Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rick Santorum’s Abortion Hypocrisy

I’m sick of talking about Santorum. He’s a sleazy socialist hiding behind religion. But if Republicans want to ensure that Obama gets a second term by picking him, then there’s not much I can do about it. Nevertheless, one of our readers has sent me two articles worth discussing. Why? Because they show just how hypocritical Santorum’s being on the pro-life issue.

The two big attacks on Romney by conservatives are his support for RomneyCare and that he’s supposedly soft on abortion.

As you all know, the beef with RomneyCare is that it included the same individual mandate as ObamaCare, which violates conservative principles. However, the attacks on Romney for RomneyCare are highly hypocritical because (1) he’s stated he will repeal ObamaCare, i.e. he’s not proposing to bring RomneyCare to the rest of the country, and (2) all of the conservative contenders who claim his support for RomneyCare makes him suspect (i.e. Gingrich and Santorum) not only supported the same individual mandate as a “conservative” idea until 2009, but they also supported massive expansions of the government’s role in the healthcare system including the creation of new medical coverage entitlements. In other words, they did the same and worse.

But today’s issue is the second issue, Santorum on abortion.

Romney claims to be pro-life. He wasn’t always. He says he became pro-life as a matter of conscience. Specifically, he states that after he got into office as governor, he was faced with an embryonic stem cell bill and decided, “I simply could not sign on to take human life.” He vetoed the bill, which would have authorized embryonic cloning, would have defined human life as beginning at implantation rather than fertilization, and would have made the morning-after pill available without a prescription. He thereafter promoted abstinence education and vetoed a bill which would have required Catholic hospitals to offer abortion-inducing drugs to rape victims.

But that’s not enough for Rick Santorum. Rick argues that Romney can’t really be pro-life because he wasn’t always pro-life. . . forget that Reagan and George W. Bush both claimed similar conversions on abortion. Think about the illogic of this: unless you are pro-life your entirely life, then Rick would forever tar you as pro-choice and therefore untouchable to Republican voters. That’s wrong and self-defeating on a great many levels. Indeed, how in the world can such an approach win anyone over when you’re telling people you will always view them with suspicion?

More importantly, let’s take a look at Rick’s own history on this issue.

On October 28, 1990, the Pittsburgh Press put out an article about young Rick Santorum, who was running for the House of Representatives. Rick was about to be elected in a huge anti-incumbent wave which wiped out people who supported the Bush/Darman budget ("no new taxes"). To fuel his campaign, Rick relied on religious conservatives to whom he promised he would outlaw abortion. So he was always pro-life, right? Actually, no.

Prior to the campaign, Rick put out a campaign manual in which he described himself as a “progressive conservative” who took no position on the issue of abortion. And a few months before that, Rick put out a paper in which he said that his opposition to abortion was limited only to the final three months of pregnancy, when the fetus was considered viable. That paper was quietly withdrawn when Santorum changed his mind. Said Rick: “For me, it was just a lot of education, a lot of soul-searching.”

In other words, he had a Romney moment. So why should we trust Rick any more than Romney? And how in the world can he argue that Romney’s conversion isn’t genuine?

There’s more.

In 1998, Bill Clinton tried to appoint a pro-abortion liberal activist to the Second Circuit. This appointment was considered important because conservatives believed it would put this person on the fast track to the Supreme Court. Indeed, Rush Limbaugh noted that Clinton was “putting her on a rocket ship to the Supreme Court.” Consequently, conservative Trent Lott delayed this person’s confirmation vote for more than a year, hoping to get the votes needed to block her. That ultimately failed when only 29 Republicans voted to oppose the nomination. These 29 include all the usual conservatives, including people the Tea Party now hates like Mitch McConnell and John McCain.

Ricky. . . staunchly anti-abortion Ricky. . . supported the Democrats and voted to confirm this person. That’s right. He went against the conservatives in the Senate to support a pro-abortion liberal activist, knowing she would likely end up on the Supreme Court. Who was Ricky’s friend? Sonia Sotomayor, who now sits on the Supreme Court as a reliable leftist -- just as conservatives predicted. Call me crazy, but I think Ricky would be beside himself with (self)righteous indignation if Romney had been the one supporting Sotomayor.

And Rick’s pro-abortion credentials aren’t finished there. In 1995, Rick endorsed pro-abortion “Republican” Arlen Specter in his run for President. Significantly, Specter made being pro-abortion a centerpiece of his campaign. Indeed, he referred to pro-life activists as a “fringe” group who had hijacked the Republican Party. Yet, Rick endorsed him in the primaries.

Rick then endorsed Arlen Specter again in 2000 against Tea Party conservative Pat Toomey. Ricky even did television ads for the pro-abortion, pro-big government, soon-to-switch parties Specter.

The point here is simple. Rick is a hypocrite. He’s denigrating Romney’s beliefs on a basis which applies equally to Rick himself, and he’s doing it so he can keep people from seeing the real sleazy, insider, influence-peddling, Big Government progressive that is Rick.

Support him if you want to, I won’t.

53 comments:

DUQ said...

This is really interesting because this is what Santorum has been hitting Romney over the head with. Very hypocritical. In fact, he's been hypocritical throughout. But then, his poll numbers keep going up and I am starting to think we're doomed.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yeah, there is that. Santorum will do really well in the rustbelt where you have a lot of union people and the conservatives are largely fundamentalists. I'm not sure how he'll do elsewhere yet. But he's definitely on an uptrend. If I was Obama, I would be thrilled.

LawHawkRFD said...

If your main support comes from social conservatives, argue gay marriage and abortion, and lie about them if you have to. After all, Obama has done the same thing with his social liberal base, and look where he is today.

AndrewPrice said...

That seems to be Rick's plan. I'm not saying he's lying about his own beliefs on those issues (he is lying about everything else), but it strikes me as lying to attack Romney for something he himself is guilty of.

This is the sort of thing that should even trouble his supporters. ALL the signs are there that this man is bad news.

CrispyRice said...

Interesting, Andrew. Honestly, I'm more a fiscal conservative and lean toward libertarian with my social views. (Which I find logical - minimal government intrusion for money and for how we want to live our lives, but I digress...) But really, I'm uneasy with Santorum precisely because of that. He strikes me as more than happy to impose his view of how society should be on us. I don't want that from the left and I don't want that from the right.

CrispyRice said...

Oh, and one other question --

I have NOT heard Romney say he will repeal Obamacare. Certainly not in so many words. In fact, that is my main sticking point against him right now. When and where did he say that?

Please and thank you. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Santorum is a man who believes in strong, intrusive government in both economic and social areas. He only highlights the social issues because that plays well with religious conservatives who think he will ban contraceptive, ban abortion, stop gay marriage, get gays back out of the military and somehow make them vanish.

He has been fundamentally dishonest about his other views. He believe in foreign adventuring. He has supported big and bigger government every time the issue has come up. He supports unionization and fought to help unions take over FedEx. He believes in bailouts, subsidies and high taxes. He's fought against efforts to stop illegal immigration. He's supported nanny-state gun control measures. Etc.

His views place him on the left far end of the progressive spectrum except that he's pro-Christian totalitarian instead of pro-atheist totalitarian.

T-Rav said...

Wait, Arlen Specter ran for President? What the heck was up with the '90s???

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Romney has said in almost every debate that he wants to see ObamaCare repealed and he was the first to say that "on day one" (I hate that, but they all say it) he would grant waivers to every state for ObamaCare until it could be repealed.

He also says he believes it can be repealed through reconciliation with 51 votes.

Forbes has covered the issue here: LINK.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, He did. And I recall his campaign, it was NASTY and it was aimed right at religious conservatives.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Here it is from Romney's own website as well:

LINK

T-Rav said...

Andrew and Crispy, for whatever it's worth, Paul Ryan has gone on record saying he believes all of ObamaCare can be repealed via reconciliation, except for certain measures which are revenue-neutral. As those are probably relatively minor issues, I presume the really bad stuff can be gotten rid of fairly easily.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think so too. And I can't see any of the candidates refusing to sign it if the House and Senate send them a repeal in that manner.

It's everything else we need to be worried about with the candidates.

tryanmax said...

Ah, I was just about to throw up the very same link. I also think it is worth pointing out that of the three remaining GOP contenders, Mitt is the only one to not have stated he will "repeal" 0bamaCare. I don't need to tell anyone here that the president cannot repeal anything. But the other candidates are all too happy to make such a claim. Now, some might just chalk that up to loose rhetoric. But what does it say about a man who refuses to speak so carelessly? As one of a dying breed who still believes that words have meaning, I admire that.

Andrew, I linked to this article in my last blog post. Seemed more appropriate to link it as an update than to author a whole new post.

tryanmax said...

Correction: when I said three remaining candidates, I was forgetting Ron Paul. To the best of my knowledge, he has never claimed he will repeal anything, either. I would expect no less from him.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Not to pile on Santorum or Newt, but I agree. One thing that always sets off my "should we really trust this guy" sensors is a politician who (1) makes promises that just can't be kept or (2) tells us about plans to use the office in ways that aren't legally possible.

Santorum is really bad about the first and Newt is really bad about the second.

For example, Santorum is promising to (1) constitutionally ban abortion, (2) in some vague way (read: constitutionally ban) eliminate contraception, (3) constitutionally stop gay marriage and (4) somehow make gays vanish and cause people to marry. None of these are possible goals. And the fact he bases his candidacy on these pie-in-the-sky promises rather than something concrete should give people pause. Sadly, certainly people are instead now following him because he's winning the "toughest talk" wars, even though it's all false promises... extreme pandering.

Newt on the other hand keeps saying things like how he's going to drag in federal judges to his office and start shooting them or whatever. EXCEPT, he has no power to subpoena. In other words, even if everyone agreed he should do it... he couldn't. A lot of his promises work this way, where he just wouldn't have the power to do that.

And the fact these two keep suggesting that Romney is weak on ObamaCare because he hasn't said "I will repeal it on day one," really shows an intense level of cynicism. It is the worst form of playing to the crowds.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, True. Paul does not over-promise at all. In fact, he's very clear that he understands the limits of what he can and cannot do.

CrisD said...

Andrew, Hi!
Gotcha on Santorum! I think I am exactly onto his ways now...

I wanted to ask you if you had heard Dick Morris on the Demoscratic spinning of the social issues. He said something different from you but related. He said that the Dems viewed Abortion as a "loser" issue and were switching to saying the right was going to outlaw birth control. It sounds to me like a twist on your theory that Obama brought up abortion pills etc. to infuriate and make crazy the soc-cons to the detriment of the winner issue: spending!

Anyway, did you hear Dick Morris on that? I thought of you..

tryanmax said...

And, of course, the going meme right now is that Romney just can't excite the base. I can almost predict how 0bama will position himself depending on who gets the GOP nod. If it's Mitt, 0bama will play the rhetorical firebrand. If it's Ricky, 0bama will be the calm stoic. Either way, the media will assert that whichever role 0bama plays will be the one the country needs.

rlaWTX said...

I was imagining that my old friend's head's explosion would be on par with Fat Man & Little Boy if I repeated Andrew's first paragraph to her...

she sent me this yesterday:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/was-santorum-senate-spendthrift_629850.html?page=1

Some conversations are not worth the damage to the 26yr friendship...

AndrewPrice said...

Hi Cris, Glad to hear you're understanding the real Rick.

I actually wouldn't have written about this as I'm sick of talking about the guy, except someone sent me the articles and I figured I should pass this info along.


On Dick Morris, I actually had NOT heard that. Interesting. Thanks for mentioning it.

In truth, "abortion" has always been a loser because the word is very graphic. That's why they've tried to give it various euphemisms, such as "pro-choice." Because who could object to "choice." It wouldn't surprise me if they felt that a better way would be to lump it all together now because all but a handful of people are opposed to things like condoms and the pill. BUT folks like Rick will fall right into the trap and go on an anti-contraception campaign because, as he's said several times, contraception lets people have the kinds of sex of which Rick does not approve. And in his circles that doesn't sound as insane as it does to everyone else on the planet.

Rick, by the way, also keeps running into the problem that he and his staff make anti-woman comments. Such as when his Iowa campaign manager said that people should not support Bachmann because God doesn't want a woman running the country.

This all dovetails nicely for Obama because he can switch the issue from "we support killing babies" to "those Republicans want to make women into slaves." That not only takes the focus off Obama's horrible economics, it will scare a great many people.

Rick, by the way, lost the female vote in Pennsylvania 61% to 39% in his last election.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think you're right. If it's Romney, Obama will talk about the lifeless, effete rich and will really be out there trying to wrap himself in the flag and make himself sound like a revolutionary. If it's Rick he'll try to sound rational and make the case that the Republicans have chosen the preacher from Poltergeist.

In the end, Romney would be hardest to be beat because there's nothing there to attack, which means it's Obama's record that will be the issue. Tearing Rick apart would be really easy.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I think it's pointless to argue. The party will do what it wants. And right now the base has lost its mind and has blinded itself to reality. This one is probably a no-win for us.

1. If Santorum is chosen and loses (99% likely), the base will whine that they were stabbed in the back by someone or other and won't learn a thing. The country gets sucker punched for another 4 years. And then the RINOs get to pick their guy next time (Bush).

I will move to Singapore and develop a zombie virus to unleash on the world.

2. If Santorum somehow wins, then he will forever disgrace conservatism. The Republicans will get wiped out in 2014, then Rick and Pelosi will work America over like Hitler and Mussolini.

I will move to Singapore and develop a zombie virus to unleash on the world.


Those are the likely scenarios as I see it right now. And no matter how you cut it, it's zombie time. :)

T-Rav said...

And once more, I find myself wondering how, with all the talent in the Republican Party, we could have these four to choose from? On what planet does this make sense?

Dropping out of the race as early as he did was the biggest mistake of Tim Pawlenty's career.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Here's your link: LINK

The problem with these kinds of ratings is that they are meaningless. The don't grade for importance, just raw votes and they don't account for alternatives. Also, these ratings when done on the right, typically involve lots of "pro-business" scoring, which is usually cronyism.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Tell me about it. Pawlenty could be dominating this field right now.

On the choices, as we've said before, this system is broken. When people like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio won't run and guys like Newt and Santorum won't quit, then something is very wrong.

Ug. Zombie time... I'm telling you.

Ed said...

Why am I not surprised by this?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Probably because you're seeing a pattern of this. On issue after issue, Rick has attacked people for things he's done himself or things he's done worse himself.

CrisD said...

Wow, Andrew!
Now you're scaring me! I don't think Santorum will go all.the.way.
I heard about Ohio but I guess I just am not taking him seriously. He seems like such a light-weight. Actually, his nomination would seem to me that the GOP was sending in a sacrificial lamb and I didn't think we were in that position...but you are giving me the heebee jeebies

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, The heebie-jeebies are the first sign of the new zombie plague! :(


Seriously, I don't think Santorum will go all the way either but the possibility is troubling. And right now I suspect he will win Ohio and Michigan because they are full of his kind of voters. He will do poorly on the coasts. I'm not sure what will happen in the South.

Plus, now that he's come to prominence, he will have to withstand the pressure as people finally start looking into his record... which is a nightmare.

One thing is for sure, if any conservatives in Congress are opposed to him, they better come out and say it now or they are doomed. He will drag down tickets all across the country in this cycle and will positively destroy the party in 2014 if he somehow wins.

tryanmax said...

I forgot to bring this up earlier, but something that scared me regarding Santorum was when Glenn Beck interviewed Santorum yesterday and described his surge as "a miracle." LINK The link doesn't really do justice to what I heard, because after Santorum left the show, Beck and crew revisited that part of the conversation and really made a point of the "miracle" thing. That worries me because, regardless of Beck's attitude toward it, there are lots of people who think of him almost as a spiritual leader. I can't believe he wouldn't realize that, though...

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It just adds to the idea that in many ways, Santorum is a religious crusader and not a political candidate. And that is the real problem, that he's redefining the party along theological lines.

This is exactly the sort of thing which may make some people happy, but dooms the party to electoral defeat both now and in the long term.

If you want a religious conservative who doesn't scare people, look at the model used by guys like Pawlenty and Paul Ryan, who manage to have similar views and goals without scaring the hell out of people because they aren't nasty about it. Ricky is nasty and his version of religion is angry, deceitful and oppresive.

Doc Whoa said...

Did his campaign guy really say that about Bachmann? What an ass. Hasn't he heard of Margaret Thatcher?

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, He did, and apparently he hasn't heard of Thatcher.

AndrewPrice said...

Interesting election update, it appears that the March 1st debate has been cancelled because everyone except Gingrich declined to participate.

Hmmm.

That bodes very poorly for Gingrich, who needs the debates to get momentum.

tryanmax said...

Might I offer that he did know about Thatcher, but considers her an abomination anyway?

AndrewPrice said...

Sadly, that wouldn't surprise me.

In any event, as if it needs to be said: Thatcher = Reagan. And any "conservative" who can't get behind Thatcher is no conservative.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, that doesn't really surprise me. If I'm not mistaken, Beck said a few months back that he thought of all the candidates, Santorum had the most potential to be "a second George Washington."

....

I'm probably better disposed toward Santorum than most if not all people on this site, but no. Just no.

AndrewPrice said...

A second George Washington? Hmm. Even leaving Santorum aside, I wonder what that means? Of all the Founding Fathers, he's always struck me as the least philosophically interesting.

Joel Farnham said...

I am now a little annoyed with these people who seem to think only on one issue. That issue to them is paramount. It doesn't matter to them that there are far more pressing issues.

Abortion is important, but there is no way to abolish it if we allow Santorum to win. If Romney gets in, he won't abolish a pro-life legislation. He also won't halt a pro-life amendment. What more do they want?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's the problem with single issue people, be it abortion, drug legalization, environmentalism, socialism, etc.

It's a classic example of not seeing the forest for the trees. Santorum makes bigger promises and in fact promises the Holy Grail. Thus, he is considered "pure" whether or not it's rational to believe he can achieve his goal.

And when you have someone who is pure on your single issue, you overlook all the other issues, such as the fact that pure single issue candidates NEVER win and that their promises are false promises.

If they were being rational, they would look at what he could realistically achieve and then weigh that against the chances of him winning. Then compare that to Romney. And you go with whoever will get you the better odds.

But single issue folks are never about being rational. It's all about obsession with their issue. Thus, they fall for the big promise and they see a guy like Romney as "pro-abortion" because he's not as pure at the purest, ergo he's "dangerous."

And in making these kinds of decisions, they lose any chance of moving their issue forward because they keep trying to win it all at once. It's like throwing nothing but Hail Mary passes in a football game. And the big dirty secret in America is that the public simply doesn't accept huge jumps in any direction. Americans can be influenced, but it has to be a slow and steady push, not a single huge tug.

Americans also don't like people who seem obsessed with an issue because Americans don't want to have to worry about their government doing something stupid.

That's why each of these movements has failed. I've seen this time and again on issue after issue. The activists are their own worst enemies.

Kelly said...

I'm late to the party, but I agree with everyone above. This couldn't have happened at a worse time with the Tea Party gaining steam.

T-Rav said...

Hey now! George Washington was great! Our greatest President, in my opinion. (Oh no, I just realized that in 220 years, we've gone from him to the current Moron-in-Chief.) (resists urge to slit wrists)

In any case, I take it he means that Washington was a voice of reason, leadership, and moral authority, and Santorum will be the same. How, I have no idea.

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, It is a bad time for infighting, that's for sure. And it's a very bad time to cloud the message.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Good point. That had slipped my mind and I was thinking of it differently -- in terms of ideological. And that's true that a lot of people view Washington as our greatest President.

And yeah, look how far we've fallen. :(

Individualist said...

I dunno...

Early on I thought of Santorum as a lessor player in the race. I thought for sure Bachman would outlast him.

I really have not paid attention to him, even now. I really hope the rhetoric tones down if he wins the primary. No more talk about stopping gay men from having abortions or whatever....

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I think few people have paid much attention to him. And they are now starting to ask questions. I guess we'll see how many they ask?

But yeah, it's always the gay men who need abortions that suffer. LOL!

tryanmax said...

It's interesting that the remaining candidates are the two I have changed my mind most about. I think I've actually warmed to Mitt more than Andrew has. I think he's still more sour on Ricky, though. In a way, that makes sense because I've had longer to consider them, but it seems like most people are still going by first impressions.

DCAlleyKat said...

Face it - if the choice is Romney or Santorum - we are doomed, but less so than another four years of Barack Hussein Obama. Time to focus on the House and the Senate...

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I am warming to Mitt a good deal. I think he would serve us well. As for Ricky, I just keep getting more and more sour with each passing day. The more I know, the more I truly despise him.

AndrewPrice said...

DCAlleyKat, It shocks me that this is what it's come down to? How did we get from having so much promise of a genuine conservative winning to this? I hope that the talking heads take a long look at what they've done in this cycle and wake up before the next time. It's time to start vetting potential future presidents now and herding them into the race long before things get started.

DCAlleyKat said...

Andrew - How did we get from having so much promise of a genuine conservative winning to this?

Northeastern RINO's with huge purse strings control the party. THAT must change, and it will.

AndrewPrice said...

DCAllyeKat, It's worse than just that though. The real problem this time was that conservatives never bothered to find a real candidate. Instead, they just started jumping on bandwagons. And that's allowed this to become a race of RINOs and weirdos. It's a bad development.

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