Conservative Political Commentary

[Under the Radar?] Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context (This blog was given its name before I decided it was going to be a political blog.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rick Santorum for President

Rick Santorum (official photo)
After some deliberation, and even after finding many more favorable than unfavorable things about all the four remaining GOP candidates, I have decided to give my endorsement, for what it’s worth, to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Unfortunately, Gov. Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have harmed each other and themselves, mostly by Romney’s unrelenting negative attacks on Gingrich, and a backlash against those attacks. It is unfortunate that the negatives have been so intense. The fact is that any of the four candidates would be far, far superior in the White House to President Obama.

I like Santorum best. He does try to distinguish himself from the others without the negative personal attacks, and tries to focus on opposing Obama. He is a man who identifies with working Americans and middle-class voters. He is not an elitist. He is a politician who understands how our government works, and what needs to be changed.
He is down to earth about his agenda, not all over the place with moon colonies, etc.

Since he, for now, is the leading contender, he is also becoming a leading target for the Obama campaign. Obama has no record to run on; he only has personal attacks and class warfare. He has been in a constant campaign mode, and demonstrated poor skills for governing. He has a confused and dangerous foreign policy, and a desire to disarm America and build up her enemies. His economic policies are either deliberately destructive or he is completely inept and economically illiterate. It has to be one or the other. His argument that things were much worse when he took office than “anyone” thought only demonstrates the incompetence of Obama and his advisers in the realm of economics. It’s similar to Bill Clinton’s explanation of why he had to pull back on a promised “middle-class tax cut,” but at least Clinton didn’t give us a term of near-depression conditions.

Of course, Obama isn’t responsible for anything that has gone wrong; he points fingers at many in order to prove it. If he can’t be held accountable for anything, why do we want him to be in charge?

But back to Santorum. He is a family man who has gotten as far as he has in the campaign with diligent and dogged campaigning. His campaign is dirt poor compared to those of Romney and Obama, but gets a lot of mileage out of each dollar. Money will increase for him as polls build in his favor.

Here is Santorum’s CPAC speech:

The Editors at National Review Online write (02/13/2012),
Santorum has been conducting himself rather impressively in his moments of triumph and avoiding characteristic temptations. He is doing his best to keep the press from dismissing him as merely a “social-issues candidate.” His recent remark that losing his Senate seat in 2006 taught him the importance of humility suggests an appealing self-awareness.…
Also at NRO, Quin Hillyer writes (02/06/12)
Santorum rates particularly high on personal character, on sincerity, and on steadfastness of principle. Those are bedrock traits that, over a long campaign, help secure a voter’s comfort level with a candidate. A comparison with Reagan is in order here. While Santorum certainly hasn’t shown Reagan’s preternatural communication skills or sheer — almost magical — personal likeability, what matters in a race against a weak incumbent in a weak economy is that voters give themselves the psychological go-ahead for changing something as important as the president.
John Hayward at Human Events quotes Santorum’s remarks on Fox News about the Obama Administrations decision to require Catholic institutions to offer insurance coverage for contraception:
The Catholic Church specifically teaches that birth control pills, as well the morning-after pill which is not just a birth control pill but what clearly causes abortions, as well as sterilization, which is something that the church specifically teaches against. Here you have a situation where you have this tricky play, the government says that they can give you right. They'll give you the right to health care. Be careful, because then they can tell you how to exercise that right against your First Amendment rights, against you ability to practice your faith….

So, now, not only violating the freedom of religion, now the freedom of speech, this is the problem when government tells you that they can give you things. They can take it away. But even worse, they can tell you how they're going to exercise this new right that they've given you, consistent with their values instead of the values guaranteed in our Constitution.
Hayward also observes,
Santorum also appears to be winning a lot of Tea Party support away from Gingrich in the next couple of primary races.  The Tea Party means energy.  They won’t just vote for you – they’ll work for you.
Liberals, who seem to feel it’s their responsibility to be easily offended, accused Santorum of being “over the line” with his remarks about Obama’s theology. Santorum later clarified that he was referring to Obama’s “world view,” not his faith. Of course it remains true that Obama’s theology was influenced by Jeremiah Wright’s radical anti-white, anti-Jewish, black-liberation views. And it can hardly be questioned that Obama’s view is far from that of a leader seeking to follow the Constitution.

You can read the comments on any Yahoo article about Santorum and see the venom and bigotry the Obama supporters are throwing at Santorum. Santorum should see this as a sign of success – he’s annoying the right people, those who share the secularist, anti-Christian views of the president.

Fairly soon after Obama took office, seeing his agenda starting to unfold, I wrote that Americans would be looking for a “return to normalcy,” much as the nation did by electing Warren G. Harding after the oppressive “Progressive” fascism of Woodrow Wilson. Harding was politically like a breath of fresh air, although he had problems with some of his appointees, and died in office. He was followed by Calvin Coolidge, probably the best president of the twentieth century other than Ronald Reagan. He kept government largely out of the way of the economy, balanced the budget, and presided over a period of prosperity.

I think Rick Santorum offers the closest thing at present to a badly needed “return to normalcy” after Obama has nearly wrecked our economy and skewed everything toward big-government socialism, always seeking higher taxes and more spending, not to mention his upside-down foreign policy adventures. Santorum understands the need for fiscal sanity, which presently we do not have, thanks to Obama, and he knows who our allies and enemies are. He is a family man of proven character and political success. He would be a leader instead of “leading from behind.” Mr. Romney boasts that he is the only one of the four GOP candidates that hasn’t served in Washington, as though that is a disqualifying experience. Santorum responds that it doesn’t hurt to know the people in government who have advanced the conservative cause, and to have some insight into how things work in Congress. If Mr. Romney were correct, he would be unqualified to serve a second term, having become one, were he elected, who had “served in Washington.” Unlike Obama and his crew, who are bent on ruling, not serving, Santorum demonstrates greatly more of a servant spirit than any other candidate except possibly Ron Paul.

I hope Santorum will pick up many of the supporters of Bachmann and Cain, and I think he already has done some of that. I am not Catholic, but I respect Santorum, and any politician who is honest about how his faith informs his work. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be worth practicing. Those who worry about an anti-contraception mandate need not do so; no state is prepared to impose one, nor allow the federal government to do so. More worrisome is Obama’s contraception insurance mandate, which I predict will not stand.

America needs a GOP majority in both houses of Congress and a Republican president who will undo many of Obama’s misguided and unconstitutional policies fairly quickly, and also provide a workable governing structure for the future which will respect and preserve American liberty and allow prosperity to return. When Obama had a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, he did not focus on the economy or employment, but chose instead to push his unconstitutional, socialist policies, such as Obamacare and cap and trade. These policies involved back-room deals, thousand-plus-page bills no one read, and strict party line votes.

A win by Santorum would also be a strong corrective to the “Republican establishment,” which has failed to object to Obamaism strongly enough. Santorum said, “We are not a wing of the Republican Party, we are the Republican Party.” May the campaign and the November elections prove it so. 
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