Thursday, July 22, 2004

Rick Sanctimony
Could Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) be the most dangerous Senator in America?  His name seems to pop up whenever there’s an issue that involves “values” or ethics.  He was quick to state something about the Sandy Berger issue.  And of course, he co-sponsored the marriage act that recently failed in the Senate (which McCain pronounced as “un-Republican”).
Out of curiosity, I reviewed some of the things this guy has said over the past year or so.  As I’ve mentioned, he has attempted to become the go-to person in the Senate concerning issues involving “family values” and the like.  In other words, his mentor is likely Bill Bennett. 
What’s extremely troublesome when you read some of his quotes in past interviews is his language; the way he attempts to express his thoughts appears to qualify as Orwellian doublespeak.  He’ll attempt to answer a question in what he states is a frank and up-front manner, yet if you closely read what he says (and I recommend two or three re-readings) it’s very difficult to parse out his true meaning.  I’ll give some examples:
"This is an issue that is so important to the foundation of our country. I say often that we can have either one or the other in this country: strong government or strong family. But they are antithetical to each other. The fact that if you do not have strong families in America, you must have strong government to make up for the dysfunction that follows from that." 
OK, so here we have a less-government-is-better conservative and yet isn't he saying that if the family "fails," the government needs to step in "to make up for the dysfunction"...? Who decides whether or not you "do not have a strong family" and therefore require the rescue of the government?  Your church? The GOP??  It's outrageous how these guys want less government for certain things, but lots of government for others.
When asked about an interview where he appears to place some blame for the Catholic Church scandal on liberals, his answer:
You have the problem within the church. Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this "right to privacy," then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. You're going to get a lot of things that you're sending signals that as long as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do. And that leads to a culture that is not one that is nurturing and necessarily healthy. I would make the argument in areas where you have that as an accepted lifestyle, don't be surprised that you get more of it.
In this case, what we're talking about, basically, is priests who were having sexual relations with post-pubescent men. We're not talking about priests with 3-year-olds, or 5-year-olds. We're talking about a basic homosexual relationship. Which, again, according to the world view sense is a a perfectly fine relationship as long as it's consensual between people. If you view the world that way, and you say that's fine, you would assume that you would see more of it.
Real clear in his answer, right?  It sounds like he's implying that those who are for privacy are in part to blame for priests abusing young boys!  More importantly, he never comes right out and bluntly condemns neither the Catholic Church nor the priests for this entire debacle. 
Finally, this:
The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire.
So he's for limiting rights and freedoms in this country.  Meanwhile, we're over in Iraq spending billions of dollars to bring freedom to that country.
One thing he makes crystal clear:
"They are calling into my office, but not in huge numbers. I have not been hearing from my colleagues that they are being overwhelmed by calls at this point."
Regarding his marriage bill, apparently his constituents -- and much of America -- have other issues as priorities.  It sounds like this issue keeps Mr. Santorum, and he alone, up at night.
Finally, it's no surprise that Santorum is very much pro-life, a real zealot when it comes to the abortion issue.  However, note that like Bush, when it came to the closely contested race in PA between the pro-choice Specter and pro-life Toomey, guess who Santorum endorsed? Yup, like Bush, he endorsed pro-choice Specter.  Again, as I wrote at the time about Bush, politics will be politics and anyone that believes these guys truly care about the issues over their political skins is a fool, plain & simple.  As I understand it, the abortion issue is supposed to override all politics, and yet when GW and Rick buckle under political pressures, the pro-life folks are silent.  Where's the publicly-expressed outrage from them?

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