Today’s Lesson In Progressive Politics: Rick Santorum (?!)

The Republicans are really not making it easy for conservatives like me in this election year. We don’t trust Romney, we don’t like Newt, we think Paul’s nuts. But generally speaking we like Santorum. Then he goes and gets all Progressive on us.

Rick Santorum on Internet gambling:

I’m someone who takes the opinion that gaming is not something that is beneficial, particularly having that access on the Internet. Just as we’ve seen from a lot of other things that are vices on the Internet, they tend to grow exponentially as a result of that. It’s one thing to come to Las Vegas and do gaming and participate in the shows and that kind of thing as entertainment, it’s another thing to sit in your home and have access to that it. I think it would be dangerous to our country to have that type of access to gaming on the Internet.

Freedom’s not absolute. What rights in the Constitution are absolute? There is no right to absolute freedom. There are limitations. You might want to say the same thing about a whole variety of other things that are on the Internet — “let everybody have it, let everybody do it.” No. There are certain things that actually do cost people a lot of money, cost them their lives, cost them their fortunes that we shouldn’t have and make available, to make it that easy to do.

Oh, brother…

First off, Rick, the Constitution does not grant us rights. It limits the government from infringing on the rights that are our birthright, that are given to us by God.

I’ve been pretty consistent in my support for Rick Santorum during this process, going so far as to officially endorse him on my Twitter account. But my support has also always been fairly tepid. Of the four remaining candidates, I think he’s the most conservative in his core beliefs. Romney has been saying all the right things, but he gives the impression that he’s spent the last few years with a Rosetta Stone of conservative speech. Catch Romney off the cuff and he’s liable to tell you that he believes the minimum wage should go up every year indexed to inflation, a mind-bogglingly unconservative sentiment.

Still, my tepid support for Santorum is being strained to the limit with this latest dose of Progressive inanity.

The rap against Santorum from the Left is that he is a wacko Christian Papist who wants to establish a theocracy, ban birth control, and force everyone to go to Church on Sunday. It’s a bogus charge. Santorum is a Catholic and has firmly held beliefs that are rooted in his faith. But the idea that he is getting his marching orders from Rome is as offensive today as it was when John F. Kennedy was accused of the same thing. Kennedy! A man and, indeed, an entire family that wouldn’t care about Catholic doctrine if it bit them on their collective fanny. But there is still a strain of anti-Catholicism in politics and the media, and many of the charges against Santorum are the result of it.

My main concern with Santorum has always been that he is an acolyte of George W. Bush’s “Compassionate Conservatism.” When Bush said “When people are hurting, the government’s got to move” he stuck a dagger into the hearts of conservatives everywhere. Conservatives believe that when people are hurting the government’s got to move as far away as possible. Santorum, on the other hand, sees absolutely nothing wrong with feeding Leviathan to promote conservative philosophies. The problem with that, of course, is that the first rule of conservatism is to stop feeding Leviathan.

There are a lot of reasons to be opposed to internet gambling, but Santorum’s reasoning is no different than the reasoning of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he tries to ban trans-fats, or Michelle Obama when she wants school cafeterias to stop serving food kids actually like, or Barack Obama when he wants to the government to provide health care for everyone. In this stance, Santorum is just another Big Government Nanny State-loving Progressive. There is, in fact, more Progressivism packed into these two paragraphs than in anything Mitt Romney has said during the campaign. Social engineering from a conservative is no less odious than it is from a Leftist, even though I may agree with the desired result.

A political philosophy that tries to dictate to the people based on what politicians believe is “for their own good” is not conservative. It speaks to the same sort of arrogance and elitism that are the hallmarks of Progressivism. Sadly, Rick Santorum has stepped through that door. If he doesn’t backtrack on this, and explain that he really meant something he didn’t say, I may end up swinging my support over to Romney. And good Lord, I don’t want to do that.

Advertisements

One Response to Today’s Lesson In Progressive Politics: Rick Santorum (?!)

  1. […] strengthen government despite so often being out of power). Now you can find it at new blogrollee The Clampdown as well: There are a lot of reasons to be opposed to internet gambling, but Santorum’s reasoning […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: