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“We, like the Santorums, took a photograph of the baby”

“We, like the Santorums, took a photograph of the baby”

There must be tens of thousands of stories like this one from Charles Lane of The Washington Post about his child who died in utero just hours before a scheduled c-section:

We, like the Santorums, took a photograph of the baby — lying, as if asleep, in my wife’s arms. We have a framed copy in our bedroom. It’s beautiful.

Jonathan’s body was prepared according to Jewish law, including circumcision, and buried after a religious service. Clergy and friends gathered at our home to support us.

I regret that, unlike the Santorums, who presented the body of their child to their children, we did not show Jonathan’s body to our other son, who was six years old at the time. When I told him what had happened, his first question was, “Well, where is the baby?” I tried to explain what a morgue is, and why the baby went there. It was awkward and unsatisfactory — too abstract. In hindsight, I was not protecting my son from a difficult conversation, I was protecting myself.

Related: Eugene Robinson clarifies criticism of Santorum, Now Eugene Robinson mocks Santorum’s mourning, Alan Colmes mocks how Rick Santorum mourned dead child.

Update:  From Jessica Heslam in The Boston Herald (h/t @jpodhoretz):

As for my daughter Grace, the doctors don’t know how she died, although it was likely an umbilical cord accident.

As Santorum did for his son, we had a funeral for Grace. She’s buried alongside her grandmother and her obituary ran in this newspaper.

And like Santorum, not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. My 12-year-old stepdaughter, meanwhile, wears a remembrance bracelet to honor the baby sister she never knew.


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It’s not just these two–I’m sorry, Professor Jacobson, I can’t come up with a better term that the Australian “fuckwits”–it’s that apparently no one on the left has bothered to criticize them.

Reason no. 3,291 why I long ago stopped calling myself a liberal: They fall over themselves telling you how compassionate and sensitive they are but their approach to political opponents is generally vicious and hateful.

Perhaps the great regret of my life is that I never married and had a family, but at least I was spared the Santorums’ experience. I have absolutely no idea how I would react to such an event but within very broad limits I don’t think I’m in a position to criticize what other people do when this befalls them.

I recall Mrs. Obama’s assertion that America is just a “downright mean” country, or at least was until it had the wisdom to elect her husband. Well, there is a lot of meanness in the US, and a lot of it comes from her side of the political aisle.

Of course, I got the impression during the 2008 campaign was that a lot of the flak shot at Sarah Palin over Trig was because she hadn’t aborted him. The nastiness directed at her from feminists and leftists is not hard to understand–she is the refutation of their values.

    huskers-for-palin in reply to Alex Bensky. | January 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I’ll go one step better…

    Reason no. 3,292 why I long ago stopped listening to the GOP elites and their boot-licking minions (ie: Karl Rove, Krauthammer, George Will, etc.,): They fall over themselves telling you how compassionate and sensitive they are but their approach to political opponents (Palin) is generally vicious and hateful.

Lane’s essay is a prime example of how the media spins the truth.

When a conservative does something wrong it is prima facie evidence of the black heart that resides in the center of all conservatives.

When a leftist commits a similar error it is not to be a time for ‘finger pointing’ but us instead taken as an ‘opportunity’ to have a general discussion about ‘sensitivity,’ or a myriad other variations on ‘different strokes for different folks’ leftist claptrap, cf. Obama’s racist grandmother and the accolades for his subsequent speech on race.

Lane can’t even bring himself to mention Colmes or Robinson by name. No doubt to prevent his essay from popping up in future searches of their names.

So, while he is willing to criticize Santorum for his “moralizing and judging” he will not do the same for his “liberal colleagues,” the very ones who prompted the entire discussion in the first place.

Surely it was the politics of Alan Colmes and Eugene Robinson that led them to so cruelly and viciously attack Santorum for the manner in which he and his family addressed the loss of their son. If not, then why wait until this very moment to broach this issue? Lane’s silence regarding the methods and motives of Colmes and Robinson speaks volumes about what really matters to him.

As such his essay is merely a thin smoke screen meant to cover their ignominious retreat.

SoCA Conservative Mom | January 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I suspect the left’s revulsion has more to do with the realization that a stillborn premature baby isn’t just a clump of cells after all.


    The temmplate remains true-

    Anything, and everything the left accuses others of, they themselves are guilty of-

    Nobody loves dead babies more than the left–yet, they mock-

Great comments.

These “non-judgmental” lefties become irate when you judge publicly displayed behavior that has an effect on the character of our society … but are quick to negatively judge the private behavior of a grieving family which affects no one but that family.

I shudder to think what they’d think of my sisters and me at the funeral home to do all the paperwork before our mother’s cremation. At one point the lady from the funeral home said, “Your back and forth is so funny … I wish I could just sit here all day and listen to you guys and laugh.” But, later, when we had to see our mother the last time and identify her … it went from laughter to tears.

All is fair and normal in grieving.

Henry Hawkins | January 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

How sad is it that Alan Colmes and Eugene Robinson aren’t anywhere near the first liberals to use dead babies to promote a political agenda?

BannedbytheGuardian | January 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Years ago i read an open site where people posted their stories on grief. All sorts of grief .

Elizabeth Kubler Ross has the basic template fairly well drawn.

Is this issue & this site becoming a proxy for unresolved grief?

Btw I gotta go think about the circumcism of a deceased still born .

Also to Alex Bensky . I know what a fuckwit is & we would not use that term in this context.