Who can beat Obama? Rick Santorum, the man with staying power Who can beat Obama? Rick Santorum, the man with staying power

Rick Santorum for President

Rick Santorum is the strongest conservative in the 2012 Presidential race. He means what he says, and has a sound and disciplined record.

Latest Rick Santorum news

Last night Rick Santorum took the majority in the Missouri primary and significant pluralities in Minnesota and Colorado. The Colorado win was especially stunning. Mitt Romney won that State easily four years ago. Not this time.

Mitt Romney thus suffered his worst disappointment to date. He expected to build momentum. Last night’s results show that he does not have it.

Newt Gingrich finished third in Colorado and last in Minnesota. (He did not even appear on the Missouri ballot.) Yesterday, The Christian Science Monitor thought he might, and that Rick Santorum would eclipse him.

Ron Paul’s vaunted ground troops failed him in Colorado and Missouri, where he finished dead last. He did better in Minnesota, with a second-place finish. Whether this will translate into delegate selection later on, no one knows.

A standard of comparison

In selecting a candidate to endorse, CNAV looked first for an objective measure of where a candidate stands. The site OnTheIssues.org has given that measure for years. They rank candidates on two issue scales:

  • Economic issues: capitalism (100 percent) versus socialism (zero).
  • Social issues: permissive (100 percent) versus restrictive (zero).

With regard to the latter, legalizing drugs is permissive, and the one-man/one-woman model of marriage is restrictive. For reasons that OnTheIssues have never explained, they include military issues with social issues, and equate anti-war with permissive and pro-military with restrictive. CNAV believes that OnTheIssues should replace their square grid with a cubic grid, and grid military issues on a third axis.

Until they do, OnTheIssues will rate each candidate as Libertarian (capitalist and permissive), Conservative (capitalist and restrictive), Liberal (socialist and permissive), Populist (socialist and restrictive), or Moderate (in-between on both scales).

CNAV stands with hard-core conservatives. CNAV agrees with the late Ayn Rand that capitalism is the most practical economic system and the only one consistent with basic moral values: do not kill, do not cheat, do not steal, do not lie, and do not covet. CNAV also agrees with Rand in at least one context that a candidate like Ron Paul would dispute. That is:

  1. Even a free society faces external, existential enemies.
  2. A free society need not provoke said enemies to suffer siege or attack.
  3. The best defense is an effective counterattack.

That might seem restrictive to OnTheIssues and especially to Ron Paul and Judge Andrew Napolitano. But CNAV takes the world as it is, not as Paul or Napolitano want it to be.

The man now holding office as President, Barack H. Obama, is a hard-core liberal. For that reason, any of the four Republican candidates would be an improvement over him, and a significant one, so long as the eventual nominee means what he says.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, not the front runner anymore after Rick Santorum trounced him
Former Governor Mitt Romney at a townhall in Sun Lakes, Arizona. Photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic License

Mitt Romney, according to OnTheIssues, is a “populist-leaning conservative.” So he is not the most conservative candidate in the race, by that standard. The one issue that makes him not as capitalist as the rest: RomneyCare, the State-run health-care system he invented for Massachusetts when he governed there. Rick Santorum called Mitt Romney on that in a recent debate. He said that the Romney program essentially forced people to buy a service “for the simple privilege of breathing.”

Today, ObamaCare is one of the most contentious issues in the race. Obama made it even more contentious when his administration said that it would force Catholic hospitals to give their employees birth-control pills if they asked for them. American Catholics, from the cardinal-designate on down, are at open war with Obama on that account.

Mitt Romney has two problems. One: does he mean what he says? Or is he trying to finesse this issue? He already has a reputation, not for straight talk, but for “shoveling it on” in debates.

His second problem: did he really create jobs when he had the chance? Last month, suggested that Romney has few bragging rights about his record at Bain Capital. But that is not relevant. What is relevant, and directly, is his record as Governor of Massachusetts. Last night, The Washington Post called Mitt Romney’s record “unremarkable.” To be more specific, the Post showed that Romney did no better than Obama has done in “creating jobs.” The unemployment rate did fall in Massachusetts while he governed there. But the unemployment rate measures people out of jobs in proportion to those working or actively looking for work. When a former worker gives up looking, Bureaus of Labor Statistics (State or federal) do not count him anymore. In short, they declare him an “unperson,” as George Orwell’s 1984 government might have done. That is why Barack Obama can now boast of a “lower unemployment rate” this year. And that is the only reason why Mitt Romney could boast of a “lower unemployment rate” while he governed Massachusetts.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich loses his luster to Rick Santorum
Newt Gingrich at the CPAC conference in Orlando, FL, September, 2011

Newt Gingrich is a hard-core conservative. At least, so he says today. He wasn’t always. Last May he actually said that the federal government should force people to buy health insurance. He does not say so today. But what will he say tomorrow?

Some of what he does say today, shows an appalling lack of discipline. He is still talking about a human colony on the Moon. (He was in Dayton, OH, boyhood home of the Wright Brothers, holding forth on this theme.) He denies that he would have taxpayers pay for this. But he will not say who will, or why anyone would go to so much trouble and expense.

Ron Paul

Ron Paul loses big to Rick Santorum on 2/7/2012
Ron Paul speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, February, 2010. Photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic License

Ron Paul is not a conservative, but a libertarian. NumbersUSA gives him a barely passing grade. He could probably skate on that, on the theory that an improved economy would create enough real jobs for everyone, and that he would abolish many social entitlements that, he says, even citizens and lawful residents should not get.

Ron Paul has two problems. He cannot conceive of an external, existential enemy of the United States, or so it seems. He refuses to believe that Iran is about to build nuclear weapons, and has said that they would have the right to. And he says that the only reason that militant Muslims have attacked the United States is that the United States provoked them. Whenever anyone asks how the United States provoked them, he cites American foreign policy since 1953, with the ouster of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran.

News flash! Muslims don’t talk much, if at all, about Mohammed Mossadegh. They talk instead about the Republic of Israel, the very existence of which they hate. They also talk about certain historical battles they lost, centuries before the United States, or even the colonies that became the United States, existed. Ron Paul seems not to know this. And no one, least of all Ron Paul, talks about why President Thomas Jefferson sent a Naval task force to the Mediterranean to clean out a pirates’ nest. That was the first time that the United States “intervened in Muslim affairs.” Jefferson did this because, as Secretary of State, he got nowhere trying to negotiate with the Moroccan Ambassador to end piratical attacks on American shipping in the region. Indeed the Ambassador had brazenly boasted that the Barbary Pirates were doing nothing more than their Koranic duty!

Ron Paul has another problem: his troops are costing him votes. A typical Ron Paul supporter shows a fanatical attitude and makes no attempt to win friends. In consequence, they are making enemies.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum, heavy favorite at the 2012 March for Life.
Rick Santorum as the junior Senator from Pennsylvania. Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License

Rick Santorum is a hard-core conservative. (In fact, he is the most “restrictive” and the most “capitalistic” candidate in the race.) His voting record, and the things he has always said, are consistent with this. He has occasionally cast some inconsistent votes, but has since owned up to such mistakes. (The No Child Left Behind Act is a prize example.)

Rick Santorum is justly famous for opposing the “right” to abortion. No one will forget the time that then-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), on the floor of the Senate, said that an unborn child is “not an appendix! It’s a baby!” (Especially after a real baby cried almost on cue from the Senate gallery.)

But Rick Santorum is also one of the two candidates left in the race to pay explicit respect to creation science. (The other is Ron Paul.) OnTheIssues has him on record as saying that school teachers should:

  • Expose their pupils to the “legitimate debate” between advocates for evolution and advocates for creation.
  • Teach that theories of biological evolution cannot explain everything about life as we know it today.

He also used home schooling to raise six of his children. That should be both a permissive and a “capitalistic” thing to do. But on the OnTheIssues grid, home-schooling, like vouchers, would be a “capitalistic” thing to do, but the likely curriculum that the Santorums used would be “restrictive.”

On war and peace, Rick Santorum has always said that America will win or lose the war against “Islamic fascism” at home. This refers as much to winning hearts and minds as it does to stopping militant Muslims from blowing things up and killing people. But on the latter issue, Rick Santorum is clear. He knows that America has an existential enemy. In 2001, he said that militant Muslims attacked America on account of who and what we are. Within a year, Osama bin Laden vindicated everything Rick Santorum said.

Summary

Rick Santorum is the most consistent conservative in the race. Unlike Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum understands why government should not intervene in health insurance. Unlike Ron Paul, Rick Santorum understands that we have enemies, why we have enemies (and not because we somehow “provoked” them), and how to fight them. And unlike Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum disciplines himself and his ideas and is not likely to propose something outlandish merely “because it seems such a good idea at the time.”

Last night, voters in three States showed that they understood this. Today, CNAV takes pride in endorsing Rick Santorum as a candidate for President of the United States.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

candidate, constitutional law, election, politicians, president


Terry A. Hurlbut

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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steve moore

one of many things that concern me is the second amendment which most aren’t seemingly concerned (talk in detail) with. my heritage is very strong and important. enlighten me on the facts concerning santorum past (real views) on his gun views especially concerning the alledged support of specter type people………….and their views of same

Steve Kelly

Great analysis, Terry.

I was living in Pennsylvania when Santorum first ran for Senate (1994). At that time I said, “Someday, this guy’s gonna run for President, and when he does, he’ll have my vote.”

Well, I’ve been hoping he’ll still be IN the race by the time my state votes on Super Tuesday. Looks like I’ll get a chance to keep my promise. I was afraid I’d have to hold my nose and vote for Newt.

The press — and the GOP establishment — have been trying to sell us Romney as the inevitable nominee for well over a year. I wish more conservatives would vote their conscience than what the media tells them is “electable.” Electable gets us the likes of John McCain and Bob Dole. Lackluster milquetoast moderates who Democrats defeat easily. And when they actually win (Bush 41 and Bush 43), they sell us out with Keynesian economics, No Child Left Behind, huge deficit spending, etc.

Please, God, we need another Reagan before it’s too late…

I stated sometime ago that what the Republican Party (and, our country) need is a Conservative candidate most opposite of the lib / extremist Obama. As the primary contest is shaking out, Senator Rick Santorum fits that description. Voters need a clear choice. When voters are offered that type of clear choice, they will turn out in droves. I’ve never felt comfortable with the Republican Establishment attempting to shove down our voting throats less than Conservative candidate personalities.

Ian Lister

I think I speak for all liberals when I say that I agree with you: please may Santorum be the Republican nominee! PLEASE!

Alex

Overall a decent analysis, but I have to disagree with you on Ron Paul. As tough as it is to accept, he may have a point when he talks about the relations between the USA and Muslims. There are well over a billion Muslims in the world, the overwhelming majority of whom are peaceful people (if they weren’t then our military would be fighting a much more serious global war).

So the question to ask is why is it that terrorists attacked the USA? If its that they hate us, then why do they hate us? And if we continue to crush them with our military might will that really make people more likely to love the USA and less likely to attack us again?

Now by no means am I justifying the acts of terrorism they did. What they did was absolutely terrible, and as a nation we must take the steps necessary to hunt down those responsible. But while we are at it we should think about this with an open mind in an effort to prevent it from happening again in the future. If our only solution is to crush a non-tangible enemy, were never going to be successful. Our military can defeat armies or other nations, but it cannot defeat an ideology.

Ron Paul is the only candidate who has actually served in the military, maybe his ideas are at least worth listening to.

Alex

The reason the Barbary pirates hijacked ships was for the same reason anybody hijacks ships: for monetary gain. It doesn’t really matter what the ambassador of Morocco said, if there wasnt any money to be made from taking ships they wouldn’t have done it. Furthermore, if they were doing it out of pure religious conviction I find it unlikely that Morocco would have been so quick to sign a truce with us 20 years prior to our war with Algiers.

You are right that fundamentalist Muslims are far more dangerous than fundamentalist Christians (or any other religion that I can think of at the moment). But there are 1.5 billion Muslims. Obviously most of them are all out to destroy the West. But whats the long term solution? Hunt down everyone who takes Islam too seriously and kill them, while hoping we keep the rest of them on good terms with us? And even if you are right, and the Koran is the problem, then are we supposed to destroy Islam?

As a side note, I agree 100% with Gingrich’s plans for a lunar colony. This is something where a small amount of government investment could yield massive (untold trillions of dollars) benefits. Private firms just dont have the capital or see a short term gain to be made. Its completely analogous to the way that governments had to be the ones to finance the initial explorers to the New World.

Alex

Typo:
“Obviously most of them are all out to destroy the West. “should read
“Obviously most of them are NOT all out to destroy the West.”

Alex

Not exactly. Private firms aren’t going to push for massive space exploration because the initial cost is too high, and the time for a net financial gain is simply too long. However, we are already seeing private firms getting pushing into space (Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, and Bigelow Aerospace), a large part of which has been due to support from NASA (the recent NASA budget greatly increased funding for private research). The amount of money there is to be made from a thriving space industry is huge. Certain Earth crossing asteroids have been estimated to contain trillions of dollars worth of valuable metals. And the Moon is a ready-to-go reservoir for helium-3, which we will desperately need in a couple decades as research into fusion power continues.

Do you realize that the United States never ratified the Moon Treaty? And that every nation that has ratified it has never managed put a man into space, effectively making the entire treaty useless (not to mention its only been signed by a dozen or so countries)? Didn’t know that, did you?

What you may be referring to is the Outer Space Treaty, which does ban the claiming of bodies in outer space for a nation, Mr. Gingrich might want to review that part before trying to grant a lunar colony statehood. But there is no treaty that bans permanent habitation by people in government-built colonies.

Its been some time since I read the Constitution, but perhaps you could remind me if it contains a line that says “The Congress shall have the power…to develop scientific research stations in Antarctica.”

egarners

Santorum voted for the Patriots Act, the NSAA 2012 and that makes him a typical neocon that should be impeached for violating his oath to obey and protect the Constitution. In my book shredding the Constitution is treason.

I also believe Ron Paul is right on about the wars being unconstitutional since not declared by Congress and the fact they were not entered into for reasons of an overt threat to our nation. It was all about oil.

In my opinion, both the war on terror and drugs is the biggest threat to our security and the real terrorists are running rampant in the various halls in Washington D.C.

Ron Paul is the only legitimate choice, if you want to save our Constitution, inalienable rights, freedoms and property and restore our once cherished American Dream.

Alex

I agree with that sequence of events, but I believe that the government will need to make the initial push. You’d be hard pressed to find a company that would be willing to invest tens of billions of dollars into an industry that will not have a net financial output for several decades.

A few tens of billions by the federal government (which really isnt that much compared to what we used to bail out the banks, or what is spend on defense) could provide the boost necessary to encourage mining corporations to make the jump to outer space, resulting in huge gains for our country.

I understand the ideological reasons for the government to not get involved in the private sector. But if for no other reason, then they should for our long term national security. Without government help, there is a strong possibility that Chinese-owned institutions could be reaping the benefits well before we do. And I doubt China cares whatsoever what is written down in a UN treaty.

DinsdaleP

“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade.”

I’ve had a problem with that premise ever since reading Atlas Shrugged. Talk about giving a free pass to anyone who includes pollution, fraud, health hazards and the like into their business model. You can say, like Ron Paul, that free market principles will take care of such players over time, but only after unimaginable harm is done and others are left to pay the tab.



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