Free Markets, Free People

How can anyone support Santorum after this?

When I was at CPAC, I asked Santorum voters why he was their man.  Almost to a person, they cited the fact that he was the most “consistent conservative”.  If that’s the case, is this what “consistent conservatives” believe?

I’m someone who takes the opinion that gaming is not something that is beneficial, particularly having that access on the Internet. Just as we’ve seen from a lot of other things that are vices on the Internet, they end to grow exponentially as a result of that. It’s one thing to come to Las Vegas and do gaming and participate in the shows and that kind of thing as entertainment, it’s another thing to sit in your home and have access to that it. I think it would be dangerous to our country to have that type of access to gaming on the Internet.

Freedom’s not absolute. What rights in the Constitution are absolute? There is no right to absolute freedom. There are limitations. You might want to say the same thing about a whole variety of other things that are on the Internet — “let everybody have it, let everybody do it.” No. There are certain things that actually do cost people a lot of money, cost them their lives, cost them their fortunes that we shouldn’t have and make available, to make it that easy to do. That’s why we regulate gambling. You have a big commission here that regulates gambling, for a reason.

I opposed gaming in Pennsylvania . . . A lot of people obviously don’t responsibly gamble and lose a lot and end up in not so great economic straits as a result of that. I believe there should be limitations.

If you’re not aghast then you’re not paying attention.  The question posed to Santorum concerned online gambling.

Swap “gambling” with about any freedom you can imagine and run it through that statement.  You should be terrified.   This is an argument almost any liberal or “progressive” would make to limit your freedoms.  They consider freedom and rights to be government granted (or they don’t exist until government says they exist – and folks that’s not a “right”, that’s a privilege).  They reserve the right to limit your freedom to make you conform to their idea of what is “right” or “good”. 

Here’s a simple solution Mr. Santorum.  If you oppose online gambling, don’t do it.  But his argument here is fundamentally anti-freedom.  It is his decision to limit your choice to act by claiming your action is destructive and must be “limited” by government do-gooders.

It is the very argument that I thought conservatives opposed.

How is this smaller and less intrusive government?  And, more importantly, how is this not translatable as a philosophy, to just about anything you can imagine that Rick Santorum finds objectionable?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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128 Responses to How can anyone support Santorum after this?

  • On another site, a commenter pointed out that Santorum had voted to subsidize contraception. This was supposed to be a recommendation of the man.

    I was aghast. This was SUPPOSED to be a Conservative who actually understands WTF that means.

  • How can I support Santorum? Well, pretty much the same way I can support Romney or Gingrich.

    I can’t.

    Technically, I’d vote for Santorum or Gingrich. I would rather pull the lever for Obama than Romney. Regardless, none of the fruitcakes in front of us is worth expending any effort over. None of them are champions for freedom, they’re just career politicians who take whatever side works best for them at the moment.

    A stale turd could beat Obama and the GOP couldn’t even rise up to that level. Oi vey.

  • “It is the very argument that I thought conservatives opposed.”

    I know you’ve been paying better attention than that. This is just like a hundred other examples. Conservatives LOVE to use their morality to justify government intrusion into private lives and personal choice… IOW – liberty.

    • @PogueMahone I think the problem is that morality is a good thing, and lately a whole of people think anything good must be fostered, encouraged, and maybe even imposed by the government. This mindset has been growing over time, and has infected the conservatives as much as anybody else. Politicians like it because otherwise they wouldn’t have much to talk about. Maybe we need a zombie “Silent Cal”. I think Christie has some appeal because his accomplishments he likes to talk about are negative ones: I cut spending. I cut taxes. I will veto that bill, etc. but most people don’t want to be the man in the black hat.

      • I don’t think it has been growing, It always existed, especially in the United states.@Harun @PogueMahone

    • @PogueMahone

      I really must bookmark this set of posts. PogueMahone and the good Capt demolish so much of the cheerleading I’ve seen amongst libertarians for “conservatives” such as Santorum. He’s a theocrat – pure and simple. I fail to see how anyone can miss that.

      I thank the above two posters for succinctly posting exactly why these limited gov’t “conservatives” are anything but.

      • Except that I did not read a single post in which anyone claimed that Santorum was anything other than a social conservative, nor did anyone support him. You are seeing things.@Phalanx08 @PogueMahone

        • @kyle8 @Phalanx08 @PogueMahone

          That’s because I’ve noted, by reading this fine site over the years, a regretable tendency for hand waving away obvious anti-libertarian and anti-freedom positions of Republicans since they must certainly be better than those dreaded Democrats. It’s recruiting under a false flag to claim to be a libertarian yet support idiots like Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, etal, who might respect property rights but certainly would look to impose religious b/s on the rest of society. How does that square with the libertarian idea of limited gov’t? It doesn’t.

  • swap out ch*ld p*rn for online gambling, how’s that “right” working out for ya?

    • @Palmcroft Like Santorum, you have no idea of what constitutes a right, do you? Hint: what right of someone else do I violate when I do anything? If I violate someone else’s right (you know, like those of a child) I have no “right” to do it. Those are the only “limits” on rights. And I have no problem with a government constituted to protect rights. But first you have to know what they heck they are.

      • @McQandO @Palmcroft This is actually where the idea of regulating (not banning) gaming becomes a area where government can legitimately play a role. While it should be any person’s right to risk their money in a game of chance, it is violation of a person’s rights for a person to cheat and remove the element of chance. Making it illegal to cheat is simple enough, but that of course opens the door for goverment to make attempts to prevent cheating. For this reason, I have no problem with the idea of regulating gaming, just as we regulate financial markets, and for the same reason. That said, there is always caveat emptor (or perhaps caveat aleator), let the gambler beware. But banning gambling outright assures that gambling will be with less than law abiding citizens.

      • It’s only about rights until the rubber hits the road, then it’s about the environment you want to create for your community. For instance, do I have an interest in whether my child’s teacher makes animated child porn in his spare time? Ask the parent of a small child whether government has a role in regulating such a “victimless” pursuit of happiness. I guarantee that parents will see a violation here.

        I know it’s a slippery slope, but pure theory will always be modulated in the political arena.

        Look, I’m for the

      • @McQandO It’s only about rights until the rubber hits the road, then it’s about the environment you want to create for your community. For instance, do I have an interest in whether my child’s teacher makes animated child porn in his spare time? Ask the parent of a small child whether government has a role in regulating such a “victimless” pursuit of happiness. I guarantee that parents will see a violation here.

        I know it’s a slippery slope, but pure theory will always be modulated in the political arena.

      • It’s only about rights until the rubber hits the road, then it’s about the environment you want to create for your community. For instance, do I have an interest in whether my child’s teacher makes animated child porn in his spare time? Ask the parent of a small child whether government has a role in regulating such a “victimless” pursuit of happiness. I guarantee that parents will see a violation here.

        I know it’s a slippery slope, but pure theory will always be modulated in the political arena.

    • @Palmcroft In one of these examples, the rights of another is being violated. You do see the difference, right? That is the REAL limitation of freedom, it stops where the freedom of another begins. You have many rights that put your own self at risk of harm, say cliff diving, but you don’t have a right to push someone else over a cliff.

  • Sadly like any good liberal would, he’s going to tell you he’s not going to limit ALL your freedom, just this particular one because, well, you could hurt yourself with your decisions.

    He doesn’t see it, most people don’t see it a lot of the time. Nearly every one has their own little pet issue where they would take your money (in taxes), or limit your freedom to protect you, or help someone.
    I have to remind myself constantly when I start going down a path mentally sometimes where that path can take me, even if my intentions were ‘pure’ when I started out at the top of the path.

    Conservatives need to be reminded that government intervention for conservative reasons lays down a stink just as bad as any liberals based intervention can.

    • @looker The nut-cutting comes at the interface between persuasion and coercion. I feel totally free to try to persuade others that something is right or wrong. I am not free to try to compell them to do right or wrong. That is the difference between Conservatives and Collectivists.

      • @Ragspierre Hell, pretty much everything the government does these days is coercion based.

        We’re going to get that no matter who we elect.

      • @Ragspierre

        “That is the difference between Conservatives and Collectivists.”

        Obviously not.

        • @PogueMahone Obviously SO. Not all “conservatives” understand the term, Poque. Any more than all Libertarians understand the term. That does not obviate the term.

        • @Ragspierre You are what your leaders reflect. People will, and already do, associate Rick Santorum with conservatism. It is not anyone’s fault but the “conservatives” for 1) not educating those who claim to be conservative, 2) letting politicians like Rick Santorum claim the mantle of conservatism, 3) not advocating effectively for politicians who would be closer to “conservatism” – or not even advocating for them at all.

          How often do you guys actually advocate for people unlike Santorum??? How often does QandO and other like minded sites actually say something like “listen guys, maybe we should try to get the GOP to look at folks like Gary Johnson… or something.” Next to never, that’s how often.

          No, instead it is just too much fun to burn “liberals, leftists, and collectivists.” And what you get left with is the Santorums of the world.

          Conservatism is what conservatism does, stupid. Get used to it – or change it.

        • @PogueMahone “You are what your leaders reflect.”

          Horseshit. Stupid, even for you, Poque.

        • @PogueMahone @Ragspierre Let me know when you convince the Democrats to run someone who will cut spending and save us. I bet Hillary would have been a better president than Obama – why don’t you get out there and make that happen. She can beat him in the primaries! , i.e. its easier said than done.

          This whole election cycle is very depressing, indeed.

          I am also not sure that these candidates don’t get set up almost by luck. Santorum just got lucky by staying in long enough when the other guys imploded. Romney could have sealed the deal far earlier by just saying “I was wrong about Romneycare.” Gary Johnson could have made something happen to get in the debates. Huntsman could have done something different.

        • @PogueMahone @Ragspierre I won’t even mention Pawlenty, premature withdrawl, and Mitch Daniels.

        • @Harun
          Umm, don’t hold your breath. I’m not claiming that liberalism is not what it is. Nor am I a Democrat. You want to hold on to “conservatism”? Then you don’t let guys like Santorum grab it and run with it.

        • @PogueMahone @Harun
          Hell, it’s not like there’s a club where we have to demonstrate our knowledge and allegiance to call ourselves “Conservative”. Santorum calls him self Conservative because he knows he’s NOT liberal and NOT moderate.

          This is that big tent thingie in action.

        • @looker @PogueMahone @Harun Ron Paul claims…optionally, during Presidential campaigns…to be a “Reagan Conservative”. So does Romney.

          Both are liars. Gary Johnson is NOT a Conservative, either…except optionally…occasionally…

        • @looker It isn’t that you can’t call yourself whatever you want, or define it however you want; it’s that if you want others to view the term how you would define it or associate it, then you can’t let Santorum do that for you.

          “Conservatism” will be viewed as Rick Santorum.

        • @Ragspierre
          Tell us Rags, who is “conservative” as you would define it? Anyone?

        • @PogueMahone Oh, I know, what I mean is, there isn’t exactly a trade mark on the term and a group of individuals with names like Robert and Thomas and Theodore who go around and threaten to hurt you if you call yourself Conservative without a license issued by the “Conservative” department.

        • @PogueMahone Me, Poque. I am.

        • @Ragspierre So if you don’t think like Rags, you’re not a conservative. Got it.

        • @PogueMahone I’m the only Conservative responsible for how I live, Poque.

          You idiot.

        • @Ragspierre What does that mean? Are there people who are not conservative that are responisible for how you live?

        • @looker @PogueMahone @Harun He is a social conservative to be sure, but honestly, social conservatism is, to me, an example of extreme over-reaches by government, in other words, the very thing that people who claim to be conservatives claim to hate about people who claim to be liberals. It’s kind of funny, when I was a Republican, me and millions of others called ourselves fiscal conservatives/social liberals. We wanted responsible spending policy and for government to stay (or get) out of people’s private lives. Now these are mutually exclusive, it is not possible for a social liberal to get anywhere in the Republican party. It is also not possible for a social conservative to get anywhere in the Democratic party. I would vote a social liberal Republican, and compared to Democrats of the last century, most modern Democrats are fiscal conservatives in relative terms. (with the exception of your Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, and a few of their ilk.) A fiscal conservative/social liberal would win the general election, but can’t possibly get past the primaries.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @Harun
          Conservatism doesn’t mean what it used to, thanks to the Santorums of the world.

          Look at this passage in the wikipedia entry for “Classical Liberalism.”

          “The term classical liberalism was applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from the newer social liberalism. Libertarianism has been used in modern times as a substitute for the phrase “neo-classical liberalism”, leading to some confusion. The identification of libertarianism with neo-classical liberalism primarily occurs in the United States, where some conservatives and right-libertarians use the term classical liberalism to describe their belief in the primacy of economic freedom and minimal government.”

          Can you imagine a similar entry for “Classical Conservatism” 20-30 years from now distinguishing itself from modern conservatism?

          Or maybe any use of the term “conservative” never meant limited government to begin with.

          Cheers.

  • Using “gaming” is a bad argument in regard to the Keystone state.
    First, “gaming” is no right. (I’m sure it’s in the Consitution .. “in order to maintain statistically astute populate, gaming shall not be …”)
    Secondly, all “gaming” (above simple slots) are taxed/fee-ed in Pennsylvania. It’s not just a gaming issue, it’s a taxation issue. Mainly, a tax on the poor.

    • @Neo_ It works out to be one, it doesn’t have to be one. That’s a choice the poor are making, taking a risk with what they have to get a quick gain out of it.

      A ‘risk’ is a gamble, no?
      I can argue opening a convenience store is a gamble too, but we’re not protecting people from trying it.
      People risk their fortune on a stock tip, we try to limit people who can take ‘advantage’ of inside knowledge, but other than that, we don’t protect people from trying it (but you won’t see the poor gambling in this fashion because it is a club they cannot gain access to).

      From the perspective of amassing wealth we accept the idea that a risk reward spread out over long term is better somehow than the risk taken in a quick coin toss….
      We’ve convinced ourselves that there’s a difference between risk that rewards hard work, and a risk that rewards a throw of the dice because we want to encourage hard work, not dice throwing.

      From a poor man’s perspective, he’s free to ask ‘why’?

  • McQandO,

    Since when did gambling become a right as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution? I can tell you disagree with Santorum’s position on this but gambling is not a right as the Founding Father’s understood it.

    I tried to find a definition of freedom per the Founding Father’s online and all I could quickly find was this:

    Virginia Bill of Rights
    “That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.”- Virginia Bill of Rights

    Declaration of Independence
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” – Declaration of Independence

    I do not believe for one second that internet gambling would have been considered a right at the time of our founding. In fact, I am willing to bet (pun intended) that gambling laws at the time of our founding would be considered draconian by our standards. I thought that finding new rights that the founders never thought of was a game for the left. I guess I was wrong.

    Glenn W.

    • @Glenn W “In fact, I am willing to bet (pun intended) that gambling laws at the time of our founding would be considered draconian by our standards.”

      K’. I’ll take that bet…and depending on which state. How is the “pursuit of happiness” not consistent with being free to use my funds as I wish?

      • @Ragspierre

        So, you should be able to spend your funds any way you want? So you think you should be able to purchase a mob hit on your ex-wife?

        • @Glenn W

          LOL!! Because that’s definitely the same thing.

        • @PogueMahone @Glenn

          Everyone is so concerned about the constitution here I thought I would ask. Why are they different? It’s probably some stinkin’ Christian moral hang-up you’ve got going on.

        • @Glenn “It’s probably some stinkin’ Christian moral hang-up you’ve got going on.”

          I’d bet that most people here would consider themselves Christians holding high morality. The key is, thankfully, they don’t want to impose their own brand of morality on others.

          Well, at least when gambling is concerned.

        • @PogueMahone @Glenn

          Like John Adams said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

          The commenters on this board can consider themselves anything they want. Every law is a moral statement. Have you ever supported the passage of a law? If you have then you advocated imposing your morals on someone else.

        • @Glenn W @PogueMahone @Glenn It is a valid point, and it causes me great concern because while all legislation is the codifying of some moral or ethical principal, laws that are intended to codify some specific religious or scriptural principle that is exclusive to a particular religion and more importantly, do not protect rights but in fact repress rights are, I believe, antithetical to the intentions of the Founders. That we have had such laws on the books at the state level since our founding does not change the fact that if, for example, we had a law that made it a crime to eat pork, it would be the imposition of a specific religious code on ALL, and would protect NO ONE’s rights. You have a right to your specific religious beliefs, but unless those beliefs coincide with the protection of rights, ie, the right to life is protected by a law against murder, then it is an imposition not just of a specific morality, but of specific religious scriptural beliefs. You have freedom of religion, you should not be allowed to impose your specifically religious laws upon me. This is the reason the abortion debate rages infinitely, both sides have a valid rights based point of view, the difference being who’s rights they favor. This is why there is no real debate about contraceptives, on the one side, actual rights are being infringed upon (privacy to have sex with a raincoat) and on the other side there is only religious belief and no rights based argument (except the real loons that want to argue about a gametes right to unfettered acccess to fertilization).

    • @Glenn W “In fact, I am willing to bet (pun intended) that gambling laws at the time of our founding would be considered draconian by our standards.”

      Then you would lose big.
      Also, by your and Santorum’s standards, any activity could be forbidden by the government since the activity is not listed in the Constitution.

      • @PogueMahone @Glenn

        Maybe they didn’t have such laws, I admit I have no way of researching it. However the founders were much stricter in their morality than we are and they saw no problem with “imnposing” their morality.

    • @Glenn W I would bet that no laws existed at all in regards to gambling, but preachers would rail against it on Sundays.

    • @Glenn W “Games of chance first came to the British American colonies with the first settlers.[4] Attitudes on gambling varied greatly from community to community, but there were no large-scale restrictions on the practice. Early on, the British colonies used lotteries from time to time to help raise revenue. For example, lotteries were used to establish or improve dozens of universities and hundreds of secondary schools during the 18th and 19th centuries.[5] A 1769 restriction on lotteries by the British crown became one of many issues which fueled tensions between the Colonies and Britain prior to the American Revolution.[6]”

      wikipedia, so don’t bet the farm on it.

      • @Glenn I would also bet stricter gambling laws came about with women’s suffrage. Menfolk all over the globe have a tendency to drink and gamble away money, and women don’t like that (on average.)

      • @Harun Actually, studies show wikipedia to be very acurate.

    • @Glenn W It’s not so much as the idea that it’s a right, as the principle behind his willingness to intercede in your decisions about YOU. He’s going to make it difficult or impossible for YOU to gamble because HE doesn’t agree with gambling.

      If he wants to discourage people from gambling fine, it’s an issue for him, he wants people to be sensible with their wealth, fine, he can make speeches against it, but when he moves to tell you that HE has decided you should not gamble and he will make it so you cannot, that’s the difference.

      • @looker

        Every decision made by government affects me in one way or another. To be honest I do think that unless you and the online gambling service are in the same state that this does come under interstate commerce and can be regulated or banned by the federal government. If it all is within a particular state then it depends on what the state constitution says. Whether it should be is a question that needs to be answered in the political arena. We need to stop coming up with more rights all the time.

        • @Glenn W I don’t think any of us necessarily claimed gambling was one of our inalienable rights. To some extent we do have an inalienable right to ‘be left to our own devices’. But we, like Congress when it creates agencies to act on it’s behalf, also to some extent yield our right ‘to be left alone’ to the State by participating in it. What I think we’re seeking is people who are more inclined to ‘leave us to our own devices’ more frequently. We certainly don’t have that now, the most blatant recent example being told the government can order us to buy health insurance however beneficial that may actually be for us in the long run.

          The point I believe being made is that the philosophy Santorum is expressing is, not just dissuading you from gambling through appeal to reason or example or demonstration of outcome, but physically restraining you from doing so. The question becomes might that lead one to conclude he will do the same in some other area that may actually be one of your more precious rights. It’s a more deep rooted question than whether or not there is a ‘right’ to gamble, it’s an indication of his principles if he’s willing to use his moral compass as a basis for restricting YOUR behavior, not just his own.

          Realistically that’s going to happen on many issues, gambling aside, from any one leader, or nearly any group that wields the power of the state on behalf of ‘the people’. I understand the concern, but I’m at the moment loath to worry about a possible Santorum grab of my rights when I have actual grabs coming at me left and right these days from both sides of the aisle, but at the moment mostly from Democrats.

          I take this as more ‘word to the wise’. I don’t perceive Santorum to be worse than Romeny in this department, and certainly no worse than Obama.

        • @looker @Glenn Your response is well reasoned and you make some good points. The ideas being kicked around here are libertarian and not conservative so I don’t think I should have gotten involved in this discussion. I know that with the exception of Nevada that gambling was illegal everywhere in the U.S. when I was born (the same goes for my parents and grandparents). I also know that when the U.S. was founded that the population was much more religious (Christian) and moral than we have been for at least 100 years. I am sure there was gambling around at the founding but I do not believe that in 1792 people would have shrugged at the massive institutionalized gambling that is going on today.

          The other point I would like to make is that the “right to gamble” sounds like another new right that we just discovered yesterday. With all of the rights by “penumbras and emanations” being discovered by both left and right today I have a lot more rights than my forefathers and a lot less freedom.

          The constitution really was designed for a moral, religious people and it doesn’t matter who gets into office because the people of these United States aren’t up to it any more. The idea that Romney is more freedom oriented than Santorum is really quite funny if it weren’t so sad. At least I knew freedom for a little while.

        • @Glenn W @Glenn “At least I knew freedom for a little while.”
          Well, I may not have appreciated it, but for a while it felt closer than it feels these days. Perhaps it’s because I now perceive there not only is a boundary which constrains freedom, but that it truly is getting smaller. And the general populace doesn’t seem to mind or notice. When does the fortress become a prison?

    • @Glenn W Show me in the Constitution or DoI where government is given the option of denying it. I’d argue that for many gambling is “the pursuit of happiness”.

      Of course, the bottom line is it isn’t government’s job or charter to save us from ourselves. Freedom, as most know, also means the freedom to fail. Choice means the freedom to make bad ones. As long as what you do doesn’t violate the rights of others to their life, liberty or property, I don’t see it as any of government’s business.

      • @McQandO @Glenn Next, I suppose, it will be a right to whack-off 24/7 and have an endless supply of Viagra.

      • @McQandO @Glenn
        Gambling was most definitely not included in the founders definition of the pursuit of happiness. It is my understanding that the Founding Fathers borrowed the phrase “life, liberty, and property” from John Locke but changes “property” to “pursuit of happiness.” Why did they do that? The reason is that slaves were property and the Northern delegates didn’t want slavery to become an inalienable right.

    • @Glenn W

      “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” –9th Amendment

      The Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or any other of those old documents do not even pretend to define all the ‘rights’ of the people. Instead, they try to prevent government from encroaching on the liberty (which is probably shorthand for all the listed rights plus, to borrow a sports phrase, rights to be named later) of the people by limiting its power. Sort of a glass half-full vs. half-empty thingee.

      In practice, of course, this lofty goal of limiting state power has not, and can never be, met. So what? That does not mean we should not try. “Man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”, as some dead white male once said.

      • @timactual @Glenn

        I agree that we should try. I still think that internet gaming sites where the site servers are in one state and the customers are in another comes under the interstate commerce clause and can be shut down by the feds. Maybe it shouldn’t be but the feds do have that authority.

        Of course using this to cut Santorum down to Romney’s level is silly to me. Romney is an unapologetic statist and it wouldn’t even cross his mind that this is an issue.

    • Glen W, are you an asshole? I only ask because the constitution in no place grants the government a right to tell me if I can place a wager or not. In fact is says in no uncertain terms that:
      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
      As there is no enumerated right to stop anyone from gambling then it stands to reason that the government can’t rightly say shit about it.

      @Glenn W

  • McQ:

    “It is the very argument that I thought conservatives opposed.

    How is this smaller and less intrusive government?”

    It is neither larger nor smaller government by necessity. It is not a positive compulsion, such as compulsory education, which is the hallmark of larger government. Is it more intrusive? I think Santorum’s point is that the internet is all pervasive and that there are legitimate questions about facilitating a traditional vice via online gambling.

    What you *thought,* Bruce, was that conservatives *are* libertarians. They’re not. Liberty means something different, though not something necessarily contrary or contradictory, to conservatives than it does to libertarians. To a conservative liberty is something that proceeds from a properly formed conscience, i.e. ordered liberty. It is not a non-transgressable ideology that allows itself no distinctions. The preference being that the better part of liberty is left as a matter for individual conscience. But that proscription of certain behavior is part of what societies do via their governments.

    • “But that proscription of certain behavior is part of what societies do via their governments.”

      As little as possible.

      And at what level of government?

      • @Ragspierre It depends. If it’s real interstate commerce, for instance, then the transport of women for the purpose prostitution becomes a federal issue. That is not a corrupt use of the interstate commerce clause, though no doubt there are arguments that the federal government should take no position on prostitution. But then you have the question of human trafficking for that same purpose, i.e., where the women are forced into prostitution. States have a lot more power than the federal government has. The powers of the states are not innumerated in the Constitution. Only the things that they cannot do are innumerated. That’s one of the reasons that I never get too excited about federalism, these days, because, following the example of the federal government, the states, have pretty much lost their minds too. Look at the problems with public employee unions, state-by-state, and the mind boggles.

        • @martinmcphillips @Ragspierre The major reason for Prohibition wasn’t merely the alcohol, it was sold as a solution to men blowing the Friday paychecks on drink and gambling, leaving their families destitute for the rest of the week.

          When there is a breakdown in personal responsibility, the door opens for idiotic solutions from both the Left and the Right.

        • @Neo_ @martinmcphillips Actually, Neo, a major reason for Prohibition was Progressive theory, and the passage of the Income Tax, which made up for the loss of government revenue from booze.

        • @Ragspierre @Neo_ @martinmcphillips Good one, that’s why the “dry counties” are such liberal bastions. Conservatives, led by mostly fundamentalist Christians, supporting the GOP, passed Prohibition, liberals repealed it. Though I must give kudo’s to Republican Pauline Sabin who led the repeal effort, though she met with resistance among her Republican friends, and eventually found support for repeal among Democrats.

        • @Ragspierre @martinmcphillips There is nothing in my statement contradicted by your’s.

        • @Ragspierre “Actually, Neo, a major reason for Prohibition was Progressive theory, and the passage of the Income Tax, which made up for the loss of government revenue from booze.”

          WTF? You think one of the “major” reasons for prohibition is something called “Progressive theory” and the income tax???

          You know Rags, most of the time I don’t care that you never explain yourself, and that you just make passing insults and consider it a win. But please, just this once, explain this. Please.
          Because I’ve never heard this before. And it goes against everything I know about history, prohibition, and the nature of government and taxes (that they would outlaw something because they didn’t need the revenue).

        • @PogueMahone See the excellent Ken Burns documentary, Prohibition.

          See also history, American.

          Idiot.

        • @PogueMahone @Ragspierre I said “it was sold”

        • @Ragspierre “See the excellent Ken Burns documentary, Prohibition.
          See also history, American.”

          Of course. Ragspierre’s version of explaining his statement is “watch a tv show.” And “learn history.” ‘Bout what I expected.
          He can’t be bothered with coming up with one piece of evidence to back it up. Well, that and there is no evidence.

        • @PogueMahone It is NEVER my job to try to pack information into your crap-filled skull, Poque.

          Learn. Don’t learn. All the same to me, moron.

        • @Ragspierre @PogueMahone Repeat this sentence to yourself anytime you EVER consider asking me for a source. Oh, and watch PBS.

        • It is not as difficult as you imagine, in that case it all comes down to personal choice. If a woman is being used against her will then all of the power of the state should come to bear to help her. But if it is her own desire to be a prostitute then all of the power of the state should c0ome to bear to insure that those who think they know better are not allowed to force her into a lifestyle that is against her will. @martinmcphillips @Ragspierre

      • @Ragspierre

        “Ay, there’s the rub”

    • @martinmcphillips – No McP … what I *thought* was that conservatives meant what they said – you know, about being for less intrusive government and all. What I *thought* was they believed in rights and the free exercise thereof, if that exercise doesn’t violate the rights of others. What Santorum said supports neither thought.

      So it’s fine if what conservatives really believe is reflected in Santorum’s statement. But don’t try then to claim wanting a less intrusive and less controlling government at the same time.

      • @McQandO @martinmcphillips Whatever you mean by conservative, you certainly can’t mean that you thought that conservatives, as defined by the conservative party in America (GOP), are interested in less intrusive goverment, with the single caveat that they are quite willing to remove regulations that their benefactors wish them to remove (bit the converse is also true, they are willing to put up barriers that their benefactors wish them to erect)? My point is not say the GOP is worst than the DNC, but that they are essentially the same and the partisan bickering serves to distract from that reality. The differences are around the margins, the problem is systemic, not ideological.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @McQandO @martinmcphillips More stupid, vacant bullshit.

        • @Ragspierre
          Your comments are ever so useful, Rags. Because you always a convincing argument.

          “More stupid, vacant bullshit.”
          Gee, you’re right!!! How could we not see that before.

          Keep it up, Rags.

        • @PogueMahone Certain of the posters here really cannot be “argued” with in the forensic sense.

          Idiot.

        • @PogueMahone @Ragspierre I know I have made a good argument when he insults without attempting to dispute. But then again, what is he going to say, the system works beautifully and our only problem is that any people anywhere ever cast for a Democrat?

        • @CaptinSarcastic @PogueMahone Wrong. You’ll note that I seldom deal with you at all. You’re a TWOT.

        • @Ragspierre @PogueMahone You reply to most of the posts I make. Granted, they are thoughtless, useless, and add nothing to the discussion, but you still make them.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @PogueMahone Another plain lie.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @PogueMahone Another plain lie.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @PogueMahone Another plain lie.

        • @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic
          If the goodman Rick Santorum would be so kind to allow us miserable heathens, I’d like to wager that Rags does indeed comment on most of Captin’s posts. I’d say it’s well over 50%.

        • @PogueMahone @Ragspierre It’s a lock if you specify primary posts and primary replies and not necessarily every subsequent reply in a discussion. I sometimes have a lot a comments on a topic, and Rags has a limited repertoire of insults.

        • They are not EXACTLY the same. The level of interference in both personal lives and especially in the pursuit of an honest dollar are very much lower by the GOP. however that is still just a lesser of two evils.@CaptinSarcastic @McQandO @martinmcphillips

        • @kyle8 @McQandO @martinmcphillips I disagree, and really, since GOP fiscal policy has historically been to spend more without taxing more, and Democrats policy has been to spend more with taxing more, I find them to be equal, with one side offering immediate tax hikes and the other deferred tax hikes with interest. As to interference in personal lives, the GOP is more likely to ban activities that do not infringe on the rights of others, and the Dem’s are more likely to tax activities they deem harmful (or costly) to society (I am not saying they can’t and are not often wrong). I don’t mind paying a little extra tax on my casino poker winnings, at least not nearly as much as I would mind if it were just outright illegal. If there were Biblical prohibitions on processed sugar and fast foods, we’d have a national BMI of 22.

        • I just do not know how you can possible disagree when you can see the unholy terror of that is the regulatory climate of this administration.@CaptinSarcastic @McQandO @martinmcphillips

        • @kyle8 @CaptinSarcastic @McQandO @martinmcphillips Kyle8, he can disagree because he is an ignorant idiot who clings to his ignorance and idiocy.

          Simple.

        • @kyle8 @McQandO @martinmcphillips Kyle, we have never had an economic crisis that was NOT followed with a dramtic expansion in regulatory activity, regulation is the barn door and the crises represents the horses. The regulatory increases under Obama are not terribly dramatic in comparison to the regulatory activities following other crises, espccially considering this recent crisis was the worst since the Great Depression. From James Bullard, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis: “Historically, crises have led to significant legislation. For example, the panic of 1907 led to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which established the Federal Reserve as the central bank. Out of the Great Depression came the Glass-Steagall Act, which established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and separated commercial from investment banking. The thrift crisis in the late 1980s led to the enactment of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Improvement Act (FDICIA) of 1991, which mandated prompt resolution of failing banks and new standards for bank supervision, regulation and capital requirements. The collapse of Enron and WorldCom gave rise to Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002, in an effort to improve the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures” If you think “unholy terror” is accurate, I think your sources are prone to hyperbole.

  • The difference between Republicans and Democrats, and by extension liberals and conservatives on an official policy level, is not conflict between bog government and small government, it NEVER has been. It has been in what ways they wish to intrude into your lives. Democrats want more of your money to do things they believe will help people and make the country better as a whole. Republicans want to stop you from doing things they think hurt the country as a whole. Sadly, there is a great deal of crossover on the most intrusive elements and little crossover in leaving people the f*%k alone. Don’t tell me a guy that would ban ANYTHING (that does not infringe on another’s rights) is supporting liberty, and don’t tell me a guy that would subsidize ANYTHING is for smaller government. The differences are on the margins, in HOW they will intrude, not whether. Some people that call themselves conservatives think taxing is the MOST intrusive thing government can do. Personally, I think there are much more intrusive policies already on the books and widely supported by most “conservatives”.

  • The only Republican candidate who is for a less intrusive government is Ron Paul. Most politicians now believe it is their job to regulate and police everything.

    • @Above Ground Pools No, there is a difference in the margins, liberals are more inclined to regulate business and conservatives are more inclined to regulate morality. Though the two are not mutually exclusive and both sides seem willing to cross over either way. Though it is not what we get, that is the essence of what we vote on.

    • @Above Ground Pools He’s a lunatic. Have fun with that

  • The Republicans do seem set to make it easy for President Obama, but Santorum is simply being a traditional conservative. Traditional conservatism is collectivist, believing it important to protect social norms and cultural traditions. They are not collectivist in the economic sense, but the social sense. Social welfare programs were originally a conservative plan, in part to undercut the appeal of socialism, and in part to reflect the notion that the strength of society depended on not allowing intensive poverty, starving workers, etc.

    In the US classical liberalism and conservatism have coalesced in the Republican party, each representing very different political philosophies. Libertarian “conservatives” oppose big government but are individualists, rejecting the conservative view of the importance of social cohesion, tradition and custom (and usually religion). On issues like gay marraige the differences between libertarian and traditional conservatism can be immense. The Republican party will never banish one kind of “conservative” in favor of the other. The fact that they have such different core values means that politicians that are somewhat moderate and non-ideological will be the only ones able to convince both sides that they are “the best possible option.”

    The key for the GOP is to get a positive message and a vision that can appeal to both parts of the party and to independents. George W. Bush did that in 2000, meshing his ‘compassionate conservatism’ with ‘the ownership society.’ If he hadn’t been torpedoed by foreign policy blunders, that along with his focus on immigration reform could have made the Republicans a dominate party at this point. Instead, they’re flailing.

    • for a change I don’t disagree with your assesment. You can occasionaly be correct. I just wonder why it does not happen more often. @scotterb

  • The topic of enumerated Rights is discussed in the latter Federalist Papers: number 40 something or other.
    The papers argued against a Bill of Rights postulating that to list any “Right” implied that the Federal Government had the power to grant rights. Ultimately that position did not prevail.

    The 9th Amendment in the Bill of Rights can be seen as an attempt to counter the argument that specifically listing “rights” meant they came from the Federal Government.

  • Congrats to the GOP for screwing this up.

    I’m done. I’ll throw my votes away on a 3rd party from now on

    • @The Shark Better yet, don’t play the game by their rules. Just showing up at the ballot box means you consent to the outcome.

      Since I don’t think the rights of my neighbors belong on the auction block of public opinion, I don’t give such consent.

  • Two other amendments to the constitution were championed by “dries” to help their cause. The Federal income tax replaced the alcohol taxes that funded the federal government.[27]p.57 Also, since women tended to support prohibition, temperance organizations supported women suffrage.[27]

    AND

    Although it was highly controversial, Prohibition was widely supported by diverse groups. Progressives believed that it would improve society as generally did women, southerners, those living in rural areas and African-Americans.

    As I said…Progressive Theory gave us Prohibition. Remember that Wilson was a theologian, and Progressivism was utopian.

    La. Idiots.

    • @Ragspierre

      I can’t believe I saw this on History or Discovery, especially since they’ve been politically correcting their new and old content. But the Progressive support for the temperance movement was to eliminate the alcohol tax because it would help force a national income tax. Something they say as a tool for wealth redistribution.

      Reminds me of the libertarians who believed the Democrat’s opposition to the Patriot Act was genuine and voted for Obama and Democrats because of it. Now the Patriot Act is a tiny blip compared to whats happened since.

      • @jpm100 The Progressive support for Prohibition was a lot bigger than just the income tax. That was a means to an end.

        Progressives (contra CmdrStupid) cut across both parties. Wilson (from the South) was a Democrat–LaFollett a Republican from Wisconsin. Progressives were proto-Collectivists who like all other Collectivists believed in the scientific perfectibility of people, overseen by an intellectual elite. Wilson also did a lot that presaged fascist economic theory and practice by government control of business and labor during WWI.

        Prohibition was EXACTLY what Progressives WOULD do…and DID do.

    • @Ragspierre In a time when you post a comment like this, “Horseshit. Stupid”, in response to the statement, “You are what your leaders reflect.”, you have hoisted yourself on your own petard. People that called themselves Progressives were AMONG supporters of prohibition, but they were not liberals either in the classic or modern sense. Wilson, by the way, was not a proponent of Prohibition, he straddled the issue politically, and in fact vetoed the Volsted Act which was the means of enforcing Prohibition. Prohibition (the 18th Amendment) was ratified because of the huge support that Prohibition had among white, rural, Anglo-Saxon, Christian fundamentalists (what today we call the GOP base). Prohibition was opposed by urban dwellers, immigrants, Catholics and Jews (what today we call the Democrat base). If you want to know what kind of people generally supported prohibition, they are quite similar to the folks who currently vote for prohibition, take a look at the concentration. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USA_Dry_Map.png I’ll bet these folks were all Democrats in the 1920′s, but they were far from liberal.

      • @CaptinSarcastic You make the classic, stupid mistake of people who have no sense of history by equating what IS with what was. I expect no better.

        Most Progressives were white, educated, religious, and quite commonly rural (much of America WAS rural). They had VERY little in common with fundamentalists of today. They were from the North, as well as the South and Midwest. Many were Jews. Many were Calvinists, and had a puritanical bent, a lot like an idiot who would call sugar a “poison”. Prohibition was also supported broadly by African-Americans.

        Wilson INSISTED on the first prohibition, passed on the pretext of a war expedient. The Volsted act was vetoed by Wilson. Do you have any idea why???

        Liberals in the “modern” sense are Progressives are Collectivists. Like you.

        I am not what my “leaders” project, and the assertion is stupid-ER when you repeat it. When you find yourself aping Poque Mahone asininity, you really need to erase that post and start over.

        One reason you have proven you are a waste of time is that you will continue to argue points after they are made, shifting slightly to pretend you had something valid to say. You very seldom do.

        Prohibition was the essence of Progressive Theory. (Look it up, if you STILL can’t comprehend what that was).

        A Federal Income Tax was instituted to facilitate the banning of alcohol, off-setting the consequent loss of tax revenues.

        • @Ragspierre I make no such error as I not only recognize shifts, but explicitly noted shifts of people’s opinions and allegiances. I did not argue that people that called themselves Progressives supported Prohibition, what I said is that the Progressives who supported Prohibition were not liberal in either the classic or the modern sense. But while you try to reshape history to fit your meme, ignoring the actual masses it took to pass prohibition, I explained to you that the greatest popular support for Prohibition came from white, rural, Anglo-Saxon, Christian fundamentalists. Clearly, a Constitutional Amendment could not be passed without a wide of Americans supporting it’s passage, and for different reasons. Most were the white rural that I mentioned who just wanted alcohol prohibited to everyone as a reactionary authoritarian response to the growth of urban America with jazz, immigrants, Catholics, and Jews. Some wanted to break the political hold of party bosses that operated through the saloon industry. Some may have indeed wanted to use the issue to advance a federal income tax. But to make the latter the primary source of support is inaccurate and serves only to advance your invented narrative, not the truth. As for Wilon and his opinion on prohibition, let him speak for himself: Woodrow Wilson May 1, 1911 – “I am in favor of local option. I am a thorough believer in local self-government and believe that every self-governing community which constitutes a social unit should have the right to control the matter of the regulation or the withholding of licenses.
          But the questions involved are social and moral and not susceptible of being made part of the party programme. Whenever they have been subject matter of party contests they have cut the lines of party organization and party action athwart, to every other field. They have thrown away every other question, however important, into the background and have made constructive party action impossible for long years together.
          So far as I am myself concerned, therefore, I can never consent to have the question of local option made an issue between political parties in this state.
          My judgment is very clear in this matter. I do not believe party programmes of the highest consequence to the political life of the state and of the Nation, ought to be thrust on one side and hopelessly embarrassed for long periods together by making a political issue of a great question which is essentially non-political, non-partisan, moral, and social in its nature.”

        • @CaptinSarcastic Total Waste Of Time.

          And a very selective liar…

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Fuel_Control_Act

        • @Ragspierre Holy Bait and Switch Robin, you just completely changed the subject from Prohibition and the 18th Amendment which Wilson did NOT support, to a wartime food and fuel policy which Wilson did support. You would do well to consider it a total waste of time trying to get lies past me. You would spend a lot less of your time embarassing yourself. From your own link, “The Act, an emergency wartime measure, was designed to expire at the end of World War I or shortly thereafter.”

  • Actually Santorum said almost the same thing about birth control, this week. He said that birth control harms people and costs lives. I’m not sure about his logic, but his conviction is clear.

    • @AntonHH To be accurate, what he said was the life style it promotes was a problem in his view, the implication was more a mental attitude than a physical danger caused by birth control. It would help if people listened to what he said instead of listening to people who purport to tell us what he said since the quote on Drudge was wildly inaccurate and the pseudo conservative blogger it pointed to, Jennifer Rubin I believe, WILDLY out of context. What he was actually commenting on was in some ways the ‘free love’ philosophy.
      Now, is it realistic to presume we’re going to stop doing something we were hard wired to do, that is, have sex? No. But it seems generally agreed by history and societies around the world that having sex without some restraint doesn’t work well over the long haul.

  • Two words: Mitt Romney.
    If Santorum’s an issue, how much more is Romney?

  • Really? Has anyone looked at a map of the land around the Foxwoods Casino before it went up and what the area looks like now? It was a reasonably thriving community before and a wasteland with a big casino now. Please this is such un-thought out crap.

    • @Jeremy Crow Substitute “stock yard” for casino, and re-think. Think of other substitutes. Gaming is not the issue, really, is it?

    • @Jeremy Crow Well, I guess maybe this will turn the internet area round my monitor into a wasteland if we create interstate online gambling, otherwise, speaking of UN-thought out crap…..

  • I think you’ve missed the point Jeremy. The point isn’t about casinos per se, online or otherwise, but about Santorum’s views on freedom – and that is worrying.