Skip to comments.Maybe! (Santorum is about to become Ex-Senator Santorum)
Posted on 03/29/2005 6:40:35 AM PST by Conservative Goddess
Some very smart people believe that U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is poised to become ex- Senator Santorum, a casualty of his scheduled re-election contest next year with State Treasurer Bob Casey.
In fact, a close look at the record suggests that his confrontational style and conservative rhetoric conceals more than it reveals. Too much attention has been spent on Santorum the cultural ideologue and not enough on his pragmatism and political opportunism; inside this raging bull of a conservative is a pragmatist for whom getting re-elected always trumps ideology, which may not make him any different than other politicians.
The independent and much respected National Journals rating system cited here is probably the most highly regarded measure of its kind. What its analysis reveals is that Pennsylvanias junior senator consistently shifts toward the center in those years just before his reelection. Santorum may continue to talk like a conservative, but hes voting like a pragmatist. Last year, for example, according to the Journal, Santorum was actually narrowly left of the Republican center, with his votes placing him closer to Arlen Specter than to his more conservative colleagues.
Last year was not the only year he moved left. He did the same in the run up to his 2000 re-election. The year before the election, he supported a decidedly un-conservative sales tax hike in 11 western Pennsylvania counties to build new sport stadiums in Pittsburgh, campaigned for pro choice Christy Todd Whitman, and supported increasing the minimum wage. In 2000, he supported federal funding for several Pennsylvania projects, including money for aquatic habitat. He also fought to save the health care benefits of 560, 000 Pennsylvanians who participated in the Medicare+Choice program. Most revealing of all, he backed off his commitment for the 1997-balanced budget act.
Similarly, this election cycle, Santorum is showing renewed interest in transportation and other Pennsylvania pork barrel appropriations. Indeed, he has now become a key player in bringing the bacon back home. He has also held high profile press conferences with John Kerry promoting a measure that would accommodate workers religious practices and with Hillary Clinton for money to study the effects of TV viewing, Internet and other media on children. And he is now rethinking his position in favor of capital punishment.
Santorum even now supports Clintons Americorps program that he once ridiculed as a colossal waste of taxpayers money for kids to sit around campfires singing kum ba yah.
His conservative talk and moderate walk were on display recently in key congressional budget votes. Initially, the conservative Santorum voted against a variety of Senate initiatives to restore budget cuts by the House--from Medicaid to Homeland Security grants, to education, and even Amtrak funding. But then on cue, the moderate Santorum, voted with the majority, 51 to 49, on final passage to restore the cuts to education, Medicaid, and the other domestic programs he had previously not supported.
But this focus on Santorums high profile rhetoric has been myopic, causing his adversaries to miss much that is important. In particular, insufficient attention has been paid to Santorums unflagging work at his partys grass roots; how hes established comprehensive constituency services; how hes worked tirelessly for Republicans--ask Arlen Specter about this--and how he has joined Specter in the Pennsylvania pork brigade. And far too little notice has been given to how he has blended his conservative zealotry with political pragmatism.
Maybe Democrats will learn the lesson taught here. Maybe they will learn not to underestimate Santorum. Maybe they will learn to watch what he does more closely than what he says. Maybe they will learn to take him less seriously as an ideologue and more seriously as a politician. And maybe they will finally defeat him next year. Maybe!
Hat Tip to Chris Lilik and www.grassrootspa.com.
Gee...then Pennsylvania will have two democrat moderates in the Senate.
Get rid of the PA Governor. Do something that would help.
I didn't like his support for Specter, either. But that's water under the bridge. A choice between Santorum and Casey is a no-brainer. Santorum.
Bump. He--like Mr. Bush--talks a good game, but always seems to be loudest on issues that can't be won, while remaining quiet where leadership is needed and can win a battle.
I agree. It's time someone holds him accountable for his demonstrated duplicity and lack of leadership at critical points.
I've seen some articles that say Ed may run for President.
And we all thought Kerry was a joke!
Looks like the Democrats have found a home on FR! Talk about from within! Can you believe the number of new screen names on here claiming to be "conservative" but wanting Democrats elected. Anyone is better than a Republican conservative crowd.
This is a bunch of hogwash again!
The Rats and the MSM are doing their best to bring him down. They did it with Newt.
Don't blame the rats and the MSM. He's done this to himself by saying one thing, and doing the exact opposite. It's time, past time, that he's held accountable to those voters who elected him because of his stated position on the pro-life issue. At a CRITICAL juncture, the ascension of Arlen, he turned his back on every one of those voters. Enough.
Bill Clinton beat Ed as the first Mobster President.
God bless America. We need it.
Actually you are with your covert support of casey.
I am voting Casey over Santorum. Hell maybe the Dems will retake the Senate, that will show em!!!
I do not support Casey, I simply cannot continue to support Santorum and his "conservatism when convenient," "Conservatism when politically expedient."
When we can not trust our elected representatives to vote according to their professed positions, then it's time to oust them, be they Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Constitutional Party.
That would be constructive. I have seen a bunch of posts trying to purge Santorum from the party, which is ridiculous and stupid. He has an ACU rating of 96. That is one vote off of being 100% and one of the highest scores out there.
I don't want Democrats elected. I want Republicans who are conservatives in more than image elected. Your view of the relative conservatism of different people and my view are what are at issue here. That's fine, but "newbieness" or being trolls has no bearing on any argument. I'm very sorry to say that the evidence has been mounting, and will continue to mount, that the conservative base of the party has been abandoned.
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