Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is this really what we want the campaign to be about?

I like Rick Santorum, but I think he'd be a disaster as the GOP candidate. If he were the nominee, we'd end up having the campaign be about some rather startling comments that he has made on cultural issues. I respect his sincere views that he's willing to enunciate even when he knows they're not popular. I don't happen to agree with him about these issues, but then I don't usually vote based on cultural issues. I mostly vote on economic and foreign policy questions or on the candidate's basic approach to addressing the nation's problems. Santorum is mostly strong on those questions so I could support him.

I just fear, however, that if he were the candidate we'd end up having the entire focus on some of the statements he's made on issues such as the role of women or how contraception has cheapened social relations. That might be fine as a philosophical question, but it shouldn't be a question for a political campaign for president when Republicans are trying to oust a man who has done more to transform the power and scope of the federal government than any other recent American president. If Santorum were the nominee Obama could ignore economic questions and focus on the role of modern women in America while challenging some of Santorum's statements. Ace is similarly nervous about having Santorum's past statements coming back to be the basis of the fall campaign.
Glad we've gotten all the Big Things squared away so we can now focus laser-like on the sin and moral emptiness of people having sex while avoiding pregnancy.

And if you say "gee he's just talking about this stuff:" Um, if a plumber starts talking about the bad rap iron pipes have gotten over the years, and how they're really pretty safe, I assume he's open to the idea of using iron pipes in my house.

He is a plumber, speaking about what he considers to be his area of expertise.

So when a presidential candidate starts talking about the importance of the president taking the lead on the evils of birth control, yes, I assume he believes this to be within the proper functions of the executive.

And I do not think he wants to limit it to "just talking." You know how people typically introduce ideas that are currently unpopular and outside the Overton Window? They first suggest "talking about" them. As we saw with Entitlement Reform.

Plus, he himself says these are important "public policy issues."

Not personal morality issues. Public policy issues. In other words, the public, voting, or expressing its will through its chosen legislators, gets a say on these "issues."
The opposition will have field day with some of these quotes. It will be a distraction from what Republicans should be talking about 24/7 Obamanomics and Obamacare. Remember when George Stephanopoulos asked Romney that weird question about the state having the power to regulate contraception. Well, the predicate for that question came from things Santorum had said about the right to privacy and the Griswold case. Romney avoided that trap, but it will be there again waiting for Santorum, especially now that the whole HHS mandate on birth control has brought contraception back into the limelight. The media love to ask Republicans about these sorts of issues because they think it shows the Republicans as backwards Elmer Gantrys and turns off a lot of Americans. And if Santorum is going to go off on riffs about how women shouldn't be using contraception because sex should be for procreation within marriage, you can write off whole swaths of the voting public. And Santorum is too honest of a guy not to answer these questions that the media will surely ask him.

I've been surprised that Romney has attacked Santorum on such a distraction as earmarks when these quotes from Santorum's interviews and his own book are out there. Perhaps Romney is afraid of attacking Santorum from the left and irritating social values voters. Time Magazine is already reporting on Santorum's statements so maybe Romney can depend on the media to carry his water for him. If not, he's going to have. If Romney or Gingrich don't make these arguments, we know Obama will. And it will be a disaster for the Republicans.


A Stephens said...

3rd word, 2nd paragraph, "fear".

That's where Obama, the molotov cocktail hurling Dems, and their gasoline supplier media want you to be.

The American electorate is in no mood to be dictated to from on high. Santorum is no fool. He's not Obama, I sincerely doubt he has a vision of "transformation" regarding social hot button issues.

That said, why should he apologize, moderate, or walk back from what he believes? He's a devout, practicing Catholic. These things define him. And yes, as a president his tenets of faith will serve him. In my view that's a good thing.

Character, Integrity, Courage, Maturity, Unwavering Principle, Belief in the American Experience. These things still matter. Obama has none of those. Which is why Santorum can, and should defeat him decisively. Unless those on our side succumb to fear, and refuse to fight.

Tregonsee said...

My concern with Santorum is that he has zero management experience. It does matter. That is why I am voting for Romney, with the fervent prayer that he choses a running mate who is solidly conservative, but fully vetted on the issues. Maybe Santorum.

tfhr said...

A Stephens,

Very well said. Thank you.

Tregonsee is right also about executive experience. Santorum's lack of executive experience bothers me a lot more than his opions on social issues. The former may have actual play in his performance in office whereas the latter, at least in as far as a few comments that irritate liberals are concerned, have no real bearing.

What I do like about Santorum is that he will take a stand on principle - as opposed to voting "present" when afforded an opportunity to skate.

edsusan said...

The campaign will NOT be about these things IF RICK or the GOP does not ALLOW it---THAT is where the real trouble has been over the years. WE have allowed the debate to be framed.
Were not Obama's associations and beliefs literal softball's for the GOP? And what did they do? I don't see Rick as the type to allow this...and Romney would allow it by by the way...Rick has the core to combat, hence, Romney's tricks will fizzle...I will support the eventual nominee however.

My quick "2 cents"...

Thomas said...

Tregonsee said...

My concern with Santorum is that he has zero management experience. It does matter. That is why I am voting for Romney, with the fervent prayer that he choses a running mate who is solidly conservative, but fully vetted on the issues. Maybe Santorum.

So you were a McCain fan, and that tactic worked out oh so well in 2008........

I want someone at the top of the ticket with principles....

Just saying

dbsnyder said...

If the campaign is about what the GOP candidate says, we lose - whoever it is. If the Campaign is about what Obama and the puppet masters say - WE WIN

mark said...

Obama had the guts to order the kill of OBL after Bush gave up.

If you're okay with Santorum's call for govt. intervention regarding birth control, you're not a small-govt conservative.

More lies and fake outrage by an increasingly desperate party.

A Stephens said...

Mark, nice try on the OBL spin. Were I in your shoes, I'd be making the same play, likely with the same level of conviction, which is to say, if you're truly a "progressive" then, not much at all.

The killing of UBL was Obama simply doing his job as CiC. And frankly, the irony of Obama pursuing W's terror-fighting initiatives with the infrastructure set up by Bush, and which Obama fervently opposed, is lost only on the irony-impaired morons in that pathetic ideological sewer you call the Democrat party.

But again, nice try.

mark said...

Simply doing his job? Well, yes.
The job was left to him because Bush failed. W had the same tools, same resources, and failed. Despite the tough talk, he didn't pull the trigger at Tora Bora, and showed himself as a coward (well, surrounding himself with schoolchilren while the country was under attack didn't help).

tfhr said...


You're becoming increasingly delusional. "Coward?" "Surrounded himself with children...." Really? And your Tora Bora story doesn't stack up well against the facts but if you want to worry about who pulled what trigger, ask yourself why Clinton failed to deal with bin Laden and then get back to us after you get done counting all the bodies.

Or you can try and stay focused on what voters care about this coming election: The Economy. Specifically they care about J-O-B-S, Biden's favorite three letter word.

Now unless you have a plan to find employment for the millions of people that have simply stopped looking for work in Obama's economy and that work happens to be at a birth control pill factory, I'd worry less about contrived contraception concerns and stay focused on the real problems that face Americans.

mark said...

Yes, blame Clinton, and then skip over the eight months of Bush ignoring attack threats leading up to 9/11.

And let's forget the repub war on women and contraception, even though repubs stoked the fake outrage about contraception, and will continue it tomorrow with Blount's bill.

Sure, let's talk about the economy, which is steadily improving under Obama. He made mistakes, but he saved the car industry and a million or so jobs.

I realize that you want to get rid of the stink of W's failure, and your support for, perhaps, the worst foreign policy decision in our history. Scrub harder.

tfhr said...


You can run from Obama's record and you can try and hide the millions of unemployed that remain so under his failed policies but you cannot hide the trillions of dollars of debt the man has piled on the backs of future generations.

If you believe the economy is improving then by all means, tell us what Obama has done to make this happen. Well?

"War on women"? If that's the best distraction you've got, you're in for a painful election. It smells like Carter around here. Just wait until the gas prices start climbing higher and higher. Maybe Obama should not have sat on his hands when Iranians were dying in the streets in 2009. Maybe he could have used some of that bogus Nobel clout to galvanize the world community into supporting Iranian political reforms. Maybe. But then politicians that choose to vote "present" rather than risk their careers with decisive actions needed for the good of the nation are more concerned about protecting their own jobs than anything else. That is the one and only core belief you know you can count on with Obama. It works on left wing zealots like those in his base that convinced him that Keystone should be blocked. What stupidity!

If you think you can pin "worst" foreign policy decision on Bush, I strongly suggest that you review Jimmy Carter's decision to roll over for the Ayatollah in 1979. We're just now getting the full appreciation for just how stupid that was as Iran continues down the nuclear path. Do you think Carter's failure to act when our embassy was overrun might have convinced the wrong people to believe that terrorist tactics were the way to go when it came to advancing the cause of radical Islam?

Anyway, if you want to worry about birth control pills at a time when record numbers of Americans are on food stamps, when gasoline prices are climbing and when our corporate tax structure continues to chase good paying jobs overseas, then by all means, you keep that as your priority.

mark said...
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mark said...

I don't need to know who pulled the trigger. I already know.

And I won't defend every action by Obama. He's made mistakes, which I have criticized. He's had successes which repubs won't acknowledge: killing OBL, getting rid of Ghadafi and saving the car industry are three things we should all agree on. There are others I consider successes but you'll disagree. Fine. You want to brush off the fact that 9/11 occurred on Bush's watch because it was just eight months into his presidency, but then saddle Obama with all the layoffs that occurred in his first few months.

Repubs have failed miserably to come up with a reasonable candidate. They are making the choice for independents easier. Conservatives here were bashing

tfhr said...


Was that you at 6:34? You should've deleted your earlier comments too.

Hey, I forgot to ask you about that "saved the car industry" thing. Are you serious? How is Fiat's Chrysler doing? Are you glad that we spent billions to prop Chrysler up so an Italian company could buy it? If so, then you're probably chuffed about the stunning success of another Obamamobile gambit: Fisker.

Here is a recent link Betsy used regarding Fisker:

Can you justify using American taxes to subsidize the manufacture of cars costing over $100K each? In Finland? Do you think that is smart? I guess they don't burn up like Volts but really, are you serious? I guess you are since you were all on board for Solyndra but against Keystone. I think you need to cut back on those birth control pills, mark.

tfhr said...


What do you know about pulling a trigger? You've been pulling Obama's finger for too long and don't know the difference!

Nobody is trying to undercut the accomplishment of the SEAL mission in Pakistan. What bothers me is that you won't acknowledge how that was achieved but that goes against the narrative of the 2008 campaign, doesn't it?

Anyway, back to Obama's failure to revitalize the economy, the central point of the 2012 campaign.

mark said...

I'm glad you're finally acknowledging that the Iraq was was a mistake (despite pretending that Carter's decision was worse). Slow steps.

tfhr said...


I agree that pulling out of Iraq too early was a grave mistake, mark. I've never thought the "withdrawal method" was very reliable. I also agreed with Hillary Clinton when she voted to use force to remove Saddam. To hear her speak of it now, I'd say she's got some morning after regrets but then she had the same intel Bush and her husband had been given.

I know you miss that old, mass murdering dictator - given your love of supreme leaders - but you'll just have to find someone else to love. Just make sure you use protection, if you know what I mean.

Wait a minute...I thought this was a thread about the failure of Obamanomics, how did we get to your man-crush on Saddam? Oh yeah, it's about forms of birth control, according to you.

mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mark said...

Yes, tfhr.
My being against the war in Iraq was about my hating the troops and being sexually attracted to Saddam Hussein.
Mighty impressive piece of reasoning. Our military intelligence is lucky to have you.

tfhr said...


Did you delete the comment at 8:08 because it was more lame than the 8:19 version or did you actually try to rationalize why you or anyone would consider voting for Obama based on his performance?

mark said...

I know you miss that old, mass murdering dictator - given your love of supreme leaders - but you'll just have to find someone else to love.

I'm not going to get into a ridiculous back-and-forth with you, so take your final shot(s).
Just realize that the above quote is further evidence of what a fraud you are. Nobody who takes military intelligence and protecting our country seriouslsy would make such a stupid, clownish comment. Once again, you've embarrassed yourself.

tfhr said...

Plinking that "fraud" string on the old banjo again, eh mark?

Apparently I've given you too much credit for having enough intelligence to realize that my tangent of choice is meant to parody your frequent forays into some left field, make believe distraction away from the real issue. You've decided that the 2012 election will now be, at least in large part, about birth control. That is ridiculous. This election will be decided by the economy and how voters are impacted by it when they go to cast their votes.

You've been given ample opportunity to explain why you believe Obama's policies are effective, at least in your mind, but you cannot seem to find the words. Instead you've run off about birth control and terrorists after entering into the thread with some sort of remark about courage.

Really, mark? You think Obama has displayed courage by blowing off the Keystone pipeline rather than risking the support of wingnut leftists that comprise his base? So much for J-O-B-S. So much for energy independence from foreign oil. So much for lowering the cost of energy and the impact that that fuel costs have on every last American. Real courage, mark. Only you could confuse courage with a cold, political calculation meant to manipulate morons.

But hey, it's an election year, so what else matters to you?