Nel's New Day

February 28, 2012

Santorum Goes over the Edge, Loses Two States

If it’s Tuesday, there must be an election somewhere. And there is—Arizona and Michigan. Newt Gingrich have been uncharacteristically quiet, which may change now that he just got another $5 million for his sugar daddy billionaire. He does have a 28-minute political ad that claims he can bring gas down to $2.50 and no longer be reliant on oil from “Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran.” These, of course, are lies because the president doesn’t control the gas prices and the U.S. doesn’t import oil fromIran. Despite his accusations of a massive reduction in U.S. development of oil, production surged during the first two years of President Obama’s administration after its downward trend in the previous five (Bush) years.

Ron Paul just indicates “anything that Mitt wants.” The rumor is that Paul wants Romney to pick his son, Rand, as vice-president. Both Gingrich and Paul know that both the states voting today were lost causes for them, and they moved ahead to Super Tuesday in another week.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent the past few weeks smearing each other, trying to win Michigan. Republican Gov. Paul LePage (Maine) said, “If they continue to beat each other up, then maybe we should get somebody unknown to go against Obama. They’re damaging themselves. It’s like a marital battle. Somebody’s got to apologize.” Chances are very good that these two are way beyond that. Even if they did apologize, no one would believe them.

Romney continues to make bizarre comments, for example when he offers people the chance to visit his parents at the cemetery where they are buried and loving the height of the trees in Michigan—sort of like Rick Perry hugging his bottle of maple syrup in Vermont. Then there was the shirt that a fan gave him that said “Mitt Happens.” But he’s largely kept to the script of criticizing Santorum.

Santorum, on the other hand, keeps going farther and farther over the edge, either from arrogance or desperation. Last Sunday morning he told George Stephanopoulos: “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.  The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country. This is the First Amendment.  The First Amendment says the free exercise of religion.  That means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith, into the public square.” He said more, but I can see your eyes glazing over.

Santorum was so hysterical that he said he wanted to “throw up” when hearing John F. Kennedy’s statement that he would not allow his Catholic beliefs to rule the country. Kennedy actually said, “I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.” Santorum missed the fact that Kennedy paved the way for Santorum, a Catholic, to be as successful as he is.

The question is whether Santorum would want to “throw up” at this president’s statement: “Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.” He might, until someone told him that the president who said this was the revered Ronald Reagan.

After declaring that Obama has a “war on for-profit colleges” (Obama must be busy with all these “wars”), Santorum said, “President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!” He continued by claiming that Obama wants people to go to college because he wants them to be liberal. “That’s why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.

Santorum’s hatred of college is a 180-degree turn since 2006 when his Senate campaign website stated, “In addition to Rick’s support of ensuring that primary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania are equipped for success, he is equally committed to ensuring the every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education. Rick Santorum has supported legislative solutions that provide loans, grants, and tax incentives to make higher education more accessible and affordable.”

As in other situations, Santorum twisted what President Obama has said, including in his state of the union speech. Obama doesn’t use the term college; he says “higher education.” As Obama has pointed out, he wants every young person to have the benefit of an apprenticeship or education in a technical school, community college, or college/university. It’s exactly what Santorum wants, but he continues to denigrate the same vision from Obama.

With three university degrees, Santorum is so obsessed by his personal religion that he fails to remember his history. While campaigning in South Carolina, he said, “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom… What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.” Santorum overlooks the Crusades as the bloody medieval campaigns to take theHoly Landfrom the “infidels” (aka Moslems and Jews).

“I’m not a Washington insider,” Santorum claimed. Yet his $3.6 million income within the last few years came largely from “consulting” (aka lobbying) activities, and he was enough of an insider while he was in Congress to get millions of dollars in earmarks for his state. His ultra-partisan approach also gives him an insider aura.

Former Sen. Alan K. Simpson (R-WY) called Santorum a “very rigid man … a lot tougher than [former House Speaker Newt] Gingrich to deal with. And former Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) said of Santorum: “I’m not opposed to bucking the establishment, but I always felt he was using the establishment for his own aggrandizement. I remember him saying, ‘You’ve got to give me a little slack. I need to vote for this for my state.’”

Santorum rejects prenatal testing, but, as one woman pointed out, this can kill the fetus. She reported on how her amniocentesis showed that medication was not helping her fetus’s Rh negative disease, caused by the pregnant woman’s negative blood type fighting with the fetus’s positive blood type. Because of the doctor’s awareness of the problem, the fetus could be delivered at the optimum time, saving its life.

Also on record as not wanting women to be in combat, he tried to clarify that gaffe by stating that he was worried about the men’s emotions, not the women’s. But his backup statement voided that justification, when he explained that women are “fully capable of flying small planes.”

Known for his refusal to believe in man-made climate change, Santorum referred to anti-fracking activists, the people who don’t want methane gas to explode from the faucet whenever it’s turned on, as a “reign of environmental terror.” He forgot to explain that he is a top recipient of money from drilling companies, and his campaign gets big oil bucks.

At least during the past month, Santorum has dropped his “income equality is good” and stop giving out food stamps campaign. Late night talk and comedy shows made mincemeat out him after this statement: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

Santorum is campaigning to end the secular state, science-based information, education, and women’s health care with the return of patriarchy and the demonization of everybody but white, heterosexual, right-wing Christian males. Most conservative pundits recognize that he would be a lost cause as a nominee; even Santorum-supporter Rush Limbaugh said he “cringed” when he heard Santorum’s comment that he voted against his principles because politics is a “team sport.”

In her poem at Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, Maya Angelou showed the way thatClinton’s administration wanted to be inclusive:

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew

The African and Native American, the Sioux,

The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek

The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,

The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,

The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.

Reading these lines makes me think about the people who Santorum would exclude from having rights, despite the U.S. Constitution: all women who want reproductive rights including birth control, all men who want their sexual partners to use birth control, all unmarried adults who wish to have consensual sex, all people who are not members of the Catholic or evangelical churches, all LGBT people, all people of color, all college-educated people, and all people who want a public education. His exclusionary believes leave about 5 percent of the people under the great tent of this nation—as far as Santorum is concerned.

There is hope, however, because Santorum lost both Arizona and Michigan. We’ll see what outrageous things he says within the next week to struggle for delegates in the next ten states.

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