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Anybody but Santorum

Posted by Richard on January 9, 2012

I mentioned my dislike of Rick Santorum the other day. I’m not alone, and RedState’s Erick Erickson, a social conservative himself, has shown that you don’t have to be a libertarian to reject Santorum’s self-described “Big Government conservatism” (emphasis added):

Santorum is a conservative. He is. But his conservative is largely defined by his social positions and the ends to which government would be deployed. But he has chosen as the means to those conservative ends bigger government. We see big government conservatives most clearly when they deviate from the tireless efforts of people like Mike Pence and Jim DeMint and the others who were willing to oppose George W. Bush’s expansion of the welfare state. Rick Santorum was not among them.

I and some friends, none of us Romney fans, have set about exploring Santorum’s record since Wednesday morning.  Here now is a non-exhaustive list of what we have found. It does not even include his support for No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, debt ceiling increases, funding the bridge to nowhere, refusing to redirect earmark allocations to disaster relief along the Gulf Coast post Katrina, etc.

This is not the record of a man committed to scaling back the welfare state or the nanny state. Had he been up for re-election in 2010 instead of 2006, this is the record of a man who the tea party movement would have primaried. The only real justification for supporting him now is he is not Mitt Romney, but I still believe we can do better.

Check out Erickson’s very, very long list of Santorum’s votes for more spending, more taxes, more entitlements, more gun control, etc., etc., etc.

Adam Bitely of Americans for Limited Government, a free-market conservative, shares Erickson’s concerns about Santorum’s big government conservatism.

A real libertarian, Cato’s David Boaz, has also put together some damning evidence demonstrating that lovers of liberty must oppose Santorum, including this disturbing quote from Santorum when he was on NPR in 2006 (emphasis added):

One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. … 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.

Not only do I find that an egregious point of view, I think his conclusion is flatly wrong. As Boaz noted, there has been an individualist society where government leaves people alone. “It’s called America.”

There is no Reagan in this Republican field, and there isn’t even a clearly best choice (I was somewhat of a Perry fan until he joined Gingrich in attacking Romney with leftist anti-capitalist, class-envy rhetoric). But there’s no doubt in my mind that Santorum is by far the worst of the lot. If there’s one thing libertarians, free-market conservatives, and social conservatives should be able to agree on, it’s that, as Erickson said, “we can do better.”

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6 Responses to “Anybody but Santorum”

  1. David Aitken said

    He’s also a hypocrite and a scam artist. See this.

  2. […] Anybody but Santorum […]

  3. Brian said

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/05/santorum-compares-holding-elective-office-to-military-service/

    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum compared his service in government to serving in the military during a town hall meeting on Thursday.

    “I grew up around veterans, I grew up around, you know, folks who loved their country and served their country,” he said, answering a question about what propelled him into government service. (RELATED: Full coverage of Rick Santorum)

    “I didn’t see working in government service and being in politics as anything but serving your country, and doing in some ways — in a civilian sense — what a lot of folks did in a military sense. And I saw it as something that is honorable and good to do.”

    “The rest of the country doesn’t function unless the government keeps us free,” he added, “and we need people in politics just like we need people in uniform to do that.”

    This is pretty callous of Santorum, to call a cushy congress job, that makes your assets worth 10x the average American, comparable to soldiers getting shot at crawling on their bellies in the mud, Marines hitting beaches getting shot at, sailors on patrol for months in submarines, or airmen getting shot at aloft. And he NEVER served in the military yet THINKS he knows what it’s all about. Well, no he DOESN’T!!!

  4. Brian said

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71129.html

    http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2005/04/santorum_vs_nat.html

    Will Rick Santorum’s lost crusade against the National Weather Service rain on his suddenly hot presidential campaign?
    While a seemingly obscure issue next to abortion, gay marriage and tax cuts, weather forecasting inspired a defining controversy for the tail end of Santorum’s U.S. Senate career: his sponsorship of a 2005 bill aimed at hobbling the federal agency’s ability to distribute taxpayer-bought information, handing it over to commercial forecasters like AccuWeather.

    The bill went nowhere but brought Santorum a nationwide pasting from bloggers, weather enthusiasts, airline pilots and other critics. Some of them noted that executives from AccuWeather — a company based in State College, Pa., in Santorum’s home state — had donated thousands of dollars to his campaigns over the years.

    Doubling down later in the year, Santorum also accused the weather service’s National Hurricane Center of flubbing its forecasts for Hurricane Katrina’s initial landfall in Florida, despite the days of all-too-prescient warnings the agency had given that the storm would subsequently strike the Gulf Coast.

    In contrast, fellow Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who was chairing the Senate Commerce Committee’s Disaster Prediction and Prevention Subcommittee, called the agency’s work on Katrina “one of the most accurate hurricane predictions we have ever seen.”
    Weather doesn’t show up as a top issue on Santorum’s presidential campaign website, and AccuWeather doesn’t appear in his 2012 campaign donations. But some of his opponents, such as the liberal website Daily Kos, have tried to revive memories of the 2005 legislation this week — including with headlines claiming inaccurately that Santorum had tried to “abolish” the weather service.
    In fact, Santorum’s failed legislation would have left the weather service intact, although with significantly reduced ability to distribute its information directly to the public.

    Critics of the bill say the legislation reflects an outdated worldview — one that says government data should flow through profit-making middlemen, rather than being released freely to one and all.

    “I think what you see out of Santorum — in particular the weather data thing — is that some private businesses should be anointed to make tons of money off the taxpayers,” said open-government advocate Carl Malamud. “That’s a very 1970s, 1980s mind-set. That’s a pre-Internet mindset.”

    Malamud, who has pushed federal entities such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Patent and Trademark Office, Smithsonian Institution and court system to make their data more freely available, called Santorum’s bill “one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.”

    Attempts to reach Santorum’s campaign spokespeople about the issue were unsuccessful at the writing of the article. Under the bill, commercial weather providers like AccuWeather would have continued to get access to the weather service’s data, while the federal agency would have been prohibited from providing “a product or service … that is or could be provided by the private sector.” The legislation would have counteracted a 2004 policy change by the George W. Bush administration that had broadened the weather service’s ability to create new products and release data, including over the Internet.

    At the time, Santorum said the bill was needed to prevent the weather service from driving competitors out of business.
    “It is not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free,” Santorum said in a statement when he introduced the bill. He said the bill would also force the weather service to focus on its “core missions,” such as improving its forecasts of hurricanes and other severe weather.

    Opponents, including Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), argued that the bill threatened to deny vital information to residents of hurricane-threatened states by reverting the weather service to a “pre-Internet era.”

    So this moralizing sanctimonious charlatan wants to re-sell what belongs to the taxpayer, and make them pay TWICE? What a form of welfare that is! Propping up cottage industries, like a car dealer that puts another coat of paint on that new car and charges you again. BOGUS! What does Santorum know about morality, anyway? I say NOTHING! No wonder his name is getting made fun of. He dishonored it himself. Santorum is a professional politician, never had a legitimate career. Go home already!

  5. […] suppose I’m OK with that. I’ve expressed before my strong dislike for Santorum’s big-government social conservatism. And Gingrich strikes me as narcissistic, […]

  6. […] of us of a libertarian or free-market conservative bent objected to Santorum’s self-described “Big Government conservatism,” history as a spendthrift and pork lover, rabid social conservatism, and comparative […]

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