The Non-Electability of Rick Santorum

It has become accepted as a matter of fact in some circles that Rick Santorum is completely unelectable in a general election.  He is so outside the mainstream that Barack Obama would simply wipe the floor with him.  I’ve even seen it asserted by more than one commenter than Santorum wouldn’t even match Walter Mondale’s electoral vote total.

The more extreme claim is patently ludicrous to anyone even remotely familiar with America’s political landscape.  I would suggest that, at a minimum, no Republican candidate can lose the following states in the upcoming presidential election:  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.  I’ve left out states like Alaska and West Virginia that I think are longshots for Obama as well.  That’s not exactly Mondale territory – that’s not even Dukakis bad.

Fine, you say, Santorum won’t lose every state.  He still can’t hold the line in swing states like Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Missouri and others.  He is just too extreme for these states.

Really?  So the guy who won statewide election in a leaning-Democratic swing state twice has no shot in leaning-Republican swing states?  Yes, I know that Santorum lost by 18 points the last time he ran in Pennsylvania, and that should not be so casually dismissed.  But he did win twice, and he ran as a conservative no different from the man he is now.

As for Santorum’s 18 point loss – yes, it is bad and it looks strange that someone who lost by such a large amount in his last election could possibly win the presidency.  I would just note that in November 2006 Mitt Romney’s approval rating in the state of Massachusetts stood at 34 percent.  The only reason he was not shellacked in his re-election effort is because he didn’t even attempt to run again.

Just saying.

60 Responses to The Non-Electability of Rick Santorum

  • It has become accepted as a matter of fact in some circles that Rick Santorum is completely unelectable in a general election. He is so outside the mainstream that Barack Obama would simply wipe the floor with him. I’ve even seen it asserted by more than one commenter than Santorum wouldn’t even match Walter Mondale’s electoral vote total.

    Just out of curiosity, to whom are you referring? (In particular, who is it that fancies that Mr. Santorum would receive fewer than 13 electoral votes)?

  • Most recently, a commenter on this thread (can’t link directly, but scroll down a bit to a gentleman named Knappster). I’ve also seen this expressed by commenters on Ace of Spades and Red State. Others haven’t been quite as extreme, but have intimated that he couldn’t win many electoral votes outside of a few southern states.

    Actually, it’s a regular trope of anti-Perry folks that he couldn’t win a single state outside the deep south, to which my response is the same as it is to the anti-Santorum people.

  • In regard to Casey the Lesser and his defeat of Santorum in 2006, Santorum was up for re-election in one of the worst post-war years for Republican candidates. Casey benefited from the good will of the people of Pennsylvania had built up to his father, Bob Casey, former governor of Pennsylvania and one of the great pro-life heroes of our time. Casey the Lesser ran as pro-life, amazing as that is considering his votes subsequently in the Senate. In a blue State like Pennsylvania it is no wonder that Santorum was defeated in 2006 but that he won twice before for the Senate. In 2010 Toomey, running against a very weak Democrat candidate in the best election year for Republicans since Calvin Coolidge was President, managed to win election with only 51%. Pennsylvania is a hard state for Republicans to win state wide.

    In head to head polls against Obama, Santorum is normally only a few points behind:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57355518-503544/poll-among-gop-hopefuls-romney-fares-best-against-obama/

  • The primary system seems so bizarre. Tromping in the cold and sometimes snow in tiny rural Iowa, then onto the small state of NH, then onto South Carolina. Why not have a little longer shot at it, one same-date primary, pour the cash into national and regional ads as detrmined and vote. It would be a way of eliminating the long-drawn out primaries, tedious ads, waste of cash on the early primaries. I look as an outsider now to the US scene which we still watch faithfully on local and USA TV. There is a lot to be said here for the five weeks maximum allowed in the UK system as in others which allows the parties and candidates time to get their messages across. Big help comes from the generous use of the People’s airwaves for public purposes. No doubt the land masses are smaller, but there is overall not that much different in the overall breakdown of the entire USA when one balances rural, urban, farming, manifacturing and religious groups and not to overlook the unemployed and foreclosed.

  • He won a moderate state 12 years ago. Bush won 12 years ago. You think Bush would be electable today on that basis? A lot can happen in 12 years. I think too much is made of the 18 point loss but a 12-year old win is even less relevant.

    I dont’ wanna say I told you so but the latest polls have Romney surging. There was no ceiling. Or rather there’s a ceiling but it’s pretty high.

  • I think the best primary reform would be to move the first primary to something like May.

    As to Santorum’s electability, unless Gingrich drops out before SC and every one of his supporters moves to Santorum, Romney’s got the nomination 95% sewed up. Taking it a step further, unless Gingrich drops out before FL and all of his supporters go to Santorum, Romney sweeps the primaries. I’d prefer to see Santorum win, but I’m fine with Romney, and anyway, like I’ve said before, I’m in Maryland and have no say in the electoral process.

    The most amusing thing about a Romney 51-state primary sweep would be the number of pundits with egg on their faces.

  • “I dont’ wanna say I told you so but the latest polls have Romney surging.”

    Of course you want to say “I told you so” RR! However, as Lincoln noted, the hen is the wisest of birds: she only cackles after the egg is lain. Let us see how Romney fares in South Carolina in actual voting.

  • “You think Bush would be electable today on that basis?”

    Actually my guess is that Bush could beat Obama today. I would also note that Bush 43 was unable to win Pennsylvania in 2000, when Santorum was re-elected to his second term in the Senate.

  • I think the punditry we saw will be typical going forward. First, they’ll say that Republicans always get behind the next-in-line early. When polls don’t confirm that, they’ll say that extremist Republicans have highjacked the party and are about to nominate an incompetent racist homophobe. Former Republicans will express how disappointed that the next-in-line hasn’t sewn up the nomination and how the party has left them. Then, the next-in-line actually becomes the inevitable nominee and having already cast him as the moderate in the race, pundits suddenly change tune and say he’s the extremist. They’ll say he changed and as proof offer cherry picked statements made in the 80′s. In the end, everyone will vote for the party they were always going to vote for and the independent swing voters will pick the guy they wanna have a beer with.

  • “Why not… one same-date primary, pour the cash into national and regional ads as detrmined and vote. It would be a way of eliminating the long-drawn out primaries, tedious ads, waste of cash on the early primaries…..”
    WHY in the world would we want to do that? That would make it more difficult or impossible impossible for a person like Santorum to get any traction, or for actual voters to get to know what they themselves think of the candidate. You would have to have big money and media before you started! What is wrong with devoting some time to the process and taking it to the regular folks? esp. since the three early states are apparently different social political demographics

  • Most recently, a commenter on this thread (can’t link directly, but scroll down a bit to a gentleman named Knappster).

    Ach. What a bucket of eels.

  • AD: “Bucket of eels.” Good imagery!

    Pray for the best: anybody but Obama. Prepare for the worst: it is all over. Obama re-elected.

    My agenda: Trust in God. Strategic investing: gold, guns and whiskey. Go to Canadian Consulate. Ask for immigration papers. Fish and hunt up there all year round.

  • I thought John McCain was an awful candidate; his team was reactive, petty, and clueless on messaging. He was unable to articulate even rudimentary elements of a political vision for the country, much less successfully respond to candidate Obama’s. The Republican base despised him and he was running in the worst year for a Republican in the last 30.

    And he got 46% of the vote and lost by 7.

    I believe Santorum would lose to Obama; I believe Romney will probably lose (55%-60% chance). But with the way the parties have sorted themselves on ideological lines over the last thirty years, we’re just not going to see Mondale-style defeats for the foreseeable future. And we certainly won’t see them this year with the economy struggling and Obama required by circumstances to run an overwhelmingly negative campaign. All that said, I am relieved that Santorum won’t be the nominee; his extremely hawkish foreign policy suggests to me that he has learned very little from the last ten years.

  • I still defend the ida of having a set number of months, drop the early, a-typical primary states. I forget who it was but decades ago a commentator on the US scene said that if one was dropped blind-folded into any major city of the nation, they would look alike. The people buy the same products, attend the worship style they prefer- many even have switched denominations more than was experienced as late as the 60s. They are “formed” by, or “seduced” by the same TV commercials for food as for political candidates. People are not as loyal to “brands” for faith or food or political candidates as they once were. Use the TV to air the candidates’ views, cut the 30/60 second TV and radio spots and let the nation decide. The obscene amounts needed for any major election today are turning the voters into Pavlov’s dogs or the old Hidden Persuaders of Mc Luhan”s mich simpler days before 24/7 media, social media and often deceptive ads

  • I’ve been noticing “not electable” means “everyone believes them when they say they’re socially conservative” a decent amount of the time.

  • Actualy, RR, I think Bush would probably before electable than any of the current candidates and would beat Obama handily — if his name wasn’t Bush but instead some big state governor with the same positions and personality Bush came to the primary with back in 2000. Having betrayed his base on foreign policy and failed to deliver the mushy middle a magical economic turn around, the GOP ought to have a walk in the park if they had a candidate that basically acceptable.

  • From Victor Davis Hanson:

    “When you think about it, Obama has kept the detention camp at Guantanamo. He’s going ahead with military tribunals. And where Bush only waterboarded three terrorists, Obama has used drones to execute about 2,600.

    “Obama’s sort of growing on me.”

    Seems all that charity, justice and peace stuff was cynical political posturing.

  • Darwin, in 2000, Bush was for a carbon tax and federal education standards. Betrayed his base on foreign policy? The base was for the Iraq War.

  • RR, Darwin was referring to Obama’s betrayal of his base on foreign policy.

  • One thing I do enjoy in regard to Rick Santorum’s run: it certainly brings the anti-Catholic bigots out of the woodwork for easy identification.

    http://news.yahoo.com/opus-dei-influenced-rick-santorum-201937160.html

  • No wait! There is no longer any doubt that the Obama regime has committed war crimes. The only question is when Obama will be held to account.

  • I thought John McCain was an awful candidate…And he got 46% of the vote and lost by 7.

    Did you ask yourself about the performance of other candidates in that set of circumstances? Prior to 1950, it was fairly common for political parties to be granted a third turn at presidential wheel. Not so since, where the incumbent party has done so once in seven attempts. The situations most analogous to that faced by John McCain were in 1952 and 1968; McCain’s performance did not compare unfavorably to either that of Adlai Stevenson or Hubert Humphrey. It was helpful to McCain that the Democratic candidate was a gossamer figure and the wrong color for a small contingent of their usual electorate; it hurt McCain that seven firms at the commanding heights of our financial sector went into crisis smack in the middle of his campaign. Call it a wash.

    I believe Santorum would lose to Obama; I believe Romney will probably lose (55%-60% chance).

    John Henry the Greek posits something with little precedent. The mean unemployment rate during this administration has been the highest of any in the last seventy years; the rate of growth in production has been the lowest of all bar one since 1932; public sector borrowing as a share of domestic income has each year exceeded that of any year on record outside of the 2d World War; and social survey research indicates that the incumbent is regarded with a disapproval more persistent and intense than that of any post-war president bar Jimmy Carter. Given that we are thirty-one months into the current business cycle and facing God-knows-what in the Eurozone, I do not think we are due for a sudden burst of rapid economic growth to save the incumbent’s bacon. If this man is returned to office, it will be a tour-de-force.

  • Commentary I’ve read said the curious point of the 2006 election is Santorum’s loss margin to a weaker candidate. I am surprised he lost considering how much federal money he brought to the state.

    I think all the candidates, except Ron Paul, is electable to varying degrees.

  • Santorum supported embryonic stem cell research? What’s an “altered human embryo?” Even if this does not destroy new embryos, the research, if successful would lead to the farming of embryos IMO.

    “Santorum and Specter team up on stem-cell bill The compromise measure would involve creating altered embryos as a source for the material.”
    http://articles.philly.com/2006-05-06/news/25400471_1_fund-new-methods-embryonic-stem-cell-stem-cell-bill

  • Without more detail than the article has, he may have been promoting IPSCs. I’ll see what I can find.

  • K, what the bill supported was “Altered Nuclear Transfer with Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming.” Mary meets Dolly, a great go-to site for anything Catholic and cloning related, only opposes it because it involves treating women as a resource. (She’s good about calling folks out on redefining stuff out of existence, like claiming a cloned embryo is different than a non-cloned one.)

    Me, I don’t like ANT-OAR, but some folks that she holds as having very solid chops in the pro-life area thought it was just fine.

  • Santorum also voted for funding birth control. He justified it by saying that it including funding for a lot of other stuff.

  • RR-
    anyone who’s ever voted to fund the military has “voted for funding for birth control.” Did you have something more specific in mind? When I search for Santorum birth control all that comes up is a bunch of liberal fear mongering about him making it illegal.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyFSXGVX73s

    So it’s okay to vote for birth control as long as you’re not voting for it for the birth control? Does the same apply to abortion funding?

  • Have you go something BESIDES a shaky, odd-angle youtube video?

    If you can’t boil down what you’re saying he did into specific claims, why should I spend the time trying to make your case?

  • You want me to provide you with a transcript? The video is less than 2 minutes!

  • Darwin, in 2000, Bush was for a carbon tax and federal education standards. Betrayed his base on foreign policy? The base was for the Iraq War.

    Yeah, sorry for the lack of clarity, that clause was meant to refer to Obama: “Having betrayed his base on foreign policy and failed to deliver the mushy middle a magical economic turn around, Obama should be eminently beatable for the GOP, if they had a candidate that basically acceptable.”

    So it’s okay to vote for birth control as long as you’re not voting for it for the birth control? Does the same apply to abortion funding?

    Well, let’s see… There’s the difference that birth control doesn’t involve killing someone.

    While I consider the use of birth control to be immoral, I don’t see its inclusion in spending bills as being the sort of massive issue that funding abortion is. Just because they’re both things that Catholics aren’t supposed to do does not mean that they’re the same.

  • I didn’t say they’re the same. So it’s just a matter of degree?

  • No, it’s a matter of kind.

  • So funding immoral activity is permissible as long as it’s not murder?

  • Straw Man alert! Straw Man alert!

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html

    Here is a handy dandy link to a first rate list and description of logical fallacies:

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

    Learn ‘em and Love ‘em. They could revolutionize com box discourse! Or not.

    Ad Hominem
    Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
    Appeal to Authority
    Appeal to Belief
    Appeal to Common Practice
    Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
    Appeal to Emotion
    Appeal to Fear
    Appeal to Flattery
    Appeal to Novelty
    Appeal to Pity
    Appeal to Popularity
    Appeal to Ridicule
    Appeal to Spite
    Appeal to Tradition
    Bandwagon
    Begging the Question
    Biased Sample
    Burden of Proof
    Circumstantial Ad Hominem
    Composition
    Confusing Cause and Effect
    Division
    False Dilemma
    Gambler’s Fallacy
    Genetic Fallacy
    Guilt By Association
    Hasty Generalization
    Ignoring A Common Cause
    Middle Ground
    Misleading Vividness
    Personal Attack
    Poisoning the Well
    Post Hoc
    Questionable Cause
    Red Herring
    Relativist Fallacy
    Slippery Slope
    Special Pleading
    Spotlight
    Straw Man
    Two Wrongs Make A Right

  • You want me to provide you with a transcript? The video is less than 2 minutes!

    No, I want you to state your specific accusation, preferably in the form of “Santorum voted for X bill(s).” Either the video has that information, in which case I don’t know why you didn’t just say what it is, or it’s rather nebulous, in which case I’m not wasting time building your case.

    Generally, when that information isn’t forthcoming, someone along the line for the claim decided that the specific facts weakened their case. Sometimes it’s just to try to get people to waste time, and a few times I’ve seen it used to drive up views on a video, but those are less common…..

    Incidentally, yes, I’d say that contraception is different than slaughtering children. Lovely red herring, though.

  • I don’t know what bill. In the video, Santorum says he voted for a bill that contained funding for birth control. He says he opposes funding for birth control but the bill contained funding for other stuff so he voted for it. What more do you need?

    Yes, contraception is different from abortion. That’s missing the point. Is it permissible to vote to fund immoral activity? Why is nobody able to answer that? If your position is yes, it’s permissible to fund immoral activity but abortion is so bad that it’s almost never permissible to fund it, just say so!

  • I don’t know what bill. In the video, Santorum says he voted for a bill that contained funding for birth control. He says he opposes funding for birth control but the bill contained funding for other stuff so he voted for it. What more do you need?

    As I pointed out, anyone who’s ever voted to fund the military has voted for a bill with contraception funding in it. The details DO matter.

    Why is nobody able to answer that?

    Strawman again. Just because we’re not going to run and do what you think we should do for a point you didn’t even bother to state until now– why do you expect us to drag everything out for you?– doesn’t mean we can’t do something.

    I don’t feel any need to sprint down rabbit holes at your whim, thanks. Rather tiring how it takes, what, three posts for you to clarify your accusation to “Santorum says he voted for a bill that included birth control funding.” (Which is still too nebulous, but better than the original.)

  • I don’t feel any need to sprint down rabbit holes at your whim, thanks.

    What she said.

  • Yes, contraception is different from abortion. That’s missing the point. Is it permissible to vote to fund immoral activity? Why is nobody able to answer that? If your position is yes, it’s permissible to fund immoral activity but abortion is so bad that it’s almost never permissible to fund it, just say so!

    Your phrase “permissible to vote to fund an immoral activity” strikes me as assuming a cleanliness that almost never exists in the real world of a democratic republic — especially as large and messy as our own.

    In the abstract, if one is faced with a choice which is simply:

    a) Fund immoral activity X
    b) Do not fund immoral activity X

    I would assume that the answer would always be B). However, in the real world, funding bills tend to cover a variety of things, good, bad and unknown. I imagine that every funding bill funds immoral activity. After all, most people manage to act in an immoral way most of the time. The question would be: How immoral is the act. How directly am I supporting the act. What positive things am I achieving by voting for this particular bill which contains both good and bad things, and how do the good and bad elements of it weigh out.

    As such decisions go, I would tend to weigh something like abortion (or euthanasia, or eugenic forced sterilization, or genocide, etc.) so highly that few other concerns would be capable of causing pragmatic support. With contraception, however, I’m more inclined (given the society that we’re dealing with) to assume a classical liberalism kind of approach and leave these choices up to individual people. Do I think it’s wrong of them to choose to use contraception? Yes. Would I support forcing it on anyone? Absolutely not. Can I see providing funds to make contraception available as part of a medical care to those who choose to use it in a liberal democracy in which the majority of people do not consider it wrong — yeah, that’s a compromise that I consider worth making. That are levels of error I see it as worth using force to prevent and levels or error I think it’s worth while to allow.

  • The present Pope as head of the CDF used common sense to state the obviously simple. One can vote for a candidate who favours abortion IF one looks at the package of issues in the election, weighs them and the other candidates’ views and decides. The wording is mkine, the reasoining is his. Discernment is called for obviously as the Consistent Ethic of Life is assumed and one does not as a practical Catholic Christian vote for abortion as “choice” if one is so persuaded. Knowledge of the “Seamless Garment” image of the late Cardinal of Chicago USA and the Lordship of Jesus over all Life are presumed. As noted above birth control which is morally evil according to the OT and abortion which is against Natural Law and indiscriminate divorce and re-marriage were once all illegal in the USA. We in Europe have a different political system in that the two houses of Government and a President as in the US can be of different parties and must agree or come to a negotiated decision. The winning PM here is head of the majority party and so that party has more control over taxation, public assistance. The President is not elected in Europe as in the US from a specific party to continue in that office which is honourary at that point. He/she asks the Supreme Court to decide if a proposed law is constitututional so there is none of the layers of courts and appeals and fear of turning the Supreme Court majority to favour abortion or reverse it as is such a crass element in the USA today.

  • That charity, justice and peace stuff is little more than cynical political posturing to buy political power and advance abortion – the Democrat Prime Directive.

    How’s that justice and peace working for you? Since January 2009, more Americans are hopeless and poor.

    And, according to a Pew survey, 67% of Americans hate other Americans because they think the they stole from them.

    Obama must go.

  • Thanks, Darwin and HT. So it’s as I suspected. It’s not formal cooperation if done for other proportional reasons.

    But Darwin, you say, “Would I support forcing it on anyone? Absolutely not.”

    If there was a standalone bill to ban contraception, why wouldn’t you support it? For pragmatic reasons? E.g., inefficient use of law enforcement resources.

  • It’s not formal cooperation if done for other proportional reasons.

    Not being a moral theologian, I’m not going to comment on whether something is “formal cooperation” or not. I’m simply going to say at an everyday moral and political level that I think there’s a lot more room to see proportional reasons for voting for a package of spending that includes funding for an evil such as birth control than there is to see proportional reasons to vote for funding abortion.

    But Darwin, you say, “Would I support forcing it on anyone? Absolutely not.”

    If there was a standalone bill to ban contraception, why wouldn’t you support it? For pragmatic reasons? E.g., inefficient use of law enforcement resources.

    First, let me clarify that when I said: Do I think it’s wrong of them to choose to use contraception? Yes. Would I support forcing it on anyone? Absolutely not. Can I see providing funds to make contraception available as part of a medical care to those who choose to use it in a liberal democracy in which the majority of people do not consider it wrong — yeah, that’s a compromise that I consider worth making.

    The “it” I was referring to was contraception, not my belief that contraception is wrong. I would consider it far worse to supply funding to eugenic efforts that force birth control or sterilization on people against their will than to supply funding that made birth control available to people who wanted it. I could see the possibility of realistic compromise on the latter, but not the former.

    If there were a standalone bill to ban contraception in a country such as the modern US, I would not support it, because I think it would be an inefficient (and probably futile) use of state power. Back in 1900, when birth control was illegal in most of the US and those bans were generally supported, I would certainly have supported keeping them in place.

    The reason why I can see more flexibility on this kind of issue is that people who use birth control are primarily hurting themselves. People who use abortion are seeking to kill another. So in addition to the fact that murder is a worse evil than sexual impurity, abortion is an attack on one person by another rather than an attack on one person by that person himself. Interpersonal wrongs are typically things that are much more addressable by the law than personal wrongs.

  • Darwin, I think we’re in complete agreement, which should scare you.

  • The struggle for Truth, Justice and the American Way will intensify and progress no matter who wins. The state, with the authentic authority to defend virtue and condemn vice, is constituted by the sovereign personhood of the newly begotten human being brought into existence by our Creator.

  • The pro-contraceptive, pro-abortion, pro-transhumanism, pro-genetic exploitation Republican leaders in places of power and amplified arenas like DC and NYC and the press don’t like Santorum. These so-called conservatives are so beaten down by their sins, they’re trying to do what we all do. Crucify and ignore good. If they can succeed in making everyone as bad as they are, or at least squashing any sign of goodness that enters into their view, they hope their guilt will dissipate. They should learn from us other sinners that ignoring, crucifying and placing goodness and the guilt of our failures into the deep dark caves of our mind and covering them with boulders of vice and lies won’t stop the resurrection of God’s love for us and calls to repent.

  • At this point, whether or not Santorum gets elected has less to do now with what he says or does, and more to do with what we do and say!
    It is fun to discuss and debate at arm’s length- but it would be helpful if we put all that brainpower to a strategy and a willingness to help transform this election!
    Looking back at some encyclicals Leo 13, B15, Pius 12– lots of the troubles of world are not laid at the feet of those amorphous “others” but at the feet of the Catholic
    and… think Lepanto

  • My election philosophy is to avoid seeking a “saviour, ” a white-hatted cowboy coming to route the enemy. The ultimate goal is to create a citizenry where the majority demands out of conviction that all human dignity is sacred and legislation and policy reflects that. War, taxation, health care, foreign aid, human rights at home and abroad, the death penalty and the fiundamental right to life in the womb. So often it seems to me the Church’s bishops and their state conferences lobby government and preach only on abortion, that is too often how it comes across, as people do not “listen” outside election years. It hurts as that consistent education is not carried out in the Liturgy as various incidents and readings are proclaimed throughout the year. Sermons on abortion are not really all that helpful as the “choir is already converted” as they say. The whole congregations needs to be moved in that sacredness of life lesson. No need to talk about abortion in Advent and Christmas. Jesus becoming a God-Man is powerful enough to convince us of His Love and life as precious Gift. Faith not head knowledge converts us, so work on the Liturgy and Grace, including biblically rooted lessons in homilies are the key to its growth in our heads and hearts.

  • I stand by the view that Santorum is unelectable but watching tonight’s debate, it’s become clear to me that he’s the most moderate Republican, now that Huntsman is out. That was an impressive performance. On every issue, he stood to the left of all the others (except Paul on foreign policy). He wants the highest tax rate of all the candidates. 28%, the same as Huntsman. Instead of unfunded entitlements like Newt and the status quo like Romney, Santorum wants to cut entitlements for the wealthy. He wants ex-cons to vote. He would not strip US citizens of habeus corpus. He would continue foreign aid, without question. The issues on which he’s perceived to be a right-wing extreme, gay rights and birth control, he’s no more extremist than the others. He has said he would not ban them and he’s even voted for birth control.

    Add the fact that he’s intelligent, articulate, genuine, and actually understands how Washington works and he’s the most appealing candidate. I still disagree with him on his industrial policy and reintroducing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell but I disagree with the others on many more issues.

  • “My election philosophy is to avoid seeking a “saviour, ” a white-hatted cowboy coming to route the enemy. The ultimate goal is to create a citizenry where the majority demands out of conviction that all human dignity is sacred and legislation and policy reflects that. War, taxation, health care, foreign aid, human rights at home and abroad, the death penalty and the fiundamental right to life in the womb.”

    I agree. Which is why the last election was a disaster. Obama and his efforts at establishing a European social democracy in America is clearly on multiple levels a failure of authentic Catholic Social Justice. The false utopianism of the left is coming home to roost in the debt crisis of the failed European system which now threatens the American recovery.

    On to pragmatically guided policies that take into account the actual human condition.

  • PHLLIP; The European economic crisis is absolutely tied to the USA disaster. Banks and the over-bloated property market here were led by gamblers. and followed the same US pattern of sub-prime mortgage loans- same as the USA Secretary Geitner came here from the USA to Europe and forced the nations here to pay all the bond-holders here, banks and insurance companies and the ECB ( central bank) forced it all to be repaid, partly on his direction, and the EEC ( commission) say the governments cannot write it down or negotiate it, some are trying to negotiate some of that debt from the later bail-out money caused by the 100 % payment of the bond holders, The UK and Ireland Greek and Italian governments are pushing severe austerity without growth in the economy which is added pain for the most vulnerable. The Banks which are paid up are not afraids to loan money as in the USA. The Global Village is totally interconnected. For better and for worse!

  • “Banks and the over-bloated property market here were led by gamblers. and followed the same US pattern of sub-prime mortgage loans…”

    Then who is the bigger fool, the fool or the fool who follows the fool? Seems again like Europes problems are problems of their own making.

  • Yes- gambling, greed and such are common to flawed human nature. I am not a student of economics or world finances, a family member is. I am into the Humanities, the religious aspect of it all and feel it when anyone is in trouble, especially when austerity hurts those who are down already before the recovery takes off. I hope all the “experts” hide the Keynes textbook, and learn from this Great Depression Rerun, minus some corrections undertaken back then. Do you foresee any severe austerity hitting the US economy or will it recover first? As I also noted earlier, the whole Ethic of Life is part of my concern, the “personal morality” as it were ( which does include others for some immorality) and the social-moral community which embraces all of everything in our human experience and aloving concern for all of Creation,

  • I am also concerned with the Ethic of Life. I believe there is personal virtue of which justice governs the relationship with others. I believe there is morality in the community which is the sum of personal virtue or vice.

    I believe our differences are more of practical application than of belief.

  • PHILLIP I did not sense any conflict between us on the essential points. it took me a while to oppose the death penalty decades ago, and to realise that money spent on war was stolen from the human needs in too many cases. The old principles for war established by St Augustine in the fifth century are still valid, TALK first, proportionate means, no evil to get a good accomplised. JESUS of course said t first in the Beatitudes, meant for us all, not some monastic community. Sherman put it well also, WAR IS HELL!

  • Again I don’t believe we differ on principles taught by the Church. Only on specific prudential applications.

  • I intended to make that clear. I came slowly as a police chief’s son to see the death penalty as opposed to what us today seen as the Gospel of Life, I am referring to the 1970s at this point, also came slowly to see the futility of war. I was surrounded by a very conservative culture. That is why I am a bit impatient at times with many Catholics who were not taught the Gospel of Life in their formative years and some do not understand that it takes a conversion of heart process, not just a “head” lesson. That is why on another site I advocate a regular use of the Liturgy to see the sacredness of life, starting with JESUS becoming one of us at Christmas, to become THE IMAGE of the Unseen God , we are all IMAGES as GENESIS says but we were brought up to see other groups- Protestants, blacks, “Commies” “pinkos” and of late Islam with no distinction between the violent extremists and the majority as decent humans. Conversion is a matter of Grace and being open to it, some take longer, some never accept it and allow “the same mind as was in Christ Jesus to replace our own Aadam-Eve prode- I love PHIL 2:6-11 as a powerful lesson for wnat Jesus did and I need to!

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