Santorum: Obama motivated by a “different theology”

posted at 10:30 am on February 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Normally, I would advise presidential candidates to avoid getting caught in arguments over the relative merits of the faith of their opponents.  Americans typically don’t respond well to politicians claiming that they have a superior theology, especially when it comes to translating that into public policy.  In this case, though, Rick Santorum didn’t start that fight yesterday in Ohio:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum challenged President Barack Obama’s Christian beliefs on Saturday, saying White House policies were motivated by a “different theology.”

A devout Roman Catholic who has risen to the top of Republican polls in recent days, Santorum said the Obama administration had failed to prevent gas prices rising and was using “political science” in the debate about climate change.

Obama’s agenda is “not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your jobs. It’s about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology,” Santorum told supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement at a Columbus hotel.

Santorum’s attack didn’t just come out of the blue.  And it wasn’t Santorum who proclaimed his theology in support of his own policy choices, either.  That honor goes to Barack Obama — twice.  Let’s not forget this moment from earlier this month at a prayer-breakfast event, when Obama told the nation that Christian theology calls for him to confiscate more from higher-income earners:

And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone.  And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.

But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.”  It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.

On top of that, we have the new spectacle of Obama telling churches through the new HHS mandate that his interpretation of religious theology is that faith only takes place in “houses of worship,” and that works are mere businesses under federal jurisdiction for the purpose of forcing churches to pay for contraception and abortifacients that violate their religious doctrine.  That is the “different theology” to which Santorum refers, and his remarks are clearly in response to Obama’s own efforts to justify his policy decisions under the cloak of a strange and self-serving interpretation of Christian teachings.

Is this wise politics?  Perhaps not; most people don’t care to get religion mixed up in their politics, and Obama took some heat for his tax-hike rationalizations on the basis of Christianity for that reason.  Santorum’s well-known affiliation with religious conservatives risks him being pigeonholed even further in a debate like this.  But Obama started this argument twice in the past three weeks, and to blame Santorum for pushing back seems a little odd.

Update: Commenter Reliapundit notes that there are some arguments, though true, that should be made through surrogates and not by the candidates themselves — and that this is one of those.  It’s not a bad point, perhaps especially for Santorum.  Also, some argue that this is a distraction from the main economic issues of the campaign, but as it applies to Obama’s “theology” on taxes and ObamaCare mandates, that’s not entirely true.  And if the economy heats up a little bit between now and the election, we will need the Republican nominee to be arguing on both how both represent an unconscionable power grab, and not merely how they both damage the economy.


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Jefferson, of course, disagrees, saying the states have the power to restrict speech and freedom of the presss if they so desired. Incorporation is not part of the law of the land. It has only been around about 100 years through judicial interpretation, which has subsequently been cited as precedent.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

…as do several of the federalist papers.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Since I gave examples of the results of SocLib, and how such results would necessarily destroy the FisCon position, they are not straw men, but actual examples where FisCon dies a torturous death to SocLib, but would not die at all to SoCon. You might want to re-learn what a staw man is (if you ever knew in the first place), Dante.

Your illogic does not become you.

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

It was textbook straw man.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM

It was textbook straw man.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I think you’re confusing the straw-man fallacy with non-sequitur.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The 14th Amendment (on which the doctrine was decided) was passed about 3 score years after his administration. Jefferson also opposed judicial review, which was decided during his time in office.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

And as I said before, he balanced a hugely deep budget deficit every year in office without changing tax rates. So yes, he did a darned good job in an insanely blue state.

So Romney, as Governor, collaborated because resistance to the dominant pro-government paradigm was too hard to fight? And you think this would make him a good choice to be president?

Oh, and Romney saw the MA state budget increase by about 25% in four short years. Fortunately for him, he was governor during the Bush boom – though he still dramatically raised “fees”.

Note that the federal budget rose about the same as the MA budget in those four years, which are generally considered to be Santorum’s worst years as a fin con. If you take a more reflective time span, say 96-00, federal spending increased at half the Romney rate.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Okay. Tell me again why you’re voting for Mitt?

/Rhetorical and bitingly sarcastic question. Please don’t answer it again

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 2:53 PM

he/she answered that already, at least in one comment on this thread that I myself read…you just keep making circular arguments and then you expect people to reiterate a position and an argument which they already took the pain to explain in a previous post…

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

All evidence to the contrary, of course.

Then you are free to support liberals if you believe their ideals work better.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

George Mason University Mercatus Foundation (Walter Williams’ college) compiles a list each year of a freedom index for the 50 states.

http://mercatus.org/freedom-50-states-2011/data-appendix

Craig Nelson on February 19, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I’m looking at their “State Political Ideology” chart right now. Perhaps you should more closely examine the documents you are trying to quote?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 2:52 PM

STATE FREEDOM RANKINGS

1. New Hampshire
2. South Dakota
3. Indiana
4. Idaho
5. Missouri
6. Nevada
7. Colorado
8. Oregon
9. Virginia
10. North Dakota
11. Florida
12. Oklahoma
13. Iowa
14. Texas
15. Georgia
16. Tennessee
17. Kansas
18. North Carolina
19. Alabama
20. Utah
21. Wyoming
22. Arizona
23. Nebraska
24. Mississippi
25. Wisconsin
26. South Carolina
27. Michigan
28. Arkansas
29. Montana
30. Vermont
31. Pennsylvania
32. Kentucky
33. Maine
34. Minnesota
35. Louisiana
36. West Virginia
37. New Mexico
38. Connecticut
39. Delaware
40. Washington
41. Illinois
42. Ohio
43. Maryland
44. Alaska
45. Rhode Island
46. Massachusetts
47. Hawaii
48. California
49. New Jersey
50. New York

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:00 PM

So Romney, as Governor, collaborated because resistance to the dominant pro-government paradigm was too hard to fight? And you think this would make him a good choice to be president?

Oh, and Romney saw the MA state budget increase by about 25% in four short years. Fortunately for him, he was governor during the Bush boom – though he still dramatically raised “fees”.

Note that the federal budget rose about the same as the MA budget in those four years, which are generally considered to be Santorum’s worst years as a fin con. If you take a more reflective time span, say 96-00, federal spending increased at half the Romney rate.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Not to mention, any progress Romney might have made in balance his state’s budget has been undone and then-some since, largely because of the number of medical service providers and insurance companies that have moved out of Mass-uh-chew-sits.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Sadly, you did not take my advice.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

The difference is that Santorum’s religious-based positions require constitutional amendments. Health care at the state level? Not so much.

Santorum is running for an office that has no role in amending the constitution, but as per President Precedent, the Presidency does have a role in socializing health care.

Isn’t this a strong argument for Santorum over Mitt Romneycare?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I think you’re confusing the straw-man fallacy with non-sequitur.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

No.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

he/she answered that already, at least in one comment on this thread that I myself read…you just keep making circular arguments and then you expect people to reiterate a position and an argument which they already took the pain to explain in a previous post…

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

What part of “rhetorical question” don’t you understand, moron?

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

That is the “different theology” to which Santorum refers, and his remarks are clearly in response to Obama’s own efforts to justify his policy decisions under the cloak of a strange and self-serving interpretation of Christian teachings.

See, the crazy thing here is that Santorum is not getting off the subject of the economy at all here. The “theology” he’s criticizing is Obama’s attempt to justify socialism by misquoting scripture.

It’s familiar territory for Santorum, because he was the Senate point man for Welfare Reform. And every time you talk about the need to reform entitlements, you can count on Obama and the left justifying the spending on compassionate “I-am-my-brother’s-keeper” grounds.

Santorum is attacking Obama’s justification for his big-spending ways.

RINOs are afraid of such discussions, but by refusing to put the government at the center of charity and service, Santorum is in fact taking Obama’s economic policy on directly.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

The difference is that Santorum’s religious-based positions require constitutional amendments. Health care at the state level? Not so much.

Isn’t this a strong argument for Santorum over Mitt Romneycare?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Yes.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Well that was a heck of a dodge.

Speaking of dodges – the question is in reference to office holders. Unless you are one, and you apparently are not, you are attempting to avoid discussing the facts.

So, please try again, we are awaiting your list of office holders who are “fin con/soc lib” actually advancing conservative ideals in office.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

So Romney is not a Tenther, but his position on Romneycare is a “Tenther position?” Okay, got it.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Your lack of logic never ceases to amaze. (That’s not exactly true, actually.) George W Bush was not a socialist while President. His NCLB, a direct result and reaction to the Leftist destruction of the education system, is a socialist/statist/fascist control position. His Medicare D is a socialist/statist position. But that still doesn’t make GWB a socialist.

Beyond that, RomneyCare is not a Tenther position. The argument for it is a Bell Curve Tenther position, which isn’t Tenther but rather counterfeit Tenther. And, as I’ve shown, it is possible for someone who isn’t “PhilosophyX” to hold to some positions which are “PhilosophyX” without becoming “PhilosophyX”. But if human complexities are too much for you to grasp, or multiple positions of someone who is mainly and predominantly in a man-made construct fall outside that construct confuse you, perhaps your intelligence isn’t nearly as high as you would like to think it to be.

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM
.
NOW do understand why Romney Said enough is enough with liberal BS debates ? That’s what a leader does -takes charge- and doesn’t whine about the criticism that always follows. Thanks Mitt.

FlaMurph on February 19, 2012 at 2:19 PM

If he were to be there…AND DO IT…his poll numbers would spike!

KOOLAID2 on February 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM

I don’t know that making delicate (for lack of a better word) arguments through surrogates will be helpful for Republicans. Just last week a Santorum donor -someone who wouldn’t by any measure for Democrats be considered a surrogate- made an argument in the form of a joke against Obama’s HHS policy and Santorum was widely attacked for it. Surely the media would try to hold any of our candidates accountable for anything and everything a surrogate would say. At this point, I think GOP voters would rather see someone with the courage of their conviction just say what he believes and stand up for it.

BKeyser on February 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Then you are free to support liberals if you believe their ideals work better.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I’m not surprised you got it wrong.

Conservatives believe an individual advancing conservative ideals will make a better political leader then one who does not.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Explain to me how you don’t support Ron Paul, despite your quoted claim. If your claim were true, then conservatives would actually support conservatives. Tell me, you’ll vote for whomever has an R after his name come November, won’t you?

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

STATE FREEDOM RANKINGS

Again, read their documents;

http://mercatus.org/sites/all/modules/custom/mercatus_50_states/files/codebook.pdf

On “civil libertarianism”, they rank the Northeast average to good. Which is a joke.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

What part of “rhetorical question” don’t you understand, moron?

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

so if you keep asking rhetorical questions why do you need interlocutors? you can do that in the mirror, at home…chances are that somebody actually would agree with you if you do that…

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

BKeyser on February 19, 2012 at 3:07 PM

That’s fine, unless of course the convictions about which they have such courage aren’t offensive, nutty and antithetical to American ideals.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

So, please try again, we are awaiting your list of office holders who are “fin con/soc lib” actually advancing conservative ideals in office.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christy come to mind.

philwynk on February 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Explain to me how you don’t support Ron Paul, despite your quoted claim.

Oh damn, a genuine Paulnut! Because he isn’t a conservative? I don’t know about you, but I find an obsession with “Jewish bankers” to be…unhealthy.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

But a “fiscal conservative who is a social liberal” will *always* end up supporting leftist policies across the board.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Speaking of dodges – the question is in reference to office holders. Unless you are one, and you apparently are not, you are attempting to avoid discussing the facts.

So, please try again, we are awaiting your list of office holders who are “fin con/soc lib” actually advancing conservative ideals in office.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Nowhere in your post were you saying it only applied to office holders. You are doing quite the dance: the backtrack waltz.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Sorry, gryphon, I saw a question to me that I wanted to respond to and didn’t, but I was too busy playing whack-a-mole with the retreads. I cannot find the question and I really wanted to respond. If you could re-ask, or contact me through my throw-away email addy you can find on my page, I’d be more than willing to respond.

Again, I’m an attack dog, and “whack-a-mole” or “answer a friend”?

WHACK-A-MOLE!!!!

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

These are your own words:

There is the Bell Curve Tenther, who believes the most power is in the hands of State governments, giving less power to both the Federal government and the Individual. This could also be considered a Letter of the Law Tenther. An example of such a position is Mitt Romney’s position on RomneyCare.

And now you’re saying this:

RomneyCare is not a Tenther position.

And I’m the one with a logic problem.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

One can be a libertarian and a fiscal conservative. Social liberalism and libertarianism are not the same thing. At all. Once you realize that is so, and you identify what separates social liberalism from libertarianism (bleeding heart dogooderism), understanding a social liberal cannot possibly be a fiscal conservative naturally follows.

fadetogray on February 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Chris Christy come to mind.

philwynk on February 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Christy just vetoed the gay marriage bill in NJ, how is he a soc lib?

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 3:14 PM

philwynk on February 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Not to mention Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Mitch Daniels.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Oh damn, a genuine Paulnut! Because he isn’t a conservative? I don’t know about you, but I find an obsession with “Jewish bankers” to be…unhealthy.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM

You’ve just proven my point and destroyed yours.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:15 PM

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 3:14 PM

The question was not who is a soc lib, it was who is not a culture warrior. And Christie made plain that he wants a referendum rather than a legislative ruling. Also he is a supporter of gay equality although he doesn’t want it to be called marriage.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Now, now. Such intolerance for the differently-theologied.

J.E. Dyer on February 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christy come to mind.

This is the best you can do? Really? I’ll leave Christy out for now because he’s got a mere half term under his belt, but Guiliani:

Dramatically increased the city budget.
Refused to work with the INS on illegal immigration and welcomed illegal immigrants
Filed a major lawsuit against gun manufacturers (and Bush actually had to act to stop this from causing problems at a national level)

The guy even banned ferret ownership.

And this is only at the municipal level. Though I guess one can argue Bloomberg, another supposed fin con/soc liberal, is far worse.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I was responding to this post below, the poster in question did use what he/she thought to be the ‘fin con/soc lib dichotomy…

So, please try again, we are awaiting your list of office holders who are “fin con/soc lib” actually advancing conservative ideals in office.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christy come to mind.

philwynk on February 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

J.E. Dyer on February 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

If we’re going to be PC, I prefer the term deistically challenged, thank you.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Nowhere in your post were you saying it only applied to office holders.

You are quite the dervish, or a fool. I’ll go with the former and take your continued avoidance of the question to be acceptance that I am correct. Or should I give you one more chance to actually answer the question?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Somewhere, someone linked to a definition of Straw Man in order to attempt to paint my position as a Staw Man. That someone failed because I painted a picture of the results of Social Liberalism and the resultant sacrificing Fiscal Conservatism on the altar of Social Liberalism.

I cannot remember there ever being a case of a SocLib/FisCon who sacrificed his SocLib position to advance his FisCon position. But there are reams of evidence where they sacrifice their FisCon positions to advance their SocLib positions. Reams. Of. Evidence.

No, SocLib/FisCon cannot stand. SocLib wins out, forcing FisLib every single time that battle is fought. So, no, I did not make use of any Straw Men in my argument.

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM

You’ve just proven my point and destroyed yours.

You haven’t made a point. Unless it is explaining your problems with Jews and contrails.

By the way, remember, you have to cover your whole head with tinfoil – not just the top of your head.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Santorum is running for an office that has no role in amending the constitution, but as per President Precedent, the Presidency does have a role in socializing health care.

Isn’t this a strong argument for Santorum over Mitt Romneycare?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

No. It’s a strong argument for Santorum over Obama.

Congress has a role over both. The President does not.

Merely because you believe Romney wants federal socialized health care does not make it so. He has explicitly stated he does not. I have no reason to doubt him.

Santorum likewise has explicitly stated that he does not intend to legislate his morality onto anyone else. I, however, do have doubts about that.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Merely because you believe Romney wants federal socialized health care does not make it so. He has explicitly stated he does not. I have no reason to doubt him.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

You drastically understate the matter. Mitt has committed in every speech and plan that he will work to repeal OCare starting with day 1 EO’s to grant waivers to every state. He cannot possibly renege on such public and persistent pronouncements. Even if he wanted to, and he doesn’t, he would be tarred feathered and run out of town on a rail. And I’ll be there with the feathers if he ever did.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Merely because you believe Romney wants federal socialized health care does not make it so. He has explicitly stated he does not. I have no reason to doubt him.

Santorum likewise has explicitly stated that he does not intend to legislate his morality onto anyone else. I, however, do have doubts about that.

Romney has said several things:

1) That health care mandates are a good, conservative solution to health care policies.
2) That he will replace the bad parts of Obamacare and keep the good.
3) That he will try to repeal Obamacare.

Which is it? 1+2 are not in direct opposition, and both are supported by his record. Three is alien to all of the rest. I find that to be more then enough reason to doubt what he is saying now.

As for Santorum, if he wishes to “legislate” his views on morality he is running for the wrong office.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Congress has a role over both. The President does not.

Should have said Congress legislates. Didn’t mean to suggest I think Obamacare is constitutional merely because it was enacted by Congress.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

And I’m the one with a logic problem.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Yes, you are. Your selective editing, stripping context from your quotes of me, proves you have no interest in Truth or logic. Prove your dishonest, context-free quotes of me are truthful or logical. Go ahead and prove it. I double-dog-dare you.

I laid out logical reasoning, and showed how something which is Bell Curve Tenther is not actually Tenther, and you stripped out all the reasoning and differentiation and clarification so you could attack a TRUE Straw Man and not the made-up version your “team” is using.

I named my site Truth Before Dishonor for a reason. You really should try Truth (as in not lying by omission) some time.

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Even if he wanted to, and he doesn’t, he would be tarred feathered and run out of town on a rail. And I’ll be there with the feathers if he ever did.

Remember when Bush 43 went directly against conservative wishes on amnesty? Was he run out of town on a rail by conservatives?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

You drastically understate the matter. Mitt has committed in every speech and plan that he will work to repeal OCare starting with day 1 EO’s to grant waivers to every state. He cannot possibly renege on such public and persistent pronouncements. Even if he wanted to, and he doesn’t, he would be tarred feathered and run out of town on a rail. And I’ll be there with the feathers if he ever did.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

The states don’t need an EO. The states created the federal government, you know. All the states have to do is go with nullification, which is their right.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

The states don’t need an EO. The states created the federal government, you know. All the states have to do is go with nullification, which is their right.

While I am in agreement with you that states have such a right – how many have currently tried this solution in regards to Obromneycare?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

J.E. Dyer on February 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

If we’re going to be PC, I prefer the term deistically challenged, thank you.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

“Challenged?” As if being differently-theologied is something wrong with the person?

RAAAAACIST!

fadetogray on February 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

On three separate issues/topics, you dig yourself into a deeper hole.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

As for Santorum, if he wishes to “legislate” his views on morality he is running for the wrong office.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

And Romney cannot “legislate” on health care, either.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

You’re correct. I did understate it. What you said. :)

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:35 PM

On three separate issues/topics, you dig yourself into a deeper hole.

Hey, I’m not the guy with a Jewish problem Mein Herr.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Remember when Bush 43 went directly against conservative wishes on amnesty? Was he run out of town on a rail by conservatives?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Pretty much. Lowest popularity ever, or something like that. If he had run for reelection, he would have been smooshed.

fadetogray on February 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Sorry, I’m not playing your stupid tiresome game any longer. I didn’t take anything out of context. And I’m not going to repost your insipid unsupported blogposts. Do it yourself if you think you can untwist your pretzel-like logic.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

And Romney cannot “legislate” on health care, either.

The government has already implemented Romney’s ideas on health on a national level.

I fully agree with you in theory that the federal government does not have the right to do so. Arguing Romney will be constrained by theory here though, and not practice, seems an obviously flawed argument.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Pretty much. Lowest popularity ever, or something like that. If he had run for reelection, he would have been smooshed.

And yet…it didn’t stop him from doing it did it?

And a few more Republicans like Romney, and a few less like Santorum, and he would have succeeded too…

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Romney will work for the repeal of Obamacare. However, it certainly seems he will be perfectly happy with signing federal laws that help States implement laws like Romneycare.

fadetogray on February 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

I fully agree with you in theory that the federal government does not have the right to do so. Arguing Romney will be constrained by theory here though, and not practice, seems an obviously flawed argument.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM

No more so than arguing that Santorum is constrained in theory.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Remember when Bush 43 went directly against conservative wishes on amnesty? Was he run out of town on a rail by conservatives?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:31 PM

well, at least they didn’t give Bush the votes he needed to implement it. Reagan did just that, got the votes, and nobody seems to have been too bothered with it since…hmmm..

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

What Santorum said has been been the fodder for conversations around office coolers and Sunday after-church lunches for 3 years now.

Matthew 7:16 tells us,

You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Think back on the last three years and try to remember some of the actions by President Barack Hussein Obama.

For instance, one of the first things he did when ascending to the throne, err, the presidency, was to lift restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad.

Per reuters.com:

The Democratic president’s decision was a victory for advocates of abortion rights on an issue that in recent years has become a tit-for-tat policy change each time the White House shifts from one party to the other.

Now, three years later, Obama has made the headlines in his attempt, through the bureaucratic monster known as Obamacare, to force Catholic Hospitals to go against their Denomination’s beliefs and to make them provide contraception and the morning after (abortion) pill.

Again, think back on everything he has done in between these two specific cases.

Is he a Christian?

“You will recognize them by their fruits.”

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM

“You will recognize them by their fruits.”

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Because the bible tells us so? OMG we are so screwed!

Kaffa on February 19, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Is he a Christian? “You will recognize them by their fruits.”

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Wowser! Didn’t realize that the constitution required a president to be christian.
Take your rotten fruits of victimhood and holier than thou worldview to another market will ya?

Bradky on February 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

No more so than arguing that Santorum is constrained in theory.

Yes both are constrained in theory. But only Santorum in practice.

If Santorum submits a law to ban contraception, for example, do you think the Congress would pass it? Obviously no.

If Romney supports a law to tweak Obamacare instead of repealing it, will it pass? Maybe yes, maybe no. Further, if he does nothing at all, will conservatives in Congress get a majority behind legislation to repeal it themselves? Maybe yes, maybe no. Could they overcome a Romney veto? No.

So these are two rather different propositions. If you disagree with Santorum’s moral view on things like contraception, he can’t advance them in any realistic fashion.

However, as president Romney would have a great deal of control over what happened to Obamacare and government control of healthcare overall.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Keep pounding those talking points, MJ. Someone around here might just believe them if you repeat them enough.

gryphon202 on February 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM

You have your head in the sand, then. Social con issues do not win elections. While the nation may be a bit right of center, it isn’t when it comes to social issues. It’s a guaranteed loser.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM

You’re confusing your own opinion of social conservative issues with national opinion. Social conservative values have a better track record of winning elections than fiscal conservative values. I understand if you find that depressing, but it’s true.

Homosexual issues are a particularly good case in point. Most people have a certain sympathy for gay people because they’ve been assured repeatedly that they were born that way. But they are not the slightest bit interested in seeing marriage redefined to suit the 3% of the people in the country who are gay, much less the 0.5% of the country who are both gay and want to take advantage of same-sex marriage laws.

You probably believe opposing same-sex marriage is a political loser, when it’s a clear winner.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

You probably believe opposing same-sex marriage is a political loser, when it’s a clear winner.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I think opposing condoms is a clear loser.

Kaffa on February 19, 2012 at 3:59 PM

J.E. Dyer on February 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM

If we’re going to be PC, I prefer the term deistically challenged, thank you.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

“Challenged?” As if being differently-theologied is something wrong with the person?

RAAAAACIST!

fadetogray on February 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Precisely, fadetogray. It appears MJBrutus needs a trip out behind the woodshed.

J.E. Dyer on February 19, 2012 at 4:02 PM

So these are two rather different propositions. If you disagree with Santorum’s moral view on things like contraception, he can’t advance them in any realistic fashion.

However, as president Romney would have a great deal of control over what happened to Obamacare and government control of healthcare overall.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

not so fast, he asserted clearly that the alleged superiority of procreative sex and the need to keep sexual intercourse ‘special’ are ‘important public policy issues’. To label something a ‘public policy issue’ implies that it is an appropriate subject for policy-making by state or federal legislators (one would hope) or executive branch bureaucrats. more unsettling though, politicians never in fact stop with moral exhortation, and the notion that they are appropriately regarded as moral leaders, rather than legislators or executives with specific constitutional duties, is problematic in itself.

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

The ABR’ers are typically burying their head in the sand when this comes up because well…. he is not Romney and the majority of the country will see the error of their ways once Santy is nominated….

Bradky on February 19, 2012 at 4:06 PM

I went further and told you that it is no more acceptable from the right than from the left. Get it?

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM

And you disappoint me as I have asked if this is Santorum’s written set of policy points he is running on.

Get it?

And you still haven’t answered ME about having someone ELSE who is willing to take this up and run with it.

Got it?

ajacksonian on February 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Because the bible tells us so? OMG we are so screwed!

Kaffa on February 19, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Is he a Christian? “You will recognize them by their fruits.”

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Wowser! Didn’t realize that the constitution required a president to be christian.
Take your rotten fruits of victimhood and holier than thou worldview to another market will ya?

Bradky on February 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

78% of Americans are Christian. You guys are a vocal minority.

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

If Romney supports a law to tweak Obamacare instead of repealing it, will it pass? Maybe yes, maybe no. Further, if he does nothing at all, will conservatives in Congress get a majority behind legislation to repeal it themselves? Maybe yes, maybe no. Could they overcome a Romney veto? No.

What makes you think Romney would veto a bill to repeal Obamacare? Now you’re just arguing the absurd.

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

The ABR’ers are typically burying their head in the sand when this comes up because well…he is not Romney and the majority of the country will see the error of their ways once Santy is nominated….

Bradky on February 19, 2012 at 4:06 PM

yeah, the pathology of this delusion/denial is fascinating to watch…

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Jesus wants you to pay more taxes.

petefrt on February 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM

For a simple 10% of my income I can get eternal salvation…

For an additional 15% I can get Nation State bankruptcy into the deal. What a BARGAIN!!

ajacksonian on February 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I’ve always assumed President Obama was actually atheist but knew that it would severely effect his chances of getting elected if he came out to say that.

That or, like many say, he subscribes to liberation theology.

Sammo21 on February 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

78% of Americans are Christian. You guys are a vocal minority.

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Quit dodging shoe salesman! Where in the constitution does it require any American to be Christian?

Bradky on February 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM

You’re confusing your own opinion of social conservative issues with national opinion. Social conservative values have a better track record of winning elections than fiscal conservative values. I understand if you find that depressing, but it’s true.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I think you’re suffering from transference.

Dante on February 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM

He undermined conservatives efforts to achieve welfare reform and broke the deal between Clinton and Dole. I mean, conservatives rallied against Dole because he sold them out on the welfare reform to please the MSM and now his right arm in that treason, Rick Santorum, is lauded as a conservative reformer because of the exact same issue? You must be kidding me. I can’t shake this feeling many people here started being conservatives 2 or 3 years ago. Or have very short memories.

So even though Santorum was the point man on Welfare Reform in the Senate, you’re still blaming him because the reform wasn’t more extensive?

You’re a dishonest spinner trying desperately to discredit a rival to your favorite by accusing him of undermining the very reform he advanced.

Nice work if you can get it.

He supported Bush’s moderate plan to social security. Of course, he also supported Bush’s big government agenda on everything, including an unfunded expansion of entitlement programs. And Santorum has no clue whatsoever about the social security problem. He doesn’t even understand the basics of it, as he often proves with his public remarks:
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/01/18/rick-santorum-bad-economist

Bush actually tried to reform Social Security rather than let it continue to fester. If his own party had stood behind him in his efforts, we wouldn’t be looking at the current entitlement crisis we’re facing. But you want to lambaste Santorum for supporting one of the most conservative and fiscally sound programs Bush actually promoted.

Is there a doubt in the world that Romney would have quailed at the thought of expending political capital on fixing Social Security? For all the failings of Bush, he was a much braver man than Rommney.

And he flip-flopped on the issue of social security as soon as he find himself in a competitive race, check his debate with Bob Casey Jr.

If I were you, I’d look at Paul Ryan or Tom Coburn efforts on this area.

joana on February 19, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I guess I missed where they were running for President.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM

78% of Americans are Christian. You guys are a vocal minority.

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

it’s actually 76% of Americans that identify themselves as Christian, which means pretty much nothing…how many o them are necessarily practicing Christian…yeah, harder to answer that, you bet you’d be surprised…

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

And you still haven’t answered ME about having someone ELSE who is willing to take this up and run with it.

Got it?

ajacksonian on February 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

How many religions freaking Constitutional amendments will it take for you to figure it out? I cited 3 or 4 specifics!

And AGAIN, I tell you that our sex lives are not subject to the approval of Santo or anyone else and even if he hasn’t told us he will do something about it, he has declared that it his the government’s job to regulate it.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 4:21 PM

78% of Americans are Christian. You guys are a vocal minority.

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

40% back it up by going to church occasionally. so the 78% is highly inflated. I’d say .00005% understand the meaning of the trinity and what dying for our “sins” means.

Again, as someone said earlier, it’s funny the fundies are always citing the 78% number on the one hand, but on the other hand spout off that Pelosi’s not a Christian, Kerry, Obama, etc. Probably not even the Pope. By the fundie’s standard about 5% meet their “Christian” test.

Craig Nelson on February 19, 2012 at 4:21 PM

By the fundie’s standard about 5% meet their “Christian” test.

Craig Nelson on February 19, 2012 at 4:21 PM

And of course they fall into that five percent. Main eternal goal is to be the one to spit on the sinners sent to hell as they chuckle with delight.

Bradky on February 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

ajacksonian on February 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM

What’s more, you’re the guy who likes to prattle on about governing “philosophy” yet you only will accept tangible proposals of laws as evidence of how he would govern. You’re the one who types 500 word essays on how you want to know what will guide a candidate’s decision making but you will turn a blind eye when a candidate gives you all the hints in the world that he intends to try to legislate promiscuity out of existence.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

jimver on February 19, 2012 at 4:17 PM

And of those who practice, how many are doing it right?

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM

78% are Christians, according to Gallup. You guys need to escape the Northeastern Corridor, sometime. There’s a whole ‘nother country out there, that actually attend church on Sundays, and sometimes, even on Wednesday nights.

And, we actually read our Bibles and believe in God, too. Just like the Founding Fathers did.

Rage on, heathens. LOL.

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Syzygy on February 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

It is such a shopworn, empty argument these ABR’s make. Since one can’t prove with religious certainty that he will do what he can to fully repeal OCare, then he must be lying every time he says he will. Never mind the fact that if he didn’t his days as POTUS would be over faster than you can say Mitt. It doesn’t matter because it isn’t an argument against Romney, it’s a smear and that only requires a will to repeat it.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Functionally, there is NO SUCH THING as a fiscal conservative who is a social liberal.

what is REALLY functionally not possible is a Sharia law imposing fundamentalist Christian social conservative who believes in liberty, freedom and limited government for EVERYONE.. Secular, Buddhist, gay, etc.

Craig Nelson on February 19, 2012 at 1:21 PM

There’s no such best, so technically, you’re quite correct that it’s not possible.

Hint: “Sharia law” is Muslim, “fundamentalist Christian” is not a term that applies to Catholics (historically, it was a Protestant movement.) Santorum is a Catholic.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Rage on, heathens. LOL.

kingsjester on February 19, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Didn’t many of your Alabama forefathers say the same thing while supporting lynching and subjugation of black citizens. Wouldn’t that mean they are roasting on a spit as we speak?

And you are still dodging the question about where the constitution the requirement to be Christian is written. Spinning as out of control as Bristol at DWTS….

Bradky on February 19, 2012 at 4:34 PM

What’s more, you’re the guy who likes to prattle on about governing “philosophy” yet you only will accept tangible proposals of laws as evidence of how he would govern. You’re the one who types 500 word essays on how you want to know what will guide a candidate’s decision making but you will turn a blind eye when a candidate gives you all the hints in the world that he intends to try to legislate promiscuity out of existence.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 4:24 PM

That’s because what a candidate puts down as policy MATTERS. Ever bother to read the Obama policy positions and compare them to the McCain ones? If you did were you enthused about either of them? If you took the names off the top of the policies could you even tell the difference between them?

I didn’t have to look for oblique ‘hints’ about what either would do, it was a clear statement and I didn’t like what either was proposing. If you saw the amount of verbiage each paid to health care ‘reform’ and what they were backing it with, it seemed like the then current and now ongoing financial crises were but a distant thought to either campaign. Yeah, I had extreme problems with that.

The rest of their ‘hints’ I didn’t like on either side and the current crop leave me completely unenthused for them… I’m trying to get a simple 30% agreement on direction from them and the best I’m doing is 20%. That is JUST on policy ALONE. No ‘hints’ needed.

Yes I do type long bits and pieces, as its hard to do quips and such.

Now, how hard is it going to be to rollback this federal government’s size, reach and power? Hard, damn hard.

Find me the candidate that isn’t going to give the federal government a manicure, but will start getting rid of the problem of government infringing on our positive liberties. Obama’s got his theology all ready for how it will now tell us what to do, when to do it, for how long, at what cost and then we get to be serfs. Someone needs to hit back on him on that. Got a candidate doing that? It doesn’t matter if you LIKE him or her, but do you have one who is DOING THAT because it is NECESSARY?

Or don’t you see it as necessary?

You can’t start going backwards until you hit the brakes and right now YOU are squealing about who is doing the tapping on the brake pedal. OOooooo! Spooky!! It’s a social conservative!!

Yeah. So? The job needs to be done and I’m not seeing anyone else trying to do it. Someone has to prep this battlefield. Be nice if we didn’t shoot at the guy, you know?

ajacksonian on February 19, 2012 at 4:43 PM

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/211577-santorum-i-accept-the-fact-the-presidents-a-christian

Santorum gets himself in trouble way too much. He’s already playing defense. Again.

He should have a radio talk-show or something. He’s reminiscent of blowhards like Levin and Rush. He’d do well in that role.

joana on February 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

ajacksonian on February 19, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Right up front in this campaign, Romney gave us a very good plan for improving the economy and employment. I’m tired of posting the GD link, so just go to MittRomney.com to find it. He worked with Paul Ryan to bring about the Ryan-Widen agreement for Medicare reform. He has proposed gradually increasing the benefit age for SS and for means testing them. He has put more on the table that is both serious and realistic than any of the other candidates. These are proposals that are well within the realm of what both sides have indicated they could agree to under the right circumstances and with the right POTUS acting as an honest broker to bring about.

If you’re not seeing it it’s because you refuse to see what’s hiding in plain sight.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 4:51 PM

The difference is that Santorum’s religious-based positions require constitutional amendments. Health care at the state level? Not so much.

Santorum is running for an office that has no role in amending the constitution, but as per President Precedent, the Presidency does have a role in socializing health care.

Isn’t this a strong argument for Santorum over Mitt Romneycare?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

My first thought when I saw that comment from Syzygy was, “I thought Syzygy was against Santorum.:

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Santorum gets himself in trouble way too much. He’s already playing defense. Again.

He should have a radio talk-show or something. He’s reminiscent of blowhards like Levin and Rush. He’d do well in that role.

joana on February 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

You think Rush and Levin are blowhards, and you think Romney is a conservative.

Okay.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Isn’t this a strong argument for Santorum over Mitt Romneycare?

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Not just no, but he11 no. Romney has committed entirely to repealing ObamaCare. There is no way under the sun that he can not follow through on that promise. End of story. Nothing else to discuss.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Santorum gets himself in trouble way too much. He’s already playing defense. Again.

He should have a radio talk-show or something. He’s reminiscent of blowhards like Levin and Rush. He’d do well in that role.

joana on February 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

You think Rush and Levin are blowhards, and you think Romney is a conservative.

Okay.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Rush and Levin ARE blowhards. 5 minutes of listening to them establishes that. Anyone who raises their voice on the air automatically is a blowhard.

Craig Nelson on February 19, 2012 at 5:00 PM

It’s going to be absolutely great to have the fiscally responsible Mitt Romney as POTUS who won’t be beholden to the radicals. A man who won’t jump to and ask, “which position” every time some holy roller yells, “F-CK!”

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 5:04 PM

According to Gallup, 78 percent of Americans are Christian, proving the vast majority of Americans find a very positive value in the Christian name, contrary to the devout Atheists’ (and atheism is most definitely a religion) claims. The fact being that a very small percentage of those who claim Christianity are, in fact, Christians does not in any way diminish the fact that Christianity is a very powerful selling point for well over a super-majority of Americans.

The fact remains that the Judeo-Christian value structure trumps (as in MASSIVELY) the Atheist religion’s value structure. And the belief in the Judeo-Christian God trumps (as in MASSIVELY) the Atheist religion’s belief in no-god.

Them’s the facts, boys and girls. No matter of spinning or false elitism or mockery will change those facts on the ground.

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 5:07 PM

John Hitchcock on February 19, 2012 at 5:07 PM

You must be so proud of PBHO’s finding religion then. How gratifying for you that he has wrapped his “social justice” agenda in the mantle of Judeo-Christian stuff.

MJBrutus on February 19, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Santorum gets himself in trouble way too much. He’s already playing defense. Again.

He should have a radio talk-show or something. He’s reminiscent of blowhards like Levin and Rush. He’d do well in that role.

joana on February 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM

You think Rush and Levin are blowhards, and you think Romney is a conservative.

Okay.

There Goes The Neighborhood on February 19, 2012 at 4:55 PM

You must be really confused.

Do you know who called Romney a conservative? Rush, Levin and Santorum.

I have higher standards than those blowhards.

joana on February 19, 2012 at 5:12 PM

What makes you think Romney would veto a bill to repeal Obamacare? Now you’re just arguing the absurd.
***
If 51% of the electorate supports Obamacare on the day McConnell and Boehner send an Obamacare repeal to Romney you think he is likely to pass it?

Of course the Republican leadership in congress is unlikely to try and lead a Republican president. I think it is far more likely a President Romney would work to offer a tweak to the law instead of having to veto or sign a repeal.

This would, again, stand with his support of the general policy framework of Obamacare, his stated desire to repeal the “bad parts” while keeping the “good parts” and allow him to still claim to have done something about it.

18-1 on February 19, 2012 at 5:12 PM

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