Santorum Becomes Media Punching Bag

Is He Really a Neanderthal?

Of the remaining GOP candidates, I am inclined toward supporting Newt Gingrich, so I don’t really want to be told I’m in Sen. Rick Santorum’s corner, except that in this case, I am.  The media has been trying to make the Obama administration’s contraception mandate into something other than an attack on religious liberties, and by the middle of the week, they saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.  They portrayed Rick Santorum unfairly as wanting to impose his personal views on contraception on the rest of the nation, but this is a bold-faced lie.  He actually went out of his way to say that he wouldn’t  impose his values through law, but instead that it is proper to raise the issue as a matter for national discussion.  For this, we should throw him under the bus?

That Santorum has reason to believe contraceptive measures each imply risks for women is really not so controversial as the media pretends, and frankly, I’m a bit tired of the licentious view of human sexuality that says “anything goes,” without respect to the consequences that are frequently ignored until they are realized.  That Santorum is willing to speak to this issue is no crime.  There is no need for me to rattle off the litany of solid science that supports Santorum’s view, but then again, in our current culture, some of this may be news to some of you. You are free to site all the opposing science you want, but the truth is that the following are irrefutable:

  • The best and most effective way to avoid pregnancy is to abstain from sexual intercourse.  There.  I said it.
  • The best and most effective way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases is still to abstain from sex.  There.  I said that too!
  • The best way for a child to avoid a life of poverty is to be born into a two-parent household in which the parents are both married and monogamous.  Yes, I said it.  Don’t like it?  Tough.  It’s true, and remains so irrespective of your personal feelings on the matter.

Part of what Santorum suggests is that our culture promotes a sort of narcissistic mindset that ignores all of these facts, and that various forms of contraception, never mind abortion, give too many people a false sense of security that all too frequently leads to one or more of the negative alternatives to the truisms listed above.  You may not like it.  You may not want to be told that, and it is understandable that you wouldn’t necessarily want Rick Santorum imposing his views on this through law, but since he’s specifically said he has no such intentions, and since his voting record in Congress supports that claim, the only reason to hold this against Rick Santorum is that some would rather not hear it.

Why?  It’s simple, isn’t it?  People hate to be told they are wrong, or that they are making bad choices, particularly when they are in the midst of making them, and especially when they have made the same bad choices repeatedly.  In listening to Karl Rove running his mouth on Friday night’s Hannity show on Fox News, he said that social conservatives shouldn’t “appear to be judgmental.”  What?  I suppose that’s the preferred position when you’ve divorced your wife and had Dana Perino handling the press on the occasion, but part of the problem in this country is that all too frequently, we’re not judgmental enough.  We didn’t arrive at a situation where sixty percent of births are to unwed mothers because we were too judgmental.  We didn’t arrive in a situation in which we now honor with lowered flags those who died at their own hands because we are too harsh in our judgments.  We don’t have an all-encompassing welfare state because we were too harsh in our pronouncements about the idle poor, or the causes of their condition.  Our prisons aren’t packed to overcrowding with repeat-offenders because we punished first-time offenders too harshly.

This country isn’t suffering from an surplus of judgment.  While some may part company from me on this point, I actually find it refreshing that a candidate is willing to speak to the moral decay of our country.  I heard the Tea Party Patriots’ Mark Meckler being interviewed by Mark Levin on Friday, and he said that we have a distinct advantage over our founders in that they created the framework upon which our efforts to restore our country can rely.  While I understand his meaning, I couldn’t help but think that if I had to choose the framework of law embodied in our Constitution, or the moral character of our people circa 1790, I would choose the latter because they were able to construct and abide by the former.  I see little evidence for hope that the inverse postulate is true, and that by some magic, people who have neglected their constitution will suddenly re-adopt it and thereby be improved in all measures.  It was the character of the nation and her people that created the US Constitution, and not the reverse.

While the media goes on to tell us why Rick Santorum is too judgmental, I think it’s time we consider what it is that the “bully pulpit” of the presidency is intended to be, and while it certainly isn’t the proper platform from which to ceaselessly castigate the American people for our various moral failings, it is the proper venue in which to gently chide people to return to the better angels of our nature.  Thus far, what I’ve heard from Rick Santorum on these issues doesn’t resemble the former nearly so much as the latter, and I am quite satisfied that he knows the proper boundaries.  Of course, the Romney crowd in establishment media is helping to drive this theme against Santorum, so it’s really not surprising to see theses criticisms rising in volume, but I think it’s fair to point out that much of this criticism is undue.  In a culture in which casual sex has been normalized, out-of-wedlock-births comprises a clear majority, and the welfare state raises more children than do parents, it may be time that we begin to discuss these issues, not as a matter of legislative priority, but as a matter of judgment.  That Rick Santorum seems willing to do so against the tide speaks well of him even if the media won’t.

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  • dnr

    Well said! Our Founders were people of character, and not by chance. They were reared on the Bible, fed God's Word as a part of their daily lives, from birth through death. Early American society was grounded in the eternal truth of God's Word, and this truth flowed through every aspect of society, whether a court of law, the market place, education (including college), or between individuals. It is no accident, then, that we established our system of government and laws on these truths. It is a tragedy that we have drifted so far from it and ignored and forgotten what our Founders knew so well – with God, all things are possible. A godless society will not stand.

  • http://midnightangel50.blogspot.com/ Kathleen

    Mark, you stated your point of view well. You didn't sound like a three year throwing tempur tantrum or say "It's my way or the highway" like someone we know. Not to mention I agree with you.

  • ScorpyonsSting

    We as a nation are overdue for a reminder of the root of our strength, whether political, legal, social, religious, or moral. The powers-that-be are systemaically destroying these foundational truths, and we either our embrace the change or at the least, stand paasively by as our country's former grandeur fades.

    We have removed God from the public square. He appears to have removed His hand of blessing and protection from our midst. We shouldn't be surprised when we reap the consequences of what we've sown.

  • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

    What ever happened to being responsible for your own actions?

  • http://www.PolitiJim.com PolitiJim (@politiJi

    Disclosure: I have formally endorsed Newt Gingrich. Also, while once considering Santorum a STRONG possibility for me, I now see him as worse option to Mitt Romney. NOT because I feel he is less conservative. He would be heads and shoulder's above Romney. But because he is – as a Northeastern Government Studies put it in an article yesterday, "a whiny man I could never see as presidential" I am a Jesus-freak and culture war warrior. I WANT to like Rick. But.

    The problem Santorum has here is three fold in my opinion:

    First, simply because he is a believer, he is hated. No secret there it happens to you whether you are Tim Tebow or Dan Quayle.

    Second, the way he goes about it is condescending and combative. Billy Graham and Joel Osteen don't have this problem. (BIG MEDIA SECRET: it's hard to hate a likeable guy)

    Third, He Mitt Romney Flopper on the area of using government to impose his beliefs. You say, "he has come out and said he wouldn't impose his beliefs into law." Well, like the MA Gov, it really doesn't matter what you say when you have a track record of speaking and doing the opposite. There are quite a few video evidences of him saying that he believes conservatives have a right to regulate what goes on the bedroom (see PolitiJim.com Team Mitt vs Team Rick post).

    I am very unsympathetic to Santorum because as a conservative Christian, I see him exemplify many of the negative stereotypes (hypocrisy, demeaning didactic demeanor, condescending) that are in no way a reflection of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness of the fruit of the Spirit.

    I've made this point often: Santorum is unelectable for this very reason. He is defined by his crazy statements of the past and he is prone to make inflammatory comments without a sensitivity toward how it is received. We just learned last night, he made a speech at a Catholic College saying that the Catholic Church has not fallen into problems with our culture but Protestantism is "in shambles."

    It now turns out he may be a religious bigot too.

    The only question is when the blind evangelicals following this false aura of his "true" conservatism (as opposed to largely conservative which he is) and goody two shoes image wake up to see that he can't get a basic economic or policy issue across because HE has made social hot buttons his defining issue.

    Think never being able to tell the public what 999 is because of continuing allegations not about sexual indiscretions but social ones.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      Jim, I'll part company from you on this one: I don't think there exists a worse option than Mitt Romney.

    • eyetooth tom

      This is a hard one to sort out. What has Santorum got to do with 999? And "may be a religious bigot too." And "continiuing allegations not about sexual indiscretions but social ones?"
      Are talking about who inherited Bill Clinton's cigar and who finally smoked it?

  • http://commonsense21c.com felton williamson

    George Romney made his millions in an economy dominated by cronyism if elected president he will not forsake his fellow cronies and reverse the trend and that allowed him to accumulate that wealth. Mr. Soros has already informed his European cronies that there is no difference between Mr. Romney & Mr. Obama.

    The cronies plan to win the 2012 election before the Spring Equinox is on schedule. The puppet press, having already eliminates or severely harmed the best of the Republican Candidates will continue to apply the “politics of personal destruction” to anyone threatening Mr. Romney. If Mr. Romney & Mr. Obama are the nominees the cronies will have executed their strategy and won the 2012 election!

    This may well be our last chance to reclaim the American Revolution we have to “THROW THE RASCALS OUT!” now.
    See how the Cronies use the bureaucracy to amass wealth and punish political dissent, click on http://commonsense21c.com/tobys_fable.html No cost, obligation or sign-in just a 10 minute fun read complete with illustrations.

  • eyetooth tom

    So who do you want to answer the phone at 3:00 am? Valerie Jarret or Karl Rove? Or some other sycophant adviser we've not even heard of yet? Maybe even Soros. Let's see which puppet to pick, oh my!
    Think I'm on topic, I mean to be…media bias and obvious attacks are awful.

    • http://www.markamerica.com MarkAmerica

      I'd prefer neither be within reach of that phone. You're always on topic Tom.

      • eyetooth tom

        Oh my! again, I'm blushed and red(state,rather than blue) in the face, just try to keep comments simple as to what I've seen over a very short while in life of U.S. and world…and really I ain't that old! Not a "unit" 'til June. :) And by the way…still working and know other already "unit" persons still working …keeping some young'uns out of work I guess. No illegal wants my job I guess , why would OWS's , ain't not hand out :)

  • http://twitter.com/DRCBA Dr.Christine B Aria

    Agree with PolitiJim regarding the Santorum's snark know it all factor. I'm Catholic, Professional, Conservative. I told my husband that Santorum's comments and his manner of delivery about working women and women serving in the Armed forces were offensive to me. Why, he asked? Well ,I look at things in a past prologue sense based on my experiences. Did a Residency training back in the 1970s. Was the only woman. Most guys were OK. Some were difficult. & dreadful. Santorum is closer to the latter for me.

    • eyetooth tom

      Florida thunder storms keep coming through…will try this send once more. Guess it's God's will or Santorum's that lighting keeps wiping me off and clean.
      Not important, but been a licensed health care practitioner in cracker state of FL as of '67…since you mention your credentials.
      Your experience is fine as is your opinion. My Catholic wife said as to your "was the only woman." " I AM woman", and with that she raised our kids and me, of course. Good luck with all.
      Now see if I can submit before next lighting strike1

  • MaryL

    I agree 100% with you Mark, AND with Santorum. Ridiculous that we have wimped out so much in this country that we can't give an honest judgment on actions/behaviors that lead to dangerous consequences for us all. We NEED a tad more judgment in the good old USA.

  • http://twitter.com/michael_bristow MICHAEL BRISTOW

    KARL ROVE AN EXPERT? THE 2000 ELECTION WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER AT MIDNIGHT IF ROVE DID HIS JOB! HAW DID GEORGE W BUSH MANAGE A TIE IN FLORIDA WITH A 2 TO 1 REPUBLICAN ADVANTAGE IN IT'S CONGRESSIONAL DELAGATION , THE STATE HOUSE AND SPENDING, NOT TO MENTION HIS BROTHER, JEB, WAS A 20 POINT WINNING GOVERNOR!

  • Chris London

    Mark: I share your sentiments on Santorum. Where I diverge
    slightly is that I think that there is a bit of cohesion in both the left andright wing media to sabotage, undermine and marginalize Rick Santorum and to give Romney the benefit of every doubt. Romney won’t subject himself to actual real interviews, whereas his severely underfunded opponents get asked repeatedly
    about controversial subjects designed to marginalize their standing with voters.
    And then in perfect synergy Romney’s PAC then dismantles the character and integrity of his opponents in an over kill fashion to drive up their negative so that voters can’t tell who they hate more. Then Romney stands, unquestioned, as this arch capitalist posing like the second coming of Andrew Carnegie, Henry
    Ford or John D. Rockefeller. Romney is no ‘robber baron’ but rather a barren robber more akin to a Mormon Madoff, Romney is a hollow man and one of the most fundamentally dishonest men to ever seek the Presidency. Romney has every conceivable advantage with the media Illuminatii, Wall Street, RNC
    establishment firmly in his corner doing every thing they can to level the playing field for him and they still cannot give him the nomination. Romney outspent Santorum 10-1 in his native state of Michigan, only to eek out a marginal victory. There is something fundamentally wrong with Romney and this country
    that allows such a deeply fraudulent man to go this fair without being vetted. He is not just a dork. The verdict is in: The Winner is a Loser. Romney getting excited about his win in Michigan
    is akin to knocking over your mother, father, brothers, sisters and grandparents with a barrage of negative attack ads to make sure that they vote for you in your own house over an ice pick wielding Jason Voorhees. After your little brother’s late vote gives you the 3% edge over Voorhees, you then rise up triumphantly, without ever considering why you only won by 3% in your own house and anoint yourself the ‘comeback kid.’ But then it turns out that your opponent was not even Jason Voorhees, you just scared the bejesus out of everyone, it was your little niece making a monster from the shadows of her
    fingers against the wall.”

    In the end Romney will do more to delegitimize the Conservative movement than any Democrat could ever do. Romney represents Mitt Romney, Bain Capital and the LDS Mormon Cult in that order. Republicans are going to learn a very painful lesson supporting this guy.