The Effrontery of Rick Santorum

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Rich Lowery has a post at National Review Online which explains why Rick Santorum drives the Mainstream Media crazy:

Santorum is a standing affront to the sensibilities and assumptions of the media and political elite. That elite is constantly writing the obituary for social conservatism, which is supposed to wither away and leave a polite, undisturbed consensus in favor of social liberalism. Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic; he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack.

If Santorum had the social views of a Barbara Boxer, he would be hailed in all the glossy magazines as a political virtuoso. He has fought a front-runner with all the advantages to a jump ball in Michigan. His aides can’t provide advance texts of his speeches because he always extemporizes and speaks from a few notes. He is indefatigable, willing to lose on behalf of what he believes and committed to trying to convince others of his positions.

In the wake of his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses, news coverage focused on Santorum arguing about gay marriage with college kids at his New Hampshire events. It was taken as a sign of his monomania. Yet he genuinely — if naïvely — wanted to convince them. If the cauldron of a presidential campaign is not the best place for Socratic exchanges on hot-button issues, Santorum was trying to do more than repeat sound bites back at youthful questioners.

Although his critics will never credit him for it, Santorum’s social conservatism brings with it an unstinting devotion to human dignity, a touchstone for the former senator. The latest position for which he’s taking incoming is his opposition to a government mandate for insurance coverage of prenatal testing often used to identify handicapped babies who are subsequently aborted. For his detractors, his respect for the disabled is trumped by his unforgivable opposition to abortion.

Go here to read the rest.  Santorum has courage and he has convictions, and he is willing to defend his convictions, so also having courage comes in handy.  He isn’t going by the script.   Social conservatives are supposed to do their best to convince the Mainstream Media that they really don’t believe, wink, wink, the “bilge” that they have to mouth in order to get the votes from rubes who actually believe in the sanctity of innocent human life.  I think that what really disturbs the press is the raw courage of Santorum in that he does not quiver in fear that his views may prove unpopular.  He is holding to them no matter what.  That simply is not how the political game is played!  Judging from the polls, maybe, just maybe, political courage, honesty and forthrightness will prove a winner this year.  At any rate, it is refreshing.  Early in the last century Hilaire Belloc was running for Parliament.  He was dogged by anti-Catholic hecklers.  At one speech he was asked by one of the hecklers if he was a papist.  Belloc took his rosary from his pocket, and responded:    Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament.  The crowd cheered and Belloc won his election.  Cowardice and expediency do not always win the day in politics.

16 Responses to The Effrontery of Rick Santorum

  • Mark Noonan says:

    We’re going to find out if America is capable of electing a man who not only knows the difference between right and wrong, but is willing to act upon that knowledge. I, too, never thought that Santorum had a chance…now, he clearly does. We’ll see what happens.

  • PM says:

    ” I think that what really disturbs the press is the raw courage of Santorum in that he does not quiver in fear that his views may prove unpopular. He is holding to them no matter what. That simply is not how the political game is played! Judging from the polls, maybe, just maybe, political courage, honesty and forthrightness will prove a winner this year. ”

    He is refreshing and I hope he can stay strong because he ‘s so in for it by the bullies’ soundbites on TV. Was thinking about media effects (not to mention societal) on people after I read Foxfier’s “Sin is Poison” because the tv was on also.

    Last night, after the news, I didn’t get to the remote before I heard Jay Leno going on about him and Satan jokes – really mean spiritedly. Same type last week with Letterman monologues and insinuations on daytime talk. On and on. These are the mainstream voices that mainstream voters/parents hear daily and it occurred to me that, all this finger pointing and bullying for laughs and money is what kids see as making their parents laugh. In recent time, anti-bullying laws were passed for school behavior and social networking due to a tragedy in a town near where I live. Huge news topic. Kids were brought to court, but this election year noise has our leaders and press applauding one another for slamming others. Schizo politics.

    Bill Maher was a guest on Craig Ferguson, who entertains without political affiliation. The guest was dying to get going on RS, NG, and MR, but couldn’t draw complicity out. More refreshing moments than most. Anyway, there has to be a correlation between the phenomenon of bullying kids (and the mentality in many other stations in life) and the effects of behavior in the political, sports, and entertainment arenas. I like b & w TV shows and movies for relaxing.

    Mentality of liberals acting offended after their own offending becomes offensive to some people. They aren’t happy unless there’s an underdog. Moral relativism and the culture of death – not fun or healthy. Hope he survives.

  • Greg Mockeridge says:

    This happens to be the same Rick Santorum who says contraception harms wmoen (and he’s right it does) but sees fit to force American taxpayers to foot the bill for it under Title X. Why aren’t social conservatives, especially Catholic socons, even challenging him on this?

  • Greg Mockeridge says:

    Update: Santorum said when challenged on that issue by Ron Paul (even Ron Paul does something right every now and then), he now says that he simply voted for a larger appropriations bill that included Title X and that he always opposed Title X. He also says that he proposed Title XX for abstinence ed to counteract Title X. If that’s true, that’s acceptable. However, I think Ron Paul is right about the giovernment shouldn’t be invovled in either in terms of funding. But I think Santorum’s position as stated is certainly valid given the circumstances. I agreed with Ron Paul twice in one paragraph. I think I’m gonna get sick.

    However, Santorum is now defending his endorsement of Specter due to the SCOTUS issue whereas he says elsewhere as cited by CMR that “inretrospect, it was a mistake”. Mitt missed a golden opportunity to embarass the hell out of Santorum.

  • Ivan says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard Santorum and I must say he has the gift of compressing his argument effectively into the time allotted. He would make an effective debater against Obama if he manages to stymie that man’s outpouring of gas.

  • Dr. Mark says:

    Sen. Santorum is a shining light of courage and core beliefs near and dear to the heart of this traditional Roman Catholic. If he receives the nomination, the general election will be a true guage of just how far the culture of death, contraception, co-habitation and general hedonism have gained a foothold…or as I often fear, gained control of our nation. We have now two generations that have been taught the “normality” of homosexuality, the acceptance of abortion (for the sake of convenience) and a host of other sinful behaviors. I wonder if the Genie is not only out of the bottle but is now the dominant force, listen to the voices of “pro-choice” Catholics or other internal reformers that reject the teachings and magisterial authority of the Church and…..dispair.

  • Rachel says:

    Thank you for your excellent analysis of Santorum’s challenge to a liberal bias. I heard a woman (in a panel of citizens) say that considering his “pious attitude” and his constant talk of his “religion,” his vote for Title X which included Planned Parenthood support showed how insincere he was. I was several issues with her statement, but the point I want to make is that the values he espouses were more the norm among mainstream Americans not too very long ago. It shows how successful the liberal bias toward gays and abortion has been through the media and through entertainment of all kinds. Family values have been corrupted and now are a matter of apology and/or criticism. What is gratifying to me is that without all the money, the glitz, and the mealy-mouth attempt to keep from offending, he has succeeded to such a degree. I know that ultimately the victory is God’s, and I don’t presume to know his timing (now or years from now), but I wonder if I am seeing the power of God at work in opening hearts to his message. Let’s keep praying for God’s will in His way and His time.

  • Mary De Voe says:

    Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament. Belloc. Donald McClarey, thank you for this.

  • Sherry Weddell says:

    It might be really interesting to get the whole perspective after the last debate. Mark Levins radio show on 2/23/2012 revealed alot that none of the other media picked up on, including the idea of the Paul/Romney tag team. Think about it. Does Paul EVER question Romney about anything? No, he bashed all the conservatives, Bachman, Gingrich, Cain, Perry, & now Santorum. Why does he have all of these negative ads in Michigan against SANTORUM when he’s not even campaigning there? Realy, check it out!

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