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Rick Santorum, Conservative Ideas & the Anti-anti-gay attitudes of most Americans

Just over two weeks ago, I asked, “Where is the conservative candidate at this conservative moment?

If this election were held on which party had the best vision for the future of America, the Republicans, should they hew to Reagan’s ideals, would win hands-down. Polls show a continuing, if not growing, distrust of the federal government and a skepticism for the types of solutions President Obama has been offering.

Note that his biggest political victory of 2011 was outmaneuvering Republicans on a tax-cut.

We need someone, as I wrote in January, who can take the fight to Obama–who can stand up for conservative principles.  Rick Santorum, despite his absence of real accomplishment in the Senate and lack of executive experience, has, since Newt’s meltdown, done that better than anyone else in the race.  No wonder he did so well last night.

Let us hope Mitt Romney learns from his defeat.

Santorum may be able to articulate conservative principles, but he didn’t when he was in Congress, he didn’t lead the fight to stem the growth of federal spending or limit the scope of government regulation.  And he comes with baggage that will not endear him to independent voters.  As Jim Hoft reminds us, in April 2003, the then-Pennsylvania Senator

. . . stated that he believed mutually consenting adults do not have a constitutional right to privacy with respect to sexual acts. Santorum described the ability to regulate consensual homosexual acts as comparable to the states’ ability to regulate other consensual and non-consensual sexual behavior, such as adultery, polygamy, child molestation, incest, sodomy, and bestiality, whose decriminalization he believed would threaten society and the family, as they are not monogamous and heterosexual.

Just over five years ago, in the wake of his Senate defeat, I wrote

The lesson for Republicans in Santorum’s defeat is that expression of anti-gay sentiments will not help advance a candidate’s cause. Most Americans, while opposing gay marriage, don’t harbor much, if any, animosity against gay people. But, on the whole, they do seem to seem to have an antipathy to politicians who readily express anti-gay bias. (more…)

Scott Walker: progressive reformer

Charles Lane penned a great column on the Gipper’s birthday about a reformist in the traditional of Ronald Reagan.  The former editor of the center-left New Republic observed that “The threat to such progressive goals as majority rule, transparent government, a vibrant public sector and equality comes from public-sector unionism“:

Of course, collective bargaining in the public sector is inherently contrary to majority rule. It transfers basic public-policy decisions — namely, the pay and working conditions that taxpayers will offer those who work for them — out of the public square and behind closed doors. Progressive Wisconsin has a robust “open meetings” law covering a wide range of government gatherings except — you guessed it — collective bargaining with municipal or state employees. So much for transparency.

Even worse, to the extent that unions bankroll the campaigns of the officials with whom they will be negotiating — and they often do — they sit on both sides of the table.

Indeed.  And the left-of-center pundit commends Wisconsin’s Republican governor for taking on such unions.  Read the whole thing!

Why marriage matters

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:12 am - February 8, 2012.
Filed under: Gay Marriage

In the wake of the Ninth Circuit’s overturning Prop 8 yesterday as unconstitutional, it is important to take a step back from the overheated rhetoric in the debate on state recognition of same-sex marriage — a debate which alas has offered more heat than light — and attempt to offer that light, to illuminate the real meaning of marriage.

Few people do that better than Jonathan Rauch and David Blankenhorn, one “a gay man who has written a book in favor of gay marriage. The other is a straight man who has written a book opposing gay marriage.”  In a piece they penned together last November, Rauch addressed an issue more fundamental than state recognition (what he calls “legal right”).  What seems most important to him

. . is getting marriage right, for all people. Winning the legal right is important for same- sex couples, but it’s hardly the end. Over the long run, will same-sex marriage shore up marriage’s privileged social status, or diminish it? Gay Americans and their communities all have an interest in establishing that their right to marry can support and perhaps even strengthen American commitment to the institution that is now open to them.

Indeed.  They both agree, for example,

. . . that getting married before having children is an important, and embattled, cultural value, which society as a whole should do more to embrace. Similarly, we can agree that the growing phenomenon of “single parents by choice,” whatever its meaning or value in particular situations, is a harmful social trend. Many, probably most, children of single parents do fine. But a large body of scholarly evidence shows that single parenting increases risks for children.

“Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions From the Social Sciences,” a recent summary of evidence from 18 diverse family scholars, concludes that solo parenting “increases poverty for both children and mothers,” is associated with higher levels of psychological problems for children and mothers, and “appears to increase children’s risk of school failure.”

Read the whole thing.

Marriage is a fundamental institution for our society, indeed, for nearly every society in recorded human history.  Until recently, it has always been defined by sexual difference.

Now that has been changing.   (more…)

Mitt Romney needs to go bold — or go home

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:37 am - February 8, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Conservative Ideas

All three of the contests last night were beauty contests where none of the four remaining candidates invested significant resources.  No wonder turnout was low.  That said, supporters of one candidate were particularly enthusiastic and Rick Santorum scored big, sweeping all three.

More than anything, this suggests a longing among conservatives for a standard bearer in this contest.  And with Newt Gingrich having melted down in Florida and Nevada, Rick Santorum, barely vetted in the aftermath of his Iowa showing, fits the bill.

The real story, as John Fund put it last night in the National Review, is that Mitt Romey

. . . has failed to close the deal with conservatives, who dominate the Republican party more than they did in 2008. Romney drew the ire of conservative icons Steve Forbes and Dick Armey this week when he endorsed inflation-indexed minimum-wage increases — something every free-market economist worth his chops knows would make it harder for people to get entry-level jobs. . . .

Romney would help himself and his party if he realized that he will have a much higher chance of winning the general election if he reaches out to conservatives and convinces them to be enthusiastic. It’s one thing to win the vote of every anti-Obama voter in the country, but on his current trajectory Romney will fail to convince many of them to make that extra effort to get their friends and neighbors to the polls.

Via HotAir.  Romney might have won a couple of last night’s contests had he put more effort into getting his supporters to the polls, but that they didn’t show up of their own accord suggests a lack of enthusiasm for their man.

If the former Bay State governor wants to win the nomination — and the general election — he should follow the lead of Paul Ryan and go bold.  He needs to rally conservatives to his cause. (more…)

Is Newt’s Political Day Done?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 8:01 am - February 8, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

It was indeed, as Michael Barone put it, a bad night for Mitt Romney.  It was an even worse night for Newt Gingrich who finished third in Colorado and fourth in Minnesota.

Gingrich’s days,” writes Jennifer Rubins offering the consensus opinion of conservative bloggers, “as the leading not-Romney are just about over. His baggage has finally weighed him down and pushed him down to the bottom of the pack, and he will have trouble raising money and garnering attention from here on out.”

UPDATE:  Crunching the numbers from Tuesday’s contests, Michael Barone observes:

The one candidate who took a clear loss was Newt Gingrich, who failed to get on the ballot in Missouri, finished a miserable fourth in Minnesota, and beat Ron Paul by 1 percent in Colorado. Those are miserable results 16 days after his big win in South Carolina. It’s not clear how he maintains the visibility he needs to recover.

When insinuation replaces argument

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:48 am - February 8, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Family,Mean-spirited leftists

Perhaps I should not have offered that “personal note” I had offered yesterday.  With Bruce busy and me manning the fort, sometimes it seems I can’t meet the expectations of our readers for regular content on a variety of issues, particularly those of concern to our community.  Especially when I have other projects to complete and when there are others issues are on my mind.

When I posted the piece, I expected some understanding commentary — from our defenders and our critics, instead witnessed the return of a troll, arriving not to address the point of the post, but to attack me personally and gay conservatives in general, basing his bile not on anything I had said, but on aspects of my biography he assumed to be true, but none of which having in fact any basis in reality.

Indeed, some were in direct opposition to the facts of my life, some he might have discerned had he read my posts.  For the record, I have a very strong relationship with my father whom I see several times a year even though we live in different states.  He knows I’m gay and loves me for the man I am.

Our relationship has strengthened since I came out to him, perhaps because my coming out caused him to ask questions about an experience that was foreign to him — or perhaps because fathers and sons oftentimes become closer in adulthood.  (And that is all I will say — all, for the purposes of this blog, that needs be said.)

Why someone would want to make assumptions about my relationship to my family is beyond me.  This blog should be a forum for discussion, not insinuation.

I am grateful to ur reader Rattlesnake for not mincing words when he took our critic to task: (more…)