Politicians say the Darndest things: Rick Santorum Daily Quote Edition

From "Salon.com"

I’m trying to highlight most of the major candidates for the GOP nomination at least once, so I figured I had to tackle Rick Santorum at some point.  I’m feeling lazy, so here are two paraphrased articles that sum up what I know about Santorum and how I generally feel about his candidacy.

From a slightly old article in The Week:

9 Controversial Rick Santorum Quotes

 As soon as the conservative ex-senator stepped into the national spotlight, critics began attacking Santorum’s long history of odd claims and far-right beliefs.

1. Opposing birth control 
Quote: “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.” (Speaking withCaffeinatedThoughts.com, Oct. 18, 2011)

Reaction: This is “pretty basic: Rick Santorum is coming for your contraception,” says Irin Carmon at Salon. “Any and all of it.” Threatening to “send the condom police into America’s bedrooms” is pretty bad politics: More than 99 percent of sexually active women have used some form of birth control, and “helping people get access to birth control is actually a popular issue,” supported by 82 percent of Americans. But a national contraception ban is “clearly the world Santorum wants.”

2. Keeping moms at home
Quote: “In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they don’t both need to. … What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave their children in the care of someone else — or worse yet, home alone after school between three and six in the afternoon — find themselves more affirmed by society? Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism.” (Santorum’s 2005 book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good)

Reaction: Santorum is actually right, says Bonnie Alba at Renew America. Degrading “the stay-at-home wife and mother while idolizing women who chose careers” is “certainly part and parcel of the feminist ideology, which has twisted our society into a pretzel of me-ism.”

3. Re-spinning the Crusades
Quote: “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American Left who hates Christendom. … What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.” (South Carolina campaign stop, Feb. 22, 2011)

Reaction: “If you were worried there wouldn’t be a 2012 candidate touting the pro-Crusades platform, then today is your lucky day!” says Jillian Rayfield at Talking Points Memo. The religiously sanctioned European military campaigns were aimed at recapturing Jerusalem, and “along the way the Roman Catholic forces massacred thousands of Jews, among others.” I know the Crusades predated the U.S. by a few centuries, but how exactly does this military campaign reflect “core American values”?

4. Rejecting the very idea of “Palestinians”
Quote: “All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Nov. 18, 2011)

Reaction: “The striking thing about his comments is that they represent an even more conservative position than that taken by the Israeli government,” says Glenn Kessler at The Washington Post. Israel’s anti-Palestinian position itself isn’t “accepted by much of the world, but it seems that the very least a potential U.S. president could do is accept the definitions used by the Israeli government.”

5. Reminding America that some view Mormonism as “a dangerous cult”
Quote: “Would the potential attraction to Mormonism by simply having a Mormon in the White House threaten traditional Christianity by leading more Americans to a church that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, Dec. 20, 2007)

Reaction: Santorum was responding to Mitt Romney’s famous speech reassuring evangelical Christians that he shares their values, and to be fair, “Santorum’s ultimate verdict on Romney was more or less positive,” says Dan Froomkin at The Huffington Post. But he draws plenty of “distinctions between Mormonism and Christianity that others have avoided lest they seem overly inflammatory.”

6. Dissing welfare programs that “make black people’s lives better”
Quote: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Jan. 2, 2012)

Reaction: “This is the sort of subtle racism” that should, but won’t, harm Santorum among Republicans, says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. Why did he single out black people when talking about cutting government aid?

7. Bringing race into Obama’s abortion views
Quote: “The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.'” (CNS News interview, Jan. 19, 2011)

Reaction: Equating fetuses to slaves got Santorum some pretty bad press, says David Weigel at Slate. But critics don’t “appreciate how mainstream Santorum’s point is among pro-life activists” who commonly “consider their work a continuation of other movements that protected human life and elevated the status of people whom the law doesn’t consider ‘human.’ In the 19th century, it was African-Americans; in the 21st century, it’s children in the womb.”

8. Equating gay marriage to loving your mother-in-law
Quote: “Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, May 22, 2008)

Reaction: Did noted “homophobe” Santorum just admit to a “weird sexual relationship with his mother-in-law” and brother? says Michael J.W. Stickings at The Reaction. He may be atop the Republican heap, “but make no mistake about it, Santorum’s still a bigot and a moron.”

9. Comparing homosexuality to “man-on-dog” sex
Quote: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. … That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.” (AP interview, April 7, 2003)

Reaction: “Rick Santorum has expended a great deal of thought and energy to finding new words to disparage gay marriage,” says Daryl Lang at Breaking Copy. And even if you agree with Santorum, “would you really want a president who is this obsessed” with gay sex?

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From an opinion article by Dean Obeidallah:

There are two Rick Santorums: The first one I might not agree with, but the second one truly scares me.

“Santorum One” pushes for less government regulation for corporations and shrinking the federal government. You may or may not agree with these positions, but they are both mainstream conservative fare.

Then there’s “Santorum Two.” This Santorum wants to impose conservative Christian law upon America. Am I being hyperbolic or overly dramatic with this statement? I wish I were, but I’m not.

Plainly put, Rick Santorum wants to convert our current legal system into one that requires our laws to be in agreement with religious law, not unlike what the Taliban want to do in Afghanistan.

Santorum is not hiding this. The only reason you may not be aware of it is because up until his recent surge in the polls, the media were ignoring him. However, “Santorum Two” was out there telling anyone who would listen.

He told a crowd at a November campaign stop in Iowa in no uncertain terms, “our civil laws have to comport with a higher law: God’s law.”

On Thanksgiving Day at an Iowa candidates’ forum, he reiterated: “We have civil laws, but our civil laws have to comport with the higher law.”

Yes, that means exactly what you think it does: Santorum believes that each and every one of our government’s laws must match God’s law, warning that “as long as there is a discordance between the two, there will be agitation.” I’m not exactly sure what “agitation” means in this context, but I think it’s a code word for something much worse than acid reflux.

And as an aside, when Santorum says “God,” he means “not any god (but) the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” So, if your god differs from Rick’s, your god’s views will be ignored, just like the father is on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Some of you might be asking: How far will “Santorum Two” take this? It’s not like he’s going to base public policy decisions on Bible passages, right? Well, here’s what Santorum had to say just last week when asked about his opposition to gay marriage: “We have Judeo-Christian values that are based on biblical truth. … And those truths don’t change just because people’s attitudes may change.”

Santorum could not be more unambiguous: His policy decisions will be based on “biblical truths,” and as he noted, these “truths” will not change regardless of whether public opinion has evolved since the time the Bible was written thousands of years ago.

Imagine if either of the two Muslim members of Congress declared their support for a proposed American law based on verses from the Quran. The outcry would be deafening, especially from people like Santorum.

One of the great ironies is that Santorum has been a leader in sounding alarm bells that Muslims want to impose Islamic law — called Sharia law — upon non-Muslims in America. While Santorum fails to offer even a scintilla of credible evidence to support this claim, he continually warns about the “creeping” influence of Muslim law.

Santorum’s fundamental problem with Sharia law is that it’s “not just a religious code. It is also a governmental code. It happens to be both religious in nature and origin, but it is a civil code.” Consequently, under the Sharia system, the civil laws of the land must comport with God’s law. Now, where did I hear about someone wanting to impose only laws that agree with God’s law in America?

So, what type of nation might the United States be under Rick Santorum’s Sharia law?

  1. Rape victims would be forced to give birth to the rapist’s child. Santorum has stated that his religious beliefs dictate that life begins at conception, and as a result, rape victims would be sentenced to carrying the child of the rapist for nine months.
  2.  Gay marriages would be annulled. Santorum recently declared that not only does he oppose gay marriages, but he supports a federal constitutional amendment that would ban them, invalidating all previous gay marriages that have legally been sanctioned by states and thus callously destroying marriages and thrusting families into chaos.
  3. Santorum would ban all federal funding for birth control and would not oppose any state that wanted to pass laws making birth control illegal.
  4. No porn! I’m not kidding. Santorum signed “The Marriage Vow” pledge (PDF) authored by the Family Leader organization, under which he swears to oppose pornography. I think many would agree that alone should disqualify him from being president.

To me, “Santorum Two” truly poses an existential threat to the separation of church and state, one of the bedrock principles of our nation since its inception. Not only did Thomas Jefferson speak of the need to create “a wall of separation between church and state,” so did Santorum’s idol, Ronald Reagan, who succinctly stated, “church and state are, and must remain, separate.”

While there may be millions of Americans who in their heart agree with the views of “Santorum Two,” it is my hope they will reject any attempts to move America closer to a becoming the Afghanistan of the Western Hemisphere.

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