gay marriage

Santorum’s big government record finally getting attention

Now that Rick Santorum has managed to get some attention after a good showing in Iowa, more information is coming out about his big government past. I touched on this earlier this week, noting that Santorum backed expanding entitlements and bloated budgets. But more pundits are starting to pay attention to his record.

Writing at the National Review, Michael Tanner explains that Santorum is pretty much in line with the “compassionate conservativism” offered by George W. Bush:

When Hillary Clinton was justly excoriated by conservatives for her book It Takes A Village, which advocated greater government involvement in our lives, Rick Santorum countered with his book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, which advocated greater government involvement in our lives. Among the many government programs he supported: national service, publicly financed trust funds for children, community-investment incentives, and economic-literacy programs in “every school in America” (italics in original).

Santorum’s voting record shows that he embraced George Bush–style “big-government conservatism.” For example, he supported the Medicare prescription-drug benefit and No Child Left Behind.

Santorum would use government to combat acceptance of gay marriage

It certainly isn’t news that Rick Santorum doesn’t care much for gay people, and he certainly doesn’t lie outside of the mainstream Republican view on gay marriage. What is slightly unorthodox about Santorum’s approach is his view of the government’s role in changing society. Fearful of the “consequence to society of changing this definition” of marriage, the former senator believes that government should have an active role in molding society’s view of gay marriage. Proof of that came when he was asked if he thought he could combat an increasing acceptance of gay marriage:

Christopher Patton, a Gary Johnson supporter, stopped Santorum as he approached his table and asked the candidate if he really felt he could “turn back the clock” on progress for gay marriage, considering that some polls show that a majority of Iowans under 30 years of age support it.

Santorum paused.

“Yeah, I do,” he replied.

It’s one thing to be intolerant of something and even to speak out against it publicly in an effort to persuade others – everyone is entitled to freedom of speech – but to use the power of government to force the masses to adhere to your set of morals is the textbook definition of bigotry.

No, the crowd didn’t “boo” a gay soldier

Among the things that stuck in people’s minds from Thursday’s debate were some boos tossed the way of a gay soldier serving in Iraq who asked if Republicans hoping to become president would reinstate the now defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” (or DADT) policy. As you can imagine, these served as fodder in the liberal blogosphere as they sought to use it to their advantage.

This was an incredibly unforunately incident, but the crowd didn’t erupt into boos at this soldier, who has both bravely served his country and revealed his sexual orientation. Accounts from inside the auditorum indictate that it was maybe a few idiots that sounded louder than they would have due to the acoutics of the room, and they were hushed by others around them (although that is inaudible in the audio). Have a listen for yourself:

Rick Perry’s inconsistencies

Over at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf goes through a series of statements made by Rick Perry in a recent foreign policy-based speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and finds that he made several contradictory statements as he tried to pander to the factions in the Republican Party on the issue of national defense; or international offense, depending on how you view our interventionist foreign policy:

Unilateralism or Multilateralism

GOP Candidate A: “It’s not our interest to go it alone. We respect our allies and we must always seek to engage them in military missions”

GOP Candidate B: “We must be willing to act when it is time to act. We cannot concede the moral authority of our nation to multilateral debating societies, and when our interests are threatened American soldiers should be led by American commanders.”

Interventionism or Restraint

GOP Candidate A: “I do not believe that America should fall subject to a foreign policy of military adventurism. We should only risk shedding American blood and spending American treasure when our vital interests are threatened.”

GOP Candidate B: “As the 10th anniversary of the attacks of 911 approach, we must renew our commitment to taking the fight to the enemy wherever they are before they strike at home. We should always look to build coalitions among the nations to protect the mutual interests of freedom loving people.”

Qualifications to be Commander in Chief

Candidate A: “I think the military men and women respect the commander in chief regardless of who it is.”

Students debate libertarianism v. conservatism

Last Thursday, interns from the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation debated the merits of libertarianism and conservativism and policy differences on certain issues, including foreign policy and national defense, the war on drugs and other social issues.

You can view the full event below. No matter what side of the debate you fall on here, you should watch it:

Consistency and Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter is one of those lightning rods out there.  I’ve kind of thought for a while that half of what she says, and 99% of the way she says it, was just to grab attention in the saturated arena of political commentary.  Put another way, I  believed that she says what is ultimately her position, but simply phrased in the more caustic way to make sure people see her as different than so many others out there.

However, Coulter’s latest screed is bound to earn the ire of libertarians nationwide.  In her column, she takes aim at Representative Ron Paul, though she doesn’t mention him by name for a while.  Instead, she talks about the GOP debate and then rails against the libertarian candidate.  There are only libertarians running for President, and only one was there.  That was Ron Paul.

In her column, Coulter wrote:

They lure you in with talk of small government and then immediately start babbling about drug legalization or gay marriage.

“Get the government out of it” is a good and constitutionally correct answer to many questions, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to all questions.

It was a good answer, for example, when libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was asked about government assistance to private enterprise and government involvement in the housing market.

But it’s a chicken-s**t, I-don’t-want-to-upset-my-video-store-clerk-base answer when it comes to gay marriage.

So, a consistent argument is chickensh*t?  Really?  It’s fine when you’re talking about some things, but when it’s something Coulter finds objectionable, Paul’s scared?  In fact, he’s so scared, he takes a position that the GOP faithful disagree with him on while he’s running for that party’s nomination?  What?

The Constitutional Case for Marriage Equality

See Video

GOP presidential candidates square off in South Carolina

In case you missed it, five Republican hopefuls - Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum - squared off last night at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina for the first debate of the 2012 presidential campaign cycle.

The debate was about what I expected. Truth be told, I had debated watching it because of the lack of candidates in the race. But it served as a good warm up for candidates. However, it likely left a lot of Republican primary voters looking for others to get in the race.

Tim Pawlenty: He struck me as the most presidential of the five candidates that appeared at this debate. He resonated on health care, criticizing aspects of ObamaCare; specifically that it would bring down costs. However, he spent some time acknowledging past support for cap-and-trade after being confronted with his own words.

Rick Santorum: It goes without saying that Santorum is hoping to pick up social conservatives in the primary. That was the only issue that I think he effectively hammered home last night. His record on fiscal issues is a non-starter for most. He also came across angry at times, some would call it passionate, I guess.

Herman Cain: I know a lot of people, particularly his annoying supporters, are saying that he won the debate. There is no question that Cain is an excellent speaker. However, his lack of substance on foreign policy really showed through on a couple of occasions. He had a couple of soundbite clips and a gave a solid answer on energy independence.

Liberty Links: Morning Reads for Monday, February 21st

Below is a collection of several links that we didn’t get around to writing about, but still wanted to post for readers to examine. The stories typically range from news about prominent figures in the liberty movement, national politics, the nanny state, foreign policy and free markets.

Bloggers defend CPAC, GOProud

As the controversy over GOProud’s inclusion as a sponsor of CPAC in 2011 continues to simmer, a couple of Republican-leaning bloggers are defending both the gay conservative organization and CPAC.

Liz Mair explains that while Democrats are often labeled as the home for gay voters, they are not entirely at home:

Let’s start with President Obama, the leader of the Democratic Party, since he’s the figure most in the public eye.  What’s that you say?  Obama is opposed to gay marriage?

Yes, it’s true.  Obama is opposed to gay marriage, though he has mentioned that his views on the matter may evolve over time.  He’s also in favor of civil unions.  You know who else held that position—pro-civil unions, anti-gay marriage?  George W. Bush.  Bush, as we all know, is a Republican.  Members of his party did things like voted for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.  But you know who else did?  Probably at least a few Obama voters.  Obama won California in 2008 with about 61 percent of the vote.  Prop 8 passed with about 52 percent of the vote.  Do the math; it can’t possibly have been McCain voters who put Prop 8 over the top, it was Democrats (or at least people who voted for the Democrat), and in a very liberal state, at that.

While we’re performing this little exercise, let’s take a look at the votes in the Senate and House on the Federal Marriage Amendment, the initiative to ban gay marriage nationwide, which was (admittedly) initiated by Republican Members of Congress.

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