Getting to Know the Trip, Part One; Game On!

This is the first in a 17 part series examining the candidates for the 2016 GOP Presidential nominee, beginning with the participants in the August 6th “kid’s table” debate to avoid having them drop out of the race before being covered.  The purpose is to introduce these candidates from the point of view of an independently minded progressive.  I am not attempting to be unbiased in my writing.  It is far from a secret that I feel the current Republican party has went off the rails and that the thought of any of this field of candidates winning the White House terrifies me.  The mainstream media does its best to appear unbiased politically, perhaps due to the “liberal media” smear the right is so fond of, yet this coverage of politics as a sporting event is one of many problems crippling our democracy.  No, I’m not saying the media should favor Democrats or Republicans, just that it should favor fact over fiction. Pointing out a politicians lies is not a partisan attack, it is the media’s responsibility and one of the reasons freedom of the press is enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  Tell us the facts and leave the commentary for the opinion pages or segments.

Foster Disbelief is not a news source.  I have an ideological bent that is pretty impossible to ignore and I do not march in lockstep with any political party.  Since the mainstream media refuses to do its job I will be providing more than just commentary in this series.  I do make one promise.  I will not lie about any of these candidates.   If you notice that I have a fact about a candidate wrong, please let me know, either through a comment or email and I will fix the mistake.  This is for factual mistakes only.  If you disagree with my opinion, well, join the crowd.  And with that, Game On!


Richard John Santorum was born May 10, 1958 in Winchester, Virginia.  His father, Aldo, was an immigrant from Italy.  Going by “Rick,” instead of using his childhood nickname of “Rooster” for some reason, Santorum studied Political Science at Penn State, graduating with honors in 1980.  From there, his education consisted of an one year MBA at Pitt, then law school at the Dickinson School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctor with honors in 1986.

It seems like Rick was politically active his whole life.  At Penn State he served as chairman of their College Republicans chapter and he volunteered for Senator John Heinze (R-PA).  He also spent time working for Republican state senator Doyle Corman while attending law school.  In 1990, a mere four years after graduating from law school, Rick won his first election, defeating incumbent Doug Walgren (D-PA) to represent the 18th District (eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh) in Washington.  In what may come as a surprise to those who know Santorum only from his extreme stances on homosexuality and contraception, he started off as a politician who could draw votes from all sides of the political divide.  The 18th District is heavily Democratic, yet he still managed to upset the seven-term incumbent to claim his first elected office, 51%-49%.  When it came time for reelection, the 18th District had been redrawn  to make it even more favorable to the Democrats, with the district having a 3 to 1 ration of registered Democrats to registered Republicans, yet Rick cruised to victory, claiming 61% of the vote.

What allowed Rick Santorum, now a conservative with extreme fringe views on most social issues, to not only win races in a heavily Democratic district but also set up a successful Senate run in a swing state?  Perhaps it was the image of a politician who would cross the aisle to compromise when it was the right thing to do, and who would hold members of his own party accountable when they did wrong?  Rick was one of the few Republicans to vote against NAFTA, and one of 17 Republicans to join Democrats in supporting legislation prohibiting companies from permanently replacing striking workers.  Imagine how well that would play in the current GOP.  Santorum was also a member of the “Gang of Seven,”a group of freshmen Republican representatives who exposed members of Congress who were involved in the House banking scandal.

With two victories under his belt in a heavily Democratic district alongside his growing reputation in Pennsylvania, Rick set his sites on the US Senate seat occupied by Harris Wofford (D-PA).  To be brutally honest here, Santorum should have experienced his first political defeat in this race.  He was widely considered an underdog in the race and his opponent was highly respected.  Santorum pulled out the victory 49% to 47%, but it is important  to remember that the election was held in 1994, the year of the Republican Revolution.  In any normal election cycle, chances are that Santorum would have lost by a significant margin.

Santorum’s first term in the Senate was largely focused on welfare reform, serving as Chairman of the Republican Party Task Force on Welfare Reform.  He was one of the authors and the floor manager of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which is one of the two biggest disgraces of Bill Clinton’s Presidency.  (The second being NAFTA, not a blow job.)

As a Pennsylvanian resident, I can assure you that by this point Santorum was already seen as too conservative for the state.  His reelection in 2000 was largely due to the state Democratic party having all the strategic ability of lobotomized tree sloth.   After a brutal primary, the Democratic candidate for Senate running against Santorum was Representative Ron Klink, a pro-life Democrat.  While he ran in the primary as the only candidate who could defeat the Republican incumbent, the only people excited by his post primary Senate campaign were conservative Democrats, which strangely enough, do not make up enough of the electorate to give Klink the victory.

After his reelection to the Senate, Santorum really let his freak flag fly.  In 2001 he added a provision to the No Child Left Behind bill that would allow more freedom in teaching intelligent design.  Thankfully, due to scientific outrage, it was stripped from the bill before it was finalized.  In 2002 he called intelligent design “a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes,” a statement that he would later back away from, perhaps upon realizing how crazy it sounded.  By 2005, with a reelection battle around the corner, he had switched to the “Teach the Controversy” approach, telling NPR “I’m not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom. What we should be teaching are the problems and holes … in the theory of evolution.”

Sadly for Rick, this attempt to seem more moderate failed miserably, and in 2006 he got lambasted in one of the most embarrassing incumbent defeats in the history of the United States, losing to Bob Casey, Jr. by over 700,000 votes, 59% to 41%, the most lopsided defeat of a sitting Senator since 1980.

Getting trounced as an incumbent did not end Rick Santorum’s political story however.  2008 saw him endorsing Mitt Romney for President, in his words mainly because he questioned John McCain’s conservative credentials.  He did eventually endorse McCain after John’s suicidal pick for Vice-President.  Santorum’s wiki page speaks of him considering a run for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2010, but I will point out that the citation for that bit of trivia is from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, widely known as Pittsburgh’s printed version of Fox News.  While PA did elect a Republican to the Governor’s Mansion in 2010 as part of the Republican wave that year, Tom “Pennsylvania’s Shameful Drunken One Term Stand” Corbett, as a Pennsylvanian I feel fairly confident in saying that Santorum’s more extreme positions had already rendered him unelectable in the state by then.

In 2012 Rick became the number one choice of both the fringe conservative “base” and Democrats for the Presidential nomination, the “base” as a protest against Mitt Romney’s seemingly inevitable candidacy, as Mitt was widely seen as not “conservative enough” by those who demand ideological purity above all, and Democrats as basically a “cheat code” to Obama’s reelection, as Rick is widely seen as extreme enough to be unelectable in a national election.  Sadly for everyone not named Romney, Santorum’s impossible candidacy was indeed impossible, allowing the “base” yet another cycle to blame the Republican’s loss on running a candidate who wasn’t “conservative enough.”  As the chaos of this election cycle plays out, you will often hear how it is outrageous that the second place finisher in the 2012 primary season is not in the main debate.  While I agree that the way Fox News arbitrarily limited and chose the participants in the GOP’s first debate was a crime against democracy, realize that Rick Santorum’s second place finish last cycle is a bit misleading.  He was never actually going to beat Romney, and many of his wins in conservative states came after the rest of the field disappeared, leaving Rick as the only real protest or ultra-conservative candidate to vote for.   To put it bluntly, my dog probably would have ended up with a similar number of delegates if she ran in place of Santorum, if I gave her a little sign that read “Chow Chows against Gays and Women!”  His second place finish had much more to do with dissatisfaction in Mitt Romney among the “base” than any actual love of Santorum.

Which brings us to now, and a brief look at Rick’s policy ideas and why you should definitely not vote for Santorum.

This section will be similar for each candidate, assuming I can find their comments on each issue.  If anyone has a topic they feel I should include, feel free to drop me a comment or an email.

 Climate Change

Rick doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to science, as you can tell from the previously mentioned comments on intelligent design.  Sadly, he isn’t any better when it comes to climate science.  In 2012 factcheck.org took him to task in an article for his facepalm worthy comments:

“The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” Santorum said at the Gulf Coast Energy Summit in Biloxi, Miss., on March 12. He made similar comments in early February in Colorado Springs, Colo., saying that global warming was a “hoax” and that “man-made global warming” and proposed remedies were “bogus.”

Unfortunately, Rick did not use the time since then to educate him self on the actual science.  His denial of climate science is strong enough to cause him to criticize the one person on Earth his religion tells him is infallible, Pope Francis:

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, former Pennsylvania senator and current GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum tried to explain why he is more qualified than the Pope to discuss climate change. Santorum caused a stir earlier this week when he told a Philadelphia radio station that Pope Francis should “leave science to the scientists” and focus on things like “theology and morality” instead of climate change.

“If he’s not a scientist — and in fact, he does have a degree in chemistry — neither are you?” host Chris Wallace asked Santorum Sunday. “So, I guess the question would be, if he shouldn’t talk about it, should you?”

Santorum defended his discussions about climate change by distinguishing politicians from church leaders. “Politicians, whether we like it or not, people in government have to make decision with regard to public policy that affect American workers,” Santorum said, adding that while “the pope can talk about whatever he wants to talk about,” he questions the Pope’s use of his moral authority to combat the issue of climate change.

“I’m saying, what should the pope use his moral authority for?” Santorum asked. “I think there are more pressing problems confronting the earth than climate change.”

That same month, June, 2015, Rick urged President Obama to take his efforts to fight global warming and put them where America really needs them:

“The most important power that a president has — and obviously I’m running for president — the most important power the president has is the power of the bully pulpit,” Santorum opined. “Can you imagine if instead of if the president spent all his time talking about global warming, if he talked about the importance of marriage and fathers and mothers taking responsibility for raising this children in healthy homes?”

Marriage Equality/GLBTQ issues

Do you know about Rick’s “Google problem?”  Long story short:  Rick made a comment equating homosexual sex with bestiality.  Well known sex advice columnist Dan Savage asked his readers to redefine Santorum’s name for him.  They did.  Dan set up the Spreading Santorum web page.  Results?  For seemingly forever, this was the top result when you Googled Santorum.

The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.

Currently, out of the top six Google results for Santorum, five relate to the icky, frothy stuff no one should ever see if you do it right.  The third result is Rick’s Presidential campaign site.  Moral?  Um, don’t say incredibly bigoted things?  His insanity on this issue is pretty well known, so I’ll limit myself to only one source out of the endless possible stories.

From the Human Rights Campaigns Republican candidates info page for old Frothy:

According to the Huffington Post: “Santorum’s overarching conclusion to this tirade against same-sex unions? ‘For the Republican party to even contemplate going along with this is the destruction of our republic,’ he offers.” [Huffington Post, 10/18/2013 ]

…..

Regarding the [Indiana] RFRA—signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Pence last week—Sen. Santorum returned to his Voltairian ideology, and more than once wondered out loud why the Indiana law was causing such uproar.” [GWToday, 4/1/2015 ]

….

Santorum said, “The idea that being black and being gay is the same is simply not true. There are all sorts of studies out there that suggest just the contrary, and there are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore. I don’t think that’s the case with anyone who’s black” [Think Progress, 9/10/2011 ; VIDEO ]  (Foster’s Note:  It’s a choice, Rick?  Really?  Well, we’re both straight me, right?  Well then, if it is such a choice, let’s both “choose” it then!  My straight cock, your straight mouth, what do ya say, Rick?  *rolls eyes*)

…..

Santorum said, “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. 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. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality […] And that’s sort of where we are in today’s world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we’re seeing it in our society.” [Associated Press, 4/7/2003 ]

Yeah, you get the point.

Abortion access

From The Daily Beast back in 2012:

I believe that any doctor that performs an abortion, I would advocate that any doctor that performs an abortion, should be criminally charged for doing so.”
—During an appearance on Meet the Press, June 2011.

….

“And what the Dred Scott case did was put the liberty rights of people ahead of the life rights of a slaves. And what we are doing—and by the way, that was the law of the land and eventually overturned by a war and then subsequently by the court. The same case is here. We are putting the liberty rights of the mother ahead of the life rights of the child. And that’s wrong. That’s taking—there’s a reason life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are in that order. You can’t have happiness without liberty. You can’t have liberty without life. And so, I would argue it’s fundamentally flawed and needs to be changed.”
—On Overturning Roe v. Wade, during an appearance on Hardball, June 13, 2003

….

“The undermining of the fabric of our society all comes from this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in the U.S. Constitution. This right was created in Griswold—the contraceptive case—and abortion. And now we’re just extending it out. Whether it’s polygamy or sodomy, all of those things are antithetical to a stable, traditional family. The idea of the “right to privacy” is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ passions. I disagree with that. There are consequences to letting people live out whatever passions they desire. And we’re seeing it in our society.”
Interview with USA Today, April 2003

….

“The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies end in abortion.”
—At a GOP primary debate in South Carolina, May 2011

Think he got any better?  From Right Wing Watch:

“When we as a society allow for the dehumanization of any of our community, then we lead to this type of genocide and it leads to even more, as you see, more horrible — and an insensitivity to the dignity of lives and respect for that life,” Santorum said. “I think Planned Parenthood is a cancer in this country, something that the federal government should not have anything to participate with.”

Contraception?!?

As far as I can tell Rick doesn’t want to make contraception illegal.  Well, most contraception at least.  It was widely reported back in 2012 that Rick was coming to take your birth control away, and while he is religiously against its use, well, from his clarification at CNN:

“My position is birth control can and should be available,” the former senator from Pennsylvania said at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio.

….

“My personal position is well known, obviously well known,” he said. “As a Catholic – and I do my best to be a faithful Catholic – my wife and I we don’t believe or practice birth control as an article of faith of our church.”  (Foster Note: Making him perhaps the only American Catholic to follow that teaching.)

….

Santorum drew the distinction between his personal and policy stance in a 2006 interview which has lately gone viral.

“I support Title X, I guess it is, and have voted for contraception and although I don’t think it works, I think it’s harmful to women, I think it’s harmful to our society,” he said in the interview with Fox News.

……

“I have voted in the past for funding for it for poor women,” he added. “As I said before, I believe that the better alternative is for abstinence education – for federal funds to be used for that, not for birth control but I voted for it.”

While I am willing to take the man at his word on the issue, note that these statements are very general and don’t get into specific forms of contraception such as IUDs.  Seeing how many on the right feel IUDs are abortifacients, Santorum is probably against them, and he was definitely on Hobby Lobby’s side in that shameful Supreme Court case.  So no, he isn’t out to ban the pill, but he isn’t exactly a champion of birth control either.  See the previously cited quote attacking the right to privacy that gave all Americans the right to contraception.

Minimum Wage

Get ready to pick up your jaws.  Santorum supports raising the minimum wage!  From the Washington Examiner (sorry):

“I’ve proposed a 50 cents an hour raise per year for three years,” Santorum said in an interview Wednesday. “Keeping it in that area provides a floor for wages — a worker protection device — and it doesn’t have an inflationary effect on wages or increase unemployment.”

Santorum, who voted for federal minimum wage increases when he was in both House and Senate, believes Republican rhetoric on the minimum wage has alienated the lower- and middle-income voters who are key to electoral success. “It’s hard to go out and make the argument that Republicans are making that this is going to have some sort of cataclysmic effect on workers,” Santorum said. “For me, it’s a worker protection issue, and also an issue that connects with the people who look at the Republican agenda and don’t see anything concrete that indicates we have any understanding of what folks experience at the lower end of the income spectrum.”

Can you see why even with his extremist views on some issues, he managed to win races in heavily Democratic areas?  Granted, 1.50$ over three years isn’t anywhere near enough, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the rest of the Republicans.

Taxes

Unfortunately, while he remembers the poor when thinking about the minimum wage, he quickly forgets about them when it comes to taxes.  From the Tax Justice blog:

During his time in the U.S. senate, Santorum voted continually for the budget-busting and extremely regressive Bush tax cuts, earning him an “F” in Citizens for Tax Justice’s (CTJ) congressional scorecard. Nearly a third of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts went to just the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers and added $2.5 trillion to the deficit through 2010.

…..

as a presidential candidate in 2012 he also promised to double down on this blunder by proposing another $9.4 trillion in regressive tax cuts over a decade. A preliminary CTJ analysis of Santorum’s 2012 tax plan found that the wealthiest one percent of taxpayers would receive an average annual tax break of $217,000, while the middle fifth of Americans would receive an average tax break of $2,160. Because the tax cuts aren’t paid for, the plan would require either draconian cuts in basic public services or would it would explode the deficit going forward.

In the years since his 2012 run, Santorum has spelled out a series of problematic corporate tax cuts he supports. For example, in his 2014 book “Blue Collar Conservatives,” Santorum advocates cutting the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent for all corporations except for manufacturers, for which he proposed a zero tax rate.

Like Santorum’s other tax proposals, his corporate tax plan would substantially increase the deficit, since even eliminating all corporate tax expenditures (with the exception of “deferral” on “foreign” profits) would only allow the rate to be lowered to 29.4 percent without losing revenue over the long term. Although Santorum does vaguely propose to eliminate most corporate tax expenditures, he would retain and double the size of the broken research credit, while creating a massive new and economically distortive tax expenditure by exempting manufacturers and expanding the exemption of foreign corporate profits from taxation. Altogether, Santorum’s corporate tax plan would blow a massive hole in the budget to provide a large windfall to corporations, which already face relatively low tax levels.

There is a bright spot!  From the same report:

In contrast to his slew of regressive proposals, Santorum has recently proposed one progressive tax change: doubling the child tax credit. Doubling the credit could provide a much needed boost to many families, although not to those with the lowest incomes. Such a substantial expansion to the credit could also add to the deficit if revenue is not raised in some other way to pay for it. In a recent interview, Santorum suggested that this idea could be a potential opportunity for the left and right to come together to help working families.

Okay, so he doesn’t totally forget about the poor people.  Moving on….

Education

Santorum and his wife home-schooled six of their children, according to On the Issue, which has a very useful little fact page for candidates, in 2012.  The site lists many of his stances on education if you’re interested, but here are two that caught my eye.

At an Americans For Prosperity-sponsored tea party rally, Rick Santorum attacked President Obama’s plan to make college more accessible to Americans: “President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college,” Santorum said. “What a snob!”

But the last time Santorum ran for public office, he was right there with Obama, running on his promise to make college more accessible to all Pennsylvanians. On Santorum’s 2006 Senate campaign website is his “Commitment to Higher Education:”

“In addition to Rick’s support of ensuring that primary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania are equipped for success, he is equally committed to ensuring the every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education. Rick Santorum has supported legislative solutions that provide loans, grants, and tax incentives to make higher education more accessible and affordable.”- Source: Evan McMorris-Santoro on TalkingPointsMemo.com , Feb 25, 2012

……

“The field of abstinence education has not been studied as intensively as has the “regular” sex ed–so-called comprehensive sex ed. (And comprehensive sex ed, by the way, has not been shown to have ANY impact on pregnancy or STD rates. The ONLY liberal program ever shown to lower pregnancy rates involved injecting inner-city teenage girls with DepoProvera, which, while preventing pregnancy, did nothing to protect them from becoming infected with STDs).

But studies show that we can help young people make the healthy choice to delay sexual activity–preferably until marriage, but at least until adulthood. An analysis revealed that adolescent girls who signed a virginity pledge were 40% less likely to have child out of wedlock than girls who did not sign a pledge.

Yet in this country, we continue to pour millions more dollars into comprehensive sex ed, which “protects” against the “effects” of UNHEALTHY behavior, rather than promoting virtue, which will lead to HEALTHY behavior.” – It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 87-90 , Apr 30, 2006

Racism

I’m not sure how seriously a candidate views a subject when he uses it as a weapon for other issues.  Judge for yourself.  From Mediaite:

“If you want to scrub all racism from America, let’s start with Planned Parenthood because it was started by a racist named Margaret Sanger,” Santorum said. The former senator went on to describe Sanger as a eugenist who started Planned Parenthood in order to ‘[cull] out the undesirables, including blacks in America.”

Sigh.  Sorry, other than his possible “n” word slip last cycle, this cupboard is rather bare for old Frothy.

Immigration

Ah, more crazy.  You know that Constitution the Republicans all seem to worship even if they don’t understand it?  Well, getting rid of the 14th Amendment has recently been a GOP talking point, and Rick jumps right on board.  From Breitbart (so sorry):

First, we must secure the border and end the acute border surge.  The southwestern border is out of control. The way to bring it under control is more and better fencing and more smartly-deployed manpower. To be effective, a fence needs to be similar to the border fencing that Israel uses – high with barbed wire, a screening fence, and a patrol road along it.  The complementary way to achieve operational control of the border is to strengthen the Border Patrol: complete surveillance systems; more manpower, especially in the short-run; and reformed Border Patrol operations.

Other enticements to illegal immigration, such as birthright citizenship, should be ended. Only children born on American soil where at least one parent is a citizen or resident aliens is automatically a U.S. citizen. (Foster Note: My bolding. 14th Amendment, remember.)

Third, we should reduce legal immigration from its current level of 1,050,000 immigrants a year to about 750,000 annually

Gun Control

From Rolling Stone:

Santorum is opposed to gun control. “The Second Amendment is there to protect the First Amendment!” he has said.

Wow.  I typed that out and my dog ran out of the room like she heard something.  Was there a dog whistle in there?  That’s not a backhanded way of suggesting people should use guns to fight the culture war, is it?  Nah, it can’t be.  He must just have put that sentence together without following through with the logic.

Only two more!

Iran Deal

Does it seem to anyone else that the Republicans are actually fighting to see which one of them gets to start World War Three?  From The Hill blog:

“This is the greatest betrayal of American national security in our history,” Santorum, who is running for president, said at the National Security Action Summit in New Hampshire. “[Iran] will cheat. They will violate the agreement. They will continue to sponsor terror all over the world.”

….

Santorum, like other Republican presidential candidates, suggested Saturday he would walk away from the Iran agreement on “day one” if he’s elected.
“Go through the process of on day one, saying this agreement is no longer enforced for the United States of America,” he said, adding that the next president should “draw a line” and tell the Iranian government if it crosses it “we will take actions that make sure you are no longer a threat to the rest of the world.”
Which would ruin any nation’s faith in United States diplomacy and leave us standing alone as all the rest of the signers of the treaty point, shake their heads, and wonder what the fuck happened to America.
Health Care
From The Weekly Standard:
Santorum said. “You give me 50 United States senators and a Republican House, and we can de facto repeal Obamacare through reconciliation. Take all the money out and make it impotent. And then replace it with a plan that provides federal support for everybody to be able to go out and get the plan they want. And then put patients and doctors back in charge of the health-care system. That’s the answer.”
Seriously, if a candidate would say something this idiotic in any other western democracy they would be laughed off the fucking stage before realizing their political future was gone.  There’s good ideas, bad ideas, wrong ideas, and then this.  For as much as people bitch about the ACA, it is working and people have health insurance.  Lots of people who have never had it before.  (Foster Note: I currently have health insurance for the first time since leaving school thanks to the ACA.)  Want to see some backlash?  Have the GOP actually repeal it.  That could possibly be the end of the party.
From ThinkProgress: (Quoted at length because of the pure insanity)

Speaking at a Young Americans for Freedom event on Friday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) offered an unusual assessment of what happens when “the government is going to be the principal provider of health care for the country.” “It’s actually a pretty clever system,” the former presidential candidate explained, “Take care of the people who can vote and people who can’t vote, get rid of them as quickly as possible by not giving them care so they can’t vote against you.”

Santorum’s suggestion that elected officials will provide health care to their own voters while getting “rid of” the opposing party’s voters followed a more banal warning that conservatives must fight programs that expand health care because they tend to be popular: “When Thatcher ran for prime minister she said — remember this, this is the Iron Lady — she said, ‘The British national health care system is safe in my hands.’ She wasn’t going to take on health care, because she knew once you have people getting free health care from the government, you can’t take it away from them.”

Yet Santorum’s own example refutes his claim that national health care allows an elected leader to essentially entrench themself by selectively murdering their opposition’s voters. Santorum presents no evidence that Thatcher — or for that matter, any other British Prime Minister — used her country’s National Health Service (NHS) to effectively euthanize people who could vote her out of office. Moreover, if such a conspiracy actually does exist, the folks at the NHS are doing a rather incompetent job of preventing the ruling party from being turned out of office. Thatcher’s own Tories were voted out of power in 1997. The Labour government that succeeded those Tories lost power in 2010. Polls show that, if another election were held today, incumbent Tory Prime Minister David Cameron would himself be cast out of office and Labour would regain a substantial majority in the British Parliament.

So if the NHS wants to protect Cameron from all these people planning to vote Labour, it better start making with the killing pretty soon.

And finally, from Forbes in a post titled Rick Santorum’s Despicable And Hurtful Healthcare Lie (Foster Note: Tell us what you really feel.):

You have to want to be President awfully badly to purposely scare the hell out of parents whose children face illness and disability in their lives. You also have to be a perfectly despicable human being.

Appearing yesterday with his wife, Karen, on the Glenn Beck program, Rick Santorum joined his wife in ‘revealing’ that it was the passage of Obamacare that motivated them to enter into the presidential race.

According to Karen Santorum, “Because we have as you know a little angel, little Bella, special needs little girl, and when Obamacare passed, that was it, that put the fire in my belly.”

Had that been the end of it, I’d have no problem whatsoever with Mrs. Santorum’s comment. If Karen Santorum feels that there is a better way to protect the health and wellbeing of her child, it is not only her right but her responsibility to do everything she can on behalf of her little girl and every child out there in similar circumstances. I would fully respect her for the same even if I disagree with her assessment of what the law means to her daughter and others who suffer illness.

But it did not end there—not by a long shot. Instead, Rick Santorum chimed in his agreement by arguing that the health care law would ration care based on the ‘usefulness’ of an individual.

It’s all about utilization, right? It’s all about how do we best allocate resources where they are most effectively used? […] Government allocating resources best on how to get the best bang for your dollars and it’s all about utility. It’s all about the usefulness of the person to society, instead of the dignity of every human life and the opportunity for people who love and care for people to give them the best possibility to have the best possible life.

I don’t believe that Rick Santorum knows the first thing about dignity in a human life. He couldn’t. If he did he could not possibly have made such a statement knowing how this would cause fear for so many when it is a complete lie.

Never mind that the ACA has made it possible for children like Bella Santorum to always access health insurance, without lifetime caps and without the possibility for exclusion because of being born with a tragic illness or disability. Never mind that, because of the ACA, children born into a lifetime of medical challenges will never again face a time when they are denied the health insurance necessary to pay for their expensive healthcare needs.

And never mind that we are left to scratch our heads in wonderment that leading organizations such as the American Association of People with Disabilities, National Organization For Rare Disorders, The Arc of the United States, and numerous additional widely recognized and respected groups whose sole purpose is to represent the needs of those Santorum tells us will be deemed disposable, have not only registered their support for the ACA, but have gone to the trouble and expense to actually file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court to defend the law.

Apparently, Santorum either believes that these organizations are led by the dumbest people alive; that they have entered into some sort of deal with the devil to sell out the very people they exist to defend for reasons that escape the rational mind; or he simply could not care less that his statements will be heard by people who are the parents of special children and that they will be terrified.

The whole piece is worth reading, assuming you trust those pinko commie libs over at Forbes.

And that wraps up the first in our 17 part series introducing you to each member of the trip.  I think it is very important that people get educated about who these candidates are, because elections, especially Presidential ones, have far reaching consequences.  Please feel free to leave any comments/ideas/criticisms, along with additional subjects you want to know the candidates stances on.

Should I include the extended bio for each candidate, or just jump to the policies?  I included it to begin because I think it gives a window into how the candidate got to where he/she is today, but it also adds a bit of writing time, so if you aren’t interested in that part, let me know and I will cut it out.

I rarely ask this of my readers, but for a series that the first part clocked in at 6000 words, I don’t feel like it is too much to ask.  Please share this with your friends, especially those who are probably going to vote.  As you can see from this one, I will point out the candidates strong points, as I did with Rick’s views on the minimum wage, and attempt to debunk unfair attacks, as I did with the claim that he wants to outlaw contraception.  I mean, I am biased, but unlike Fox News or the Pittsburgh Trib, when I say something is a fact, I mean it and invite you to fact check me.  Don’t blindly trust anyone.  Always ask for evidence.

And apologies for posting this on Wednesday instead of Monday.  I was out of town on Monday and had my PC set up to auto post this article, but somehow that didn’t seem to happen.

Comment, share, like, and feel free to request who you want to see next out of the “Kid’s Table Seven.”

By the way, a “trip” is a group of goats.
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One thought on “Getting to Know the Trip, Part One; Game On!

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