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Senator Santorum and the Christian Socialists
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's a good thing that Rick Santorum has already ruled out a 2008 Presidential run, because comments like this would make me seriously consider my first vote for a Democratic Presidential candidate...
One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle.

This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don't think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can't go it alone.
Ironically, it's Rick Santorum who has "come around in the circle" so far that he's touching the Left. Try and find some light between Santorum's position and Hillary Clinton's "[w]e're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good" statement.

There is none.

Unfortunately, Rick Santorum is far from the exception. Santorum is merely ackowledging the dominant philosophy of the current Republican Party. Gone are the days when Party leaders like Ronald Reagan would say "I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves", or...
I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. .... The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
Increasingly, I am coming to believe that, if the Republican Party is to be saved, the real social conservatives —the Religious Right—must be driven out of power; driven, if necessary, to the Democratic Party. (which is certainly eager enough to attract them) But, you might argue, that would consign the Republican Party to minority status again!

Yes. Frankly, I think that may be best. As I wrote some time back, "Limited government is a fine idea. We really ought to have at least one party which believes in it."

The Republicans appear incapable of doing so right now; if we hope to prevent the GOP from becoming nothing more than a European-style Christian Socialist Party. (e.g., "Christian Democratic Union") In fact, this is precisely the course that Paul Krugman recently advocated the GOP take, writing...
American conservatives despise European welfare states like France. Yet many of them stress the importance of "family values." And whatever else you may say about French economic policies, they seem extremely supportive of the family as an institution. Senator Rick Santorum, are you reading this?
Indeed, Senator Rick Santorum appears to be well ahead of Paul Krugman. And that is why people like Senator Rick Santorum need to be purged from the Republican party, even if it means we lose control of Congress to the Democrats.

There is precedent for this in Benjamin Disraeli's capture of the Tory Party:

Show/Hide

The Democrats are trying their best to appeal to the religious voting bloc. It seems to me we should encourage that sort of thing. The sooner we're rid of them, the sooner the Republican Party can become useful again. I'd rather have a useful minority Republican Party than a useless majority Republican Party.


Elsewhere:

Bill Quick writes:
I've always thought Rick Santorum was a malignant fool. Now, in presuming to define conservatism as anti-individual liberty and pro-state, he proves it.

Fellow libertarians, Republicans are not your friends. Keep it in mind.
Jeff Jarvis writes...
Santorum is trying to portray “individualism” as “radical” when I’d argue, and I’ll bet most of you would agree, that individualism — otherwise known as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — is the core of Americanism.

That’s not radical. That is the center of America. That is where most of us live — in let-us-be land. Santorum lives on the fringe, right neighborly with the PC folks who would tell us what to think and say.
Yes, the far right and far left do, indeed, meet at the fringes and that’s where Santorum is: They meet at trying to shape people and they only disagree about the mold — Christian or progressive — and to interfere in culture and language and in some cases business and in other cases the bedroom. That is the radical edge.
 
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I saw that quote a few days ago. I don’t agree with you on the prescription (I do not think that returning the Republicans to minority status)— that sounds to me like amputation because a limb is broken. Sometimes that is required, but not in general.


Why do I think your prescription is not necessary? Because I am part of the "Religious Right," and I agree that the priorities have gone awry, and I think that Santorum’s quotation is troubling. The reform can come from within.


There is something broken there, without question. But what I think the prescription is, is to find Reaganesque candidates and support them enthusiastically. I know that for the ’08 nomination, my vote will be going for the candidate that represents that sort of course correction for the Republicans.


I am extremely disappointed in my Senator.

 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://dalythoughts.com
Exactly Gerry! I would also be grouped with the Religious Right, but find the Senators statement scary. The problem is, the Rs may need to be pushed out of power to correct their course, but I have my doubts as to what would be left once they were able to get back into power.
 
Written By: Crusader
URL: http://www.coalitionoftheswilling.net/
Wel, if the SC overturns Roe v Wade, you may just get a realignment that more realistically represents the core of each party.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Unfortunately, Rick Santorum is far from the exception. Santorum is merely ackowledging the dominant philosophy of the current Republican Party.
Well,… Duh.
Increasingly, I am coming to believe that, if the Republican Party is to be saved, the real social conservatives —the Religious Right—must be driven out of power; driven, if necessary, to the Democratic Party.
That would be worth celebrating. But why not…and I stress the word why… try to drive out the socialists from the Democratic Party? Seriously. It might be easier than driving the Religious Right from the Repub’s.
Just wondering.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Yes, please don’t lump all of us religious folk into the same group. I am a social conservative who doesn’t feel the need to convert you into one. And since birds of a feather flock together, all my other friends who are religious and conservative fear Sanitarium and his ilk more than we’re given credit for.

The Religious Right is a label that just isn’t fair. Just like I believe most true liberals don’t want a 100% nanny state, they just want to make sure their fellow man is taken care of. Most of us who are religious and conservative (and this is from my limited sampling of those close to me) are fully satisfied keeping the government and religion seperate. See my post on Theocraziness for a better explination (in both left and right flavors).

Rock Sanctimonium, however, needs to be ducttaped to the underside of a bus and sent on a long trip.
 
Written By: Sharp as a Marble
URL: http://sharpmarbles.stufftoread.com
I am a Christian and a protestant and a baptist; a southern baptist. So you can say I am part of the "religious right", whatever that is. I must have missed something. How do you go from discussing Santorum’s socialist diatribe to banning the religous right? As a card carrying member I admire Reagan more than our current crop of Republicans (It’s not even close). The current bunch are more coward than conservative. I am conservative and most of my "religious right" friends are too. Can you help me understand how Santorum’s socialist ideas are connected to the religious right?
 
Written By: Morris
URL: http://
They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.


He has to have a brain tumor....nothing else can explain the sheer assholery of this comment
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Whoa! I should make it clear that, when I wrote "the real social conservatives—the Religious Right", I wasn’t referring to all religious people on the Right. Not by a long shot. I’ve no problem with "religious people" in general...only with the Falwell/Dobson/Santorum subset that wants a "Christian Party"; that "votes Christian".

Frankly, I’m not terribly worked up about oblique references to "God" scattered here and there, and I have a real problem with people who criticise officials who mention God in speeches. Religious beliefs are personal, but public officials (i.e., President, congressmen, etc) certainly have the right to mention their values.

Don’t misunderstand and believe I’m asking for the GOP to become, much like the Democratic Party, openly hostile to religious people. I just don’t want the "Moral Majority" to wield such influence. And I think the best way to see to that would be to 1) eliminate Roe V Wade as a national issue, and 2) split the RR vote. (which, as Ornery notes, (1) may solve)
But why not…and I stress the word why… try to drive out the socialists from the Democratic Party?
Because I don’t see any appreciable faction of the Democratic Party which is not fundamentally socialist.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I think this statement by Sen. Santorum is asinine, yes.

If you are talking about stripping Falwell and Pat Robertson and James Dobson of their influence, sure, I agree.
But how much influence do they really have? Other than having their quotes trotted by New York Times and their ilk when they want to make conservative Christians look stupid?

On the other hand, I don’t mind you trying to drive the religious right out of the Republican Party. Any frank discussion of values, agenda, platforms, etc, is a good thing: the free market of ideas, yanno? No matter who wins, the GOP is better for it.

I’ll reserve further judgment when/if it happens. If the result is a GOP I can vote for, fine. If not, well, I’ll figure something out.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
But why not… try to drive out the socialists from the Democratic Party?
That’s like saying "This would be a great beach if we just get rid of the pesky sand."
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I think there is a huge difference between Falwell/Robertson and Rev. Dobson. I don’t stand with the first two but generally do agree with the latter, even though I look to solutions outside of government for problems.
 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://dalythoughts.com
I agree with Dobson’s points, but don’t think we should be legislating anything directly based on his wisdom (as I think (assume?) he would like us to). Morality should be taught/demonstrated, not forced.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
I agree with Dobson’s points, but don’t think we should be legislating anything directly based on his wisdom (as I think (assume?) he would like us to). Morality should be taught/demonstrated, not forced.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
Don’t misunderstand and believe I’m asking for the GOP to become, much like the Democratic Party, openly hostile to religious people
In what possible way is the Democratic part "openly hostile" to religious people? Are they calling for churches to be shut down? No. Taxed? No. Zoned out of existence? Nope. Are they calling for the imprisonment of persons of faith? No. Calling for Bibles to be banned? Nada.

The problem with many on the right is that the equate a desire to keep government out of religion and religion out of government with a hostiltiy to religion itself. It is hard for these people to wrap their little pea-sized brains around the idea that one may be for the separation of church and state and at the same time not be hostile to religion. Indeed, the point of the wall of separation is to protect religion from government as much as it is to protect government from religion.

You want a good example of hostility to religion? Read Employment Division v. Smith http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=494&invol=872

In this case, Mr. Smith was fired from his job for using peyote - a sacrament under his religious beliefs. He sought unemployment compensation. The State of Oregon denied him benefits, notwithstanding the only reason he was fired was due to his religious practices. There was NO evidence his religious practices harmed anyone. Smith took his case to the Supreme Court, claiming his right to free exercise of religion had been denied. The conservative majority held that the state hadn’t violated the First Amendment; the liberal minority dissented.

I defy you to find a Supreme Court opinion more hostile to religion than this decision. The decision does not merely say keep government and religion separate. It actually says that the state can take away your entitlements (in this case, to unemployment benefits) simply because you engage in a religious practice, even if the state cannot prove that your particular exercise of the practice harmed anyone.

And it was conservatives who joined in this ruling; the liberals were against it. So cut the crap about Dems being hostile to religion.

BTW, do you know Bush doesn’t belong to a church? He doesn’t even have a congregation. By contrast, Jimmy Carter taught Sunday school. Bill Clinton attended church regularly and was very open about it. Given the Dems "hostility" to religion, please explain how in the world both of these guys got the nomination and were elected President.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mk,

I don’t think it should be illegal, but peyote is. That would make it permissable to fire him for that reason. It might also be pointed out that an employer might have reason to fire someone for using a psychoative drug even if it were legal, such as having drug users at a rehab clinic in this case! That may not be the case here, but that it is his religion which drives him to use peyote is irrelevant. A judge at that point would have to rule he was fired for reasons which would not qualify him for the said entitlement regardless of whether the judge felt peyote should be legal or not. Religion does not protect one automatically from illegal conduct. For example, Mohammed Atta would still be guilty of murder whether he felt compelled by his faith to commit his terrible acts or because he was just a bloodthirsty terrorist. Same goes for someone shooting an abortionist.

The link you provide makes that point perfectly clear. The laws forbidding peyote use were not enacted to persecute a religious minority, therefore it is permissable to ban them. Now if you want to argue the government does not have the right to regulate drug use, I might be sympathetic, though I find it dubious constitutionally, but I am all ears! Of course why you would want to endorse such a restriction on the state is beyond me, bye bye FDA and all kinds of other state action. Many of us here would cheer, I suspect in your case the argument would obviously be in bad faith. If some people’s brains are pea sized, and you can’t see that kind of distinction, what size is yours?

As for the rest of your comment, a bunch of words having no bearing on anything.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
How can the dems be openly hostile to religious people and yet, at the same time, be trying hard to court them?
That notwithstanding I would personally be happier if my own CPC would tone down the social conservative rhetoric, so I can certainly see why you would want to GOP to do the same, though as to driving them to the dems, well I doubt you could merge social conservatives with the hard-core NARAL crowd, gay rights groups, and feminazis on the left.
 
Written By: Joe Canadian
URL: http://
Don’t misunderstand and believe I’m asking for the GOP to become, much like the Democratic Party, openly hostile to religious people.

That’s a specious statement. You’ve been buying into the Right-Wing radio BS?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Let me clear up a few things. Santorum is not a "leader" in the republican party. He was slapped down several times by other republican senators. Also, I know many conservative and religious people. They might get excited about some issues like abortion and stem cells, but on most issues they are of the "leave me alone" variety. I think libertarianism is still very much a factor in the GOP and we dont have to run anyone out of the pary. What you have to do is state your case , and keep pushing in the right direction. Of course, you will have to compromise to get anything done, But the alternative is to find yourself in an ideologicaly pure libertarian party with no senators, no congressmen, no governors, and no power.
 
Written By: kyle
URL: http://
Spammer!

[Jon adds: I’m deletin’ em, man. I’ll spend my time to make sure they’re wasting theirs]
 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://dalythoughts.com
MK mentions...
By contrast, Jimmy Carter taught Sunday school. Bill Clinton attended church regularly and was very open about it.

President Carter? Well, that’s certainly a timely example; after all, he was President only 29 years ago. He did quite well in the party ever after, didn’t he? Oh, right, I think not.

President Clinton? Well, too bad he didn’t bother to pay attention while he was at church. Unless his church didn’t advocate any moral code other than "if it feels good, do it." That type of church would certainly be acceptable to the Democratic party, so I guess that you really could be correct after all.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Don’t misunderstand and believe I’m asking for the GOP to become, much like the Democratic Party, openly hostile to religious people.

That’s a specious statement. You’ve been buying into the Right-Wing radio BS?
No, I’ve been reading the Liberal blogs, which pretty uniformly call those opposed to gay marriage and abortion equivalent to "The American Taliban".

I’ve been listening to Democrats, who talk about "seceding" from "Red America" or "Jesusland". I’m listening to the Democratic pundits who spent so much time dismayed that many people voted according to "moral values".

I’ve watched Democrats, who question whether a religious person will be able to apply the law. I’ve watched the netroots, which are quite openly hateful of religion. I’ve seen the Democrats get upset that Republicans speak in front of openly religious (!) crowds.

I’ve see Howard Dean open his mouth and insult Christians.

That’s why I say the Democrats are openly contemptuous of religion.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
As Dan Ackroyd says in the movie remake of "The Twilight Zone"—"wanna see something really scary?"

Take a look at the Republican Liberty Caucus’s "top ten" list for 2004, and see who comes it at number seven as exemplary of "libertarian Republicans."

Tom Knapp
 
Written By: Kn@ppster
URL: http://knappster.blogspot.com
Being ’religious’ and being ’right wing’ dont automatically make you a member of the ’religious right’. Its when those things come together and you attempt to legislate your morality on to others (such as Santorum does) that you become a member of the ’religious right’.

All of you otherwise libertarian folks in this thread who just happen to be Christian shouldnt refer to yourself as the ’religious right’, thats just insulting yourself I think. IMO, of course.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Santorum?

You can keep him.

Fundamentalists of ALL stripes are our enemy in this...

global war on extremism

that’s what this is, no?

You honestly think the radical right could EVER find a home in the democratic party? The party with the liberal humanist stripe right up the middle?

You need to kick your fundies out of the party, pull their planks from the party platform, and move on.

You’d get more voters, liberals would fight you less viciously, and the fundamentalis radicals would have no power.

which is the way it IS supposed to be.

I enjoyed the post.



As for Howard Dean

Don’t lay down in the road at night and be surprised if you get run over.

Oversensitive much?

Complaining eveytime he opens his mouth shows your nervousness more than anything else.

If you applied your standard for taking offense EQUALLY, then you will excuse me and the Mulsim world for taking the presidents word for it when he said this was was a ’crusade’.

I’m not that oversentistive, so just calm down.

Howard Dean does love this country, as deeply and truly as anyone.

Your need to question this makes my point.








 
Written By: mdhatter
URL: http://
as a follow up

The Democrats already have kicked their fundies out.

Trust me, I had to stop being in the Green Party, ’cuz I couldn’t stand all the Reds (Communists) who were made homeless by the DLC.

I think if y’all (Santorum supporters) formed a "White" party, and drew the Christian Fundies into it, you’d be all set, or at least better respected.

Then both fringes would be useless, and we moderates could get back to honest debate and solving real problems.



 
Written By: mdhatter
URL: http://

 
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