The mob is fickle. Rick Santorum, one of Pennsylvania’s most principled conservatives, lost his Senate re-election in 2006 bid by twenty points to a cardboard cutout named Bob Casey. The people get the government they deserve, I guess.
Aside from his usual column in the Philadelphia Inquirer and his guest hosting spots on Bill Bennet’s radio show, Rick Santorum is popping up a lot these days on the political radar screen and many are wondering if he is pondering a run for President in 2012.
Robert Costa on The Corner:
Santorum will visit Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday, as part of the American Future Fund’s lecture series. Though he says it’s too early to start thinking about a run for president in 2012, he lists two reasons for seeking out the Hawkeye State as a speaking venue: “Number one, when you go to Iowa, you speak not just to Iowa, but to folks across the country. This is a very important moment in America. I can address President Obama’s power grab. Number two, I’ve been traveling around the country doing a lot of speaking and listening. I’ve been to Iowa and New Hampshire on a couple of occasions. I’ve spoken with party activists who take the business of being either the first caucus or first primary very seriously. They’ve given me many good insights and good things to contemplate, to help me reflect upon the real concerns among conservatives about what’s going on in this country. I’ve been able to talk to people who are out there in the grassroots, leading the charge and leading tea parties.”
Santorum also hopes to give a voice to Americans who support life issues. When asked whether he will address abortion in Iowa, Santorum says that he doesn’t look at the issue as “just abortion,” but hopes to address the issue as part of a broader discussion on the “importance of a respect for life.”
This “respect for life” is precisely, and ironically, what lost the election for Santorum back in 2006. Santorum was effectively demonized as a scary hard right Conservative Christian who wants to put his laws all over your body. Liberals were horrified that the government, in the form of Senator Santorum, would dare to step into the middle of a right to die issue. That Santorum was fighting on behalf of a woman who could not speak for herself was never the issue in the minds of the right-to-die folks: Terri Shiavo’s wishes were never in question. Never mind that those wishes were related — based only on hearsay — by a decidedly biased party: Her husband who was looking to remarry. Terri Shiavo was brutally denied of basic sustenance: starved to death by the state while a complicit nation stood by and watched. It was an act so inhumane that would have caused howls of outrage had it been done to a dog or a horse.
It is a sad commentary on our society today that we place more importance on the so-called right to die than the right to live. Santorum, in his address to Iowans, will touch on this in a rather optimistic way:
Santorum adds that he “prays every day” for President Obama to better support and respect “the intrinsic value of the human person.” Attitudes, he says optimistically, can change. “If you look at young people confronted with the truth of abortion, you see attitudes changing all of the time when they open themselves up to the truth.” He admits that “many people have a political agenda and worldview different than what I believe is true — that all life is valuable and needs to be protected from assault at all stages from the government and those in complicity with the government.” Santorum says that President Obama “certainly does not embrace that view.”
I hope that he is right about this. Obama does represent the radical ideal of the pro-abortion, pro-death movement. People who may not have had an opinion on matters of life and death and the government’s involvement in such are now taking notice with the Obamacare health bill front and center, specifically, using public funds for abortions and the so-called “end-of-life counselling” that’s making our seniors so very nervous.
Another part of Santorum’s downfall happened back in 2003: Santorum was widely trashed as a homophobe. His original quote, which was about the ramifications of a U.S. Supreme Court Case, Lawrence v. Texas which challenged a Texas sodomy law was:
If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.
I clearly remember the resulting media firestorm and my husband remarking that they, (meaning the Democrats) were “marking” Santorum. They had identified him as a threat and were now proceeding with, the now familiar, character assassination (see also: Palin, Sarah)
Again, attitudes here also seem to be changing. Witness the reaction to Carrie Prejean who stood up for marriage as one man and one woman and who did not go quietly into that good night when the media firestorm ensued. In fact, Ms. Prejean weathered that storm pretty well.
It’s been said that it takes a Carter to get a Reagan, and if that’s true, perhaps Santorum’s steady hand and clear moral direction will be something that this country is ready for after four years in the liberal socialist blame-America-first Democratic wilderness.
America could do a lot worse than Rick Santorum as it’s President. And in fact, it has.