Rick Santorum’s Extreme Attempts to Become Relevant

Jul 02 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

That enemy of Women’s Reproductive Rights Rick Santorum, after being largely invisible at the Republican debate, closed out June with an attack on marriage equality.  Besides being against Women’s Reproductive Rights, he’s against Planned Parenthood, the environment, Google, women having jobs outside the home,[1] Islam,[2] sanity, human decency, and just about anything else you care to name (though he is for the crusades), so why not go down swinging against Marriage Equality?

Courtesy of 630 WMAL in Washington D.C.:

Santorum goes to the usual extremes, comparing same-sex marriage with polygamy, or marrying your own father. The relativism of the Tea Party is exposed by Santorum’s argument that marriage equality is not an issue that can be left to the states. It’s interesting to listen to him argue against states’ rights. Isn’t it a mantra of the Tea Party that the state must supersede the federal government. Don’t fundamentalists want states to be free of the First Amendment, repeal the 14th Amendment that applies it to the states, and let the states have state-sponsored religion?

Apparently, only if the states make the proper – that is, in line with Republican political theology – decision. If states – or people – fail to make the right choice, the choice must be taken from them, as in Wisconsin and particularly, Michigan, where democracy has been suspended by the Tea Party.

Writing in the National  Review Online, Santorum elaborates disingenuously on this theme, attacking passage of the new marriage law in New York:

Unlike others in this race, I believe it is the role of the president to weigh in when states try to redefine the meaning of marriage. Marriage is defined in the federal law as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife; any state that redefines marriage is wreaking havoc not only with the definitions of the federal law and the majority of states, but, even more importantly, with the single most important and time-tested institution of every successful society.

So now a Tea Partier wants the president to intervene in states’ business! The essential hypocrisy of this position is demonstrated by his claim that the New York law violates DOMA while claiming that Republican refusal to grant the rights guaranteed by the Constitution is not a violation of the Constitution.

As for his historical claims about marriage (the same uttered by every other Republican candidate), they are flawed and inaccurate. Santorum’s claim is this:

“Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman.”

But that’s simply not true. Same-sex relationships, including marriage, have a long and ancient history and were recognized in both Greece and Rome.  For example, a law found in the compilation of Roman law known as the Theodosian Code dated to 342 C.E. (C. Th. 9.7.3) issued by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans, outlaws same-sex marriage, which was obviously legal under the pagan empire. And not only is same-sex marriage outlawed, but those so married are to be put to death.

Santorum is lying or ignorant (almost certainly both). But even if Santorum was right, it’s a poor sort of logic to say “we have to do it this way because that’s how it’s always been done.” By that logic, the slaves should never have been freed and we should still be burning witches at the stake. Protestantism itself would never exist had Luther and others been satisfied with “because that’s the way it’s always been done.”

Interestingly, it was Sarah Palin, herself not far down the branch of Santorum, who called him (by not calling him) a “knuckle-dragging Neanderthal” and for once Sarah Palin made sense. He is clearly that and it is difficult to imagine any woman actually voting for him (though this can be said of many Republican candidates).

Other conservatives like to refer to his “impeccable social record” (like his interviewer here) but his “impeccable social record” will pander only to the Republican base. It won’t attract moderate voters and it won’t attract women, minorities, atheists, the LGBT community, environmentalists, Muslims, or sane people.

We’ve already seen how “far-sighted” this clown of clowns is. Do you remember back in 2009 when at CPAC and waving his little fisties he uttered the words of prophecy: that Attorney General Holder “confirm[ed]” to bin Laden that “effeminate and pampered Americans will cower away”

And just two years later, American didn’t cower away from Osama bin Laden but blew him away, at the orders of the black President Santorum hates, Barack Obama. The thing is, Santorum is a worse listener than prophet, or maybe he’d prophesize better if he listened: Eric Holder was referring to race, not foreign policy, when he called America a “nation of cowards.”

Rick Santorum is a man who was driven from office in disgrace and nobody has wanted him back. His poll numbers are just south of abysmal; as Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post wrote on June 6, his entry into the presidential race “was largely greeted with a yawn by the political community.” He is, according to Cillizza, an agitator.

He may or may not have an important role to play in the 2012 elections (Cillizza thinks he does) but what is clear is that by his extremist take on almost every subject of importance to Americans, Santorum, whether he realizes it or not, has alienated almost everyone outside his own party. Perhaps in that sense, taking a last bite at Marriage Equality before snapping like an enraged poodle at the heels of Obama over the economy on July 1, Santorum’s agitations are meaningless. There is no one else left to offend. He might have a role to play in dividing an already shredded Republican field but it is difficult to imagine his attacks will do anything but coalesce liberal and progressive resistance against Republican rule.

Rick Santorum might wish in the end he had stayed invisible.

[1] “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….The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness“. [‘It Takes A Family,’ 7/6/2005]

[2] “The creeping Sharia throughout Europe and here in this country and in Canada. The Islamization of Europe that is already on the way and will visit these shores not too soon is a concern for us and something that we need to identify and we need to talk about and we need to fight with every ounce of our being“. [2/28/2009]

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