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Santorum was wrong about the Wright-Obama double standard

Santorum was wrong about the Wright-Obama double standard

When Foster Friess, a funder of a pro-Santorum SuperPAC, made a joke about birth control in the old days (that women kept an aspirin between their knees, meaning they kept their legs closed and were not promiscuous), there was outrage (on the internet pronounced OUTRAGE) from various quarters.

In responding to questions, Rick Santorum correctly pointed out that he was not responsible for everything supporters say, but then made an error by claiming that there was a double standard and he should be treated the way the media treated Obama and Jeremiah Wright (emphasis mine):

SANTORUM: Okay. So I’m now going to have respond to every supporter who says  something. Now, I’m going to have to respond to it. Look, this is what you guys  do. I mean, I don’t- you don’t do this with President Obama. In fact, with  President Obama, what you did was you went out and defended him against someone  who- he sat in a church for- for 20 years, and defended him- that, oh, he can’t  possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. It’s a double standard, this is what you’re pulling off, and I’m going to call you on it

There is no double standard, there is no standard at all.  It would be a double standard if the Fries-Santorum and Wright-Obama relationships were comparable, but they were not.

It is inappropriate to hold Santorum responsible for a joke by Friess because the joke had nothing to do with the relationship between Friess and Santorum.   That relationship has to do with sharing similar economic outlooks, and is arms length not a mentor-mentee relationship.

The Wright-Obama relationship, however, did go to the heart of the theology of Wright and Obama as to which Wright’s outrageous comments were central.  Wright was Obama’s spiritual mentor for two decades and close family friend.  By establishing and nurturing that relationship, Obama bears responsibility for tolerating, if not openly adopting, Wright’s rhetoric.

So the two situations were not analogous, and hence there was no “double standard.”  I understand why Santorum invoked the “double standard” defense, it’s a lot easier politically and in a short television interview than making the distinction I make here.  But it does not apply.

Foster Friess birth control joke had nothing to do with Rick Santorum, while Jeremiah Wright’s theology had everything to do with Barack Obama.

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Comments

Sorry, but you’re looking for the “double standard” on the wrong side of the lens.
Both Santorum and Obama had relationships with these men, but the “double standard” comes when reporting about them.

Friess was right. “In his day,” an aspirin was all they had. The phony shock by Andrea Mitchell is analogous to finding gambling at Rick’s Place.

    I agree that there is a double standard in the degree of scrutiny that Santorum (or Palin) and Obama receive.

    Afaic there is sufficient legitimate reason to oppose Palin for the nomination, and there are abundant reasons to oppose Santorum. Why, then, the Left’s cheap shots against both?

    One possibility is that the media’s partisan blinders are so strong that they are no longer capable of objective vetting. Another possibility is that the media are preparing the battlefield for the eventual (please!) appearance of well-qualified conservative candidates, i.e. they are trying to establish precedents that smears and cheap shots are enough to discredit a conservative.

I didn’t see the Friess statement as a joke, so much as an historical anecdote.

Mothers and fathers used to teach personal responsibility to both daughters and sons.

Damned if it didn’t work, too.

Friess’ was a clumsy reference to simple abstinence.

In the real world you are correct that it is not a true double-standard but in the world of the left wing media it is.

When Foster Friess, a funder of a pro-Santorum SuperPAC, made a joke about birth control in the old days … there was outrage

At his age, Mr. Friess should have known better; it’s never good form to waltz into the Church of the Perpetually Offended and dis the Eucharist.

This just shows that Santorum can’t do what Newt does in going after the media effectively.

His attempt was a bit clumsy and not thought through as you pointed out professor.

I have to share this pic of two guys in protest of Santorum and Romney from pulling out of the debate.

Funny . . .

http://twitpic.com/photos/NewtCerto

Here’s what really got me-

When asked by a reporter, Santorum replied :(paraphrasing, as I can’t find the video/quote…on short notice)

-Friess doesn’t speak for me or my campaign. It was a terrible/horrible/something to that effect/ thing to say, and he shouldn’t have said it-

REALLY??

Why is that??

Because it was an off color/insensitive/mean spirited joke?

Haven’t we all heard jokes that fit this description?

Does this fit?

NO!

This type of “wive’s tale” had been spoke by mothers to their daughters for generations–as with a number of others in regard to promiscuity/masturbation.

No, Santorum said what he said–not because he believed it, but because the liberals said they believed it.

In effect, he caved. He allowed the progressives to force him to change his message, chastise his own, and beg their forgiveness over a perceived injustice.

It reminded me of when McCain chastised his own supporter, and gave a full throated defense of Obama’s character at a town hall.

Is there anyone among you–republican candidates–that will stand your ground and refuse to allow the left to frame the narrative??

I only see one.

Since I’m going long, I’ll add one more point-

Why is standing up against faux outrage from the left the exception, and not the rule in the republican field?

    WoodnWorld in reply to Browndog. | February 18, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I agree. Poor comparisons, bad analogies and double standards aside, rather than let the comment and the person who made it stand for themselves, Rick went on the defensive, backpedaled and lost ground for it.

    If his intention was to distance or disassociate himself from the Friess’ statement ( an intention, you are right, which was probably not necessary), his reaction here caused the exact opposite.

    wodiej in reply to Browndog. | February 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    If this is the best he can do about a clumsy remark, how will he fare against the Obama machine? They will promptly decimate him. Game over before it even gets started.

I don’t consider Fries’ statement a “joke” by any stretch of imagination. He was describing old-fashion birth control that actually worked. The only problem with the statement is that abortionists are using it to demean abstinence and conservatives have jumped in to help them.

Well, the whole exchange with Andrea Mitchell was worth it for me to see her expression.

I do agree, there was no double standard.

What I would like answered is why was Obama never vetted?

Santorum seems to be caught up in the “need to explain” – which tells me this is amateur hour. NewtCerto’s point is right on – there is a deft way to sideswipe this with candor and humor and get ina pro- abstinence message at the same time, disarming the the left-leaning reporters who will continually bring this up.

Again, an attempt to spin what Santorum was actually saying which was (for the clueless) “You want to talk about what one of MY supporters said when you refused to talk about what one of Obama’s supporter said?”

The issue here is definately one of a double standard. Hold Santorum responsible for a comment by a supporter yet ignore comments by Obama’s supporters. Anyone with minimal cognative skills understands the issue: a double standard on what, and how, the media reports on candidates.

Instead, the media tried to make this about contraception, in the same way they are trying to make Obama’s clear violation of the First Amendment about contraception (and abortion/sterilization) and not about Constitutional freedom.

And those of you who do not like Santorum read into his comments what you want to read into them, not what he actually said which was “hold EVERYONE to the same standard you are trying to hold me to.”

If I wanted to read this much bias I would subscribe to the New York Times.

    WoodnWorld in reply to retire05. | February 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I read and re-read what Rick “actually” said. I watched the clip, twice, just in case you caught something I/we may have missed.

    Everyone gets what he was trying to say. It doesn’t take a genius to twist out of his actual words what you have spun for him here. But, what he “actually” said and what he “actually” meant were two different things. What he said, he said poorly. He made it worse. Period.

    Rather than saying “Foster Friess said this/that. So. WHAT?” he first, simply because someone made an issue out of it, threw his supporter under the bus and then second, tried to (inartfully) flip it back on the media with the logically convoluted Reverend Wright analogy. When I heard it, I thought he was trying to “outNewt” Newt Gingrich with the media counter slam and it just didn’t have the same punch.

    There are two points here: He didn’t have to play defense over what Mr. Friess said and he shouldn’t have distanced himself from him because he said it. He conceded a point to Mr. Rose that he did not need to. His entire reaction was unnecessary. That’s one. Two, the pivot he tried to use, and the point he tried to make off of it were both hastily and clumsily rendered. If he was going to choose that hill to stand on, he absolutely could have rhetorically and logically defended it better. As far as counter attacks go, that was a mighty “meh…”

    Honestly, if you think the commentary here is critical, you really should read what the New York Times is “actually” saying about your man Rick. It’s not pretty.

      retire05 in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      I appreciate the fact that you think you know what Rick Santorum “meant.” It must be a wonderful ability to read the minds of others.

      And Rick Santorum, for anyone who has been paying attention, which you obviously have not been, is NOT my man. He is just as unacceptable to me as is Romney, Gingrich or Paul. So end with your needless spin.

      But I get it, I really do. As long as it is YOUR guy goring the medias ox, it is fine, but not when someone else does it. Got it.

      And honestly, WoodnWorld, the opinion of the NYSlimes holds for me equal importance as does yours.

        WoodnWorld in reply to retire05. | February 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        And I thought you really cared. Look retire, relax. Come down off the ledge brother, no one is attacking Mr. Rick. I never said he was your man, and I don’t see what that has to do with anything anyways.

        I was also not trying to intuit anything Rick Santorum said. There was no deep mystery involved, I left the voodoo at home. It’s crazy, and I know this is going to blow your mind, but rather than trying to figure out what he “actually” meant, as you were oh so deftly doing for us up above, I listened to both what he “actually” said, and what he “actually” did not say. See? Simple. No mind reading necessary.

        My guy goring the media’s ox? Apparently you are the one who hasn’t been paying attention retire, Newt’s not MY man. (My guy seems to be doing a better job goring himself than he is the media or anyone else these days.) Having said that, I have had no problems admitting when my fellow has crammed his fist down his throat, hand over fist. I have had to take some lumps lately. It would not hurt for you to objectively admit when someone else makes an error as well.

        Honestly though, you could forgive someone for thinking Rick might be your man. (I admit, I did think you were. I never said it, but somehow you knew it, which suggests you might just be a mind reader, one certifired and qualified to translate Santorum’s truest thoughts, deepest emotions and “actual” intentions…what color am I thinking of right now?) If you are candid you could see why someone might think that: you seem to as thin-skinned in Rick’s “actual” defense as Rick is in his own imagined defense.

          WoodnWorld in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

          While I self-correcting, should have read:
          “…I have had no problems admitting when my fellow has crammed his FOOT* down his throat, hand over fist.”

          retire05 in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm

          First you say:

          “you really should read what the New York Times is “actually” saying about your man Rick.”

          Then you say:

          “I never said he [Rick] was your man.”

          Then you followed up with:

          “Honestly though, you could forgive someone for thinking Rick might be your man. (I admit, I did think you were. I never said it

          You seem to be a bit confused not only about what you think but about what you actually said.

          I’m not thinned skinned, WoodnWorld. If I were, I would not come back here only to be abused by lemmings.

          But I don’t suffer fools lightly.

          End of story.

          WoodnWorld in reply to WoodnWorld. | February 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

          I’m not thinned skinned, WoodnWorld. If I were, I would not come back here only to be abused by lemmings.

          “Lemmings.” My, aren’t you the clever one? Not thin-skinned retire? Well, if you say so. I have noticed you do have this, perhaps immature, tendency to start attacking people you do not agree with (or vice versa). Barring the innate (cap)ability to address the merits of someone’s position, or the points they make to counter yours, you, what’s the word…? You flail. I understand it. You use the tools you have.

          But I don’t suffer fools lightly.

          Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you do. Perhaps your “not suffering fools lightly” lacks the heft, the substance, you think it does and is “actually” lighter than you realize. Perhaps you overestimate your rhetorical flourish? Perhaps you are a (sometimes) suffering fool, and I/we am/are suffering along with some, not all, of your insufferable responses?

          Case in point: I was hoping you would respond much faster to the “your man” comment than you did. In the interminable delay between me saying “I never said he was your man” and you producing the (splendid!) line about lemmings an hour and a half later, (NOT BAD. I am confident, if you really put some effort into it you can do better, with less time, next time), I realized that I had actually 🙂 said he was your man. An error (paragram anyone?), without question but one which (tee hee) actually enabled me to make a point about the merits of someone (I can’t resist–>) actually reading/listening (whatever) to what people write/say (whatever) and making a point off of that. So, you were absolutely right to call me out on what I did say and absolutely wrong not to do it with Rick in the material posted above. In getting me, you got yourself. See how that worked?

          If you paid as much attention to what Santorum (last one, promise) ACTUALLY said as you did what I said, we wouldn’t be having this ridiculous exchange. You can double down all you want retire, it won’t make you right.

          “End of story?” Please. I’m just warming up.

        WoodnWorld in reply to retire05. | February 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

        Shucks, I stand corrected:

        Honestly, if you think the commentary here is critical, you really should read what the New York Times is “actually” saying about your man Rick. It’s not pretty.

        You were right retire, I DID say he was “your man.” See how much progress we can make if we just respond to what people “actually” say? You can do it too! 🙂

    wodiej in reply to retire05. | February 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    the point, mr. closed minded, is how Santorum responded, not the remark itself. Take off your bible blinders. If Santorum cannot even respond well to something this minor, he is no match for Obama. Let the vetting begin.

Santorum doesn’t play defense well.

That is true. That is a good point Bill. The joke Foster Friess told was not strange, it was an old joke. And a rather mild one. What was more disturbing is Debbie Wasserman Schultz saying contraception should be free? Really? Why not make everything free.

I like that Rick Santorum was fighting back to Charlie Rose. But I agree if he is going to be effective he has to do a better job calling them out. Jeff Goldstein has made it a point for years to say how if you buy into the left’s use of language and framing of an issue, you lost the argument before you even opened your mouth.

I will link this to this.

Foster Fries also told this joke. A conservative, a moderate and a liberal walked into a bar. The bartender said: “Hey Mitt, what will you have?”

So, another nothing hit piece on Santorum. What are Newt’s poll numbers again?

So I guess now it isn’t so bad to go on the attack when you’re down in the polls, eh? Just like others should drop out, except when it is your guy. Then it’s completely different.

Face it-

“Republicans are trying to force women into back alleys and use coat hangers to obtain their pills”

(Comment seen on Ace)

    Say_What in reply to Browndog. | February 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    If Santorum is the nominee the attacks from the left will get far worse than that.

      The attacks on the left will be far worse than that regardless who the nominee is. The question is will our nominee fight back effectively and turn the argument back on the questioner and the Democrats.

conservativegram | February 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm

It’s a double standard in the fact that Obama never really had to discuss anything but his plans for America. Romney had to defend Bain (yes, I know Newt was much of the problem with that) and Newt had to deal with his 3 marriages. My problem with Rick having to always discuss his views on abortion and contraception is that I don’t think this narrative will go away as quickly as the others did. Just look at some of the stories out today. http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/18/catholic-santorum-in-2008-protestantism-in-shambles-gone-from-the-world-of-christianity/
I was reading some of the comments over at TRS and one really stuck out at me. I went to Rick’s campaign page and sure enough if you click on “Issues”, the first issue is “Enforcing Laws on Illegal Pornography.” Seriously? That’s his #1 issue? If you go to Newt’s campaign page and click on “Solutions”, his first first issue is “Jobs and Economy.” That’s what I’m looking for. I’m afraid as long as Rick stays at the top, will won’t discuss the real problems this country has to deal with.

If Freiss wants to help Santorum, then he should stick to raising money instead of giving interviews. He opened up a can of worms for Santorum.

Of course maybe he did those of us who support Newt a favor by pointing out early what we’ve been saying about what the msm will do to Rick if he gets the nod. No one can say they haven’t been warned.

    It was a mild joke. Santorum should defend a backer giving him millions and should vigorously resist any suggestion the joke was sexist. It was not. And Rick could also point out contraception costs about $9 a week. So who are we kidding that married women (for the most part) cannot afford this. If we are so concerned, just expand the food stamp program to include contraception. It seems like half the people I see at the super market are using it anyway. If we cannot beat the Democrats, maybe they can voluntarily remove themselves out of existence.

      Say_What in reply to EBL. | February 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      You know it’s a joke, I know it’s a joke and THEY know it’s a joke, but that won’t stop them from twisting it into an attack pretzel.

      Politically – Santorum was right not to defend the guy IMO, that would only prolong him fending off the attacks when he needs to be talking about the issues. I’m sure Freiss is a big boy and understands that. Besides,everybody knows if you want a friend in politics, get a dog.

Yep, you nailed this one, Professor.

Santorum is floundering on this one statement that was a joke? Oh boy….

Rick Santorum, presidential candidate? Please. Republican elites may have been able to convince themselves that we have a good slate of candidates, but it’s just not true. I’m a Newt guy, but realistically, he’s just the strongest of a weak pack. Santorum will just vaporize under the full-court press – he’s more out of his league than Obama. Romney will try to nicey-nice the media too, and he’ll have his head handed to him. Gingrich may lose, but at least he’ll have died on his feet.

[…] Snapping at Flies Posted on February 18, 2012 5:30 pm by Bill Quick » Santorum was wrong about the Wright-Obama double standard – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion […]

[…] » Santorum was wrong about the Wright-Obama double standard […]

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