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  1. Trashing anyone but, Romney is becoming a pattern in this primary of 2012. Here on “Gay Patriot” I can only guess it’s because there is hope for SSM in Romney and not in the other candidates.

    Comment by Richard Bell — January 4, 2012 @ 11:32 am - January 4, 2012

  2. Rick Santorum is not a fiscal conservative, period. Check his record as a Senator. Any supposed Tea Party Conservative who did vote for him last night, or will vote for him in the future, is a fraud and not a fiscal conservative.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 4, 2012 @ 11:52 am - January 4, 2012

  3. sonicfrog,

    Do you mean to say the “medicare part D” vote is more of a disqualification than the Romney record as governor?

    Comment by Richard Bell — January 4, 2012 @ 12:09 pm - January 4, 2012

  4. Santorum grumbles about too many conservatives believing in unbridled “personal autonomy” and subscribing to the “idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do … that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom (and) we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues.”

    Color me confused.

    Really, Santorum thinks too many conservatives believe in unbridled personal autonomy? That makes him nuts. Can he (Santorum) direct me to a local Klavern where I can interview these Neanderthals?

    Or, even better, can David Harsanyi support such a bold claim about Santorum? I am suspicious that more than a bit of taffy is being pulled here and stuffed into Santorum’s mouth. That is too say, I think the old broad brush has been brought out to paint Santorum’s image.

    The “public square” is where we come together and determine what we value and what we will not accept. Does anyone think for a nano-second that the privacy of the bedroom protects child molestation? Of course not. Does anyone think that any sexual contact should be state monitored in order to assure that it is for the purposes of insemination only and between only state approved partners who are fulfilling state mandates to create offspring that fit the purposes of the state? Of course not.

    So, somewhere in between those extremes we have varying degrees of values to consider in the public square.

    Government is very involved in cultural issues. And it should be. Like all things, yin and yang provide balance and occasionally, cultural shifts change the balance points.

    I have encountered arguments here that homosexuality is not just about sex. That is particularly likely to come up when discussing gay marriage. But from a general societal viewpoint, if homosexuality is not about sex then what is it about? So, then, why is “sodomy” a code word? It seems awfully specific to me. Does the state have an interest in sodomy? Not at this time in history. Are active gays “sodomites”? Political correctness, anybody? What is the issue here? Do we have to laud sodomy as a state value and punish those who disapprove of it? Or is it OK between heterosexuals, but not homosexuals? If so, on what basis do we make the distinction? Can some believe one way and others believe the opposite without rearranging the stars in the universe?

    I would like to see a bit more reasoned discussion of Rick Santorum than just reactive group think. At least let us know if he has ordered up blueprints for gay concentration camps.

    Frankly, I am closer to cold than lukewarm on the guy and he does need to be “vetted” for all his stands, peculiar and solid. Bring it on. But let’s be grown-ups in the process.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2012 @ 12:10 pm - January 4, 2012

  5. BTW, speaking of haters, your support for Congressional candidate Ilario Pantano may need to be re-evaluated. “Pantano has also opposed the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell,” calling it (homosexuality) “an issue that’s Biblically wrong.”

    Sorry a bit off topic but I missed finding your email addy.

    Comment by Carolina Dude — January 4, 2012 @ 12:18 pm - January 4, 2012

  6. Santorum is of the same mold as Romney,who he supported in 2008.Perry remains the only conservative left. The Tea Partiers had better throw their full support behind Perry now. If they don’t they will risk losing everything they worked for. Those other3 BOZOS sure don’t hold with the Tea Party views. Oh by the way Obama is going to appoint Corday while congress is not in session.

    Comment by pam — January 4, 2012 @ 12:18 pm - January 4, 2012

  7. Trashing anyone but, Romney is becoming a pattern in this primary of 2012. Here on “Gay Patriot” I can only guess it’s because there is hope for SSM in Romney and not in the other candidates.

    Way off.

    1) Trashing Willard is part of “the pattern” as well. Most people find that nobody in the GOP was/is particularly attractive, after Herman Cain was character-assassinated and with certain others staying out.
    2) Romney supports SSM? I had no idea.
    3) The GP blog supports SSM? Again, I had no idea. (I do, and have always felt like a minority for it.)

    I don’t know if all that comes to you as good news or bad, Richard Bell; just filling you in.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 4, 2012 @ 12:25 pm - January 4, 2012

  8. What I do know is this: I will not vote for Santorum period. If he is the GOP nominee my only choice is whether to vote Independent, which I’m most incined to do, or even vote for Obama. I’d rather not be put into that position so I’m voting for Romney in the primary (to spit Paul too).

    Comment by JohnAGJ — January 4, 2012 @ 12:51 pm - January 4, 2012

  9. ILC,

    Way off? So you see this spin of today on Santorum as accurate criticism?

    So, if SSM legislation landed on Romney’s desk would he resist signing it? Would Santorum? My point is that with Romney there is hope of him not resisting SSM.

    It’s really bad news if so called conservatives are going to stand by and allow Santorum’s record to be spun as we see it being spun so far today without calling the crap, crap.

    Comment by Richard Bell — January 4, 2012 @ 12:53 pm - January 4, 2012

  10. Government is very involved in cultural issues. And it should be.

    I don’t take that for granted. I take for granted that government should be very involved in the impartial protection of individual rights to life, liberty and property. Which protection both requires, and nourishes, a certain culture. So far, you have a point. But government should stay out of anything beyond that point, as much as possible.

    I don’t know if the concept of “the bedroom” might be a representative example. The concept generally means: that space out of public view, wherein consenting adults carry on their romantic and/or sexual relationships. Government, by its impartial protection of individual rights, helps to create that space. Child molestation violates the child’s rights (even if the child feels it had consented). Laws against child molestation are part of delineating that protected space for **consenting adults** to have relationships of their choosing. So government, by its rightful activities, helps to create the protected space known as “the bedroom”. Having done so, government should have no more say about it, i.e. no say about what goes on in it – or else it defeats the concept. (Note that I am NOT talking about marriage licensing here; only about what consulting adults do in private.)

    I don’t know what Santorum really believes. But the “idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do … that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom (and) we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues” sounds pretty good to me. Was Santorum grumbling about me, then? I don’t know that either. Arguably, I am not a real conservative – in which case, Santorum wasn’t precisely grumbling about me.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 4, 2012 @ 12:55 pm - January 4, 2012

  11. RB – If Santorum really said what he said and has certain beliefs, stating them (and possibly disagreeing with them, or criticizing them) isn’t “spin”.

    Again, I disclaim expertise on Santorum; I don’t claim to know what he really believes.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — January 4, 2012 @ 12:56 pm - January 4, 2012

  12. “Government is very involved in cultural issues. And it should be.”

    Helio, so says every Obama Leftist. You’re in strange but very large company.

    Attitudes like that from the Right are actually quite instructive. They serve to explain why, no matter how discredited it gets and no matter how many electoral defeats it suffers, the Left — like the villain from a series of cheesy horror movies — comes staggering back with that chainsaw, again and again and again.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 4, 2012 @ 1:17 pm - January 4, 2012

  13. Santorum thinks too many conservatives believe in unbridled personal autonomy.

    Is this what Santorum has actually said, or is this Santorum being characterized by a political opponent?

    Comment by V the K — January 4, 2012 @ 1:37 pm - January 4, 2012

  14. I wrote:

    Rick Santorum is not a fiscal conservative, period. Check his record as a Senator. Any supposed Tea Party Conservative who did vote for him last night, or will vote for him in the future, is a fraud and not a fiscal conservative.

    Richard Bell replied:


    Do you mean to say the “medicare part D” vote is more of a disqualification than the Romney record as governor?

    Do you see anything in my comment that mentions Romney, his policies, or anything that compares him favorably over Santorum? In general, Romney does not enjoy strong support with the Tea Party faction; it’s tepid at best, so that is a moot point.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — January 4, 2012 @ 2:00 pm - January 4, 2012

  15. Lori and ILC,

    Our culture is based on the Judeo-Christian ethic and English Common Law. It the larger context we are a western culture as opposed to an oriental or eastern culture. Our laws are informed by what our belief system considers right from wrong.

    Government reflects the culture and makes laws within the bounds set by the culture. Clitorectomies don’t play well in our culture. Some busy bodies are all wound up over circumcision. Such things get played out in government courts and the force of government is brought it to enforce the cultural norms. You can not divorce culture from the law. That is my point.

    My reference to yin and yang is to affirm that there is always a dynamic tension between tradition and cultural change. Certainly gays are aware of the change over the past third years in how gays have progressed in general acceptance and treatment in the public square. And gay marriage is a push against cultural tradition and seeks affirmation and protection by the government.

    If the government should rid itself of cultural influence, could you explain to me how it would do it and the basis it would use for decision making?

    Social conservatives, like myself, tend to believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, we understand the continuity of change and natural change must be reflected in our culture and institutions. We are not like the Amish who try to stay behind some moment in time in order to remain pure.

    On the other hand, social conservatives do not set out to find a perceived injustice for the purpose of correcting it. That type of “victim’s rights” ambulance chasing is disruptive to the natural order and puts the government on the track to micromanage individual behaviors.

    For all the years we had slavery, there were plenty who were opposed to it. The cataclysm of the Civil War was exceptional in terms of a people confronting a cultural disagreement. However disruptive the Civil War was, the era of segregation lasted for a very long time and was equally unjust and was remarkably tolerated throughout the county. The cultural “fix” was put in place only in recent history, but the culture has certainly absorbed the change. I can not imagine any way in which we would return to racial segregation.

    All this is to say that our government is part of our culture and our reliance on the representative democracy model is at the cultural core.

    That is why talk of fundamentally changing America is such a huge issue with social conservatives. We demand to know what the fundamental change is, why it is being pursued and what its benefits over its cultural costs will be.

    I might add that the government’s efforts to protect the American Indians in preserving their culture has been a flat out failure in every case and every venue across the span of time since the policy began.

    I do not favor government social engineering, which is what “leading” cultural change is all about. But I do not reject the role of government in social change when the issues come to the legislature and the courts from the people.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2012 @ 3:44 pm - January 4, 2012

  16. Helio,

    Our very form of government — including its open and socially-tolerant principles — come from the Judeo-Christian tradition. If we want to look to governments based upon those of other religious traditions, we have Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, etc. to serve as guides.

    I believe that the Judeo-Christian tradition is robust enough to withstand those who don’t appreciate it — as long as those people don’t have a huge, intrusive government they can use to implement their own social engineering.

    Saying that the issues of social change should come from “the courts” or from “the people” sounds good enough, but it can be a loaded gun. There are many, many people out there in America, and there are some real whackos — both Left and Right — sitting on the bench.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 4, 2012 @ 4:03 pm - January 4, 2012

  17. Lori @ # 16, Your remarks echo that of Benjamin Franklin:

    “When a Religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”

    Comment by Sandhorse — January 4, 2012 @ 5:12 pm - January 4, 2012

  18. Lori and Sandhorse,

    Agreed. That is why we must be vigilant and keep a wary eye on our representative democracy. Balance and moderation are the key to stability.

    I have met many people who foam at the mouth over Christian fundamentalists and see them as morality terrorists hiding behind every tree. I have met many people who believe the average citizen is a moron who must be herded and guarded for his own safety. I have met groups of people who believe they alone understand justice and equality and all others must be coerced or “guided” to the lamp of truth.

    The mainstream can accept these differing views without adopting or even adapting to them. That is the role of culture.

    I am firmly opposed to allowing any aspect of Sharia to penetrate our judicial decision making. Just because the presumptions of the Judeo-Christian ethic and our inheritance of English Common Law does not accept Sharia, it is not a fact that our presumptions are wrong. If the Muslim can not live outside of Sharia, then the cultural basis of our government and law do not automatically have to change to absorb the Muslim.

    There is always a dynamic at work between the continuity of change and radical change, be it from the left or the right.

    I think one problem in this discussion is the assumption that strong conservatives are radicals and that strong liberals are radicals. The fact is that one can be a strong liberal or strong conservative and still live within the cultural framework that informs society as a whole.

    The difference between the strong liberal and the strong conservative is that the conservative would limit government and (perhaps) government protections, whereas the liberal uses the government as a tool and force for implementing his ideas and ideals.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2012 @ 5:59 pm - January 4, 2012

  19. I consider myself a social conservative – at least a moderate one. The basis for my being one is that I oppose using the government for “social engineering,” so I guess I generally agree with Heliotrope. I am opposed to change for the sake of change, but I support change when I think it is justified. I hope most people would agree that ending slavery and segregation in the USA were justified changes. And I also believe that ending sodomy laws and DADT there were justified changes. My basis for thinking abolishing sodomy laws is justified is that what is done in private is none of the government’s business, as long as no harm is done. And my basis for thinking ending DADT is justified is that I think the most effective military judges people by their performance, not by identity labels. If an individual gay person causes disruption or prevents cohesion, the cause of that disruption or lack of cohesion, I would hope, could be dealt with objectively (whether that cause is the gay person or some homophobe or something else).

    Maybe thinking those things doesn’t make me a social conservative; I really don’t know or care. I think libertinism is very harmful to society, as is allowing it (assuming a libertine rejects personal responsibility in favor of seeking pleasure). That does not mean that the government should actively punish libertines, but it definitely shouldn’t prevent them from suffering the repurcussions of their failure to be responsible (which it currently does with programs like welfare, and universal healthcare in jurisdictions where that exists). Only if their failure to be responsible or their pleasure seeking causes demonstrable harm should the government (i.e. the law) get involved.

    I think that philosophy is strongly at odds with what Santorum allegedly said. The difference is fairly subtle, I think, but it is very significant. A system that reflects conservative philosophy shouldn’t require the government to keep people in line.

    (PS, I used to comment using the handle “Naamloos” but I will henceforth use the handle “Rattlesnake”, and I’ll say this a few times just to be completely transparent.)

    Comment by Rattlesnake — January 4, 2012 @ 7:21 pm - January 4, 2012

  20. Rattlesnake,

    There are degrees of social conservatism. You are not radical right. Neither am I. But I don’t restrict myself to fiscal conservatism and my social conservatism (and probably yours) is focused on giving change a second look to see if it is beneficial and justified or simply reactionary.

    The issue of libertines is an interesting one. Libertines pursue sensual pleasure without regard to moral strictures. The Ron Paul crowd, as I understand it, are largely opposed to the most of the illegal drugs laws. What one does to achieve sexual pleasure is another. Other (supposedly) victimless crimes are also included.

    The problem with libertine actions is whether it victimizes the payees in a nanny state. Are we to be taxed to bail people out from the consequences of STDs, overdoses, gambling debts, physical damage from anal sex with a stallion, etc.? Damage from libertine activity is hardly on the victim agenda of most social conservatives.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 4, 2012 @ 8:30 pm - January 4, 2012

  21. Rick Santorum represents everything that went wrong with the Republican party of the early to mid 00′s, and got them promptly kicked out of power. He is the perfect representation of the big government conservative that prides itself on not only being in your bed room but also using Goverment resources for their moral mission.

    I don’t understand where he is getting support from the Tea Party, Santorum did nothing to check spending in the last decade. He actively pushed for move government in people’s lives when it came to programs that he believed were best for America.

    Maybe people have forgotten it, or he has done a good job at hiding it, but it will all come out soon. If you thought the Republican party of the early 00s was the party for you, he is your candidate. He is probably a lot more like George W Bush than people seem to realize, in philosophy anyway.

    Comment by darkeyedresolve — January 4, 2012 @ 8:48 pm - January 4, 2012

  22. “Do we have to laud sodomy as a state value and punish those who disapprove of it?”

    Heliotrope, that, in a nutshell, is what the gay rights movement is all about.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — January 4, 2012 @ 8:59 pm - January 4, 2012

  23. #22

    Seane-Anna, I think you are right.

    Thanks for the response, Heliotrope.

    Other (supposedly) victimless crimes are also included.

    For libertines, that would of course include abortion. Consequence-free condom-free sex is apparently an inalienable right, regardless of whether or not birth control pills are readily available.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — January 4, 2012 @ 9:21 pm - January 4, 2012

  24. “Trashing anyone but, Romney is becoming a pattern in this primary of 2012. Here on “Gay Patriot” I can only guess it’s because there is hope for SSM in Romney and not in the other candidates.”

    Precisely, Richard Bell. Despite the ostensible conservatism of GayPatriot, it seems that identity politics–what’s in it for “teh gheys”?–and social liberalism–traditional values have to go ’cause they interfere with “teh gheys”–are alive and well here.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — January 4, 2012 @ 9:22 pm - January 4, 2012

  25. Goodbye, Naamloos. Hello, Rattlesnake!

    Comment by Seane-Anna — January 4, 2012 @ 9:22 pm - January 4, 2012

  26. Ayn Rand always denied being a libertarian, and one of her stated reasons (she had several objections) was her belief that libertarianism was a purely political system without a coherent Ethical Theory underlying it (apart from the “Thou shalt not initiate force” ethical principle).

    Clearly, Santorum and Rand have very little in common (perhaps they’re equally homophobic, but unlike Santorum, Rand would’ve vomited at the idea that anti-sodomy laws are okay as long as they’re passed by state-level governments, and not by the US Congress).

    Nonetheless, I think that Santorum’s discomfort with libertarianism might be similar to Rand’s — that it lacks an ethical theory underneath it. For example, libertarians oppose using the government to discourage abortion or homosexuality, while insisting on the right of private individuals to use economic boycott or social ostracism to discourage other private individuals from certain behaviors. The trouble may be, for Santorum, that libertarianism tends to be agnostic on whether abortion or homosexuality are right or wrong, and correspondingly agnostic on when and whether it’s ethically proper for individuals to exercise their right to boycott or ostracize.

    Rand’s solution to this was to push something she called “Objectivism”, which had many political points in common with libertarianism, but ostensibly had a comprehensive philosophical system (including Ethics) as a foundation for the Politics.

    Santorum’s solution is to throw out the baby with the bathwater and reject libertarianism as a political theory because he’s alarmed by its indifference to moral positions that he considers important.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — January 5, 2012 @ 3:19 pm - January 5, 2012

  27. The trouble may be, for Santorum, that libertarianism tends to be agnostic on whether abortion or homosexuality are right or wrong

    Obviously, a lot of libertarians (unlike Santorum or Rand) would call this “moral agnosticism” a deliberate feature, not a bug!

    Comment by Throbert McGee — January 5, 2012 @ 3:22 pm - January 5, 2012

  28. Throbert,

    I do not believe that ethics as classically understood can exist in a libertarian milieu. I have tried to interview many hard core libertarians and the one thing they have in common is an impenetrable belief that their sense of ethics is perfectly informed by their own common sense.

    When one tries to follow the murderous, tumultuous years of 1793-94 in the French Revolution, it is apparent that reliance on the ethics informed only by common sense quickly devolves to the Lord of the Flies scenario and the emergence of a dictator. “Natura abhorret vacuum.” The “nature” of politics is power and therefore, power abhors a vacuum and the collegiality of being bound by “common sense” begs for some method of subjugating those whose “common sense” is at odds with the “official” common sense.

    Rand understood this completely. However, Objectivism is hardly the solution among the many other schemes of idealists. It is just another pie in the sky and remarkably impervious to clear definition and implementation and understanding by the casual masses.

    Benjamin Franklin was a great judge of human nature. Many of the founding fathers were. I believe one can learn more about politics and human nature from the Federalist Papers than just about any other source. And much of what the authors understood was importantly informed by familiarity with Franklin’s mind. His soft hand in guiding the Connecticut Compromise was a masterpiece of orchestrating “common sense.”

    How anyone can think that culture can be divorced from politics and government is beyond my comprehension. Politics and government are a key part of culture.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 5, 2012 @ 9:24 pm - January 5, 2012

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