Why Rick Santorum doesn’t owe us a “contraception speech”

posted at 8:18 pm on February 15, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

… but could do a lot of good with a “nature of government” speech

Time has called out Rick Santorum for “wanting to ‘fight the dangers of contraception’.”  Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller sees electoral danger for Santorum in his insistence on discussing social issues and registering committed opinions on them, rather than parrying such questions with a kind of unifying boilerplate.

Lewis isn’t necessarily wrong on the point about electability.  But I see much more danger for America’s future in the fact that so many Americans are now apparently unable to make important distinctions about the operation and functions of government.

Consider the method by which Michael Scherer presents the video of Santorum’s interview with the evangelical blog Caffeinated Thoughts in October 2011.  Scherer includes in his article a transcript of the comments he wants to discuss, and helpfully tells readers to start watching the video at the 17:55 mark.

I decided to watch from the beginning (in spite of the awful audio quality).  Out of context, Santorum’s remarks sound like he might have a plan to “fight contraception” the way Democrats always want to fight something: that is, outlaw it, impose fees and penalties on it, sue the bejeebers out of it in court, sic the IRS and all the other federal agencies and commissions on it, demonize it in the media, teach children in the public schools that it is associated with hate, racism, violence, and fascism, and make movies in which the left’s point of view about it is validated by George Clooney.

But in context, it turns out that Santorum has no plan to do anything with federal law other than ensure that ObamaCare is repealed and that federal money is not used for contraception or abortion.  (Federal money is currently used to fund both.)  Santorum was speaking in October in the Caffeinated Thoughts video, before the contretemps over the ObamaCare insurance mandate for contraceptive services; otherwise, he would presumably have referred to that as well.

To appreciate the context in which his remarks were made, it is necessary to start no later than the 10:00 hack.  The overall discussion is about various social issues (e.g., fatherlessness), and the theme Santorum emphasizes is that a president can shape a national debate on these topics, which profoundly affect the social health of our communities.  He repeats the word “debate” quite a few times.  His examples of positive intervention in such issues come from the local level and involve community groups and local governments.

He says explicitly in the 16:00-17:30 timeframe that laws in Congress are just a small part of what he’s talking about, and his examples of working through federal law – there are only two – are ensuring that no federal funds are going to abortion, and repealing ObamaCare.   He is also explicit, if fleeting, about the federal government not being the right level at which to actually deal with social issues by adopting government policies.

Santorum isn’t coming after your contraception.  He does consider it an issue that affects the health of society, and his hope is to foster a debate on that and other social topics, a rhetorical power he ascribes – along with millions of other observant Americans – to the president.

Many readers will think it’s misguided of Santorum to want to use the bully pulpit of the Oval Office to spark a national discussion on contraception.  But let’s make the minimal effort required to at least understand what Santorum’s position actually is, and oppose it for what it is, instead of taking cherry-picked soundbites from him and reading into them the themes of governmentalism popularized by the left over the last century. The left doesn’t own the idea of “government” and what it’s supposed to do to and for us.

Regarding contraception itself, as it happens, I hold the fairly typical Protestant view that our virtue does not depend on things like contraception being proscribed to us, and that while the unborn child is a human being, his or her human status before conception falls in the category of what Paul calls “disputable matters” (see Romans 14).  Protestants frame the argument about contraception a bit differently from Catholics, although I have sympathy for the Catholic Church’s viewpoint on the larger issue of sex, procreation, and human life.

Ultimately, I don’t know how much social good a national debate on contraception would do, if it were promoted by the president.  I view the federal government, including the presidency, as too compromised and suspect an entity to honestly broker such a debate under current conditions.  (I am very happy for the churches to foster the debate, and indeed, to see the Catholics sticking to their guns.)

But what I do believe is that the government – and the federal government in particular – should have no policy on ensuring the distribution of contraception.  Santorum is right that the federal government should neither fund contraception nor subsidize its advocates’ prowling the land in various guises, encouraging young women to resort to it.  It should not be the policy of the state to subsidize or promote the avoidance of pregnancy, any more than it should be the policy of the state to prohibit contraception.  A government that interests itself in this matter is too big.  It needs to be slapped down hard.

The more things government subsidizes – and therefore promotes – the more likely it is that the actions of government will become topics of religious and moral dispute.  Americans can handle this one of two ways.  We can take the bait every time, getting into knock-down-drag-out fights over the issues as if the only solution is for one side to end up with the weight of government and the taxpayers’ money behind it.

Or we can take the issues out of government’s purview, and let reality, nature, and people’s consciences decide.  We can also reduce the weight of government, so that the cost when government decides to endorse a position – an act that should be rare, and exceedingly so in the case of the federal government – is not unacceptable to those who may lose the argument.  “Tolerance” does not mean “obligation to subsidize,” for example, nor does “unwillingness to endorse” mean “intolerance”; these creeping inversions only make sense to the narrow mind in the context of an all-encompassing government – a context that is unnecessary and avoidable.

I would like to hear from Rick Santorum what his philosophy of government is.  I don’t disagree that the executive has a hortatory function, although I would define the scope of it pretty narrowly.  The problem with wanting to engage the people from the Oval Office on the topic of contraception is that there is so much water under the bridge now:  the mode in which government approaches social issues has been established as overweening “big-governmentism,” on the model exemplified by FDR, Lyndon Johnson’s social legislation, decades of judicial activism, and the geometrically expanding activism of the executive agencies created by both parties since 1952.

What we chiefly need is to disestablish that very convention.  It distorts, often decisively, all our public dialogue on contentious topics.  Can Rick Santorum articulate a philosophy of government that defies this model, to which so many Republicans and conservatives are justly opposed?  Does he want to?

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Santorum is a big government Republican who has stated his hatred for libertarianism, the lifeblood of conservatism.

No amount of pimping by Hot Air will change that.

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM

O/T,a tad!
———-

NBC News confirms
******************

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to endorse Mitt Romney on Thursday

Submitted 7 mins ago by editor
http://www.breakingnews.com/
============================

canopfor on February 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM

canopfor on February 15, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Santorum is a big government Republican who has stated his hatred for libertarianism, the lifeblood of conservatism.

How is this any different than many of people even on hot air who hate him for his personal social views? BTW, libertarism is not the lifeblood of conservatism. Federalism is.

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to endorse Mitt Romney on Thursday

Submitted 7 mins ago by editor
http://www.breakingnews.com/

How long before people start screaming RINO? 3..2..1.

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Uh, we know he’s a strong social conservative. I worry that is all he is. He likes to spend. We don’t want that.

RovesChins on February 15, 2012 at 8:23 PM

If Rick doesn’t say one word about contraception between now and December, he will have already said too much, given how much other people are going to talk about it.

The number of people who won’t know his stances on these issues is by November will be zero. He doesn’t stand to gain one more vote by talking about them. That being the case, he should only answer direct questions. He’s too principled to actually “change his mind” like other candidates do constantly; that being the case, a contraception speech would be a concession speech.

HitNRun on February 15, 2012 at 8:23 PM

How long before people start screaming RINO? 3..2..1.

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Just because someone endorses Romney doesn’t make them a conservative.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Santorum is a big government Republican

yea he supported george w bush’s policies.he suxs.

newrouter on February 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

How long before people start screaming RINO? 3..2..1.

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Just because someone endorses Romney doesn’t make them a conservative.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I like what you did there.

RovesChins on February 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

I’ll say the GOP is trying to control this from the top down. That’s a big mistake on their part.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 8:28 PM

I’m sorry, but the fact that we’re even having this argument is CREEPY, and plays right into the worst stereotypes about conservatives.

This entire issue was engendered by Obama deliberately to help Santorum win the GOP primary, because Santorum is more controversial, less influential and has less money and organization than Romney. It’s absolutely infuriating to see so many Republicans fall so willingly into Obama’s blatant trap.

What he wants is for us to commit political suicide by nominating a standard bearer of the Religious Right to be president at a time when America is facing an economic crisis.

God, what a waste.

Cordell on February 15, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Totally OT from this Vegas eatery where “naughty nurses” serve you your meals and anyone over 350 pounds eats free:

Heart Attack Grill Lives Up to Its Name
Man complained of chest pains while eating a “triple bypass burger.”

ABC News

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 8:30 PM

I like what you did there.

RovesChins on February 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I didn’t call Snyder a RINO, I said endorsement of Romney doesn’t automatically make him the conservative choice for voters in Michigan.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

The Ultimate Guide of the Anti Romneys:

1. If Romney wins a state, blame senior citizens, jews or call the state “moderate.”

2. If Romney wins an endorsement, call the endorsee a RINO. For study guide see Ann Coulter.

3. If blog commenter thinks Romney is a better option than the Not Romney, insult with variations of RINO insults.

4. Mormonism?

5. Rinse and repeat.

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

@KellyO tweeted:
****************

Countdown to Santorum’s tax returns.

Sources say FOUR years of the candidate’s returns will be released this evening.

Submitted 1 hour ago from twitter.com/KellyO
http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on February 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

It is sad to see many supposed conservatives carrying the Left’s water here.

This is much like how Newt and Romney attacked each other from the Left.

Santorum stayed consistently conservative, but now Romney and pals are again attacking from the Left.

Sorry Mitt, at his worst Santorum is still a better conservative, and more electable, then you.

18-1 on February 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM

I would like to hear from Rick Santorum what his philosophy of government is.

Why don’t you just check his record?

joana on February 15, 2012 at 8:34 PM

1. If Romney wins a state, blame senior citizens, jews or call the state “moderate.”

2. If Romney wins an endorsement, call the endorsee a RINO. For study guide see Ann Coulter.

3. If blog commenter thinks Romney is a better option than the Not Romney, insult with variations of RINO insults.

4. Mormonism?

5. Rinse and repeat.

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

So basically your guide for dealing with anyone who isn’t a Romney supporter is to assume they are a bigot. Awesome.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:34 PM

I’ll say the GOP is trying to control this from the top down. That’s a big mistake on their part.

Yep. Its Mitt’s turn don’t ya know? Doesn’t matter that he can’t win. Doesn’t matter that he won’t do a damn think to change the course of this country.

Why do people want to make the same mistake in 2012 that was made in 2008? No more Romneys, no more McCains.

18-1 on February 15, 2012 at 8:35 PM

O/T sort of

Santorum releases four years of taxes

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Santorum is a good social Conserative, but he has some big government issues in his past, and he hasn’t explained them.

More vetting……

idesign on February 15, 2012 at 8:36 PM

But he’s going to give us a bunch of them anyway if he wins the presidency.

RightOFLeft on February 15, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Headline! Oh Oh! ….Here comes the herd!
S T A M P E D E ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

OK, here’s a new twist on this whole ongoing debate. Then I’m going to duck.

How about:

Not only will government pay for your contraception ladies, but if you are on welfare, you must take contraception to be eligible for a check.

After all, if you’re broke enough to need a government check, then who will be paying for additional children in your household?

Don’t want to take birth-control pills?

Fine. No government check for you.

This would have a way of balancing out a whole lot of thiings….

/DUCKS

cane_loader on February 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

STOP STOP STOP!
Stop this BS now! It’s not about religion- it’s not about contraception – it’s not about abortion- it’s not about gays- it’s about voting out an anti-American president out of his job- stop whining about all this no- win social issues crap-STOP GIVING THE LIBERALS THE CONTROL OF THE DIALOGUE

FlaMurph on February 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

WHY,why,why does Santorum insist on discussing these issues and getting caught in the weeds.

gerrym51 on February 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

He needs to give a speech to show why his extreme views are more acceptable than Obamas. There isn’t much difference in requiring everyone to have free contraceptives and requiring that no has them. There’s only a fine line that separates these extremes. I am afraid that this isn’t the only extreme belief that Santorum has. He is hardly the person to bring this country together. I fear someone with far right views as much as the far left.

lhuffman34 on February 15, 2012 at 8:39 PM

I like what you did there.

RovesChins on February 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I didn’t call Snyder a RINO, I said endorsement of Romney doesn’t automatically make him the conservative choice for voters in Michigan.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I was complimenting you.

RovesChins on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

STOP GIVING THE LIBERALS THE CONTROL OF THE DIALOGUE

Comparing Romney and Santorum’s records is no help to Romney so expect the caterwauling that Santorum is creepy because he is Catholic to continue.

Rather ironic considering how Romney felt when McCain did the same thing to him…

18-1 on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Santorum give a speech on the role of government? He said this:

“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone … [that] government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. … Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.”

So obviously he believes the opposite of these things listed. He thinks that people should not be left alone by their government. That the government should keep our taxes high and keep our regulations plentiful. That the government should get involved in the bedroom and cultural issues. Where the hell does he think he is going to get the votes in the general election running on this platform?

thphilli on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I was complimenting you.

RovesChins on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

My apology.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Headline! Oh Oh! ….Here comes the herd!
S T A M P E D E ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Who let the dawgs out.

SparkPlug on February 15, 2012 at 8:44 PM

thphilli on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone … [that] government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. … Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.”

-Rick Santorum

Good luck getting people excited to vote for this guy.

rndmusrnm on February 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Some of you need to read the post:

He says explicitly in the 16:00-17:30 timeframe that laws in Congress are just a small part of what he’s talking about, and his examples of working through federal law – there are only two – are ensuring that no federal funds are going to abortion, and repealing ObamaCare. He is also explicit, if fleeting, about the federal government not being the right level at which to actually deal with social issues by adopting government policies.

Santorum isn’t coming after your contraception. He does consider it an issue that affects the health of society, and his hope is to foster a debate on that and other social topics, a rhetorical power he ascribes – along with millions of other observant Americans – to the president.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Obamas superpac.

Videos over and over with Santorum talking about,not giving blacks your money, gays,women,contraception,birth control pills,yada yada yada

“double facepalm”

gerrym51 on February 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Is Santorum’s time up yet? Say yes, please.

jan3 on February 15, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Just check out Santorum’s voting record. He voted for gun control. He voted to raise taxes. He voted pro union. He voted against defunding planned parenthood. Rick’s got a record and it is not a good one.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on February 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

David Axelrod would love to make this a referendum on sex and birth control – an easy diversion to avoid discussing Obama’s sorry economic record.

The election would be over before Labor Day if Santorum is the nominee. These and other socially conservative bromides, however well-intended, would be a disaster with independents.

matthew8787 on February 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Santorum is watching you masturbate.

carbon_footprint on February 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

O/T,UpDate
**********

Santorum releases 4 years of tax returns;

adjusted gross income about $923,000 in 2010

@politicoStory
Submitted 3 mins ago from http://www.politico.com
http://www.breakingnews.com/
============================

Exclusive: Santorum releases four years of tax returns
2/15/12 8:26 PM EST
********************

Rick Santorum said they would come this week, and here are four years worth of his taxes, from years 2007 through 2010.

They can be found here, here, here and here. The returns are the most in number that have been released by any of the major GOP contenders – Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney didn’t release several years’ worth.

Santorum and his wife Karen filed joint returns for all four years. As you’ll see from the returns, the Santorums’ adjusted gross income went from about $659,000 in 2007, his first year out of the Senate, to $952,000 in 2008, to $1.1 million in 2009 and about $923,000 in 2010.

They paid about $167,000 in taxes in 2007, about $262,000 in 2008, $310,000 in 2009, and $263,000 in 2010.

There is rental income from a condo and depreciation on that property over the various years. The Santorums’ charitable giving was a small percentage of his income each year.

In 2010, the couple reported some modest gains and losses from sales of Brandywine and United Health Services shares. Santorum had served on the UHS board until he declared his presidential campaign.
==========

http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/02/exclusive-santorum-releases-four-years-of-taxes-114653.html

canopfor on February 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Just check out Santorum’s voting record. He voted for gun control. He voted to raise taxes. He voted pro union. He voted against defunding planned parenthood. Rick’s got a record and it is not a good one.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on February 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM

NONE of our candidates have a good Conservative record.

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Santorum is watching you masturbate.

carbon_footprint on February 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Just as long as he doesn’t ban my contraception// :)

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

INC on February 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

The narrative has been set and nothing will sway them from that path.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

I hold the fairly typical Protestant view that our virtue does not depend on things like contraception being proscribed to us, and that while the unborn child is a human being, his or her human status before conception falls in the category of what Paul calls “disputable matters” (see Romans 14).

J. E., that may be the liberal Protestant view, but it is not the fairly typical conservative Protestant view that looks to passages specifically addressing God’s knowledge and formation of each person, including (this is not exhaustive) Job 21; Psalms 22, 139; Isaiah 44, and Jeremiah 1.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 8:53 PM

The election would be over before Labor Day if Santorum is the nominee. These and other socially conservative bromides, however well-intended, would be a disaster with independents.

Bush 43 ran on social issues and national defense.

He won.

McCain ran on, um, being Obama-lite. How did that work out? Do you really want to replay the 2008 elections?

18-1 on February 15, 2012 at 8:53 PM

NONE of our candidates have a good Conservative record.

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 8:50 PM

But they don’t all think the president should use the bully pulpit to lecture us about contraception.

Syzygy on February 15, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Here are a few things Rick is going to need to address. Not my video and not my title… but this is out there… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GulCGjn1gcM&feature=player_embedded

BobScuba on February 15, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Santorum does not approve of your 1900 calorie intake per hour.

carbon_footprint on February 15, 2012 at 8:54 PM

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

You’re right. It’s hard to know if they’re Obamabots or Mittbots.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 8:54 PM

thphilli on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone … [that] government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. … Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.”

-Rick Santorum

Good luck getting people excited to vote for this guy.

rndmusrnm on February 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

There are lots of people who agree with that, even here on Hotair.

joana on February 15, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Just beautiful…. I can’t recall the last time contraception ever came up in conversation with anyone I know… it certainly isn’t a going civic concern.

Yet, in a country with a badly wounded economy, foreign-policy threats everywhere, and an unaddressed foreign invasion from the south that has disenfranchised tens of millions of low-income Americans, this is what’s allowed to suck all the oxygen out of the GOP race.

Let’s remember what’s happening here:

A provision of 0bama’s “you have to pass it before we’ll let you read it” health-care reform is in direct violation of the Establishment Clause of the 1st-Amendment.

0bama himself is acting like a legislature unto himself and making dictates and pretending to horse-trade with an Establishment of Religion.

Yet, this totalitarian diktat from Barry Soetoro is being covered and pushed off the front page by pawning it off on Santorum.

And, if Santorum calls for 0bama to back down, then he looks like the radical.

Where the %$^&*%%&*^$ is John Boehner?!?! He should be coordinating with McConnell over this and the “recess” appointments and declaring total war on 0bama.

Congressional Republicans have to go. Even throwing the baby out with the bathwater by getting rid of patriots like Paul Ryan, the WHOLE REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL “LEADERSHIP” MUST BE FIRED.

The inability to stop 0bama in ANYTHING stems from historic incompetence on the part of Boehner and McConnell.

Useless sacks.

cane_loader on February 15, 2012 at 8:56 PM

So the fiscal state of the country is precipitous and

Santorum is fixated on contraception.
Gingrich wants a moon base, presumably with subsidized transportation.
Paul wants to cut the spending but is ready to surrender to Iran.
And Romney does nothing but smile and finger the flaws of the top two.

Splendid.

AshleyTKing on February 15, 2012 at 8:56 PM

But they don’t all think the president should use the bully pulpit to lecture us about contraception.

Syzygy on February 15, 2012 at 8:53 PM

So what? Presidents ALWAYS have their pet projects. Frankly, I would like Obama to talk more to the black community about fathers. Rick Santorum isn’t talking about contraception; that is just what everyone has radared on to. He is talking about sexual irresponsibility which is a big FISCAL problem as well..

That being said, as long as he talks and doesn’t use his position to make policy, again I say so what?

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 8:58 PM

And Romney does nothing but smile and finger the flaws of the top two.

And endorse health care mandates.

I’ll take the moonbase or the contraception talks….

18-1 on February 15, 2012 at 8:58 PM

There are lots of people who agree with that, even here on Hotair.

joana on February 15, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Because we are conservatives, not libertarians.

That’s santorum’s whole point.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Bill Clinton in the ’92 primary got in trouble, accused of philandering. So Bill went on Nightline, and other shows, and talked a lot. Didn’t really resolve anything, but the issue was dead. So he won.
In ’08 when the Reverend Wright debacle broke, O went on TV and gave a speech on religion. Didn’t really resolve anything, but people would say “O gave a speech about that.” Issue dead.
Now, contraception, and an extreme position apparently on abortion, and gay marriage for that matter, threaten to bring Santorum down.

Santorum MUST give a “social issues speech.” Do this just when the anit-Santorum furor is peaking, which will be in about a week. The speech has to be about 35 minutes long, or so. So then when people try to make a squawk about contraception and the like, people will say “Rick gave a speech on that.” Issue(s) dead.

anotherJoe on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 PM

No, Rick Santorum doesn’t owe us a “contraception speech”. But I would love for him to give a “Why I can’t resist blurting an answer to any and EVERY social issues question presented to me” speech.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 PM

INC on February 15, 2012 at 8:54 PM

If what I just read is confirmed, this place is fixin’ to get wilder than it’s been in quite a while. I won’t say what it is, because there’s no way I want to steal this thunder from Allah.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Because we are conservatives, not libertarians.

That’s santorum’s whole point.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Don’t even try to explain the difference; they don’t understand. Conservatism has never been anti-government. It has been anti-federal government. Even libertarians who want the states to have the ability to decriminilize drugs, euthanasia etc. don’t understand that if the state has the power to decriminilize things, then they also retain the power to criminilize them as well.

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Santorum MUST give a “social issues speech.” Do this just when the anit-Santorum furor is peaking, which will be in about a week. The speech has to be about 35 minutes long, or so. So then when people try to make a squawk about contraception and the like, people will say “Rick gave a speech on that.” Issue(s) dead.

anotherJoe on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 PM

All he needs to do is answer the social issues questions when they get asked at the upcoming debates (the next being the 22nd).

People are forgetting Santorum was the guy who looked annoyed during the early debates because he kept getting asked the social issue questions and not questions on the economy.

Bluray on February 15, 2012 at 9:03 PM

decriminilize

I wish my preview button worked and that I could spell criminalize..

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 9:06 PM

/DUCKS

cane_loader on February 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

Right on!

razorbackchick on February 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

So what? Presidents ALWAYS have their pet projects.

That being said, as long as he talks and doesn’t use his position to make policy, again I say so what?

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 8:58 PM

That’s the problem, melle, Santy does want to make contraception public policy:

“Santorum went on to say that it’s not just a moral issue, but a public policy issue, too, indicating the government has a role in contraception policy.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/santorum-birth-control-harms-women/2012/02/15/gIQASRukFR_blog.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop

“I’m not running for preacher. I’m not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues,” Santorum said. “These have profound impact on the health of our society.” http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57378677-503544/womens-groups-hit-santorum-on-contraception/

Slainte on February 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

INC on February 15, 2012 at 8:54 PM

If what I just read is confirmed, this place is fixin’ to get wilder than it’s been in quite a while. I won’t say what it is, because there’s no way I want to steal this thunder from Allah.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Oh, wow, just saw what you have to be talking about!

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 PM

If I’m following your thinking someone quoted that from a comment from The Right Scoop earlier in another thread.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:11 PM

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Katy bar the door. lol

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 9:11 PM

18-1: Any hour or any day that Santorum is defending all of his social engineering is one day closer to Obama’s re-election. Worse, Santorum won’t have 2 nickels to rub together to defend himself from the Obama machine.

Nominate Santorum: no money, no organization, no ground game, no infrastructure, no crossover appeal, and no executive experience.

Defeating ANY incumbent president is serious, difficult and expensive business. Santorum is not ready for a general election. It takes YEARS to assemble a winning campaign.

Moreover, the GOP should NEVER nominate a senator, because they have the burden of a voting record that will be distorted and picked to death. GOP candidates elected president are governors (Reagan, Bush 43) or vps (Nixon, Bush 41). Whenever we nominate a senator (Dole, McCain, Goldwater), we LOSE. Santorum would suffer the same fate. It is Santorum who is a rerun of McCain, not Romney.

matthew8787 on February 15, 2012 at 9:13 PM

You said it!

I can’t remember which thread, but it was discussed for about half a dozen comments.

Then with the way so many pay no attention to what’s said by anyone lately, it wasn’t picked up.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM

That’s the problem, melle, Santy does want to make contraception public policy:

From your own website:

Now, he qualifies his religious views by saying he doesn’t vote against contraception “because it’s not the taking of a human life” (in other contexts he has emphasized that as a legal matter he has no problem with contraception).

He isn’t making policy on his positions of birth control. His personal belief that contraception is harmful to society is backed up by of the Catholic Church. It is a religious belief and not a political one. He has stated this over and over and over again ad nasuem…

“In October, Santorum told a blogger this: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country. . . . Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Those remarks have been misinterpreted, he said. “I was asked if I believed in it, and I said, ‘No, I’m a Catholic, and I don’t.’ I don’t want the government to fund it through Planned Parenthood, but that’s different than wanting to ban it; the idea I’m coming after your birth control is absurd. I was making a statement about my moral beliefs, but I won’t impose them on anyone else in this case. I don’t think the government should be involved in that. People are free to make their own decisions.’’

The former Pennsylvania senator recently told ABC’s Jake Tapper that, yes, he disagrees with Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on contraception.

He said Friday evening that it’s the idea that states don’t have a right to pass such a law that he opposes, because he does not see the right to privacy as a constitutional right envisioned by its signers. This is hardly a new argument.

“It could have been a law against buying shoestrings; that it was contraception has nothing to do with it. States have the right to pass even dumb laws.”

To be clear, he does think that laws banning birth control would be dumb “for a number of reasons. Birth control should be legal in the United States. The states should not ban it, and I would oppose any effort to ban it.’’

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 9:11 PM

We don’t get FBN. I wonder if Greta will pick it up.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

rightscoop posted a couple of good stump speeches of Santorum speaking in Idaho

http://www.therightscoop.com/santorum-on-the-elite-snobs-that-want-to-control-you/

http://www.therightscoop.com/santorum-growth-in-entitlements-designed-to-make-you-care-less-about-your-freedom/

scoop also just posted this one about Santorum’s spending. The first link above was quite good

http://www.therightscoop.com/dear-santorum-bashers-read-this-and-weep/

beacon on February 15, 2012 at 9:24 PM

It is sad to see many supposed conservatives carrying the Left’s water here.

This is much like how Newt and Romney attacked each other from the Left.

Santorum stayed consistently conservative, but now Romney and pals are again attacking from the Left.

Sorry Mitt, at his worst Santorum is still a better conservative, and more electable, then you.

18-1 on February 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Great post! There is so much distortion of Santorum and his real 2 decade conservative record that I can’t even read most of the comments here anymore. I can’t wait till Michigan and then the debates and Super Tuesday. If Santorum survives Romneys money and half truths and distortions, then maybe Romney will be history and we can end these false attacks on Santorum.

If Romney wins, then at least I won’t have to hear his lies against real conservatives anymore. I’ll just have to cringe as I vote for him. If I didn’t hate Obama so much, I might not put his bumper sticker on my care. That’s how much I dislike Romney and his machine at this point.

No one seems conservative enough for these people except Romney?

Give me a break!

Elisa on February 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM

In 72 hours time David Axelrod would destroy Rick Santorum with these ill-advised remarks. No wonder the Obama people are pouring money into various states to defeat Romney. Santorum would be a gift from God to Obama.

matthew8787 on February 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Flora Duh,

I was wrong–it was in the headlines while everyone was on the front page freaking out about the polls and Santorum.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

There are lots of people who agree with that, even here on Hotair.

joana on February 15, 2012 at 8:55 PM

I’m talking about getting votes in a general election. I don’t disagree with you that Hot Air has lots of closet statists.

rndmusrnm on February 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:23 PM

She probably will.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Elisa on February 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM

They know he’s not conservative enough. It’s why they keep insisting that he is.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM

his or her human status before conception falls in the category of what Paul calls “disputable matters” (see Romans 14).

Um, there is no human being before conception. Period. Paragraph. The catholic opposition to contraception has nothing to do with the “sacredness of sperm” per the Monty Python song. Rather it deals with the intrinsic teleology of the sexual act and natural law. Since the telos of sex is reproduction and raising offspring within a family, contraception violates the reproductive telos. The “disputable matters” here would be regarding the formal and material definition of sex, to use Thomistic terminology.

darii on February 15, 2012 at 9:33 PM

ConservativeLaw on February 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM

And your constant dribble does what?

PuritanD71 on February 15, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Romney supporters do not hate Santorum. We just want to win, and we know damned well that Santorum cannot defeat Obama, particularly with a right wing social agenda and a congressional voting record that will be picked to death. Rick would be destroyed by both Axelrod and the MSM; he would never stand a chance with independents. We cannot afford 4 more years of Obama, and we cannot take the risk of a long-shot with Santorum. It is no more complicated than that.

matthew8787 on February 15, 2012 at 9:34 PM

My take on this matter.

ProudPalinFan on February 15, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Elisa on February 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM

They know he’s not conservative enough. It’s why they keep insisting that he is.

INC on February 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Yup. That and he wants to win at all costs. I’m still waiting for the reason to vote FOR Romney and wanting to know why he is running. I only get that he wants to be President and thinks it’s his turn after running for at least 6 years and has the money and connections and is willing to use them any way he has to.

That won’t be enough to win in the general.

Elisa on February 15, 2012 at 9:34 PM

If Santorum wins the nomination and faces President Obama in the general election, I can envision nothing but talk about contraception, abortion, gay marriage, gay adoption, women in combat roles, DODT repeal, the finer points of Catholic apologia, teen pregnancy, recreational sex, and euthanasia.

Given his less-than-stellar record on the economy, foreign affairs and national defense issues, I’m sure President Obama will welcome lengthy and impassioned exposition from his Republican opponent arguing various aspects of these burning social concerns.

troyriser_gopftw on February 15, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Sabtorum should reply to this nonsense:

There are some exceptions to using contraception that I, as a Catholic, can think of. Namely- Karl Marx’s mother. Vladimir Lenin’s mother. Adolf Hitler’s mother. Joseph Stalin’s mother. Mao Tse Tung’s mother. Osama Bin Laden’s mother. And Ahmadinejad’s mother.

But this campaign is about the state of America, not some silly distraction by Obama’s proxies to distract us from the serious problems we face. Don’t let them fool you with this silliness. Keep you eye on their corruption, their follies, their incompetence, doubled gas prices, a stagnant housing market, high unemployment and the rest of their bankrupting failures. Obama and his cronies need to be retired and a new team brought onto the field. America deserves better!”

profitsbeard on February 15, 2012 at 9:35 PM

BTW tune in at 10 PM on FOX Business Network-with Eric Bolling…the word is she “may” jump in at a brokered convention. Note I said might!

TIME raised an eyebrow and I grabbed the lil bit of the script.

ProudPalinFan on February 15, 2012 at 9:37 PM

thphilli on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone … [that] government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. … Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.”

-Rick Santorum

Good luck getting people excited to vote for this guy.

rndmusrnm on February 15, 2012 at 8:45 PMthphilli on February 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone … [that] government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. … Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.”

-Rick Santorum

Good luck getting people excited to vote for this guy.

rndmusrnm on February 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Taking quotes out of context must be your gift. Why does this have to be explained over and over again? Anyway, he is answering a question about libertarianism, which he opposes.

For some strange reason Federalism is a forgotten philosophy when libertarians speak. It would seem best to re-read history and the Federalist papers before you comment on this quote again.

PuritanD71 on February 15, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Elisa, you are correct. Romney does need a forward agenda and he has scheduled major policy addresses over the next 2 weeks.

As to an immediate reason to vote for Romney, I will give you 3:

1. Only Romney has endorsed Paul Ryan’s budget, including entitlement and tax reform

2. Only Romney has promised to not raise income tax rates and has further committed to reducing corporate income tax rates and capital gains tax rates

3. Only Romney has Judge Robert Bork leading his judicial selection panel.

matthew8787 on February 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

matthew8787 on February 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

.
Except for AZ – most contests coming up are open primaries- the democrats have more enthusiasm to vote in the primaries then do Rs. So really it doesn’t matter who says what – its all up to how the dems are gonna be voting- and who they want Ocommie to face.

FlaMurph on February 15, 2012 at 10:04 PM

HEY!, morons! Rush (working from Dick Morris) laid this whole MSM canard out days ago. The contraception story is a red herring.

I dunno, maybe Republicans are too damn stupid to beat the worst president in American history.

Thanks, Hot Air, for pandering to our anxieties. Thanks, AP for keeping us dispirited and divided. — “Gulp!” — Great job.

minnesoter on February 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Santorum is not talking about contraception. The media, democrats and Romney/Paul supporters are.

The reason democrats would vote for Santorum in the primaries is because they don’t think a real conservative can win. They fear that a mushy moderate might. Of course that was what everyone thought in 2008.

Sad that so many of you have taken up the language and philosophy of the left. You are playing right into their hands.

fight like a girl on February 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Big government smacking you with a cross is still big government.

mythicknight on February 15, 2012 at 10:42 PM

For some strange reason Federalism is a forgotten philosophy when libertarians speak. It would seem best to re-read history and the Federalist papers before you comment on this quote again.

PuritanD71 on February 15, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Bingo!

melle1228 on February 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

J.E. Dyer:

I would like to hear from Rick Santorum what his philosophy of government is. I don’t disagree that the executive has a hortatory function, although I would define the scope of it pretty narrowly…What we chiefly need is to disestablish that very convention. It distorts, often decisively, all our public dialogue on contentious topics. Can Rick Santorum articulate a philosophy of government that defies this model, to which so many Republicans and conservatives are justly opposed? Does he want to?

To answer this question, Rick has specifically stated what he sees the role of government and what he intends to do. Check out this ABC write-up. It seems to be a very conservative/state’s rights approach to the topic. In the most basic terms it’s “keep the fed and courts out of it, give the states their rights back.”

Yes, he’d like to address the issue of family as the president because he strongly believes that families are disappearing due to the overly libertine culture coming from mostly the left. He would like to stand as the voice that speaks to another way. Where “responsible sex” doesn’t simply mean popping a pill and wearing a latex tube. Where people actually think of the possible consequences of sex. Personally, I think a president should inspire us to be a more ethical, moral society…or at least more responsible. It’d be a welcome change from many of the previous presidential moral lessons we’ve learned, like: it’s ok to get in your rival’s face, demonizing people to win an election is fine, adultery is cool so long as it’s only oral, and you don’t need to be responsible for anything as long as you vote for me.

Pattosensei on February 15, 2012 at 11:16 PM

I would like to hear from Rick Santorum what his philosophy of government is. I don’t disagree that the executive has a hortatory function, although I would define the scope of it pretty narrowly. The problem with wanting to engage the people from the Oval Office on the topic of contraception is that there is so much water under the bridge now: the mode in which government approaches social issues has been established as overweening “big-governmentism,” on the model exemplified by FDR, Lyndon Johnson’s social legislation, decades of judicial activism, and the geometrically expanding activism of the executive agencies created by both parties since 1952.

Great article, JE. But don’t worry, Buy Danish will be along in the next shift to take you to task by overwriting your words. ;)

And to think some accuse you of shilling for Sarah.

I too am waiting to hear from Rick in the context of being POTUS. And yes, every POTUS has had a “moral” theme that they lectured us from their bully pulpit. Even Oboobi, as he lectures us on what he thinks Christ would want us to do for our collective salvation.

In light of Santy’s SoCon creds, I think he and Pat Monihan have pretty much the same worldview regarding welfare and the consequences of destroying the nuclear family via entitlements. I think from a conservative perspective, the fact that you can do something doesn’t mean that you have to do it. Santy has alluded to health risks and the fact is that it is true. But this is the inconvenient truth that many wish to hide by chanting the mantra “safe sex”. Pills do have medical and physiological side effects. Abortions have a side effect, namely depression. Anyone remember the buzz about IUD inflammations leading to scarring etc back in the 80s? It sounds like Rick is saying that for him and his wife, they don’t believe in contraception, but if someone else is thinking they want it in their sex life, then they should take the risks into consideration.

Unfortunately, too many republicans would rather pile on him by parroting libtard talking points as if Santy wants to be the sex police. Oh well, let the vetting continue all the way to the convention. And who knows, maybe we’ll get Palin/Perry as our nomination!

AH_C on February 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Elisa, you are correct. Romney does need a forward agenda and he has scheduled major policy addresses over the next 2 weeks.

As to an immediate reason to vote for Romney, I will give you 3:

1. Only Romney has endorsed Paul Ryan’s budget, including entitlement and tax reform

2. Only Romney has promised to not raise income tax rates and has further committed to reducing corporate income tax rates and capital gains tax rates

3. Only Romney has Judge Robert Bork leading his judicial selection panel.

matthew8787 on February 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Before I start I want to thank you for being one of the few Romney defenders here who actually is sticking to issues and isn’t going nuts over Santorum’s rise. Your response was mature and reasoned.

But I disagree with it. lol

On number 1:

Only Romney?

Santorum publicly praised Paul Ryan’s plan back in May when Ryan needed the support and Romney said, “I’m going to have my own plan.” Which illustrates what conservatives don’t like about Romney, wishy washy support of conservative causes. Now he is formally endorsing Ryan’s plan? When it is politically expedient for Romney.

On number 2:

Only Romney?

Santorum wants to LOWER tax rates on individuals and corporations and lower the capital gains tax. Do you really think that Romney would lower taxes before Santorum would? Especially since Romney has only promised not to raise taxes on individuals? The rest of Romney’s tax corporate and capital gains tax reduction plans that are going to be coming out soon are too little, too late for me. He’s been running for years and I don’t see real tax reform in his heart, enough that he’d fight for it and win with a wishy washy congress, like him.

Club for Growth says that Santorum “Santorum has consistently supported broad-based tax cuts and opposed tax increases either by sponsoring key legislation or by casting votes on relevant bills” and says Romney “had a mixed record on taxes.”

On number 3:

Only Romney?

Candidates don’t appoint judges. While it’s nice that Judge Bork (who I love) is backing Romney right now, do you really think if Santorum is the nominee that Bork won’t support him and help him, if asked to help select judges? Do you really think we need to worry that Santorum won’t appoint the right judges? lol Come on – isn’t that why the libs hate Santorum so much? His heart is in this thing. Romney? Not so much. I trust Santorum to appoint the right judges by far (and not just because of abortion.)

Elisa on February 16, 2012 at 12:19 AM

As others have pointed out, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.

It will be like H.W. Bush, Dole and McCain all over again. Moderates liked by the establishment, who won’t offend Independents, and are more “electable.” BUT THEY LOSE. George W won by the skin of his teeth and he was a little more conservative and outspoken than those 3 or Romney.

Elisa on February 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Santorum isn’t coming after your contraception. He does consider it an issue that affects the health of society, and his hope is to foster a debate on that and other social topics, a rhetorical power he ascribes – along with millions of other observant Americans – to the president.

This is such garbage. The left, prior to Roe vs. Wade, considered abortion an issue that affects the health of society – i.e., that a society that makes abortion legal is healthier than a society that does not. In order to facilitate a desired outcome, legal abortion, the left fostered a debate on that and other social topics, such as the status of women and her ability to choose. The purpose of the debate was the desired outcome, legal abortion. There is no point of debating in the real world unless you intend to win. And by win, I don’t mean win rhetorically, I mean win legally. On abortion, the debate was had, and the left won. You can complain all you want about their methods, but they won.

Santorum wants to foster debate about contraception because he wants to see it made illegal. Santorum believes that contraception sickens society, and leads to decline, chaos, and destruction; why wouldn’t he want to make it illegal? Any attempt to turn this into some kind of high school debating society chit chat is specious at best and a blatant lie at worst. J. E. Dyer, you should be ashamed of yourself. Your entire post is a pathetic pile of mush.

Regarding contraception itself, as it happens, I hold the fairly typical Protestant view that our virtue does not depend on things like contraception being proscribed to us, and that while the unborn child is a human being, his or her human status before conception falls in the category of what Paul calls “disputable matters” (see Romans 14).

I’m not exactly sure what that means, other than that you prefer a little safety when you screw, so you don’t pop out a kid. Sounds good to me. In that case, your only appropriate moral position is to condemn Rick Santorum with every fiber of your being. Because, ultimately, this argument is about whether you can use contraception, or not. It’s a choice. One or the other. Life is war. Either Santorum’s position wins, or yours does. Everything else is either tactics, strategy, or compromise. And compromise is just an interregnum until victory.

Mr. Arkadin on February 16, 2012 at 1:04 AM

George w bush and santorum have the same true conservative record. They are so true and real in their conservative

Mormontheman on February 16, 2012 at 2:04 AM

Wow. That is a wagon load of spin JE!

Santorum’s multiple comments on his personal beliefs are almost always intermingled with discussion about how he will govern. He wants to push his views on Americans.

csdeven on February 16, 2012 at 3:11 AM

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