Here are some quotations from Santorum that led me to ask the above question, helpfully compiled by The Week:
1. Opposing birth control
Quote: ”One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” (Speaking with CaffeinatedThoughts.com, Oct. 18, 2011)
2. Keeping moms at home
Quote: ”In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might find they don’t both need to. … What happened in America so that mothers and fathers who leave their children in the care of someone else — or worse yet, home alone after school between three and six in the afternoon — find themselves more affirmed by society? Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism.” (Santorum’s 2005 book, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good)
3. Re-spinning the Crusades
Quote: ”The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American Left who hates Christendom. … What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.” (South Carolina campaign stop, Feb. 22, 2011)
4. Rejecting the very idea of “Palestinians”
Quote: ”All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they’re not Palestinians. There is no ‘Palestinian.’ This is Israeli land.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Nov. 18, 2011)
5. Reminding America that some view Mormonism as “a dangerous cult”
Quote: ”Would the potential attraction to Mormonism by simply having a Mormon in the White House threaten traditional Christianity by leading more Americans to a church that some Christians believe misleadingly calls itself Christian, is an active missionary church, and a dangerous cult?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, Dec. 20, 2007)
6. Dissing welfare programs that “make black people’s lives better”
Quote: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” (Campaign stop in Iowa, Jan. 2, 2012)
7. Bringing race into Obama’s abortion views
Quote: ”The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.’” (CNS News interview, Jan. 19, 2011)
8. Equating gay marriage to loving your mother-in-law
Quote: ”Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?” (Santorum’s Philadelphia Inquirer column, May 22, 2008)
9. Comparing homosexuality to “man-on-dog” sex
Quote: ”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. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. … That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing.” (AP interview, April 7, 2003)
And I’ll add a tenth, since Santorum has recently clarified Quote #6, above:
10. Blah People
Quote: ”I’ve looked at that quote, in fact I looked at the video. In fact, I’m pretty confident I didn’t say black. What I think — I started to say a word and then sort of changed and it sort of — blah — mumbled it and sort of changed my thought.” (John King USA interview, January 4, 2012
Andrew Sullivan also reminds us of Santorum’s general anti-freedom position:
Recall that Santorum is contemptuous of the whole idea of the pursuit of happiness, if it isn’t regulated by Catholic natural law. He is opposed, in his own words, to “this whole idea of personal autonomy,” not to mention “the idea that people should be left alone.”
Santorum’s slogan is “Faith, Family, Freedom.” But it is more accurately described as Faith Family and Freedom That Doesn’t Violate The Tenets of Faith and Family as defined by Santorum. This is what the Tea Party comes down to in the end: opposition to the whole idea of freedom or being left alone by the government.
But perhaps even better is that Sullivan also links to a piece by Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross, which points to a variety of the reasons that “Santorum was ranked, in 2006, as one of the three most corrupt Senators in Washington”:
Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who filed an ethics complaint against Santorum in 2006 on behalf of a watchdog group, said her organization’s website received a tidal wave of visitors in the past 24 hours, and in an interview she said she believes people will discover that the GOP presidential contender is “hardly the moral paragon he purports to be.”
“There were several instances in which Santorum appeared to have taken campaign contributions in direct exchange for legislative assistance,” said Sloan, whose organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), spent months investigating Santorum’s activities while he was in office.
I can only assume that people don’t remember or aren’t interested in any of this, that Republicans are really, really, really freaked out by Mormons, that there are way more religious extremists than I ever imagined, or that the Greek gods have decided to start messing with humanity after a pretty long hiatus. Because I just can’t believe there’s a sizeable group of people that honestly believes someone like Rick Santorum — who seems to believe all of these things, actually says them out loud, but doesn’t seem to apply them to himself particularly rigorously — would be a good President.
Rick Santorum is the flavor of the week that isn’t Romney. However, the fact that a guy this perverse could make it this far means that we need to stop, back up, and seriously reassess what’s going on in this country. This should not be happening in 2011/2012.