The Washington Post

Rick Santorum, the ‘just saying’ candidate

Forgive me for just recognizing this, but Rick Santorum is a probe for a whole school of conservative thinking that has never been tested at the highest level of politics, My liberal bias-disgust really has blinded me to this interesting development.

Today I read that Rick Santorum opposes even civil unions for gay people. He says they can get benefits but by writing individual contracts for health insurance, death benefits, the right to visit a partner in the hospital and so on. He has gay friends, of course. It isn't personal for him; it's policy.

So I was about to whip open my iPad and send a howler his way. Can you imagine the practical hassle in this litigious society to have to write all these separate contracts to do something that should be so basic to humanity: loved ones caring for one another?

But I am missing the full force and truer meaning of Santorum's point: The problem is the moral decay of our country which has been enabled and accelerated by government and cultural support of birth control and gay marriage. These policies have created, among other things, a cascade of social problems: out-of-wedlock births,  poverty, crime, and abortion.

In the second half of the debate last night, Santorum said: "The left gets all upset. 'Oh, look at him talking about these things'. You know, here's the difference between me and the left, and they don't get this. Just because I am talking about it doesn't mean I want a government program to fix it. That's what they do. That's not what we do."

At the time, I thought it was a good riff. But, as he so often does, Santorum pulls his punch at the last second. So he doesn't really have the courage of his convictions. He is kind of the, "I'm just sayin' candidate," pointing out depravity, attacking gay sex and marriage, and heterosexual sex with birth control and single parenthood. But he then walks back from the full implications of his beliefs. If you're a guy and you want to share benefits with your male lover, you can get a contract. If you want to have sex with your spouse, you can figure out the calendar.  Hey, it's up to you. I'm just sayin'.

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