Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Santorum, liberty, morality, and the culture wars (Liberals : the ones imposing morality on others)
Washington Examiner ^ | 03/05/2012 | Timothy Carney

Posted on 03/05/2012 6:21:36 PM PST by SeekAndFind

For one brief moment, Rick Santorum was the ideal Republican candidate for 2012, the perfect consonance of Don't-Tread-On-Me libertarianism and traditional cultural conservatism.

When asked about contraception, which Santorum and the Catholic Church hold to be destructive of marriage and family, Santorum replied, "You know, here's the difference between me and the Left, and they don't get this. Just because I'm talking about it doesn't mean I want a government program to fix it. That's what they do. That's not what we do."

This helped explain why so many liberal politicians and journalists were misunderstanding or lying about what Santorum was saying -- why Nancy Pelosi would assert that Republicans want government to stop women from using contraception and a writer would write that Santorum would "send the condom police into America's bedrooms." For many of today's liberals, if something is bad -- like the traditional light bulb, a very high health-insurance deductible, a gas-guzzling car, or a lack of racial diversity -- the government ought to outlaw it.

Maybe they can't comprehend the mind-set of many of today's conservatives, who revere both individual liberty and traditional morality as the necessary conditions for human happiness and thus say that certain behaviors are immoral but shouldn't be illegal. Not only are traditional morality and limited government totally compatible, today they are intimately linked, as the Left uses big government to subsidize abortion providers and force all employers to pay for their employees' contraceptives.

Santorum's debate answer hit the conservative sweet spot -- the moral law should guide our personal actions, and individual liberty should guide our political decisions. But a few moments later, Santorum showed he didn't really believe it. When Ron Paul pressed Santorum on his votes for federal family planning funding, Santorum explained his response: "I said, well, if you're going to have Title X funding, then we're going to create something called Title XX, which is going to provide funding for abstinence-based programs."

Sure enough, if you drill down on Santorum's record, he frequently thinks that problems of personal morality do merit a federal response. Nowhere in Article I, Section 8 does the Constitution authorize Congress to teach kids to forswear sex before marriage. Nor is Santorum's proposed federal funding of crisis pregnancy centers a legitimate federal function. Sure, the Left hits first in the culture war by imposing their morality, but that doesn't mean the correct response is subsidized conservatism.

While he doesn't want to outlaw contraception, Santorum does believe in federal vice laws. He suggested in an interview this year that Congress should outlaw online gambling because, "I think it would be dangerous to our country to have that type of access to gaming on the Internet." He said he opposed allowing gambling in Pennsylvania.

When liberals cry that conservatives are trying to legislate morality, that's typically projection and misdirection from liberal attempts to legislate morality -- they say we're trying to outlaw buying contraception because we oppose their efforts to mandate buying contraception. Santorum is the most frequent target of the bogus "condom police" arguments, even though he has repeatedly stated and written that he doesn't think government at any level should outlaw contraception. But the confusion is not totally unfounded, considering how often Santorum does try to legislate morality.

St. Augustine wisely asked "what does it really matter to a man whose days are numbered what government he must obey, so long as he is not compelled to act against God or his conscience?" This ought to be the Right's threshold in the culture wars. More often than not, in the United States these days, it's the secular Left imposing its morality on the religious Right.

Don't want to photograph a gay wedding? You're fined. Don't want to sell the morning-after pill at your pharmacy? You're driven out of your job. Don't want to pay for your employees' sterilization? You're a criminal. Don't want to subsidize Planned Parenthood with your tax dollars? Tough, pay up.

An alliance between libertarians and conservatives is natural and right today. But Santorum has not only behaved as if he wants to drive the libertarians away, he has openly stated so -- repeatedly.

The proper conservative response is to fight for the liberty of all Americans, including religious conservatives, to manage their own affairs according to what they believe is correct. Increasing the size of government, even in the name of a more moral society, simply gives the Left more weapons to turn on the Right in the culture war -- Obamacare is the perfect example.

Santorum has said he understands this. But his record shows how often he forgets it.

-- Timothy P.Carney is the Examiner's senior political columnist,

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: doublededdeptbudget; howtoloseelections; howtoloseprimaries; liberalism; liberty; moralabsolutes; morality; probiggovernment; proillegals; prounions; rick4anticondomczar; rickspector; santorum; spectorvote0bamacare; thefoolonthehill

1 posted on 03/05/2012 6:21:44 PM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Last second spin before Super Tuesday by a Rombot.

2 posted on 03/05/2012 6:27:49 PM PST by CainConservative (Santorum/Huck 2012 w/ Newt, Cain, Palin, Bach, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Petraeus in the Cabinet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Tim Carney Tweets:
“It seems that most of the reasonable Republicans are the most hawkish Republicans -McCain, L. Graham, D. Frum”

Kinda RINO central there.

3 posted on 03/05/2012 6:41:02 PM PST by CainConservative (Santorum/Huck 2012 w/ Newt, Cain, Palin, Bach, Parker, Watts, Duncan, & Petraeus in the Cabinet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: wagglebee; little jeremiah; Salvation; NYer


5 posted on 03/05/2012 6:56:35 PM PST by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini--nevertheless, Vote Santorum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Carney used the phrase “how often” twice. These are meaningless words since he never made the case of how often.

Laws against murder and theft, for example, are the outcomes of legislating morality. In a moral society, laws are congruent with the Natural Law, but Carney ignores this fact.

I say that the article is a backstabber.

6 posted on 03/05/2012 7:05:28 PM PST by Lauren BaRecall (I declare for Santorum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The whole assumption that laws don’t legislate morality is bogus. That is the only purpose of law. All immoral acts destroy another person’s freedom or harms other people in different ways. (Laws concerning killing, cheating, stealing, assaulting, raping, etc. are all laws that promote morality.)

That is where Libertarians are stupid—they think Virtue has nothing to do with economies when all the Founders knew that Virtue was crucial for a Free Republic and was the necessary for Capitalism to work. Even Aristotle knew that teaching Ethics/Morality was the only reason to have schools. That was the worldview of all people until the Marxists got in control of education. CS Lewis writes about it in Abolition of Man.

Morality is taught—still—but it is the morality of dysfunctional perverts to destroy civil society. It is on purpose and our Laws are unjust and unconstitutional now because they have to promote Virtue and the General Welfare instead of Evil—it is part of the definition of Just Law. Like Levin says—we are a Post Constitutional Republic. We are no different than Moscow with their arbitrary made-up laws. Ours need to be made according to God’s Standards because that is where our Natural Rights come from which means there can be no “homosexual” marriage and laws that kill human beings—like euthanasia and abortion.

7 posted on 03/05/2012 7:23:57 PM PST by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

====== RICK SANTORUM'S Incredible CONSERVATIVE Voting Record ======

(Source: Free Republic's Psycho-Freep, 2012-03-05)


Voted for taxpayer funding of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Voted against a 10% cut in the budget for National Endowment for the Arts.


Voted for a Schumer amendment to make the debts of pro-life demonstrators not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Defense and Foreign Policy

Voted for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

Voted against requiring the President to certify that the CWC is effectively verifiable.

Voted against requiring the President to certify that that Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, North Korea, China, and all other countries determined to be state sponsors of terror have joined CWC prior to submitting the instrument of ratification.

Voted for the START II Treaty

Voted to allow the sale of supercomputers to China.

Voted to ban antipersonnel landmines

Voted against increasing defense spending offset by equivalent cuts in non-defense spending.

Voted to require that Federal bureaucrats get the same payraises as uniformed military.

Voted to allow food and medicine sales to state sponsors of terror and tyranical regimes such as Libya and Cuba.

Voted to limit the President’s authority to impose sanctions on nations for reasons of national security unless the sanctions were approved by a multilateral regime.

Voted against requiring Congressional authorization for military action in Bosnia.

Voted to give $25 million in foreign aid to North Korea

Voted to weaken alien terrorist deportation provisions. If the Court determines that the evidence must be withheld for national security reasons, the Justice Department must still provide a summary of the evidence sufficient for the alien terrorist to mount a defense against deportation.

Voted against delaying the India Nuclear until the President certified that India had agreed to suspend military-to-military exchanges with Iran.

Voted against the Conventional Trident Missile Program


Voted for Richard Paez to the 9th Curcuit (cloture)

Voted for Sonia Sotomayor, Circuit Judge

Voted for Richard Holbrooke to be Ambassador to the UN

Voted for Margaret Morrow to be District Judge

Voted twice for Marsha Berzon to the 9thg Circuit

Voted for Mary McLaughlin to be District Judge

Voted for Tim Dyk to be District Judge

Voted for James Brady to be District Judge

Union Labor

Voted against National Right to Work Act

Voted against Real of Davis-Bacon Prevailing union wages

Voted for Alexis Herman to be Secretary of Labor

Voted for mandatory Federal child care funding

Voted for Trade Adjustment Assistance.

Voted for Job Corps funding

Voted twice in support of Fedex Unionization

Voted against allowing a waiver of Davis-Bacon in emergency situations.

Voted for minimum wage increases six times here here here here here and here
Voted to require a union representative on an IRS oversight board.

Voted to exempt IRS union representative from criminal ethics laws.

Voted against creating independent Board of Governors to investigate IRS abuses.


Voted to require pawn shops to do background checks on people who pawn a gun.

Voted twice to make it illegal to sell a gun without a secure storage or safety device

Voted for a Federal ban on possession of “assault weapons” by those under 18.

Voted for Federal funding for anti-gun education programs in schools.

Voted for anti-gun juvenile justice bill.


Voted for funding for the legal services corporation.

Voted twice for a Congressional payraise.

Voted to impose a uniform Federal mandate on states to force them to allow convicted rapits, arsonists, drug kingpins, and all other ex-convicts to vote in Federal elections.

Voted for the Specter “backup plan” to allow campaign finance reform to survive if portions of the bill were found unconstitutional.

Voted to mandate discounted broadcast times for politicians.

Voted for a McCain amendment to require State and local campaign committees to report all campaign contributions to the FEC and to require all campaign contributions to be reported to the FEC within 24 hours within 90 days of an election.


Voted against increasing the number of immigration investigators

Voted to allow illegal immigrants to receive the earned income credit before becoming citizens

Voted to give SSI benefits to legal aliens.

Voted to give welfare benefits to naturalized citizens without regard to to the earnings of their sponsors.

Voted against hiring an additional 1,000 border partrol agents, paid for by reductions in state grants.


Voted against a flat tax.

Voted to increase tobacco taxes to pay for Medicare prescription drugs

Voted to increase tobacco taxes to fund health insurance subsidies for small businesses.

Voted to increase tobacco taxes to pay for an $8 billion increase in child healh insurance.

Voted to increase tobacco taxes to pay for an increase in NIH funding.

Voted twice for internet taxes.

Voted to allow gas tax revenues to be used to subsidize Amtrak.

Voted to strike marriage penalty tax relief and instead provide fines on tobacco companies.

Voted against repealing the Clinton 4.3 cent gas tax increase.

Voted to increase taxes by $2.3 billion to pay for an Amtrak trust fund.

Voted to allow welfare to a minor who had a child out of wedlock and who resided with an adult who was on welfare within the previous two years.

Voted to increase taxes by $9.4 billion to pay for a $9.4 billion increase in student loans.

Voted to say that AMT patch is more important than capital gains and dividend relief.


Voted against food stamp reform

Voted against Medicaid reform

Voted against TANF reform

Voted to increase the Social Services Block Grant from $1 billion to $2 billion

Voted to increase the FHA loan from $170,000 to $197,000. Also opposed increasing GNMA guaranty from 6 basis points to 12.

Voted for $2 billion for low income heating assistance.

Government Waste

Sponsored An amendment to increase Amtrak funds by $550 million

Voted to use HUD funds for the Joslyn Art Museum (NE), the Stand Up for Animals project (RI) and the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Project (WA)

Voted to increase spending on social programs by $7 billion

Voted to increase NIH funding by $1.6 billion.

Voted to increase NIHnding by $700 million

Voted to for a $2 million earmark to renovate the Vulcan Monument (AL)

Voted for a $1 billion bailout for the steel industry

Voted against requiring that highway earmarks would come out of a state’s highway allocation

Voted to allow Market Access Program funds to go to foreign companies.

Voted to allow OPIC to increase its administrative costs by 50%

Voted against transferring $20 million from Americorps to veterans.

Voted for the $140 billion asbestos compensation bill.

Voted against requiring a uniform medical criteria to ensure asbestos claims were legitimate.

Voted to increase community development programs by $2 billion.

Spending and Entitlements

Voted to make Medicare part B premium subsidies an new entitlement.

Voted against paying off the debt ($5.6 trillion at the time) within 30 years.

Voted to give $18 billion to the IMF.

Voted to raid Social Security instead of using surpluses to pay down the debt.

Health Care

Voted to allow states to impose health care mandates that are stricter than proposed new Federal mandates, but not weaker.

Voted twice for Federal mental health parity mandates in health insurance.

Voted against a allow consumers the option to purchase a plan outside the parity mandate.


Voted to increase Federal funding for teacher testing

Voted to increase spending for the Department of Education by $3.1 billion.

Voted against requiring courts to consider the impact of IDEA awards on a local school district.


Voted to allow the President to designate certain sites as interim nuclear waste storage sites in the event that he determines that Yucca Mountain is not a suitable site for a permanent waste repository. Those sites are as follows: the nuclear waste site in Hanford, Washington; the Savannah River Site in South Carolina; Barnwell County, South Carolina; and the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee.

Voted to make fuel price gouging a Federal crime.


8 posted on 03/06/2012 4:16:35 AM PST by Patton@Bastogne (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin in 2012 !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Patton@Bastogne

Here’s the other side of the story. VIA THE WEEKLY STANDARD:


The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has been rating members of Congress for 20 years. NTU is an independent, non-partisan organization that — per its mission statement — “mobilizes elected officials and the general public on behalf of tax relief and reform, lower and less wasteful spending, individual liberty, and free enterprise.” Steve Forbes serves on its board of directors.

For each session of Congress, NTU scores each member on an A-to-F scale. NTU weights members’ votes based on those votes’ perceived effect on both the immediate and future size of the federal budget. Those who get A’s are among “the strongest supporters of responsible tax and spending policies”; they receive NTU’s “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.” B’s are “good” scores, C’s are “minimally acceptable” scores, D’s are “poor” scores, and F’s earn their recipients membership in the “Big Spender” category. There is no grade inflation whatsoever, as we shall see.

NTU’s scoring paints a radically different picture of Santorum’s 12-year tenure in the Senate (1995 through 2006) than one would glean from the rhetoric of the Romney campaign. Fifty senators served throughout Santorum’s two terms: 25 Republicans, 24 Democrats, and 1 Republican/Independent. On a 4-point scale (awarding 4 for an A, 3.3 for a B+, 3 for a B, 2.7 for a B-, etc.), those 50 senators’ collective grade point average (GPA) across the 12 years was 1.69 — which amounts to a C-. Meanwhile, Santorum’s GPA was 3.66 — or an A-. Santorum’s GPA placed him in the top 10 percent of senators, as he ranked 5th out of 50.

Across the 12 years in question, only 6 of the 50 senators got A’s in more than half the years. Santorum was one of them. He was also one of only 7 senators who never got less than a B. (Jim Talent served only during Santorum’s final four years, but he always got less than a B, earning a B- every year and a GPA of 2.7.) Moreover, while much of the Republican party lost its fiscal footing after George W. Bush took office — although it would be erroneous to say that the Republicans were nearly as profligate as the Democrats — Santorum was the only senator who got A’s in every year of Bush’s first term. None of the other 49 senators could match Santorum’s 4.0 GPA over that span.

This much alone would paint an impressive portrait of fiscal conservatism on Santorum’s part. Yet it doesn’t even take into account a crucial point: Santorum was representing Pennsylvania.

Based on how each state voted in the three presidential elections over that period (1996, 2000, and 2004), nearly two-thirds of senators represented states that were to the right of Pennsylvania. In those three presidential elections, Pennsylvania was, on average, 3 points to the left of the nation as a whole. Pennsylvanians backed the Democratic presidential nominee each time, while the nation as a whole chose the Republican in two out of three contests.

Among the roughly one-third of senators (18 out of 50) who represented states that — based on this measure — were at least as far to the left as Pennsylvania, Santorum was the most fiscally conservative. Even more telling was the canyon between him and the rest. After Santorum’s overall 3.66 GPA, the runner-up GPA among this group was 2.07, registered by Olympia Snowe (R., Maine). Arlen Specter, Santorum’s fellow Pennsylvania Republican, was next, with a GPA of 1.98. The average GPA among senators who represented states at least as far left as Pennsylvania was 0.52 — or barely a D-.

But Santorum also crushed the senators in the other states. Those 32 senators, representing states that on average were 16 points to the right of Pennsylvania in the presidential elections, had an average GPA of 2.35 — a C+.

In fact, considering the state he was representing, one could certainly make the case that Santorum was the most fiscally conservative senator during his tenure. The only four senators whose GPAs beat Santorum’s represented states that were 2 points (Republican Judd Gregg of New Hampshire), 10 points (Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona), 25 points (Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma), and 36 points (Republican Craig Thomas of Wyoming) to the right of Pennsylvania in the presidential elections. Moreover, of these four, only Kyl (with a GPA of 3.94) beat Santorum by as much as a tenth of a point. It’s an open question whether a 3.94 from Arizona is more impressive than a 3.66 from Pennsylvania.

So, if Santorum was among — and perhaps even topped the list of — the most fiscally conservative senators during this period, who were the least fiscally conservative? That prize would have to go to the two North Dakota senators, who despite representing a state that voted 23 points to the right of the national average in the presidential elections, managed to achieve GPAs of 0.08 (Democrat Kent Conrad) and 0.00 (Democrat Byron Dorgan). Honorable mentions would have to go to Max Baucus (D., Mont.), who got a 0.84 GPA in a state that was 18 points to the right of the national average; Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who got a 0.08 GPA in a state that was 4 points to the right of average; and Utah Republicans Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch, who each barely cleared a 3.0 (3.11 for Bennett, 3.08 for Hatch) despite representing the state that, in the presidential elections, was the nation’s most right-leaning (38 points to the right of average).

As for Santorum’s potential opponent in the fall, Barack Obama’s three years in the Senate (2005 through 2007) overlapped only with Santorum’s final two years. (In 2008, Obama effectively left the Senate to campaign for President and therefore didn’t cast enough votes for NTU to score him that year.) In both of the years that the two men overlapped (2005 and 2006), as well as throughout Obama’s three years’ worth of preparation for the presidency, Obama’s GPA was 0.00 — a rock-solid F.

Now that’s acting like a Democrat — something Santorum has never done.

9 posted on 03/06/2012 6:07:19 AM PST by SeekAndFind (question)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson