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Rick Santorum in his own words…

This is him talking about his book It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good.

One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle. This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom*, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.

Rick, my friend, there is (or was) such a culture and I’ve been there a few times and it is called the United States of America. And it worked because nobody “went it alone”. One of the cherished principles of the libertarians you clearly despise is voluntary co-operation. We call it “civil society” and it tends to self-organize. For example when my wife and I are away my neighbour looks after our cat and vice-versa we’re on bunny watch. It is the most natural thing in the world. It doesn’t require statist aresholes like Santorum to “make it so!”

He is deranged. He wants to impose the Republic of Gilead. But hey at least he’s fiscally sound and good for the economy! Er… not exactly.

Santorum’s voting record shows that he embraced George Bush–style “big-government conservatism.” For example, he supported the Medicare prescription-drug benefit and No Child Left Behind.

He never met an earmark that he didn’t like. In fact, it wasn’t just earmarks for his own state that he favored, which might be forgiven as pure electoral pragmatism, but earmarks for everyone, including the notorious “Bridge to Nowhere.” The quintessential Washington insider, he worked closely with Tom DeLay to set up the “K Street Project,” linking lobbyists with the GOP leadership.

He voted against NAFTA and has long opposed free trade. He backed higher tariffs on everything from steel to honey. He still supports an industrial policy with the government tilting the playing field toward manufacturing industries and picking winners and losers.

Both quotes are from the Cato Institute which is a well known hot-bed of Trotskyite agit-prop! At the risk of a self-Godwinning he’s verging on fascist. I mean, “The Common Good”. Cripes! And can anyone answer me this one? Seeing as the USA is (by most European standards) very religious anyway why do people like Santorum feel God (of whatever flavour) is not enough by Himself to command the believers but they need the likes of Santorum too? I mean why? It’s distressing to an individualist like myself because you get this all the time. We are all grown-ups (apart from the kids and they can’t vote) so we can follow our own consciences as we see fit and according to whatever religion we do or don’t believe in anyway. The hubris of the man is staggering. I mean you’d think being commander in chief of the US military and chief of the executive branch of federal government was enough but he also wants to be a supreme moral guardian. I actually think far from aiding religious faith Santorum and his ilk are utterly corrosive to it.

A tip of the feline enumeration rod to commentator PeterT over at Samizdata.

*If I ever find Ricky in my bedchamber he will never stand for anything again. Not even to urinate.


  1. berenike says:

    At the risk of a self-Godwinning he’s verging on fascist. I mean, “The Common Good”.

    Do you even know what “common good” means. Not so much self-Godwinning as making an ass of yourself :)

  2. Agreed, obviously, and this one is far from the worst.

    But look on the bright side, Goldman Sachs are doing so well with Obama in office that there is not an earthly chance that the Republican candidate will win, whether it’s this nutter or one slightly less bad or even worse.

  3. NickM says:

    I appreciate the narrow Catholic sense but is that what Santorum meant? The “common good”is a vague term at the best. Coming from a statist homophobe who believes contraception is the enslavement of women and believes in home schooling (no arguments there) but only does it on the basis of $100,000 from the statenfor his own kiddies I do wonder. It is the same bizarre smoke and mirrors that regards gay marriage marriage as in some bizarre way “undermining” actually existing heterosexual marriages. He is FDMA all the way and typing as someone who thinks the state ought to get the feck out of the marriage business altogether his government enforced morality is obnoxious. Not because it is obnoxious in itself – though it is – but and I re-iterate my point – I am not against Christian morality (or whatever else people choose to believe) but the state imposing anything and I mean anything is vile.

    Thanks. That fills me with joy.

  4. Infidel753 says:

    Well, yes, Rick “of the Saints” is a theocrat in the broad sense. This is pretty much part of the definition of “conservative” in the United States now. I realize this is difficult for Europeans to grasp since in Europe the whole right-vs-left spectrum works differently, but in the US right-vs-left now pretty much means theocratic-vs-secular. All major Republican figures want to ban abortion, they rant against the evil “gay agenda”, support government endorsement of Christianity, etc. Even those like Romney who probably don’t really hold such views have to express them, otherwise they won’t be taken seriously as conservatives.

    On economics some right-wingers like Santorum and Huckabee support relatively high government spending and a stronger social safety net. If anything other than religion still played a real role in defining the right wing here, they wouldn’t be considered extreme-right figures. But it doesn’t, and they are.

    The nearest analog Europe has to our Christian Right is the Islamists, but the difference is that there’s no major political party in Europe which is dominated by Islamists the way the Christian Right dominates the US Republican party.

    The US isn’t as religious as Europeans think, though it’s certainly more religious than European societies are. The Christian Right subculture is maybe 15% to 25% of the population; the rest are mostly religious in a rather fuzzy, meaningless way. But 15% to 25% is enough to play a dominant role in one political party.

    It’s starting to be said here that when the Republicans talk about shrinking government, they mean they want it to be small enough to fit in your bedroom and keep an eye on you.

  5. Fred says:

    err, name one major republican figure who openly supports govt endorsement of Christianity.

    Cos the one thing the GOP have in common is that they are constitutionalists, and Amd.1 prevents that. Beyond this it’s a *very* broad church.

    Otherwise, the mindless Dem propaganda can go back to the HuffPo.

    Anyway, the Dems ain’t so secular – there’s the Christian and Jewish Hard Left there, along with all the Gaia worshippers. And the desire amongst many to privilege Islam alongside non-caucasian skin colour as a protected characteristic.

    Ever wondered why the only people who actually seem to have a problem with conservative blacks/homosexuals are Democrats? Ever wondered why the race-obsessed ones are so quick to accuse others of racism? FFS, right now the Justice Department is selectively enforcing Civil Rights legislation along racial lines. And the GOP are the racist ones?

  6. NickM says:

    Interesting stuff Infidel. Most of my US experience is in Georgia (a Georgian once called it to me the “Bible loins” – i.e. below the Bible belt). Yeah, I pretty much figured that about the genuine level of religiosity in the USA.

  7. RAB says:

    He seems to have a couple of i’s missing from his name.

  8. right_writes says:


    If you take a look at the old meaning of the word ‘marry’… old texts etc. e.g. Isaac Walton’s Compleat Angler… He uses the world in the same way as we use the word ‘indeed’ today… It is a way of describing a contract.. a deed… and that is all. The churches were just handy places in the old days, to set up and agree one of these contracts. Whether the agreeing parties are religious is not relevant, even if they all were in those times, the important bit, is the deed.

    Anyway, agree with your stuff on Santorum, this race for the Republican nomination is looking more like ‘X factor dancing on idols’ every day, one day someone rises 20% in the polls, and the next day it’s someone else… When we all know that America needs Ron Paul…

    I think we have had enough government over the last 100 years, and it’s high time that this criminal enterprise was shut down for a few years, if not for good. It’s interesting that the most damaging part of ‘big government’ (even though it is not actually an official part of it), was instituted 100 years ago in 2013… The Fed, and that should be the first bit to be shut down.

  9. Paul Marks says:

    Yes the whole point of conservatism is that cuture and civil society are not the same thing as the State.

    Rick Santorum has an argument against the left (and lots of evidence) – the left (both Marxist and nonMarxist) really did use the power of the state to undermine the family and other things he really cares about. That was why he got into politics in the first place (money and power, what normally motivates people to go into politics, did not really interest him).

    That is not hard to prove – after all leading leftists BOASTED about their activities and intentions at the time.

    Santorum’s mistake is to think that what the state destroyed the state can restore.

    Take the example of a vase.

    One can use a hammer (the state) to smash a vase – but try useing that same hammer (the state) to make a vase.

    On the specific issues Santorum really is nothing to scared about.

    After all if belief that Courts not got the authority to overule State statutes on sodomy (and on what “marriage” is), and a belief that homosexual ACTIVISTS (not just people who keep their private lives private) should not serve in the military, and a belief that abortion is murder…

    If all these specific POLICY ISSUES are scary – then Jon Huntsman (the moderate type that the leftist Boston Globe has just endorsed for the New Hampshire Primary) is just as “scary” as Rick Santorum. Because his position on these issues is the same as that of Santorum. So is that of Ron Paul.

    Indeed the only difference on policy, among Republicans, would be as follows….

    “O.K. we accept that the Supreme Court does not have the right to strike down a State Statute on sodomy – but is such a statute a good idea, or should it be repealed anyway?”

    All the other candidates (even Rick Perry – once he is really pushed to reply) would agree that yes such a Statute should be repealed anyway.

    But I am not sure Rick Santorum would agree.

    However, Jon Huntsman (no chance by the way) does not make speeches about this stuff – he has other things he wants to say.

    And there is none of the PHILOSOPHY stuff in Huntsman (or the others actually), none of the confusion between the state and civil society.

    A profoundly unconservative confusion.

    After all the Presidents who first came out with this stuff (the confusion of the state and civil society) were Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

    Does a conservative really want to get into bed with Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson?

    That would be an unpleasant threesome.

    As for the nomination.

    I have long thought that it would be Mitt Romney.

    We should (regardless of our opinions) be pleased about that.

    Because if any of us actually met Mitt he would (by some strange coincidence) turn out to have the same opinions as us.

    But there are worse things in the universe than trying to “please the customers” which is how businessman Mitt thinks of the matter of possible voters or supporters.

    And, of course, in his way he is quite sincere.

  10. Paul Marks says:

    It seems I was wrong in suspecting that Rick Santorum would have voted (if a member of the Texas State Legislature) to keep the anti sodomy law. If one clearly listens carefully to what he actually says, he says he would vote to REPEAL (on the standard not all sins are crimes argument). I apologize for my error.

    I suppose I (like other people) do not always listen to what Santorum actually says – but he hardly helps his case by saying important things IN PASSING (as an aside) rather than STRESSING them.

    One must not do that (not just a politician – anyone) – one can not just mention the important things in passing (as a aside) before getting on to talk about other (less important) things.

  11. berenike says:

    (Hey, I think contraception is, among other things, enslavement of women, and men.)

    Not following the US election at all (until today wasn’t sure whether Michele Bachman was Michelle or Michael), but why shouldn’t Santorum think of the sense of common good that is the first to spring to the mind of most Catholics who’ve read half a book on Catholic social stuff? (not that most of the books agree on what it is, but)

  12. Paul Marks says:

    There is a big difference between thinking contraception should be legal and thinking it is a wonderful cure-all that solves social problems (as “modern society” – i.e. the “liberal” elite, do).

    Actually Rick Santorum does think that contraception should be legal – but one would have to listen very carefully to him to know that.

    First he starts with a Supreme Court case on contraception (back in the 1960s) which he then discusses in detail (really in detail), then he goes on to how this established X, Y, Z for Roe V Wade on abortion in the 1970s (which is also discussed in detail).

    Someone in all of the above Santorum will mention that he would actually (had he been a member of a State governnment at the time) have voted in FAVOUR of contraception being legal – but one has to listen really carefully, as this bit will be passed over really quickly while he goes on to discuss more important things.

    Such as what colour notepaper Justice X liked (or whatever).

    How did Rick Santorum ever manage to practice law?

    “Mr Santorum will you please deal with the POINT”.

    “That may be the point to you Your Honor – but I think it is much more important that we discuss a couple of hundred other things……”

  13. Paul Marks says:

    As for economic policy.

    He is not (for example) in favour of government subsidies for industry, he is favour of getting rid of the corporation tax on manufacturing industry (and reducing it for service industries), much like Ireland (but going further).

    But, again, one would have to listen very carefully to know that.

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