s sources were.

Kevin Drum: “Rick Santorum Shining a Much-Needed Light On Movement Conservatism

These myths simply never die, and the movement conservative machine has already produced dozens of defenses of Santorum’s statement. They want to believe in the secular annihilation of everything traditional and decent, so they’re GOING to believe whether it’s actually true or not.

Rick Santorum says college is for snobs and indoctrination:

James F. McGrath: “Sanctum Santorum

Pandering to the religious has never been illegal. But the combination of religiosity and lack of education, which Santorum wants in voters if not in himself, is potentially volatile, precisely because it leaves people open to being persuaded by religious rhetoric, and to failing to realize when they are being manipulated and pandered to.

zunguzungu: “Santorum’s Gift

This shot at Obama is not only that Obama is a false god and false father — though it is this — but also that he represents, as such, a permissive society’s too-modern sense of the parent and authority, in which the purpose of higher education is not to make you a better worker, but precisely to free the individual from social obligations, and in which parents enable their children to be led astray by the kind of self-gratification (and self-determination) that will lead them to hell. Too much freedom.

When liberation is the problem — and when a “permissive society” becomes a bad thing — indoctrination ceases to be the problem, and becomes the solution. The problem with Obama is that his is the wrong indoctrination: since state-run education takes the power to shape and educate away from parents, Santorum’s solution is for parents to take their power back, and this leads him to argue — quite distinctly — that it should be parents who (metaphorically) play God with their children: “I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image not his.” The idea of people making themselves in the image of their own dreams and desires is not — and cannot be — on the agenda.

William A. Galston’s 2005 review of Rick Santorum’s It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good.

In the end, Santorum does not have the courage of his convictions. The logic of his argument should lead him to conclude that parents are not free to raise and educate their children in ways that undermine universal moral truths and socially essential virtues. He shrinks from this conclusion, I suspect, because he understands that his fellow citizens would never accept it. Yet, his premises point straight toward the ultimate concentration of state power we call theocracy.

Stephanie Coontz: “Santorum’s stone-age view of women

Taken with statements Santorum made in his 2005 book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, his opposition to contraception (as well as to abortion, even in the case of rape) seems part and parcel of a deep hostility toward efforts to empower women and enhance their status. He has shown nothing but contempt for what his book called the “radical” feminist “pitch” that “men and women be given an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace.” So perhaps it’s not surprising that at the time of publication he did not list his wife as a co-author or contributor, although when asked last week about this and other comments on working mothers, he now says his wife wrote that part of the book.

… The Santorums’ apparent hostility to women’s educational and professional advancement is insulting and out of touch with today’s world. But it is also odd in light of their purported interest in the welfare of children. It turns out that the most powerful single influence on a child’s educational success is not the mother’s marital status but her own level of education and her educational aspirations for her children, according to education researcher W. Norton Grubb.

See also:

Rick Santorum vs. The Environment:

Rick Santorum sickened by the First Amendment:

Mark Silk: “Santorum v. JFK

But if, as Santorum suggests, you do go on and read the speech, you will discover that Kennedy never said that people of faith have no role in the public square or that faith is not allowed there. He did, however, articulate a number of positions that Santorum should be asked if he agrees with.

Sarah Posner: “Cues for Throwing Up

This view is frequently thought of as emanating from evangelical organizations like WallBuilders or the classrooms at Liberty University. But Santorum had a Catholic mentor, if not for the precise physical reaction, for the overall contempt for Kennedy and for the Establishment Clause. …

… Two years ago, near the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s speech, Archbishop Charles Chaput, then Archbishop of Denver and now Archbishop of Philadelphia, returned to Houston and gave his own speech at Houston Baptist University. There, Chaput accused Kennedy of giving a speech that “profoundly undermined the place not just of Catholics, but of all religious believers, in America’s public life and political conversation. Today, half a century later, we’re paying for the damage.”

Today, Santorum’s (and Chaput’s) reactions to their fellow Catholic’s view reflect a fundamental(ist) shift: evangelical activists do not want to hear that the White House will be free of religious influence; in fact, a White House free of religious influence (conservative religious influence, that is) is something to be reviled.

ABL @ Balloon Juice: “Rick Santorum’s Views on Church and State Make My Brain Vomit

Kennedy did not say that “people of faith have no role in the public square,” nor did he say that “faith is not allowed in the public square.” Not even close. Kennedy said that all people and churches should be created equal. That’s it. It’s a simple concept, really — one that Republicans, the self-styled masters of the Constitution, should have grasped by now. Frankly, I can’t even begin to understand what Santorum’s Brain was thinking when it interpreted Kennedy’s speech as some sort of attack on faith and the First Amendment. It is nutbaggery most foul, and I simply do not get it.

Steve M.: “Santorum’s been attacking JFK for years

[In 2002] Santorum told NCR that he regards George W. Bush as “the first Catholic president of the United States.”

Rick Santorum on Real, True [Republican] Christianity:

Kyle Mantyla: “Santorum: ‘You’re a Liberal Something, but You’re Not a Christian’

During the Q&A following his speech, Santorum was repeatedly asked about Barack Obama’s Christian faith, which he asserted was simply “an avenue for power” for Obama while claiming there was a “conscious disconnection” between Obama’s proclamations of faith and his stances on public policy issues.

In fact, said Santorum, there really is no such thing as a “liberal Christian” at all and anyone who doesn’t share his right-wing views doesn’t really have any right to claim to be a Christian:

[I]s there such thing as a sincere liberal Christian, which says that we basically take this document and re-write it ourselves? Is that really Christian? That’s a bigger question for me. And the answer is, no, it’s not. I don’t think there is such a thing. To take what is plainly written and say that I don’t agree with that, therefore, I don’t have to pay attention to it, means you’re not what you say you are. You’re a liberal something, but you’re not a Christian. That’s sort of how I look at it.

When you go so far afield of that and take what is a salvation story and turn it into a liberation theology story, which is done in the Catholic world as well as in the evangelical world, you have abandoned Christendom, in my opinion. And you don’t have a right to claim it.

Rachel Tabachnick: “Santorum Not Source of ‘Phony Theology’ Idea, Origins in ‘Biblical Economics’ Partnership

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is not the original source of many of his quotes being replayed over and over on network news this week. And he’s not the only candidate referencing narratives from a “Biblical economics” and a “Dominionist” worldview.  It is time for the American public to become educated about how these narratives have emerged — from a world in which big business, a few ultra-wealthy families, and the Religious Right are rewriting history and science, and interpreting the Bible as supporting laissez-faire capitalism.

Charlie Pierce: “Where the Church of Rick Santorum Came From

That’s what produced Rick Santorum — a 20-year effort to develop Roman Catholics who could talk like Southern Baptists, bonded as both groups were now by their twisted views of human sexuality, and by their desire to re-establish control over what American women can do with their bodies. It is an alliance of powerful convenience. It has as much to do with religion as it has to do with agriculture.

Ed Kilgore: “Of ‘Phony Theology’

Santorum’s dog-whistle is aimed not so much at people who ignorantly believe Obama is a secret Muslim, but at people who look at Episcopalians and Presbyterians and Methodists and Congregationalists (Obama’s own denominational background) and see infidels who don’t understand that “true” Christianity requires hard-core opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, or for that matter, environmentalism, feminism, and other departures from nineteenth century American mores.

Scott Lemieux: “Santorum’s Double Standard

Perhaps the ultimate example of this was inadvertently demonstrated in a fawning New York Times Magazine profile of the Princeton “natural law” theorist Robert George. You will not be surprised to learn that for George, as for Santorum, “natural law” has political implications that always happen to map exactly on to reactionary Republican political consequences. Catholic teachings that might prove inconvenient to Republican policy preferences or require sacrifices of important Republican constituencies — on subjects such as poverty or the death penalty — can be safely ignored, but if you don’t favor embedding the church’s teachings on human sexuality into secular law this is unacceptable.

See also:

 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    These myths simply never die, and the movement conservative machine has already produced dozens of defenses of Santorum’s statement. They want to believe in the secular annihilation of everything traditional and decent, so they’re GOING to believe whether it’s actually true or not.

    Oh no, they’re onto us!  Put the annihilation plan on hold!  We will have to try another approach. 

  • P J Evans

    I wonder if they’ve ever realized they’re worshiping Mammon.

  • Helena

    As far as Santorum’s views on the Environment:

    There was another culture who went on destroying their environment in the confident knowledge that god would and fix i: Easter island: They kept cutting down trees to roll their statues around until there were no trees (and thanks to erosion, almost no farmland) left, because the acts of worship they were carrying out would fix everything. This ended in a population crash with the survivors reduced to cannibalism.

    But don’t worry Rick, and Don Shimkus (supposedly my representative), your god is surely going to fix things up for us before it comes to that. Scientists have spotted the New Jerusalem flying to us through space already.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Well, this is all very compelling but I need to hold off on forming any opinions about Santorum until I see a link to a website denouncing Obama.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Clinton is a Christian, and I don’t see anyone claiming it’s false or anything or that he used it for political advantage.

    All these (largely white) folks trashing Obama over being some kind of fake Christian are trying to disguise the fact that they’re trying to find any way they can to prove that people of color are not capable of being in any way like them.

  • Anonymous

    Why is your opinion on Santorum dependent on Obama being denounced? Surly if what has been posted on Santorum is accurate that should be enough for you to form an opinion? What next you won’t form an opinion on Santorum until Gandhi/insert person of your choice is denounced?

  • Daughter

    This man scares me. Or rather, what scares me is the uninformed ignorance of so much of the voting public, and the determination of the overlords to get their greedy way, even if it means letting this guy get elected, even if it destroy the country for the rest of us. I have been posting some of Santorum’s comments on my Facebook page, with the heading: Another reason why this man should never be president.

  • Daughter

    I think Sgt. Pepper is being sarcastic, mocking our media that even in the face of one side’s batshit craziness, insists that the “other side does it too.”

  • Anonymous

    Thank daughter (I have two of thoses!!) I missed Sgt Pepper’s sarcasm. What Santorum says is so off the wall it’s hard to mock it, whatever you say just can’t be as mad as what he actually says.
     

  • Keulan

    Santorum is a man who I definitely don’t want to see in the White House. Not that I like the thought of Romney, Paul, or Gingrich as President either. Seems I’ll be voting for Obama again, because even though I disagree with some of the things he’s done, my problems with him are tame compared to the problems I have with any of the Republicans.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Take away his privledged background and who or whatever else gave him the idea that he was destined to be a great leader and Santorum would have gone through life beating up a succesion of girlfriends and guys at the bar he thought looked faggy until he ended up dead or in prison. 

    Probably the former, when you consider that he hardly looks like a tough guy himself, and that his response to 2006 has been to simply double down on the evil.  I’ve seen this breed of bully before, the exceptionally rare and stupid kind who will keep dragging himself back into the fight long after he’s been hopelessly beaten and bloodied, unable to accept that anyone could possibly be tougher than him even as he keeps taking the proof of that in the face.

  • Lori

    Santorum truly is awful, as because of that it gives me a small thrill to think about how miserable this must make him:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/02/a-gay-marines-homecoming/253659/

    I was going to link to it earlier today, but the original source, Joe.My.God., is a bit NSFW (most of the actual content is totally SFW, but the ads, not so much). Now that it’s migrated to The Atlantic the coast is clear.

    As you’d expect the photo of two men who love each other sharing a moment of joy because one of them is home safe from a war zone is stirring up a whole storm of nastiness.

    Remember

    Two people in unauthorized love: nasty

    God’s gentle people threatening to close hospitals if they’re not allowed to violate employment law: freedom!

    http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2012/0226/cardinal.aspx

  • Don Gisselbeck

    Short version; Mr. Santorum hates civilization.

  • Anonymous

    When you go so far afield of that and take what is a salvation story and
    turn it into a liberation theology story, which is done in the Catholic
    world as well as in the evangelical world, you have abandoned
    Christendom, in my opinion.

    I’m noticing this sort of implicit assertion of privilege more and more on the political right.

    Ricky, who gives a sh*t about your opinion? Everybody has one. What makes your opinion, your belief so special, so privileged, that anyone should heed it or regard it as authoritative? Who made you the Peter at the Gate, the arbiter of who belongs in Christendom and who doesn’t? Who died and made you boss?

  • guest

    Well that’s the sad thing, isn’t it?  For some inexplicable reason people keep asking his opinion, and paying attention to his answers.

  • ChrisH

    It’s quite funny when Santorum is going on about liberals trying to “re-write” the bible to fit their interpretations.  Because the first thing that came to mind instantly was the Conservipedia Conservative Bible Project http://conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project

  • ChrisH

    Oh my god (literally)  I just looked at the project again now after mentioning and they aren’t just trying to re translate, they actually are talking about Excising verses they feel may have been inserted by dirty liberals.

    Their front page says Luke 23:34 has to go.  This is an old dead horse and Fred went over it in its infancy…but wow…it still exists and it’s even more flagrant than I remember it.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    There was another culture who went on destroying their environment in the confident knowledge that god would and fix i: Easter island: They kept cutting down trees to roll their statues around until there were no trees (and thanks to erosion, almost no farmland) left, because the acts of worship they were carrying out would fix everything. This ended in a population crash with the survivors reduced to cannibalism.
    But don’t worry Rick, and Don Shimkus (supposedly my representative), your god is surely going to fix things up for us before it comes to that. Scientists have spotted the New Jerusalem flying to us through space already.

    Yes, but Rick Santorum worships the one true god, not those false idol gods of Easter Island.  Of course prayer alone will be sufficient for environmental stewardship, it just has to be the right prayer.  [/sarcasm]

  • Anonymous

    This comment is going to be long.

    It’s tough to refine my hatred of Rick Santorum down to a level where comprehensible English words can possibly contain and express it. I hate this man on every level imaginable, from the personal, to the rhetorical, to the ideological, the religious, the political, the cultural.

    It’s like there really is a God and one day it decided to distill every single thing that’s wrong with religious conservatism into a single creature and give it a relatively human face just to prove how much it hated the creation it had made so long ago.

    Santorum is thus not a person, he’s an archetype; the Slimy Lying Son of a Bitch Family Values Good Hair Conservative White Wealthy Man Preacher Guy. I look at this fucker and see at least a hundred men behind him, stretching in a pathetically unbroken chain back through our history as a species and all pitching a message fundamentally identical at its roots.

    (It’s also worth noting that he’s only useful to Conservatives because he hasn’t been caught with some humiliating, embarrassing, unorthodox or flat out illegal hobby, often sexual or abusive in nature. I assume by now that every Republican in this same preachy mold has one or more of those dark secrets, they just have yet to be uncovered. When it comes out that this pious sack of shit has been caught fucking a dead child or something, he will be effortlessly discarded and replaced with only the greatest of craftsmanship by the next bastard in line, precisely the same in every way like some cross between the Clone Army and a Vietnam-era US 1st Lieutenant.)

    When he compared gay people to people who fuck dogs some time ago, it was the first time in my very young political life that I was ever driven to berserk rage. I know a lot of these Conservatives we’ve got believe that shit, I know that until recently our track record on even human decency towards homosexuality has been an abomination. I know about our history, and how close temporally we really are to true barbarism. (Shit, half of the people who bother to vote anymore in this country want barbarism full fucking steam ahead and aren’t afraid to let you know it anymore, right to your face.)

    I decided at that point that whatever Santorum decides to say after, for at least, say, a decade or two, if not his entire miserable life, is invalid. I refused to listen to, or allow, a single soundbite or even quote from that cockroach in my presence. Once you’ve gone to ‘gays are just like people who fuck dogs’ you have surrendered your right to my considering you a complete human being any more. You’re done. I tolerate your continued existence as the law demands of me but you get nothing more. You aren’t A Person, you are The Enemy.

    (Hi, Newt Gingrich. Ditto for you, you Confederate motherfucker, although the trigger for you was probably pulled somewhere around the Clinton impeachment or, at the latest, when you began to appear on Meet the Gregory regularly.)

    Here’s the thing, though; in America we still live in a representative democracy. People decide who represents them to do the business of governing, right? More or less. There’s flaws and imperfections and corruption and injustice on our system as far as the eye can see, true, but there’s still something there. At some level, people put their votes somewhere and official station is transferred according to the tally of the votes.

    So now consider anybody who would vote for Rick Santorum. Rick Santorum best represents this person, according to what they think? Of all people? He’s your guy, your choice, your champion, your last resort? You think he’s the lesser of all the evil choices?

    Think for a moment how I feel about those individuals.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I have said before, I generally do not hate politicians, but I certainly hate the people who vote for those idiots. 

  • Dan Audy

     I find it odd that you would hate the people who voted for the politician (hateful or foolish dupes) rather than the politician itself (crazed or cynical manipulator).  In many ways the people who vote for the Santorum’s of the world are as much a victim of him as the rest of us – unlike us however they are unaware that they are being victimized and are complicit in said victimization.  I have a hard time imagining that anyone who votes for theocrats would actually want to live in the society being advocated for rather than some magic theoretical theocracy where everyone is a RTC and all the handwaving to ignore the problematic and hateful parts of it actually make them disappear (it is down the wishful thinking aisle next to magic Communism land where everyone contributes fully and has all their needs met and just past the hand sanitizer).

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry to hit you with a text wall but I’ve reached one of my ‘completely snapped’ phases about politics. My mom and I often have pretty much this same discussion, with me on the ‘nuke em from space’ side and her on the ‘they can’t really be so horrible’ side. Here’s what I figure:

    Fred has talked a lot about willful ignorance and the choice to be so face-meltingly stupid as the RTCs about, oh, everything.

    Yeah, there’s people who genuinely are being swindled in some fashion by Republicans. A lot of said people just don’t look too deep into politics, so the endless procession of bullshit that Republicans spew on command can end up sounding persuasive. These are the sorts of folks who can end up waking up, if given the right set of triggers. (See: Wisconsin.)

    Most Teabaggers, though? Most Bush Republicans? Why do you have a hard time believing they’re really like that? They know what Michelle Bachmann would do to this country if she had five minutes of completely unchecked dictatorial powers. They know what Santorum or Huckadoodle would do. Maybe not the same way that we do, but on some level they know exactly what a naked and open corporate state would do to America. And they’re down with it. 

    Those twenty-something percent of Americans who loved Bush literally until the minute he left office? They may be victims in some form, and tragic figures, but their votes and political support aren’t just dooming themselves; they’re going to drag every American, and thus by proxy the entire human race, down with them when they frak things up yet again.

    Without these millions of eager teabagging people, Republicans would not have formal political power. Ever. These are the guys who were gathered up by the Southern Strategy for the purpose of accumulating conservative power. They’ve always been with us in some form or another (See: Confederacy), and, like always, they really are that bad.

    Recently, they’ve even stopped pretending that they don’t, in their heart of hearts, want a little fascist state or dominionist state (depending on the bagger and their priorities). If you asked them to their face about these things, they’d tell you straight up. They’ve successfully forgotten again that what they are, and what they believe and support, are fundamentally shameful and terrible things.

    A majority of the people in Bachmann’s district who bothered to show up to participate in their democracy decided that she represented them best out of the field of candidates. I blame this on these voters as well as Bachmann herself; they both share my hatred.

  • Parisienne

    Wow, it’s another world out there. In my country’s presidential election, one of the candidates is currently proposing to bring in a 75% top tax band. And people are taking him seriously (I am uncertain whether this is a good idea or not). Peoples, this is what socialism actually looks like. Sometimes I boggle at just how far apart we are.

  • Brandi

    Oh, don’t hold back, Jonathan. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    Santorum was repeatedly asked about Barack Obama’s Christian faith,
    which he asserted was simply “an avenue for power” for Obama

    Yet another example of the cognitive dissonance of the persecuted hegemony:  Christians are reviled and persecuted, and their faith is – constantly – on the verge of being outlawed…but the surest way to rise to power is to profess to be a Christian.

  • Baeraad

    I hear you.

    Here’s my problem with the idea that, “it’s not their fault, they were lied to.” Let’s say that that is true. Let’s say that they had no capacity to determine the truth for themselves, that they had to take someone’s word for it. Then they still chose to take *these people’s* word for it over their opponents. Out of two competing narratives that seemed equally probable to them, they chose to believe the hateful, violent, cruel one.

    I can forgive them for not properly understanding the issues. It takes a lot more time and effort that most people can afford to learn about those. Hell, I’m a bit iffy on the finer points of them myself. But what about empathy? What about the basic human desire to want to help, or at least not harm, other people? That doesn’t require any training – we are born with it. And I can’t forgive someone for turning their back on it the moment they were handed an excuse.

  • Anonymous

     Of course not.  After all, he claims to speak for God, and nobody ever lies to further a political agenda!!

    [/sarcasm]

  • Anonymous

     foxnews.com

  • Michael Pullmann

    So, in Frothy’s world, salvation is not liberating. All and all and all are chained.

  • Anonymous

     I’d rather have a mediocre president like Obama than an actively anti-American theocrat like the Republicans, especially since they claim over and over that their anti-Christian views are the only “real” Christianity.  Doublespeak like that is dangerous.

  • Ouri Maler

    Unholy crud.
    I knew Santorum was awful, but this? This terrifies me.
    …If he actually won the primaries, could he actually be elected? I’d assume that having someone this horrifying as the Republican candidate would lead to very low abstention rate among Democrats…

  • Anonymous

     My father lost all faith in the Democratic Party during the Carter administration, and has spent the past 30 years attempting to justify backing the Republicans.

    They’re not even good justifications.  I could run rhetorical circles around him and disprove every point he makes.  The only reasons I don’t are:

    1. He tends to follow the “if I don’t like what you say, I will get louder and angrier” form of “debate;”

    2. He’s the sort who would hate me forever, and then I’d never be able to speak to my mother again.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I think Sgt. Pepper is being sarcastic, mocking our media

    I’m pretty sure the Sarge is (like me) waiting for aunursa to chime in.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    It’s quite funny when Santorum is going on about liberals trying to “re-write” the bible to fit their interpretations.

    Isn’t this a common charge made about the Catholic Church made by more right-wing protestant sects? You know, the people Santorum is trying to woo.

  • fraser

     As a former resident of the Bible belt, I guarantee you that plenty of non-politicians think the idea of living in a world where their religious beliefs are given the government’s stamp is fabulous.

  • Anonymous

     ”I’ve always wondered about Rick’s collection of little shoes…” to paraphrase the late Bill Hicks.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It’s really weird how the Republicans have, it seems, effectively made the fringe the the mainstream, and convinced voters that a very narrow segment of interests is actually their interests too.

  • Lori

     

    …If he actually won the primaries, could he actually be elected? I’d
    assume that having someone this horrifying as the Republican candidate
    would lead to very low abstention rate among Democrats… 

    Nothing is a sure thing in politics, but almost certainly not. Santorum is an extremist even by the standards of most extremists. His preaching is getting a very enthusiastic response, but only from a very small percentage of voters. He’s not going to pull in any significant number of Independents and he’s definitely not going to peal off an amount of Dems worth counting. It’s more likely that he’d actually solve Obama’s biggest problem—enthusiasm. It’s going to be a tough sell for the usual suspects to beat the drum for just staying home or voting 3rd party in any remotely competitive state when the alternative is someone who so obviously wants to be head of a theocracy.

    I think that, short of him actually winning, the worst case scenario if Santorum gets the nom is that it revives the rather ugly strain of anti-Catholic sentiment that’s not far in America’s past. I think the Catholic hierarchy may have allowed its war on women-based partnership with Right wing Evangelicals to lull it into a false sense of security and that the official Church may be underestimating the degree of disgust that the public feels over the never-ending child rape scandal (which is never-ending because the Church is still trying to cover it up rather than fix it).

    In the current atmosphere I suspect that a lot of people who would ordinarily object to attacks based on anti-catholic bigotry might just look at it and say, “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas” and not create much real push back. That would be wrong and bad for the country, but I wouldn’t be surprised by it.

    On a happier note, the best case scenario for Santorum getting the nom is that it causes the GOP to finally split and end it’s 4 decades of manipulating voters by using the god botherers as a front for the big money thieves.

  • Anonymous

    Did I ever tell you folks about the time I shook Santorum’s hand?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Only instead of starting a nuclear war he’d start his own round of laws trying to undo the clock to something like 1855. (O_O)

  • Anonymous

    I could see him going nuclear. I mean, what better way to take us back to the Bronze Age than to bomb us there?

  • Matthew Kirby

    I’m sure Rick would say the problem was that the Easter Islanders worshiped the wrong god.  Rick worships the right god.

  • Anonymous

    We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit. We are the intelligent beings that know how to manage things and through the course of science and discovery if we can be better stewards of this environment, then we should not let the vagaries of nature destroy what we have helped create.

    Santorum said that is response to climate change? If he believes our stewardship over the earth means the earth can never kill us, he needs to explain why our stewardship over the animals hasn’t stopped shark attacks.

    Also, more seriously, how come when it comes to social issues we are sinful, fallen creatures always on the verge of succumbing to evil temptations, unable to be trusted to do the right thing, so the government needs to regulate our behaviors for our own good- really, freedom is more curse than gift; but when it comes to economic or environmental issues then people are just trying to do the best they can and must be trusted to make their own decisions because they are good and decent and fair and everything will work out in the end, so the government must never, ever regulate our activities for any reason at all? Why is that again?

  • Lori

    In many ways the people who vote for the Santorum’s of the world are as much a victim of him as the rest of us – unlike us however they are unaware that they are being victimized and are complicit in said victimization.  I have a hard time imagining that anyone who votes for theocrats would actually want to live in the society being advocated for rather than some magic theoretical theocracy where everyone is a RTC and all the handwaving to ignore the problematic and hateful parts of it actually make them disappear (it is down the wishful thinking aisle next to magic Communism land where everyone contributes fully and has all their needs met and just past the hand sanitizer). 

    I understand the impulse to think that people who support the current incarnation of the US Right wing can’t possibly mean it, but I think the available evidence suggests otherwise. It’s not like the Right is subtle about what they’re suggesting. It doesn’t take work to see what they’re doing, it takes work not to see it. That places a significant part of the blame squarely on the person doing that work.

    One example just from this morning—Ann Coulter speaking about her support of Randall Terry, who advocates the murder of doctors who provide abortions:

    I’m going to discuss the issue of the abortion clinic doctors being shot in my speech. The current score is, what, about fifty million to
    seven in terms of the number of people their side has killed and the number of people our side has killed. But I’ll give you a brief preview, which is when you take democracy away from people, violence will break out. That is not, itself, an endorsement, but it is a suggesting that we go back to living under the Constitution

    The people supporting Coulter and Terry are not poor deluded innocents or victims of politicians. I despise the demagogues, but I’m not inclined to let their supporters off the hook. The thing about the people like Santorum and Colter and Terry and Gingrich and basically the entire Right wing leadership in this country is that as foul as they are (and they are incredibly foul) they couldn’t do anything if they weren’t tapping into a deep well of pre-existing nastiness.

  • FangsFirst

     

    The people supporting Coulter and Terry are not poor deluded innocents or victims of politicians.

    This can come down to surroundings.
    I pointed out how vile and hateful Coulter was to a fan.
    Said person is no longer a fan at all and realized I was completely correct.

    Previously, the only thing zie heard was how great/funny/right she was, because everyone else around zir thought so.

    If you live in a vacuum (and some people do)…it’s unfortunately possible.

  • Mau de Katt

    Maybe not the same way that we do, but on some level they know exactly what a naked and open corporate state would do to America. And they’re down with it.

    Welcome to the United States of Ferenginar!

  • Anonymous

    If you are going to throw numbers around like “75% top tax band”  please include a link to a citation. 

    As for what socialism actually looks like, be see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism.  To use the word ‘socialism’ like you have here just gives credence to those who say ‘To the conservative socialism just means bad.’

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You mean this?

    Jesus fuck, I found it in like 5 seconds of Googling. You’re so eager to score rhetorical points you’d rather beat someone over the head going “LOLOLOL citation needed” than do the checking for yourself?

    It’s not like the “cite needed” involves checking dusty tomes for something someone said umpty centuries ago.

  • Anonymous

    Granted, this all seems bad, but let’s remember that Obama once said there were 57 states.  Check and mate, liberals!

    On a (more) serious note, I honestly cannot get enough of Santorum, Gingrich, Romney et al. being horrible.  It’s darkly compelling entertainment and I hope primary season never ends, even though I know one day it must.  And I think whatever’s left won’t last long against Obama – whatever his shortcomings as a president, the man knows how to turn on the charm for a campaign, and I think we’ll be reminded of that fact as Election Day draws closer.  Meanwhile, the GOP seems to be doing all it can to make the undecideds run screaming in terror.

    I like that the right wing is finally putting away the dog whistles and saying straight out what racist, poor-hating, rich-fellating, slut-shaming regressives they are.  Let Santorum keep talking, I say.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Those “stewardship over the Earth” people?

    Why do they never grasp that the analogy is to a house you own?

    Look, if someone owns a house, and they have any sense of desire to keep the house livable, then they need to do things that keep the house sealed against the weather and reasonably free of pests. And they need to NOT do things that would damage the house (like drive a car into it on purpose, or fail to repair the roof if they have the money for such a repair). And if you had a house pet, like a dog or a cat or even a fish, it behooves you, the human who owns the house, to make sure that those who are within it can be safe, since domesticated animals often can’t protect themselves against the kinds of things that would damage a house.

    Well, the Earth is like humanity’s house: we should keep it livable and not do things that make it unlivable. This “feeling our oats of power” thing they ascribe to the “stewardship” verse is just a self-serving rationalization for failing to do the upkeep to help the planet Earth remain livable for all who are in it – humans and nonhumans alike. (though mosquitoes and parasites can go hang :P )


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