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Posts Tagged ‘rick santorum’

I… agree with Rick Santorum (emphasis mine):

I actually read the Freeh Report. I don’t know if you did or not, but I did. And, my concern with the Freeh report, a lot of the conclusions in the Freeh report aren’t matched by the evidence that they presented and so I’ve been talking to a lot of folks at Penn State and they say, ‘you’re just gonna have to wait for the criminal trial of these two guys at Penn State.’ I think there is going to be a whole new line set on what really went on there. So I’m sort of sitting back and waiting for the facts to come out as opposed to at least I’m being told is a version of the facts. … Let’s get the truth

Yes, exactly. The report’s conclusions were not supported by the evidence presented. The evidence could be read the way Freeh read it, yes, but it could also be reasonably read in other ways. The alternate, less damning conclusions, which the evidence would support equally strongly, were not presented or discussed in any way. The article I pulled Santorum’s quote from concludes:

Contra Santorum, the Freeh Report’s central finding — that “nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity” by Penn State’s leaders — has been treated as conclusive by most observers of the scandal. There’s a good reason for that: the report parsed3.5 million emails and conducted around 430 interviews. A number of emails arrayed in the report’s timeline of events confirm that Paterno, Spanier, and others had been presented with strong evidence of Sandusky’s actions and yet still decided to sweep the events under the rug — enabling multiple instances of abuse to take place. Unless Santorum has reason to believe these were falsified or somehow insufficient, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that he’s in denial about what took place at his alma mater.

Apparently, the fact that Freeh read a lot of documents proves him right. Well, OK, so he read 3.5 million emails. What was in them? We don’t know, because they weren’t presented in the report. It’s entirely possible that, if one were to read all 3.5 million emails, one would arrive at the same conclusion as Freeh. But we can’t read them. Our only evidence is what is presented in the report, and as I said it is far from conclusive. I don’t believe the emails were falsified as suggested, but the ones that were presented are most certainly insufficient to arrive at the conclusion Freeh arrived at. 

Santorum is just objectively right, here. 

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Quoth Rick Santorum:

“I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be. Doesn’t matter to me. My campaign doesn’t hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. It’s something more foundational that’s going on.”

Hear that, unemployed people? Rick Santorum couldn’t care less about your plight. Whether or not you enjoy porn, on the other hand, is critical.

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By now, you’ve all no doubt heard that Rick Santorum would like to ban pornography.

I honestly don’t have much to say about this. It’s really simple. It’s an obviously dumb idea that is obviously unconstitutional. But it did remind me of the following exchange from The West Wing, unfortunately I couldn’t find a clip, but here’s the quote:

John Van Dyke: If our children can buy pornography on any street corner for five dollars, isn’t that too high a price to pay for free speech?
President Josiah Bartlet: No.
John Van Dyke: Really?
President Josiah Bartlet: On the other hand, I think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography.

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The Laurens County GOP in South Carolina has come out with a handy little pledge you have to sign before appearing on their ballot. According to The Clinton Chronicle, to run as a republican in this particular county, one must:

  1. Be 100% opposed to abortion
  2. Be 100% opposed to gun control of any kind
  3. Support balanced state and federal budgets
  4. Support abstinence before marriage
  5. Practice abstinence before marriage
  6. Not be homosexual
  7. Not support equal rights for homosexuals in any way
  8. Not view pornography
  9. Have “A compassionate and moral approach to Teen Pregnancy”
  10. Have “A commitment to Peace Through Strength in Foreign Policy”
  11. Have “A high regard for Unites States Sovereignty”

Now to be fair, the SC State GOP has since said that this kind of pledge is illegal, but let’s unpack these a bit.

Numbers 1 and 2 seem pretty standard fare for GOPers, as does 3, although how effective a county level politician will be in a fight for a balanced federal budget is unclear.

Numbers 4 through 8 are your standard Christianist party line, Rick Santorum would be proud. Although it should be noted that if you ban anyone who has had sex before marriage or viewed pornography, you will find that your candidate pool is rather limited.

I’m not entirely sure what number 9 means, but I think its republican for anti-abortion, which was covered in number 1.

Number 10 basically means “America, Fuck Yeah!”, as I suspect does 11.

Snarkiness aside, though, there actually is some real policy information between the lines of boilerplate. Number 10 would imply increased military spending, which would have to be offset via spending cuts or increased revenue to satisfy the requirements of number 3. I think its pretty obvious that revenue increases won’t factor into the equation, so spending cuts it is!

None of this is surprising information, to be sure, but I thought it was worth pointing out. I think it is also worth pointing out, as I did previously, that 40% of SC’s state budget comes from the federal government.

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Yes, that was hard to write. To be clear, I loathe Santorum and everything he stands for. But I have found myself rooting for him against Mitt Romney. And I’ve been thinking about it for some time, trying to put to words why I could possibly favor him, and failing. But today Andrew Sullivan wrote an excellent post (you should read the whole thing) that articulated wonderfully what I have so far failed to:

For Santorum, as for Ratzinger, if your conscience says one thing, and the Pope says another, you obey the Pope, not your conscience. And for the Christianists, if your conscience or intelligence says one thing, and the Bible says another, you obey the Bible, not your conscience, and certainly not your intelligence. Because beneath Christianism is a deep fear of the human mind – as if they actually believe that reason is stronger than religion and therefore must be restrained. As if the human mind can will God out of existence.

This is Santorum’s fear-laden vision. Which is why he is not a man of questioning, sincere faith and should not be flattered as such. He is a man of the kind of fear that leads to fundamentalist faith, a faith without doubt and in complete subservience to external authority. There is a reason he doesn’t want many kids to go to college. I mean: when we already know the truth, why bother to keep seeking it? And if we already know the truth, why are we not enforcing it as a matter of law in a country founded on Christian principles? It is not religious oppression if it is “the way things are supposed to be”, by natural law. In fact, a neutral public square, in his mind, is itself religious oppression…

For now we can see in plain view the religious fanaticism that has destroyed one of the major parties in this country, a destruction that is perilous for any workable politics. It must be defeated – and not by electing a plastic liar and panderer like Romney. But by nominating Santorum and defeating him by such a margin that this theo-political Frankenstein, which threatens both genuine faith and civil politics, is dispatched once and for all.

Yes. The modern GOP is not a political party, it is a church. Thus far, though it has worn its religion on its sleeve, it has largely been able to hide its  agenda behind its more extreme members, and say in public that such things are out of the mainstream. But if Santorum is elected the shield disappears, the veil is lifted, and we can confront the GOP for what it has truly become.

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Newt Gingrich says that defeating President Obama is a matter of national security, because he is incapable of defending America. Newt also points out that we run the risk of “someday in your lifetime of losing an American city” to a terrorist attack.

Well, yes, I suppose that’s true. That is a possibility. It could happen! But let’s be clear. It would be just as possible under President Gingrich, President Romney, President Paul, President Santorum, or President Anyone-the-hell-else. Isn’t fear-mongering fun?

Every time I step into the subway I run the risk of being in an enclosed space with someone that has the Ebola virus. It could happen!

Every time I go out to eat, I run the risk that some USDA APHIS agents fell asleep on the job and my burger contains active mad-cow prions. It could happen!

Is America at risk of suffering a terrorist attack? Of course it is. To pretend otherwise is naive. But what does that mean? Should we give in to fear and let the threat control and define us as Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove before him seem to want? Or should we go about our lives?

I, for one, will continue taking the subway, eating burgers, and living in American cities.

And I’ll leave you with this, from The West Wing (I know, I know). Newt (and Rick Santorum) would do well to take note:

What’s Islamic extremism? It’s strict adherence to a particular interpretation of 7th century Islamic law as practiced by the prophet Mohammed, and when I say “strict adherence,” I’m not kidding around. Men are forced to pray, wear their beards a certain length. Among my favorites is there’s only one acceptable cheer at a soccer match: ‘Allah-uh-Akbar.’ “God is great.” If your guys are getting creamed, then you’re on your own. Things are a lot less comic for women, who aren’t allowed to attend school or have jobs. They’re not allowed to be unaccompanied, and oftentimes get publicly stoned to death for crimes like not wearing a veil. I don’t have to tell you they don’t need to shout at a soccer match because they’re never going to go to one. So what bothers them about us? Well, the variety of cheers alone coming from the cheap seats at Giants stadium when they’re playing the Cowboys is enough for a jihad, to say nothing of street corners lined church next to synagogue, next to mosque, newspapers that can print anything they want, women who can do anything they want including taking a rocket ship to outer space, vote, and play soccer. This is a plural society. That means we accept more than one idea. It offends them… You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy.

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I set out to write a post about Santorum’s foreign policy, but honestly everything you need to know is here:

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