Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dissecting Santorum

(Posted by Jocelyn)

Op-ed columnist and unwelcome bedroom guest Rick Santorum announced Monday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2012. In his speech, Santorum made the following statement:
President Obama took that faith that the American public gave him, and wrecked our economy, and centralized power in Washington, DC, and robbed people of their freedom.
Obviously, being able to casually throw out loaded sentences is a requirement for Republican presidential hopefuls, but this one is definitely among the most loaded of all time. Let's break it down into parts and see what we can make of it.

1. "President Obama . . . wrecked our economy,"

This is a shocking misrepresentation of facts. As anyone with a working memory can tell you, the financial crisis came to fruition at the end of the Bush presidency. In fact, Senator John McCain, who was running against then-Senator Obama, took some "time off" from his "campaign" to "work on the economy." The first bail-out was passed by congress in 2008 and signed by then-President George W. Bush. As for the actual cause of the financial crisis, I can only say with certainty that it wasn't Obama. Elizabeth Warren, former Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP and current Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, however, can explain it, and did it pretty well on the Daily Show in 2009:
Every 10 to 15 years, there's a financial panic in our history; you just look at it. And there's a big collapse, big trouble, people lose their farms, wiped out. Until we hit the Great Depression. We come out of the Great Depression, we say, You know, we can do better than this. We don't have to go back to this kind of boom-and-bust cycle. We come out of the Great Depression with three regulations: FDIC Insurance — it's safe to put your money in banks, Glass-Steagall — banks won't do crazy things, and some SEC regulations.We go 50 years without a financial panic, without a crisis. . . .

I said fifty years, because then what happens is we say, "Regulation? Ahh, it's a pain, it's expensive, we don't need it." So we start pulling the threads out of the regulatory fabric, and what's the first thing we get? We get the S&L crisis. 700 financial institutions failed. Ten years later, what do we get? Long-term capital management, when we learn that when something collapses one place in the world, it collapses everywhere else. Early 2000's, we get Enron, which tells us the books are dirty. And what is our repeated response? We just keep pulling the threads out of the regulatory fabric.

Of course! Deregulation caused the financial crisis, and continued deregulation will cause another one in about 10 years. Santorum, however, has another take on the economy (from The Philadelphia Inquirer):
I would do the opposite of what this president is doing….

I would repeal Obamacare. I would dramatically change if not repeal most of Dodd-Frank. I would also throw Sarbanes-Oxley in there, too.
Moving on...

2. "President Obama . . . centralized power in Washington, DC,"

I mean, we live in a democracy (mostly). When our democratically-elected government has a power center, that means its allowed to function efficiently. Since it doesn't often seem to do that, I think it's fair to say that Obama hasn't actually managed to "centralized power." But I'm not going to belabor the point when there are bigger fish to fry, such as:

3. "President Obama . . . robbed people of their freedom."

W. T. F.

Perhaps it's because I'm young, but I never seem to stop being amazed at the way conservatives have no problem taking a word and using it to mean the opposite of what it actually means. What does Rick Santorum think freedom means? Because I don't think it means what he thinks it means. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, which sounds like a dictionary Santorum would like, "freedom" has eleven possible meanings, none of which (to my knowledge) have been in any way impeded by the Obama administration.

Under the Obama administration, women enjoy the right to freedom of choice when it comes to their reproductive health. Santorum, however, had this to say about that particular freedom:
For decades certain human beings were wrongly treated as property and denied liberty in America because they were not considered persons under the constitution. Today other human beings, the unborn of all races, are also wrongly treated as property and denied the right to life for the same reason; because they are not considered persons under the constitution. I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the civil rights of the unborn in this country.
Under the Obama administration, gays and lesbians will soon have the freedom to be out and in the military. Santorum, however, had this to say about that particular freedom:


Under the Obama administration, gays and lesbians are also getting ever closer to attaining the right to marry. Santorum, however, had this to say about that particular freedom:
Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.
Which, you know, is the reason this blog exists.

I guess I'm not really clear about what kind of freedom Obama is supposed to have robbed us of. Is it the freedom to be a bigoted douche? Obviously we still have that, because Santorum and his ilk don't seem to have gone anywhere. No, I think the freedom that Santorum wants is the freedom to impose his own extremist religious beliefs on the general public. Luckily, however, the voting public in this democracy can easily deny him that one in 2012.

4 comments:

  1. A woman who is beyond menopause is no more able to create children via sexual intercourse than homosexuals are. Does Santorum support the prohibition of marriage between infertile heterosexuals? Of course not. He's a hypocrite.

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  2. Obama still is not doing anything about the Drug War, and all the freedoms that it is destroying...not saying Santorum will help, or be a better president, because he won't.

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  3. Maybe you can help me. While listening to various Newshour and NPR pieces, I've noticed that a lot of the Republicans running for president keep talking as if President Obama has been prez for three years already, some even asking if Americans were better off "four years ago."

    I wrote about it in this post. Rick Santorum did this, I think saying something along the lines of Obama ruining the country compared to three or four years ago, but I couldn't find the quote.

    Any ideas where to find it?

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  4. And where was Santorum when the Bush administration decided to eavesdrop on the e-mail and telephone calls of all US citizens without warrants? Now THAT Big Brother move was a violation of our freedom!

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