After his virtual tie (and probably actual victory) with Mitt Romney here in Iowa a few weeks ago, many wondered if perhaps he was the man to fulfill the "Anti-Romney" prophecy hoped for by many GOP conservatives. And while few really expected him to win in New Hampshire, his rather poor showing nevertheless took a good deal of wind out of his political sail. But many of the anti-Romneys looked past that and hoped that Santorum's social conservative credentials would give him a good chance at winning the South Carolina Primary with Saturday. To date, however, no poll out from S.C. shows much evidence of any strong support there, but hey there's still 5 days til Saturday..
Now I have focused a fair amount on Mr. Santorum as of late chiefly because of his rather gross hypocrisy when it comes to one of the GOP's biggest tenants: Anti-Big Government. Every candidate in the race to date (including those who have dropped out) has preached against "big government" to various degrees, traditionally with Ron Paul at one end of the spectrum and Mitt Romney on the other. Not surprising, many of the candidates have spent a good part of the race seemingly trying to one-up the other on this issue and Santorum is no exception to this practice. The thing is, he is about the LAST person to be claiming HE is the candidate to push through smaller government if he moves into the highest office in all the land. Why you ask? Well I leave that once again to Erick Erickson of Redstate.com :
"Consider, if you will, this contrast. Ronald Reagan said, “The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom.” Rick Santorum, in 2008, said, “This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. 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 keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.” I can handle Santorum’s view of social conservatism and the need for cultural integrity. But he goes off the rails when he blends it with a version of fiscal conservatism that is anything but conservative and which fuels the government leviathan that, as it expands, takes away core freedoms and is run by entrenched progressive civil servants who are anything but conservative." (1)
Now Mr. Erickson, like myself, is hardly disillusioned to the fact the Mitt Romney is not a consistent "Conservative" (both fiscal and social). Further, Rick Santorum's statements on social issues makes it pretty clear he is definitely more socially conservative than Romney, but it's that other part of the conservative equation that Santorum shouldn't do so much gloating about. He is without any shadow of a doubt a "big government" politician as judged by his voting record in the House and Senate (which I wanted to post directly here from Mr. Erickson's post but it's rather extensive).
Now enter Mr. Santorum himself earlier today on the issue of which candidate is more of a "big government" Republican, via NewsMax:
“Romneycare is a real scarlet letter here,” he said. “We can’t have a nominee that takes away the most important issue in this election, which is an explosion of the federal government and robbing of people’s freedom on the federal level with Obamacare.” (2)
So lets get this straight.. Rick Santorum, the man who voted for some of the most expensive and unfunded federal government programs in recent history, is preaching to Mitt Romney that his healthcare reform program passed in the State of Massachusetts should disqualify him from being the GOP nominee because that reform is no different that the "explosion of the federal government" that Obama's healthcare reform is. My God man, the folks at home can smell that wreaking pile of hypocritical BS through their computer screens!
For one, while "RomneyCare" may have been used as a model for "ObamaCare", that was a state-only program and last time I checked the GOP was the party of "states rights" aka states should have the ability to effect their own healthcare reform is they so decide. When it comes to the issue of "big government", trying to connect RomneyCare with ObamaCare is not only disingenuous it's down right ignorant.
Secondly, funny how Rick Santorum seemingly had no problem when he voted for "explosively expansive" federal programs like Medicare Part D (which while being a nice program in spirit, no one seems to have thought about how to pay for it) when he was in the Senate, but the moment it becomes politically expedient he starts preaching to the choir about how much of a big government Republican Mitt Romney is..Pretty shameless eh?
Long story short, if Rick Santorum wants to convince GOP voters that he is the better candidate compared to Mitt Romney, maybe he should stick to his usual "gay marriage will destroy America" (I am paraphrasing of course) social issues bit and leave the small government argument to the candidates with REAL small government credentials..Like the two candidates from the Great State of Texas.
The opinions and views expressed in this work are strictly those of the author and not that of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.
1. What a Big Government Conservative Looks Like http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/01/09/what-a-big-government-conservative-looks-like-2/
2. Santorum: RomneyCare a 'Real Scarlet Letter' http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/santorum-romney-healthcare-evangelical/2012/01/15/id/424238