The attacks on Santorum have begun in earnest [updated]
For instance, Glenn Reynolds links an open letter from a very concerned libertarian (tell me: how are the libertarians going to feel when Ron Paul sends his delegates to Romney in exchange for some sort of quid pro quo?), who needs conservatives to know that Rick Santorum is a big government stooge, a guy who — just like Romney! Imagine that coincidence! — backed legislation approved by Ted Kennedy:
Rick Santorum has consistently voted in favor of big government, budget-busting programs. He has slammed former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) for signing RomneyCare into law, but RomneyCare and ObamaCare are hardly the first examples of big government intervention in the health care market. Another recent example was the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 establishing the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. While libertarians and limited government conservatives were busy arguing for the reduction of government health care entitlements, former President George W. Bush was busy expanding them — and Rick Santorum was happy to vote in favor of Medicare Part D along with other big government establishment Republicans in the U.S. Senate.
Many libertarians and limited government conservatives have targeted federal education policy as one area that should see significant reduction. Some have even suggested that the Department of Education should be abolished and most if not all of its functions eliminated. But reducing the role of the federal government in American children’s education wasn’t on Rick Santorum’s agenda in the U.S. Senate. Santorum voted for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, described by the Associated Press as “a symbol to many of federal overreach and Congress’ inability to fix something that’s clearly flawed.” Nothing says big government GOP establishment like voting for an expansion of federal education policy backed by Bush and coauthored by the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Of course, what most of us realize is that Santorum, as a Senator, was often-times asked to vote with the Party, and in particular to support the signature pieces of legislation from Compassionate Conservative George W. Bush.
He did, in several instances.
Ironically, those he backed are now backing Romney (the Bushes, Rove, etc.), and are busy helping Mr Inevitable orchestrate attacks on Santorum from the right in order to secure the nomination of a guy who is decidedly to Santorum’s left.
It is cynical, and it is one of the reasons, I’d venture to say, that so many conservatives are completely turned off not only by Romney, but by the whole Rovean wing of the Party ruling elite.
So let’s just put this out there and be done with it once and for all: Santorum, during his two Senate terms, received high marks from mainstream conservative groups, and even stayed in good favor with the Club for Growth, as noted in their white paper on him (Santorum was 4% above the CFG’s GOP Senatorial average). Ditto the National Taxpayer Union, where Santorum’s 76% was 5% higher than the Republican average.
Here are his other scores:
American Conservative Union — 88%
National Right to Life Committee — 100%
Americans for Tax Reform — 95%
National Tax Limitation Committee — 92%
U.S. Chamber of Commerce — 88%
League of Private Property Voters — 94%
Santorum is a conservative. And he’s far more conservative than those in the establishment now working to weaken him from the right so that they can install a man who distanced himself from Reagan, described himself as an “independent,” a “moderate,” and a “progressive,” and supported TARP, the stimulus, Cap and Trade, the individual mandate, state-run health care, gun control, a federal minimum wage increase, and a host of other decidedly non-conservative programs and ideas.
Oh. And he voted for Paul Tsongas.
So please. Can we just stop it? By laughing at it on its face — and if needs be, to its face?
update: Really? No, seriously. Really?
Recall, when Romney was confronted during one of the debates about an ad his SuperPac put up about Gingrich, his defense to something revealed to be taken completely out of context was to shoot back, “but did he say it?”
I’ve been saying it for years. No matter how careful you are, the dedicated misreader and misleader will be able to grab you out of context and misrepresent what you’ve said.
That Romney himself seems to think this fair game only further proves that he hasn’t the slightest commitment to individual autonomy, using language as he does to rob the individual of his meaning with the hope of convincing a motivated consensus to accept a bogus “interpretation” and use that new decoding to assert falsehoods knowingly.
It’s a failure of textualism. But a useful one, some have come to find.
(thanks to sdferr)