Santorum’s Greatest Hits
***Updated 3 times at the very bottom***
I have been asked why I believe Santorum is more collectivist and authoritarian than many on the Left. All you have to do is listen to Santorum’s own words. Then, check his record. Let’s start with some great quotes by the man himself:
“They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom or in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”
“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle. This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view.”
So far, those are my two favorite Santorum quotes. Clearly he is not apologetic at all for his anti-individual, pro-collective views. Let’s now turn to his record:
The Club for Growth wrote a little bit on Santorum’s dismal voting record a few years back:
“Some of those high profile votes include his support for No Child Left Behind in 2001, which greatly expanded the federal government’s role in education. He supported the massive new Medicare drug entitlement in 2003 that now costs taxpayers over $60 billion a year and has almost $16 trillion in unfunded liabilities. He voted for the 2005 highway bill that included thousands of wasteful earmarks, including the Bridge to Nowhere. In fact, in a separate vote, Santorum had the audacity to vote to continue funding the Bridge to Nowhere rather than send the money to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In the 2003-2004 session of Congress, Santorum sponsored or cosponsored 51 bills to increase spending, and failed to sponsor or co-sponsor even one spending cut proposal. In his last Congress (2005-2006), he had one of the biggest spending agendas of any Republican — sponsoring more spending increases than Republicans Lisa Murkowski, Lincoln Chafee and Thad Cochran or Democrats Herb Kohl, Evan Bayh and Ron Wyden.”
Then we have the classic Red State roundup of Santorum’s big government record here.
Michael Tanner of National Review had this to say about ol’ Rick:
“He never met an earmark that he didn’t like. In fact, it wasn’t just earmarks for his own state that he favored, which might be forgiven as pure electoral pragmatism, but earmarks for everyone, including the notorious “Bridge to Nowhere.” The quintessential Washington insider, he worked closely with Tom DeLay to set up the “K Street Project,” linking lobbyists with the GOP leadership. He voted against NAFTA and has long opposed free trade. He backed higher tariffs on everything from steel to honey. He still supports an industrial policy with the government tilting the playing field toward manufacturing industries and picking winners and losers.“
I could fill this entire blog with commentary about his voting record. Those quotes above are from a quick Google search. If you want the Cliff’s Notes, take a good look at Red State’s post. Otherwise, use your Google machine to dig into his voting record.
Now Santorum again in his own words:
In this video Santorum likens government to the family and maintains the position that people have an obligation to the collective just like they have an obligation to family members. He states that individuals are not responsible for themselves, but to everyone else as well. Unlike the standard Conservative view, he doesn’t believe in personal responsibility. He believes in collective responsibility. He repeats over and over that people should work “for the common good.” Even the Leftist interviewer points out that “working for the common good” is seen by many as a “little pink, a little socialistic.” Santorum disagrees.
Here is Santorum’s tirade against individualism (sorry Ayn Rand). By the way Rick, there is a society that believes in individualism. It’s called America. David Boaz of the Cato Institute then goes on to rip Santorum for being so openly against liberty and freedom.
Here Rick explains that he has “real concerns” about the Tea Party:
Rick defends SOPA here because our rights and freedoms are limited and should be regulated.
I could go on here, but I think I’ve made my point. Never in my life have I witnessed a GOP candidate for any office so openly hostile to the fundamental ideals of liberty and freedom. He does not believe that individuals have inalienable rights that cannot and shall not be infringed by government. In fact, he believes the exact opposite: that whatever rights we have are ours to keep only if government can’t find a good reason to undermine them (take a look at his SOPA answer again if you don’t see that). He most certainly does not believe in “limited government,” but rather, “limited freedom.”
That makes him a collectivist of the worst kind – precisely because many people don’t believe he is.
UPDATE: Santorum doesn’t understand basic economics. Lots of great quotes from the Cato Institute here.
UPDATE II: Reason Magazine nailed it way back in 2005: America’s Anti-Reagan Isn’t Hillary Clinton. It’s Rick Santorum.
UPDATE III: Ari Armstrong makes the case over at the Objective Standard that Santorum is just another big government collectivist. Here’s a small dose: “While Santorum claims to invoke the Founders, his views are diametrically opposed to theirs. The right to the pursuit of happiness is one of the “unalienable rights” the Founders sought to protect in creating America. That’s why it’s specified in the Declaration of Independence.”