February 14, 2012

On Santorum v Romney. Which, I’m posting this here because it was rejected by Ace’s comment system

In reply to Gabe Malor’s latest attempt to level the GOP primary playing field by tearing Rick Santorum down to the Romney level of electoral weathervaning — Malor’s hope being that if he can only show that no actual conservative candidates remain, stupid flyover hicktard TEA Party hypocrites will do what’s right and embrace the most telegenic (and socially moderate) of the remaining candidates to run against Barack Obama — I offer the following pointed retort: what are you, fucking retarded?

Malor’s underlying thesis, whether he wishes it expressed this way or not, is that religion is rather a nasty, intolerant business, it being all hateful, and Santorum is therefore a nasty, hateful, intolerant bigot (or at the very least, he’ll be portrayed as such) who has no business mixing his bigotry with our government.

Whereas — conversely — if there’s one thing Romney’s not it’s hateful. In fact, he’s on everybody’s side! At once! Except the very poor, of course.

But that’s just nitpicking.

Anyway, though I’ve written this all before — and I’m sure written it better — allow me to repeat myself: Santorum is a conservative. If it’s earmarks or steel tariffs you want to chide him on, fine. But James Inhofe, whose conservatism can’t be questioned, has made the constitutional and conservative case for earmarks. And I was among those who criticized the Bushies for steel tariffs — recognizing it as a political pander, largely to Santorum’s state.

The real question is, why is it somehow a dealbreaker when the more conservative Santorum acts politically and pragmatically — even as we’re told we need to embrace a candidate who would surprise us only if he identified and stuck to a single actual principle?

Oh, right: BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY!

The upshot being, if you have no identifiable values, you can’t be a hypocrite, no matter what position you take. Which means Romney, because he stands for absolutely nothing, is now a better option than Santorum, who stands for a number of things but who on occasion has made political calculations that appear to override his principles. That is, Romney religiously stands for nothing; whereas Santorum should be rejected because he hasn’t always voted for legislation that adhere to his supposedly bedrock core conservative beliefs.

— Is the argument. Which, how rigid!

And yet it’s we unnuanced rubes who simply don’t understand electoral politics who are accused of being the “purists”?

Here’s the deal, fellas: Santorum’s conservative scores were pretty good in the Senate and he consistently outperformed the GOP average for the Congresses he governed in. So generally he pulled more conservative than the zeitgeist, by 5-6%.

As for his social conservatism — and I’m not a social con by any stretch, because they don’t allow Jews in that club who refuse to wear the curly sideburns — I’ve argued a number of times now that if Santorum’s social conservatism plays any role (outside of the role the Left will assign it, which Obama has helpfully weakened), it may actually help the small government cause: Santorum’s complaint is that the government, through legislation or the courts, routinely interferes with the foundational rights of the religious to follow their faiths unmolested by the secular religion of progressivism, which uses the State to crush religious competition largely by pretending it is itself not a form of religion. That is, Santorum wouldn’t appear such an intrusive moral busybody were the State not taking away the rights of the faithful to be private moral busybodies. That is, were the state not so eager to bully the faithful by driving them out of the public square, demanding they ignore or hide the tenets of their various faiths, it’s likely we could just go back to slamming the door in their faces when they showed up to push church fliers on us during a “Law and Order: SVU” marathon.

Obama’s overstep of First Amendment protections with his recent HHS mandate is a perfect way for Santorum to illustrate the differences between the moral busybodying of the Left and the defense of certain traditions embraced by the religious right — and to show how and why the Constitution and Declaration were written as they were, and who and what it was, precisely, they were meant to protect. Ditto Obama’s refusal to defend DOMA, whether you agree with it or not: either we accept the checks and balances and the various processes of a constitutional government or we stop pretending we’re a free people living under a stable rule of law.

Too, on abortion, Obama’s published comments — “punished” with pregnancy; babies who come out still wiggling after a late-term abortion fails needing to be taken to a utility room and left to die — will hardly resonate if made an issue in the general election, I don’t think, even with many pro-choice voters, a good portion of whom are only pro-choice because they are torn over the balancing of women’s rights with the “rights” of something they know is, in the end, a baby. Reagan’s running as a strong opponent of abortion didn’t seem to hurt him much.

In an era of tremendous government overreach and dictates by Federal courts that declare constitutional amendments passed by the people of a state unconstitutional, is it really that difficult to envision how Santorum’s defense of state sovereignty over and above an all-powerful federal judicial oligarchy might resonate?

Again, whether you agree or not, Santorum — like John Roberts and Clarence Thomas before him (Roberts in his “french fry” decision, Thomas with Lawrence) — is right about Griswold, and so he’s right about states being able to pass stupid laws, even if the question is a loaded one like the one regarding a ban on contraceptives, which is in 2012 an academic question.

These fundamental facts remains: Santorum was against TARP; against the individual mandate; against stimulus; against Cap-and-Trade; against gun control. Romney, so far as I can tell, was against Reagan.

That matters. At least, to some of us.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:18am
94 comments | Trackback

Comments (94)

  1. You realize Malor’s a single-issue ‘tard and that single issue is *not* a balanced budget, right? Come the general election campaign, if Romney’s the nominee, Malor will be writing screeds about how stupid it was for the GOP to “surrender” in California by nominating one of the Hated Anti-Gay Mormons.

    (And when 2nd Amendment groups express distrust of Romney, Ace will chime in with a piece expressing his disgust at all the back-country rubes who want to hunt ducks with their belt-fed automatic assault rifles and silencers and shit.)

  2. It appears that the people who are against Santorum argue that it’s because he isn’t “really” conservative, but for Romney despite his lack of being “seriously conservative” because he’s electable.

    Which seems stupid. Because why would people vote for Romney but not Santorum if they are both (supposedly) equally non-conservative – according to them/ as their argument goes.

  3. Nicely encapsulated.

    I’m trying to figure out how to talk to a friend of mine who has rejected both Romney and Santorum, and is embracing Paul as “the only conservative left in the race.” Yeesh.

  4. Glad you posted this, Jeff. I had the misfortune of reading that Malor post earlier this morning.

  5. Per Coulter, those who back Newt are also stupid flyover hicktard TEA Party hypocrites. Meaning that the only way to avoid the characterization, it would appear, is either to throw your support behind the least conservative, least TEA party-esque of the remaining candidates, because even if that makes you a hypocrite, at least you’re a hypocrite who understands electability and listens to your betters. Or to throw your support behind a guy who has his broadest support base among the White Supremacists.

    Yay, team!

  6. Glad you posted this, Jeff. I had the misfortune of reading that Malor post earlier this morning.

    Meh. So few people will read it that it hardly matters anymore.

    It’s funny how so much of the new media conservative blogosphere now seems in happy lockstep with the GOP leadership. Edgy.

  7. It’s really been a strange evolution, hasn’t it?

  8. I used to be somebody. I used to be a contendah.

  9. I didn’t bother reading Malor’s post. I saw the first few lines and knew where it was headed.

    The general policy over there is that Santorum is a bad choice and cannot win the general because of the xianist hate he exudes. I think a few writers disagree with that position, but most are on board the Romney express to nowhere.

  10. You’re preaching to a Remnant that is currently shrinking. It will be back some day.

  11. Sorry for the OT, thought the idea of a brokered convention match between Palin and Bush was rather edgy.

    Or shameless link trolling.

    Both?

  12. Shorter Malor: since you fucking tea-tards are too damn stupid to comprehend the brilliance of the secret conservatism underlying Romney’s liberal record, I demand you exercise some of that purist zealotry against Rick Santorum. Live down to my low mischaracterization!

  13. The comment section at Hot Air has gone crazy over the idea.

    AllahPundit’s primary job is trolling for hits.

  14. The upshot being, if you have no identifiable values, you can’t be a hypocrite, no matter what position you take.

    Aha! You know what else you can’t be? An ideologue!

    So there you go: ideology is the first step down the road to that most dastardly of sins, hypocrisy.

  15. I think a few writers disagree with that position, but most are on board the Romney express to nowhere.

    Before it gets to nowhere, it’s going to stop in Michigan. That’s shaping up to be hilarious, as Romney is cratering.

    Why are these people so invested in a guy who has such a history of electoral failure?

  16. I did notice that you were on the short list for Best Blog Writing at CPAC.

  17. Michigan is trending for Santorum.

  18. dangit, Pablo, Michigan is MY BEAT.

  19. I share it with Geoff. And no one else.

  20. Not sure if Ace is talking about you at the end of this post, Jeff, but he’s a whiny fucker sometimes.

  21. ace thinks this is a santorum flip flop on abortion.

  22. Why are these people so invested in a guy who has such a history of electoral failure?

    Payola? (Don’t know and no way of knowing, but why not? Romney’s tried to buy off everybody else)

  23. Hang on Carin, isn’t I Callahan from up Motor City way?

    And hasn’t RINO been eclipsed by the dissolution of Republican backbone in general? I mean, as a term of distinction it may have made sense at one time, but anymore? Doesn’t seem like it describes a difference worth keeping.

  24. Only sometimes John?

  25. That one’s fun for everyone, Carin! But I must say, that comment looks awesome next to your avatar. ;)

  26. Meh. So few people will read it that it hardly matters anymore.

    Cheer up, Jeff. I’ve pimped your blog shamelessly on both of my blogs, though I’m hardly in Ace or Hot Air territory myself. I bet you would never have pictured yourself being a favorite among conservative Catholics.

  27. Sdferr, I do think it is coming around to where the squishes are the True Republicans — but as a result the title of “True Republican” has been fatally deprecated.

  28. Anyway, the thinking at Ace and Red State and some of the other blogs seems to be that if you’re not one hundred percent pure in your conservative bona fides then you might as well be a squishy RINO who has some abstract appeal to independents. What these bloggers are doing is disqualifying actual conservatives based on some ridiculous standard that no one can meet. So in being “hard-line” they are effectively pushing the nomination of the least conservative candidate. Unreal.

  29. “. . . but as a result the title of “True Republican” has been fatally deprecated.”

    Heh, somewhere along the way “true” anything has taken a killing blow to the head. Which, whaddaya gonna do?

  30. Negativity, negativity, negativity…..~~~…472,283 and counting.

    The pro-Romney group Restore Our Future is sinking $472,283 into Michigan for the week of Feb. 14-20, nearly tripling the super PAC’s TV investment in the state so far.

  31. What these bloggers are doing is disqualifying actual conservatives based on some ridiculous standard that no one can meet.

    Actually, their standards are quite easy to meet:

    o Does the press not spit at the mention of your name?
    o Will admitting you support the candidate not cut off your invitations to parties in NYC and DC?

    Their hatred of Palin is based ENTIRELY on the press hatred of her, for example.

  32. It’s been my contention that ‘RINO’ is a fine concept, but it’s being applied to the wrong people. We (conservative/classic liberal/libertarian types) are the RINOs.

    I think a loathesome, unprincipled, opinion-poll-driven creature like Mitt Romney is a perfect example of a “Republican”. When have the Republicans, on the whole, ever been anything but the Junior Partner of the same Firm. There have been a handful of conservatives (Reagan, Goldwater, etc.) who’ve borrowed the Republican party and label for their (and our) purposes, but given the absence of an organized, serious Conservative party… whatcha gonna do.

    The majority of Republican politicians and opinion-makers have made it quite clear that conservatives are just so many crazy-people, to be paid lip service for their votes, but never to be in an actual position of power… if the R’s can help it.

    So, I for one am proudly an Erstwhile Republican Until Something Better Comes Along. Though ERUSCBA hardly rolls off the tongue, so, you know… RINO.

  33. If we end up with Romney, I’m thinking of registering as an independent. I’m not sure what other signal those jerks will listen to except a shrinking party. Of course, they will think it’s shrinking because their candidates aren’t moderate enough. That’s because they are morons.

  34. I bet you would never have pictured yourself being a favorite among conservative Catholics.

    So long as they’re constitutionalists!

    But yeah, it’s pretty stunning. I guess defending liberty takes you in all sort of directions.

  35. Not sure if Ace is talking about you at the end of this post, Jeff, but he’s a whiny fucker sometimes.

    In fairness, so am I. Often, even.

  36. Happy Valentine’s Day, Jeff! Just because I care.

  37. marg bar diktator*

  38. Happy Valentine’s Day back, and to you all, as well!

  39. The comment section at Hot Air has gone crazy over the idea.

    Can’t you say that about every Hot Air thread?

  40. You certainly could, di. I can’t read the comments over there more than a few at a time without feeling like I’ve stumbled into some sort of FreeRepublic hell.

  41. In the not-too-distant future, Gabe’s gonna look back on this public temper tantrum and blush. I swear, you hardly have to read between the lines at all to see the foot-stomping.

  42. I dunno Jeff. Your not having made this list is indictment enough.

  43. First of all, Santorum is not a “Conservatve”, unless you, Jeff, are the one definining the term “conservative”. Social conservative and conservative are not synonymous.

    Santorum is absolutely, 100%, a big-government, nanny-state, George W. Bush style “compassionate conservative”. And, frankly, I’m not in favor of statists, whether they be of the Democratic strip, or the Republican stripe. Statists SUCK.

    All I need to hear is Santorum denigrate small government Tea Party members when he all but laughed at the very notion. “I’m not for NO government”, he said. And he doesn’t care for libertarians, either.

    I consider myself fairly far to the right on the conservative spectrum, but like you, I am hardly a social conservative. I am FAR more concerned about Santorum’s statist urges then I am about Romney’s lack of social conservative bona fides, or his egotistical notion that led him to try and make a name for himself passing Massachusetts health care bill – THAT THE LEGISLATURE WOULD HAVE MADE WORSE WITHOUT HIM.

    Romney’s only crime with respect to that bill is he won’t repudiate it. And as I said, I’m FAR less concerned about that than I am about Santorum’s urge to ditch any idea of fiscal sanity or small government in favor of any number of his pet causes.

    The bottom line is not Santorum vs. Romney here, its that everyone keeps saying Santorum is “TrueConservative” and he is no such thing. There may not be a true conservative in this field (there isn’t), but you are arguing about which strip of conservative is better or worse, and my conclusion is Santorum has more in common with Big Government Obama than Romney.

    Furthermore, Santorum is absolutely NOT responding to the liberal push on contraception and abortion here. He is taking on the Griswold decision that is 50 years old. He is not pusshing against expansion of government funding of contraception or abortion, he wants to go back 50 years and re-litigate Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. CT. and that simply is not going to happen in the US of A in the year 2012.

    Santorum is an epic disaster waiting to happen as the Republican Nominee. He will completely alienate anyone outside the Republican base and help to fire up indifferent liberals and moderate Democrats in one fell swoop.

    All that, in the name of a big government statist. Yahoo.

  44. Oh, and I didn’t even mention that shameful Terry Schiavo debacle. That alone ought to disqualify Santorum from any public office anywhere.

  45. Oh, and I didn’t even mention that shameful Terry Schiavo debacle. That alone ought to disqualify Santorum from any public office anywhere.

    Good thing I already have mentioned it and discussed it here pretty thoroughly, then.

    Incidentally, back then, Ace and Coulter, et al, were all on Rick Santorum’s side. Me? Not. But I understood it and believed him sincere.

  46. First of all, Santorum is not a “Conservatve”, unless you, Jeff, are the one definining the term “conservative”. Social conservative and conservative are not synonymous.

    Well, me, or the organizations that give conservatives grades. Which I’ve linked to.

    Santorum is absolutely, 100%, a big-government, nanny-state, George W. Bush style “compassionate conservative”. And, frankly, I’m not in favor of statists, whether they be of the Democratic strip, or the Republican stripe. Statists SUCK.

    So vote Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.

    All I need to hear is Santorum denigrate small government Tea Party members when he all but laughed at the very notion. “I’m not for NO government”, he said. And he doesn’t care for libertarians, either.

    He doesn’t care for Objectivists. And conservatives aren’t anarchists or anarcho-libertarians. It’s only fairly recently (after 911, really) that “conservative” came to describe what I am — classically liberal. Santorum is a more traditional conservative.

    I consider myself fairly far to the right on the conservative spectrum, but like you, I am hardly a social conservative. I am FAR more concerned about Santorum’s statist urges then I am about Romney’s lack of social conservative bona fides, or his egotistical notion that led him to try and make a name for himself passing Massachusetts health care bill – THAT THE LEGISLATURE WOULD HAVE MADE WORSE WITHOUT HIM.

    Uh huh. You’re far more concerned about the guy who would appoint judges with fidelity to the 9th and 10th Amendments than you are the guy who actually supported state-run health care, Cap and trade, TARP, stimulus, and gun control — then decided if the left was going to push state run health care anyway, he may as well take credit for it. Principles being overrated and all.

    Got it.

    Romney’s only crime with respect to that bill is he won’t repudiate it. And as I said, I’m FAR less concerned about that than I am about Santorum’s urge to ditch any idea of fiscal sanity or small government in favor of any number of his pet causes.

    You have odd concerns, then, it seems to me.

    And the fact he won’t repudiate it seems pretty important when its the goal of the TEA Party to run against it, don’t you think?

    The bottom line is not Santorum vs. Romney here, its that everyone keeps saying Santorum is “TrueConservative” and he is no such thing. There may not be a true conservative in this field (there isn’t), but you are arguing about which strip of conservative is better or worse, and my conclusion is Santorum has more in common with Big Government Obama than Romney.

    Well, sure. Except for individual mandates, TARP, and cap and trade. But other than that…

    Furthermore, Santorum is absolutely NOT responding to the liberal push on contraception and abortion here. He is taking on the Griswold decision that is 50 years old. He is not pusshing against expansion of government funding of contraception or abortion, he wants to go back 50 years and re-litigate Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. CT. and that simply is not going to happen in the US of A in the year 2012.

    So because the Constitution was violated 50 years ago, we say fuck it and move on, because it ain’t worth worrying about. Stare decises, you know. Water under the bridge. Living document. Liberty lost and we ain’t getting it back. Nothing to get angry about.

    Got it. Staunch.

    Santorum is an epic disaster waiting to happen as the Republican Nominee. He will completely alienate anyone outside the Republican base and help to fire up indifferent liberals and moderate Democrats in one fell swoop.

    So don’t vote for him if he gets the nomination. After all, it’s not a vote for Obama.

    Or wait, is it? I can’t remember.

    All that, in the name of a big government statist. Yahoo.

    But Romney? At least he has nice hair.

  47. What Santorum is not is a liberal, classical or otherwise. If that’s going to give you heart burn, don’t vote for him.

    If classical liberals and traditional conservatives can’t figure out that the Statist project of the left is a threat to them both, then the Statists have already won, and the only question left is how the Democrat party statists and Republican party statists are going to divide the spoils.

    Count me out of that fight.

  48. All of which is another way of saying vote for whomever the fuck you want, but don’t try to justify your Romney vote for me by saying he’d be more conservative than Santorum.

    Besides: I’m not one of the late-comers to Romney who helped push every conservative out of the race. See which “conservatives” are now for Romney, then go back and see how they felt about Palin, or Bachmann, or Cain. And see what they feel about Chris Christie, too, while you’re at it.

    Draw up a chart.

    I bet it’s illuminating.

  49. At this point, I’d like to see Sarah jump into the race. I’m fine with Santorum- all of the candidates have dirty laundry- but I think she’d be the better conservative candidate. Plus, watching heads explode would be fun. However, I don’t think she’d be willing to do that to her family.

  50. That one’s fun for everyone, Carin! But I must say, that comment looks awesome next to your avatar. ;)

    When I comment at the H2, they love it when my comments match my avatard.

  51. Just to add to Jeff’s first point in response to deadrody, conservative isn’t synonymous with libertarian- or libertarian-leaning or pro-business conservative either.

  52. Romney’s only crime with respect to that bill [i.e. RomneyCare] is he won’t repudiate it.

    Has anyone given any thought to why that might be? After it’s weighing him down, possibly to the point where it’ll cost him the nomination. If seem’s as if he’s prepared to do just about anything to win the nomination, so why not repudiate RomenyCare?

  53. If somebody had told me in 2002 I’d be supporting Santorum for GOP nominee a decade later, I’d have laughed.

    I’ve grown. I don’t believe the cartoons, I DO understand the nuances of electoral politics, I DO understand pragmatism, and I DO recognize those who hold basic fundamental conservative principles.

    I’ve argued why I believe a So-Con is actually a help to the limited government cause in this age of severe secular government overreach. Nobody’s shown me how I’m wrong.

  54. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. The rightwing blogosphere that matters is positioned to push Romney on us. With a few holdouts.

  55. It’s icky, Jeff. Because I said so.

  56. In a conference call today, Romney surrogate Jim Talent slammed his former Senate colleague Rick Santorum for voting for the Medicare prescription drug benefit. A reporter on the call promptly noted that Talent had voted for Medicare Part D too.

    This illustrates the extent to which the big government Bush years tainted many fiscal conservatives in Congress. Even Paul Ryan ended up voting for the biggest new entitlement program since the Great Society, one that actually increased Medicare’s unfunded liabilities by trillions of dollars. You can find plenty of conservative votes for TARP and No Child Left Behind too.

    It’s tempting to write off Santorum’s deviations from limited government by pointing out that they mainly stemmed from loyalty to a Republican president or parochical concerns. But loyalty to Republican presidents and parochial concerns are exactly the reasons government tends to grow even when Republicans are in office. The fact is that Republicans are great fiscal conservatives when the Democrats are in power and tend to backslide when they are in power themselves. It’s a problem that faces Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich in varying degrees.

    link

  57. The fact is that Republicans are great fiscal conservatives when the Democrats are in power and tend to backslide when they are in power themselves. It’s a problem that faces Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich in varying degrees.

    To the extent which that is true (and I believe, in varying degrees it is) the question then becomes to what ends would they direct government? Are they limited, unlimited, or something in between?

  58. All things being equal, do you trust Santorum or Romney to instinctively pivot right?

  59. I consider myself fairly far to the right on the conservative spectrum, but like you, I am hardly a social conservative. I am FAR more concerned about Santorum’s statist urges then I am about Romney’s lack of social conservative bona fides, or his egotistical notion that led him to try and make a name for himself passing Massachusetts health care bill – THAT THE LEGISLATURE WOULD HAVE MADE WORSE WITHOUT HIM.

    What about Romney’s statist urges? Because Romney is nothing if not statist. Or does his ego excuse those?

    Is there anybody who calls themselves conservative (classical liberal, “on the right” what have you) who’s excited about voting for Romney? Or is Romney’s support based almost entirely on percieved difficiencies with the other contenders? Serious question on my part.

  60. dropped the -Care off of RomneyCare there. Romney’s only as statist as he thinks you want him to be.

  61. Trick question Blake. Romney’s only instinct is to pander.

    severely

  62. All things being equal, do you trust Santorum or Romney to instinctively pivot right?

    Santorum doesn’t have to pivot since he’s already there.

  63. The Democrats seem to always get candidates who do this.

    They are assumed, by the left-wing base, to be telling lies to the moderates and the right to get elected because they can’t do so running as a person fully on the left. The panders and lies to the middle are to be seen by the lefty base as being said with a sly wink-wink, fingers crossed behind the back, “You know I’m really progressive” quality.

    This from the right side is what supporters of Romney seem to think he is doing. Pander-lies to the moderates and the left while his supporters see a wink-wink, fingers crossed behind the back, “You know I’m really a severe conservative” quality in the air around him.

    Trouble is on the left the guys they run have progressive records that fill filing cabinets while their moderate panders are mostly shown to be “just words” right after an election and work to fool the useless idiots who march to no labels.

    The way I see Romney is that all his panders just like a Dem are aimed to the right of himself and will turn out to be “just words” after the election. He is running a just like a Democrat but starting from the left-moderate position not the far left that they occupy.

  64. Well, nr, someone has to fill the Olbermann slot in the lineup.

  65. If classical liberals and traditional conservatives can’t figure out that the Statist project of the left is a threat to them both, then the Statists have already won

    Ah. But the statist projects of the current right are of no concern. Sadly (or happily depending) I was never a Party man.

  66. I’ve argued why I believe a So-Con is actually a help to the limited government cause in this age of severe secular government overreach. Nobody’s shown me how I’m wrong.

    Drug prohibition. etc.

  67. And I forgot to mention “Gun Runner” – an attempt to use drug prohibition to bring in gun prohibition by the current administration.

    No gun organizations of any note seem to have noticed that drug prohibition is being used against them.

    Strange that.

    Conservatives? For practical purposes there are none left. What is left is single issue organizations who do not understand their issue.

    And this group of antithetical interests is going to defeat Obama?

  68. Can states pass bad laws? Sure.

    But can they enact parts or the whole of a religious code into law?

    Griswold may have been wrongly decided based on the arguments presented. Was it a wrong decision? I don’t think so. Roe is on much less firm ground.

  69. Drug prohibition. etc.

    Elaborate. Because it ain’t like Obama or Romney or Gingrich, et al., are planning on rolling back drug laws, either.

    So if we’re starting from an even baseline, and Santorum is likely to fight against courts overstepping with respect to religion — as well as with respect to ignoring the 9th and 10th amendment — that’s a move in the right direction, and makes my point, which I’m not sure you’ve understood: namely, that a social con, as opposed to a technocrat or a grandiose thinker, is the most likely to want to rein in the expansion of federal authority.

    So, that’s a fail, etc.

  70. And this group of antithetical interests is going to defeat Obama?

    Naturally not. He’s just too powerful and strong and virile and loved, and there are no conservatives left.

    By which you mean libertarians.

  71. “Drug prohibition. etc.”

    hey let’s battle so con issue now. you go simon!!11!!

  72. Can states pass bad laws? Sure.

    But can they enact parts or the whole of a religious code into law?

    You mean like, say, not robbing, murdering, coveting your neighbors oxen, that kind of thing?

    Heavens no!

    Also not parts or the whole of a religious code? All the laws having to do with recycling, green energy, low-flush toilets and showerheads, etc. Because a religion has to have a silly bearded white man in the sky.

  73. Griswold may have been wrongly decided based on the arguments presented. Was it a wrong decision? I don’t think so.

    And it matters what you think because…?

    The ends don’t justify the means. How you get there matters.

  74. Ah. But the statist projects of the current right are of no concern.

    Of no concern to whom?

    You must not read here too often any more.

  75. “But can they enact parts or the whole of a religious code into law? ”

    they did see the first 13 states.

  76. “And this group of antithetical interests is going to defeat Obama?”

    you purists have your “values”

  77. And I forgot to mention “Gun Runner”

    Probably because it is an auction house.

  78. I’m tempted to say conservatives like MSimon are the reason Santorum has no respect for libertarians.

  79. I’m still amazed at the number of people who claim to be for smaller government, but act as if the president is a totalitarian dictator.

  80. Oh, and lets keep in mind that DESPITE Santorum’s long legislative history supporting big government, we should absolutely believe that now the he doesn’t HAVE a vote, that only NOW would he use his hypothetical vote to oppose TARP, Obamacare, cap and trade, and the stimulus.

    I’m not sold that Pro-Medicare Part D, Pro-No Child Left Behind, Pro-Terry Schiavo legislation Senator Rick Santorum would actually have cast votes against ANY of them.

    Talk is cheap.

  81. Much better to support Romney then.

    You know you can’t trust him.

  82. Talk is cheap.

    So is state-run health care, I’m told. In fact, it’s free for all!

    Plus it’s moral! And run by the most compassionate of entities, a caring government! And Mitt Romney thinks it was the right thing to do, his pal Ms Bondi is touting it as good for other states, and Mitt continues to cite a 2008 poll in order to claim people love love love it in MA!

    Pull the lever for Romney if you want. Or Gingrich. Or Paul. Me? I’ve made my choice.

    I happen to trust Mark Levin, who knows Santorum personally, and has consistently touted him as a conservative. Your mileage may vary.

  83. You know you can’t trust him.

    ba haaa haaa haa

  84. You know what Santorum didn’t support back when he was in office? An individual mandate. And a carbon tax. And he pushed for Fannie and Freddie reform. And wanted personalized health accounts. And supported Bush’s fledgling attempts to bring some privatization to Social Security to keep it solvent because, unlike Romney, Santorum recognized it as an unsustainable Ponzi scheme.

    But yes, he and Paul Ryan and other rank big government statist hack hypocrites supported Medicare Part D, etc., as part of the GOP’s legislative agenda, pushed by a twice-elected GOP President.

  85. Where is the Oracle of Delphi these days? (Please don’t tell me passed out drunk at Delta House.)

    All of these pesky Presidential elections would be so much easier if we had an Official Seer of the United States to guide us in our choices.

  86. I guess Santorum should have just voted “present”.

  87. What kind of idiot even contemplates trusting a politician? If my own brother went into politics I’d test everything he said — including “water flows downhill.”

  88. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for him.

  89. Only because he’s your brother, McGehee.

    Relationist.

  90. What kind of idiot even contemplates trusting a politician?

    There’s that too. Mostly for me it comes down to what geoff said:

    The Democrats seem to always get candidates who do this.

    They are assumed, by the left-wing base, to be telling lies to the moderates and the right to get elected because they can’t do so running as a person fully on the left. The panders and lies to the middle are to be seen by the lefty base as being said with a sly wink-wink, fingers crossed behind the back, “You know I’m really progressive” quality.

    This from the right side is what supporters of Romney seem to think he is doing. Pander-lies to the moderates and the left while his supporters see a wink-wink, fingers crossed behind the back, “You know I’m really a severe conservative” quality in the air around him.

    Trouble is on the left the guys they run have progressive records that fill filing cabinets while their moderate panders are mostly shown to be “just words” right after an election and work to fool the useless idiots who march to no labels.

    The way I see Romney is that all his panders just like a Dem are aimed to the right of himself and will turn out to be “just words” after the election. He is running a just like a Democrat but starting from the left-moderate position not the far left that they occupy.

    Or as Glenn Reynolds has been saying for about four years now, “I guess we’ll find out/now we know who the rubes are.”

    There isn’t going to be a mandate for reducing the scope and reach of government unless somebody runs on reducing the scope and reach of government. Getting rid of ObamaCare seems the logical place to start. That’s not going to happen if the (ostensibly conservative) Republican candidate is running on “fixing” healthcare.

  91. Pingback:   On Santorum v Romney… — Pink Flamingo Bar

  92. Pingback: Tea Party Courier » On Santorum v Romney. Which, I’m posting this here because it was rejected by Ace’s comment system

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