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Rick Santorum shortens libertarians

Rick Santorum shortens libertarians

This video (via Leslie of Temple of Mut) of Rick Santorum has made the rounds as evidence that Santorum is hostile to the Tea Party movement.

The key sentence, in which he expresses and intention to “vocally, publicly oppose” the Tea Party, is ambiguous.  Was he saying he would oppose the Tea Parties, or only those in the Tea Parties who in his view are distorting conservatism?

Regardless, I find the dialogue troubling.  I would describe myself as a “conservative with a libertarian streak,” and I think that description probably would be used by a lot of Tea Party supporters.  If Santorum plans on fighting the influence of libertarianism in the conservative movement, then I don’t see how he is a Tea Party choice.

I also think Santorum was a “shorter,” engaging in an Obama-like straw man argument asserting that libertarians believe in “no government.”

There also is an aspect, which I don’t think is much of a negative, of Santorum’s personality showing through.  Santorum in the Senate has been described as making Newt Gingrich [look] like Miss Manners.  You can see it in this video.

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Comments

Henry Hawkins | January 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm

We’ll know soon enough what Santorum meant by this. Count on Sawyer & Stefano… Stephena… & George to ask at this week’s debate.

I’m a conservative – conservative socially, fiscally, and in national defense. I am also a tea-partier. And I’m not supporting Santorum.

Given that, I agree with what Santorum says here about the tea party – we must be careful not to try to redefine conservatism as being merely about fiscal policy to the neglect of social concerns.

And while I’m not a fan of earmarks like Santorum is, he is exactly right in that the deficit problem is all about entitlements, and not about the earmarks.

    Ernst Schreiber in reply to Astroman. | January 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    In fairness to Santorum, who wasn’t a fan of earmarks when he was in the Senate?

    Ron Paul is a fan of earmarks —and he’s the closest thing to a Libertarian in the race for the GOP nomination.

    IrateNate in reply to Astroman. | January 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I find it disturbing that we simply accept the “way things work” in Washington, where you can’t even get a bill to the floor without the “Christmas Tree” effect; every Tom, Dick, and Harry hanging a bit of pork onto the bill.

    Santorum’s stance on earmarks, that “there’s plenty of money out there, so everyone should get as much as possible” does nothing to convince me he’s any different that any of the other clowns running.

    I’m already tired of this circus – let’s just get this over with today. Put Romney up against Obama and the DNC machine, and let’s try to figure out what to do after Obama’s second term.

I thought it pretty clear – he is not a libertarian and he objects to the libertarian effort to change/take over conservatism. Maybe because he is such a strong soc-conservative he sees the libertarian lack of interest in social issues as diluting conservatism

Seems like every time someone brings up social issues they think important they get shush,shushed by the fiscal conservative who also tend to be more libertarian.

Does the TP really want to walk away from the evangelicals? Then we end up with 3 pieces of GOP and none with enough muscle to win.

    Canusee in reply to katiejane. | January 7, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Does the TP really want to walk away from the evangelicals?’

    Perhaps, since evangelicals aRE a portion within the GOP, the question should be “Do the Evangelicals really want to walk away from the TP.” It seems the evangelicals (defined here for sake of comment as voting first on stance of a candidates moral/social before considering fiscal/economical/managerial/constitutional issues)are not the majority of Tea Party. Sure, many are Evangelical Christians, but they are not carrying this as their banner call upfront. Taxed Enough Already is first and foremost the TEA Party but the Evangelical have claimed it as there own.) Steam has come out of the Tea Party mainly because the focus did not stay singularly focused on the acronym.

Libertarians have a LOT in common with small-government Republicans. If we’re going to be disrespecting conservatives with a Libertarian bent, they’re gonna lose me, and I’m on the local Central Committee. We don’t all mind meld and our DNA doesn’t change when we register as a Republican – you’ve nailed my concern about Santorum. The Moral Majority, in its day, was rather like a precursor to Obama’s dogmatic approach.

Every day that comes forward, I am more discouraged if this is the path we are going down. It’s a sure loser nationwide.

    Astroman in reply to Rose. | January 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I know, right?

    Things like being pro-traditional marriage is a real loser. I mean, gay marriage always wins the popular vote in even the most conservative states. Or something…

    If I had a dime every time I’ve heard we need to drop the pro-life stuff, because it’s a political loser. How come we never hear that being pro-partial birth abortion is a political loser?

    So yeah, whatever.

I’ve got some real concerns about this movement within the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement to sort of refashion conservatism. I will vocally and publicly oppose it and do my best to correct the record.
********************************************

I thin he is talking about some libertarians and is supportive of TP here.

and others seem to think that too fwiw
http://www.therightscoop.com/debunking-the-townhall-rick-santorum-real-concerns-tea-party-video/

I would describe myself as a “conservative with a libertarian streak,” and I think that description probably would be used by a lot of Tea Party supporters.

I think you will find that many Tea Party types consider themselves small-L libertarians who mostly vote Republican.

I also think Santorum was a “shorter,” engaging in an Obama-like straw man argument asserting that libertarians believe in “no government.”

With doctrinaire Libertarians such as Ron Paul and Gary Johnson dominating the national stage, such miss-characterization is easy (as well as intellectually sloppy). What most TPers realize is that you can not sacrifice the good for the perfect, e.g. government is necessary, let’s just have less of it.

As I have said many a time, Mitt Romney, nor Newt Gingrich, nor Rick Perry, nor Rick Santorum appeal to us neo-libertarians, as all have shown far to many Big Government tendencies. They all would be, none-the-less, far better than Barack Obama.

The problem is that there is no Tea Party material left in this race.

Romney? Fuggetaboutit.

Newt? Notachance.

Santorum? Threw us under the bus early on in favor of his pal, Arlen.

Paul? He can get stuffed.

So, who is left for the Tea Party to support?

    Astroman in reply to Kerrvillian. | January 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Rick Perry. Perry was an early supporter of the tea party. Oh, but he fumbled some words in a debate while recovering from back surgery, so never mind.

    Go-go Romneycare! Not.

      GrumpyOne in reply to Astroman. | January 7, 2012 at 3:38 am

      Astroman said,

      “Rick Perry. Perry was an early supporter of the tea party. Oh, but he fumbled some words in a debate while recovering from back surgery, so never mind.”

      Go for Perry if you want fiat dictatorship.

      If you closely examine his record, his RINO roots become evident as is witnessed by his weak stance regarding illegal immigration, forcing very young girls to get a dubious vaccine, financing toll roads with junk bonds etc. etc. etc.

      Perry is right where be belongs… Right at the bottom of the polls!

      Kerrvillian in reply to Astroman. | January 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

      Speaking as someone who bears Perry as his governor I’d say the man is in the highest office he should achieve. The weak governor’s powers of Texas keep him from being too powerful but do allow him to sound off like someone who is important.

      Good job for blustering RINOs. Maybe Newt wants to relocate and run for the office?

    scottinwisconsin in reply to Kerrvillian. | January 6, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Ron Paul WAS Tea Party, long before you, and long before it was cool.

    But hey, He can get stuffed.

    Come late 2012, you and all your friends will be wondering out loud — “how can I vote for either of these big government liberals — why can’t Republicans ever nominate someone who actually wants to shrink government???”

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

      BS. I think Ron Paul is …..daft. I am a Tea Party guy who would NEVER consider Ron Paul for the Presidency, although I think he’d be a fine neighbor.

As maligned as he was at the time, Mitch Daniels had the right idea with his “truce” idea. Social issues just don’t need to drive the conversation this round. The winner is the economy and the imperial Obama presidency. The rest could have rode shotgun instead of trying to drive this time. It would have been pragmatic. I detest abortion, but realize that it won’t win an election on its own. Think about it, did Obama lead with social liberalism or the bad economy?

    Astroman in reply to neomom. | January 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Uh, when has Obama ever called for a truce on social liberalism? The dude was completely indifferent to the testimony of babies who survived abortion attempts being dumped alive in the dirty linens.

    It would be nice for once to have Republicans who are as conservative as the Democrats are liberal.

scottinwisconsin | January 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Prof: You’re conservative, with a Libertarian streak. Like Ron Paul.

And you agree with Ron Paul on the size and roll of government, on the need to cut spending and reduce interference in our lives.

But you dismiss Ron Paul, simply because his policies on Israel and Iran are exactly the same as Netanyahu, who has endorsed him.*

Time to rethink?

*Netanyahu endorses Ron Paul, agrees that Israel does not need US help. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTLe66_hc4

    Prof: You’re conservative, with a Libertarian streak. Like Ron Paul.

    You Paulbots are as annoying as schoolkids singing “O O O Obama”, and just as unpersuasive. Ron Paul is a big-L Libertarian through and through. He will gladly sacrifice the good in the insane attempt for the perfect. And his perfect harbors schooners of really ugly bigotry.

    Most conservatives like Ron Paul in Congress where he serves a purpose. Only idealists and nut cases want him as President.

      scottinwisconsin in reply to bains. | January 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      He’s not chasing the perfect at the expense of the good. That’s just some lame cliche that makes you feel clever.

      There is not a bigoted bone in his body. Big L Libertarians are all about respect for and acceptance of the individual.

      You’re simply a fool, looking for an easy way to dismiss him, that doesn’t require any thought. Mouthing criticisms someone else was mouthing, with no one thinking for themselves.

      Keep electing “conservatives”, and wondering why the world keeps getting poorer, and less free.

      You think WE’RE the problem? The people who mindlessly dismiss small-government constitution-lovers as PAULBOTS — those people are the problem.

      YOU are the problem. You’re why America will keep getting less and less free. Thanks for that.

      Ernst Schreiber in reply to bains. | January 7, 2012 at 12:11 am

      Ron Paul’s idea of foreign policy is an embarrassing joke. And anybody who thinks we brought 9/11 on ourselves is unworthy of my support.

      Somebody has got to be the guarantor of the international order. If not us, whom? The U.N.? China? Russia?

        scottinwisconsin in reply to Ernst Schreiber. | January 7, 2012 at 10:23 am

        Sure. That’s why Netanyahu says he’s right on Iran and Israel.
        That’s why CIA analysts say he right on why Al Quada attacked us.
        That’s why active duty military contributes more to Ron Paul than all other candidates combined.
        How about YOU pay for guaranteeing the safety of every other country. About you risk your sons doing it.
        Some of us are tired of paying that bill.
        And the founding fathers would be voting for Ron Paul, not whatever big-government fool YOU support.

      Canusee in reply to bains. | January 7, 2012 at 10:41 am

      “He will gladly sacrifice the good in the insane attempt for the perfect”
      When the presidency is viewed by citizens and president as INDEPENDENT of the other checks-and-balances branches of government, the president has the power to implement insane attempt for the perfect. Think ‘Obama’ in his successful attempt to implement insane Marxism and is operating as a dictator with the blessings of the other branches of government. Obama is successful because these other branches, the citizens, and he do not recognize the four-fold power of checks and balances by Constitutional design. By actions/reactions to Obama appointing czars, dictating laws, etc., which candidates are acknowledging the president is NOT independent of the other branches? Which have decried “unlawful” or “unconstitutional” to Obama’s actions? And used their own branch of government to balance the insane? The answer is important because it is indicative as to how THESE candidates perceive the role of the president beyond the issues. How would someone with zany idealism for the Constitution view the Executive Branch of government? Would he operate independent of other brances? Would he respect when a checks-and-balance of another branch said, “No” to him? Or in war? Which branch of government declares war? Which branch can veto the declaration? Which Branch can then attempt again to Declare War and if passed cannot be vetoed a second time? You see our lawmakers, some of which are running remained silent and did stand up to either Bush or Obama when they acted independently of the other branches. Did they not say anything, did they not challenge with pursuit because they did not accept action as a violation of the Constitution? The time is ripe for this country to be taken advantage of by someone who does not accept and respect the Constitutional design of the four branches of government; Executive, Judicial, Legislative, People. This system is why so many presidential campaign promises get broken; they are reliant on other branches of government. Today, we live in a time when the checks and balances have been put aside. How long can we go before no amount of devotion to the Constitution will make it a working reality and will just be a subtopic in USgovernment courses as a failed ideology?

@0.10 “…and I fight very strongly against libertarian influences in the Republican Party”

@0.56 “…I’m not someone who…necessarily believes earmarks are a bad thing.”

Spoken like a true Big Gov’t, Beltway ‘Republican’.

    Ernst Schreiber in reply to Aucturian. | January 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I think he’s more concerned about Libertarian influences than libertarian influences myself. And I think that what that means is that he has no interest in genuflecting at the alter of Ayn Rand.

    And their all either Big Gov’t (Romney, Perry*) or Beltway (Gingrich, Paul, Santorum) Republicans to one degree or another.

    *Perry doesn’t have a problem with Big Government so long as it’s big state government.

      I forgot to add ‘Big Church’ to the prefixes.

      “The Republican Party is being influenced by libertarians!” so sneers the influencing Christian Dominionists.

      Ernst Schreiber in reply to Ernst Schreiber. | January 7, 2012 at 1:17 am

      About that “Big Church” thing: Unless you think Santorum is going to run roughshod all over the First Amendment, I don’t see what you have to worry about. Furthermore, many of the things that government now does, life poor relief, are better left to other institutions like “Big Church.”

      Both Social Conservatives and libertarian Conservatives benefit when the scope of government is properly constrained. I think we should focus on the areas where we agree, and save the disagreements for the day after the day we finally defeat the progressives and socialists.

notquiteunBuckley | January 7, 2012 at 12:56 am

What’s most important. What matters most. Is than William F. Buckley Jr. was better than you.

Or/And me.

Of course.

So, now that we understand that, let us look at https://cumulus.hillsdale.edu/Buckley/

It matters so much so I will reiterate it:

Buckley is better in every way than you. He understands why you dislike him and that.

It’s of nothing.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 7, 2012 at 3:04 am

THis is a decoy.

Rick is really a descendant of The Secret Order of The Libertines.

You read it here first.

    CatoRenasci in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | January 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Actually, one wonders if he has connections to Opus Dei….

      Yes, he DOES have connex with Opus Dei.

      As any Hollywood-type will tell you, that means, without question or doubt, that Santorum is part of the Papist Conspiracy to Take Over the Entire World.

      We know this because there are movies about it.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to dad29. | January 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

        Really? Movies? Holy crap…..

        JerryB in reply to dad29. | January 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

        Good reply. I’m glad he’s not OD, but it’s no big deal. I’d rank that issue a little lower than being in the Lodge or CFR. But hey, Hussein’s a Marxist!

Nothing annoys me more than do-nothings criticizing those who do something. So the Tea Party forms and protests about an issue important to a large number of people – fiscal conservatism. Our enthusiasm results in the largest gain in Congress in recent history. Then the social conservatives have the nerve to complain?

That reminds me of a 4th of July pot luck, where the barbecue lovers organize to provide the meat course. They gather in large groups to plan and organize. They follow through, making the pot luck the most successful anyone can remember, and the people who were supposed to bring the salads have the nerve to complain that the barbecuers didn’t do a good job on the salads?

If something other than fiscal conservatism is most important to you, then YOU organize protests that get people off of their couches, and influence the public discourse! If your people don’t show up and follow through, don’t blame the Tea Party for taking over!

It is nonsense to talk about ideological composition of “the Tea Party” whether it is “libertarian streaks” or the attempted hijacking of the movement by groups like Tea Party Patriots, Tea Party Express, and Freedom Works, none of whom were elected to speak for any Tea Party.

The actual Tea Party protests were grassroots driven with a fairly wide variety of folks attending. It was a protest triggered by Rick Santelli’s spontaneous rant about bailouts, and fueled by anger over deficit spending and the ObamaCare bill being shoved down our throats.

People try to claim the mantle of “Tea Party” to further their own agendas, and this is why its popularity with the public plunged from an overwhelmingly favorable reception initially to mostly negative today. It wasn’t anything the Tea Party did, it was all these idiots acting in their name without any authority but their own self-appointment.

If Santorum’s big-government conservatism, pork spending, lobbying, and long association with “the DC Establishment” and labor unions don’t dissuade conservatives from supporting him, why would some remarks directed at a small segment of Tea Party attendees get us upset?

Santorum’s hostility to libertarian ideas should be viewed in a broader context that just his general attachment to government as a solution to problems, which is problematic in itself. Santorum is an Ultramontane Catholic, and his views reflect the deep hostility towards classical liberalism of Pius IX and the First Vatican Council as well as the less militant anticapitalism of Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum of 1891. These views explain his willingness to use state power to enforce his own particular vision of morality and his comfort with the entitlement state.

Santorum is without doubt the worst candidate the GOP could field from the Tea Party’s perspective. He would make an utter hash of things.

    JerryB in reply to CatoRenasci. | January 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    You’re right about the anti-libertarian teachings from Pius IX, and can count me as another Catholic who cannot stomach libertarianism. Leo XIII wasn’t anti-capitalist, but rather, he vociferously condemned socialism and redistribution of wealth and defended the right to private property. Santorum is wrong to support the gov’t taking money from Peter and handing it to Paul. It’s theft.

    As for enforcing morality, if Santorum wants to end contraception, he is out of bounds. However, if he means ending the use of abortifacient drugs, such as the “morning after pill,” he’s right. Contraception can be tolerated, but murder cannot. This is where libertarians go wrong, such as when Ron Paul defends “states’ rights” to legalize abortion.

      dad29 in reply to JerryB. | January 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      The actual video of his comments is out there on NewsBusters.

      He NEVER said that he (or anyone else) would make contraceptives illegal.

      But Chris Matthews SAYS that that’s what Santorum said, so I guess that means the videotape was doctored.

      Right?

I’m wondering how that is any different to what Newt has said in the past.

How recent are these Santorum comments? Needlessly alienating a big part of the electorate during an election doesn’t seem to be politically astute.

He may have a technical point in that earmarks, as a fraction of the budget, are small, but politically they are a symbol of a legislature run out of control. Besides, when congressmen know that they have a key to the federal purse, their pilferage will grow, unchecked.

As to libertarianism, there is a big libertarian streak in the Constitution itself. Santorum rejects it at his peril. He should walk back these remarks.

IMO the closer we get to the election the more it seems like the GOP is doomed to lose.

We’ve already got semi-splits between the GOP establishment who seem to support Romney because he’s one of them, the true TP people whose primary concern is fiscal restraint as long as it doesn’t gore their ox and is comfortable with libertarian mindthink, the social conservatives who aren’t prepared to totally yield on their issues and the rest of us who are trying to find a candidate we’re comfortable with.

The different segments are becoming more rigid and may end up with people like me leaving the POTUS line blank.

    IMO the closer we get to the election the more it seems like the GOP is doomed to lose.

    Doomed, determined, and deserving to lose, if things continue going as they are.

    But I expect various hovering shoes to drop in unknown quantities at unforeseeable times before the election.

Santorum is a “national interests” candidate, which confuses the Libertarians AND the Democrats–and a fair number of hard-core Republicans, too.

That tinge of populism–more manufacturing jobs, more support of families, power-projection internationally–should not be constructed as “not Conservative.”

By the standards of Burke and Kirk, they are the highest national goals.

Fwiw, Michael Ledeen gives Santorum a strong character reference–but don’t overlook the comments.

[…] the other hand, it seems that Amy Kremer is going to go top-down in support of Rick Santorum. Santorum is not by cup of tea, and I am amazed any Tea Party national group would be so tone-deaf as to try and do a top-down […]

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