Tuesday, February 21, 2012

4 RINO'S ( McRino - Sessions -Graham - Hoever), all Warming to the Muslum Brotherhood ?

Posted by BH 5:51 pm 2-21

HUH?     McCain Says Conservative Pols   “Warming” to Muslim Brotherhood

By Debbie Schlussel

Would a John McCain Presidency really have 
Here’s more evidence that McCain and 
Obama have way too much in common, 
including a love for the Muslim Brotherhood,

the anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-American 
group that gave birth to Al-Qaeda, HAMAS, 
Yasser Arafat, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, etc. 
Uh-huh, that’s who John McCain is now 
“warming up” to.” 
Disgusting! Egyptian government officials 
are working to resolve an

escalating diplomatic feud over U.S. civil-society

organizations, Sen. John McCain said during 
a visit to Egypt, signaling a detente only 
days before 16 Americans

face trial on charges of having

violated Egyptian laws on foreign

funding for nongovernmental


BARF: GOP Love for Muslim Bro’hood

Mr. McCain (R., Ariz.) and his delegation of 
four other senators, three of them Republicans, 
also hinted at warming relations between 
conservative American lawmakers and the 
Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian Islamist 
group whose triumphant performance in 
parliamentary elections rattled U.S. nerves
among U.S. policy makers.The warm 
comments mark a climbdown from Previous 
threats by congressmen from both Parties 
that the prosecution of American NGO 
Staff will endanger the $1.3 billion in aid 
that Washington has given Egypt’s military 
each year since 1987. [Emphasis added.]

Hmmmm . . . was Osama Bin Laden really 

the loser in death? Seems to me his ghost 

just keeps on winning. With a sitting U.S. 

President and his failed opponent from 2008 

both fighting for the title of BFF to Al-Ikhwan

 Al-Muslimeen [the Muslim Brotherhood], I 

know who’s already lost the battle: us and 

everyone else who values freedom and 

liberty. Long past time to put Juan McCain–

or is that, Jihad McCain?–out to pasture. 

And don’t forget, he’s the same moron who 

urged Obama (along with Lindsey Graham 

and Sean Hannity) to support the Libyan 

rebels. That turned out great. Didn’t it? 

Exit Question: Will Mitt Romney be brave 

and say he won’t deal with the Muslim 

Brotherhood ? Don’t bet on it. He couldn’t 

even agree that the Palestinians are an 

invented people. (Nor would Rick Santorum,

but I’d bet he’s better on the Brotherood beat.)


Posted by BH 5:05 pm 2-21
Subject: Fwd: Indian Wanting Coffee:

Indian Wanting Coffee: 
An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand and Pulling a male buffalo with the other. He says to the waiter: 

"Want coffee."

The waiter says, "Sure Chief. Coming right up."

He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee.....

The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp, turns and blasts The buffalo with the shotgun, causing parts of the animal To splatter everywhere and then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns.
He has his shotgun in one hand, pulling
Another male buffalo with the other.
He walks up to the counter and says to
The waiter: 

"Want coffee."

The waiter says, "Whoa, Tonto!
We're still cleaning up your mess from yesterday.
What was all that about, anyway?"

The Indian smiles and proudly says, 

"Training for position in United States Congress. Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, Leave mess for others to clean up. 
Disappear for rest of day."



posted by BH 4:30 pm 2-21
Submitted by Joe N. 


And as Paul Harvey used to say, " and now we have the rest of the story". Paul Harvey, on the Muslim Religion - dogs are unclean and not allowed to travel in the same vehicle as the muslim.  If this doesn't   tick you off - nothing will - 'Bo', the Presidential Dog has never traveled in the same means of transportation WITH THE FIRST FAMILY. - WAKE UP AMERICA ! !
Remember all the other Presidents with their dogs coming off the plane with them?  Not the Obama's...! 
    Learn about Bo' vacation ----did you know the President flew the dog in on a separate smaller jet to
   Maine for their vacation?   It is wondered if that sets well with all the unemployed hurting?
 US citizens can't afford food, but we can pay for a dog to fly to Maine!!!!  The above is true, it was googled - "Bo the dog flying to Maine", I got 76,700 references verifying it was true. Accordingly, they had to swallow their pride to use the Gulfstream, there wasn't enough room for the dog and his handler on Airforce 1.  Do you get it America, we are having a hard time getting out of these hard economic times while a dog and his handler get their own plane.

    By the way,  Mr Love, Bo's handler, is being paid $102,000 a year to take care of him.  $ $ $ $           
Which side of the ballot will you mark in November?
HELL, VOTE FOR BO - Probably be better OFF ?


Posted by BH 4:13 pm 2-21



Posted: Feb 21, 2012 4:20 AM CST Updated: Feb 21, 2012 2:23 PM CST

EAST PRAIRIE, MO (KFVS) - The Center for Earthquake and Research Information in Memphis reports a 4.0 magnitude earthquake five miles NNW of East Prairie, Mo. at 3:58 a.m.
It was 3.1 miles deep.  Felt reports on the USGS website report people in 13 states felt the quake.
The earthquake was also 12 miles ENE of Matthews and 13 miles SSE of Blodgett which is 36.850°N, 89.409°W.
The U.S. Geological Survey also recorded a 2.4 magnitude aftershock eight miles north of East Prairie at 11:05 a.m.
Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Center in Golden, Colorado, says they located the earthquake around Sikeston and Charleston.  She says they've had a large number of felt reports indicating it was widely felt regionally and even felt hundreds of kilometers away.
Vaughan says several people in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee reported being awakened by the quake that happened at 3:58 a.m.  A few residents of North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana and Georgia also felt it.
Vaughan says it is considered a light earthquake with maybe some minor damage possible with things falling off walls and maybe some cracks. Viewers have reported cracks in walls and things fallings off walls.  There have been no major reports of damage.
Vaughan says earthquakes are more likely to be widely felt in parts of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, usually over 10 times greater than in areas west of the Rockies.
She says smaller aftershocks are possible.
Vaughan says it's important to know what to do when an earthquake occurs.  If you're outside, stay away from buildings and if you're inside get under something.
Shaun Bell with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department says they felt the earthquake and received several phone calls with some people saying it sounded like a vehicle was dragged through their house.
East Prairie City Administrator Lonnie Thurmond says the shaking lasted about seven seconds. Vaughan says he's heard reports of cracks in sidewalks and walls, some broken windows, and minor household damage such as rattled shelves and things falling from cabinets.
Martha Knupp in Anniston says it sounded like a loud boom, then "stuff went to shaking."
"I was asleep," said Knupp. "I heard a loud boom, woke me up.  Then the house was shaking.  The bed was shaking.  I heard stuff falling everywhere.  I jumped up to run into my husband's bedroom, check on him and that's when I seen the mantle to the lamp laying in the floor."
She said she got up to find several of her things in the floor and some of the cracks in her walls from an earlier earthquake widened and lengthened.  Viewers have also reported cracks in walls in Miner and a cracked floor in Blodgett.
"I was coming down the highway and everything and the road kind of jerked a little bit and everything.  By the time I pulled over and everything, it stopped everything.  Thought, well I better pull over and everything.  Felt a little bit of rumble and everything," said one man.
"I was laying in bed watching TV and all of a sudden my bed it just goes up and down and up and down three times.  And I started to get out, it went up about the time I started to get out," said one woman.
Cape Girardeau Police Sgt. Rick Schmidt says he's heard reports from several residents.  However, he says it will be business a usual at the police station Tuesday.
Dozens of viewers report their dog, cat and horses acted strange just before the quake.
Dr. Brian Heuring of Delta Veterinary Clinic in Sikeston says this is normal for animals to act this way.
"All the reports I have seen they're never showing correlation between that," said Dr. Heuring.  "So I don't know.  Again we've got stories both ways of pets that sensed it and then bark ahead of time and then there's like my own that just slept through it."
Dr. Heuring says one theory is animals feel the Earth move and vibrate before humans and that they detect electrical changes in the air before an earthquake.
Heartland News is receiving several reports from viewers who felt shaking.  Did you feel the shaking?  Leave a message below or on our Facebook page.  Do you have damage?  Send pictures with a description to cnews@kfvs12.com or upload them at http://cnews.kfvs12.com.
Stay with Heartland News and kfvs12.com for updates.
Related links
Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.


POSTEDS BY BH 2:23 PM 2-21
Archaeologists Discovery

Written across the wall of a recently discovered cave were the following symbols:
It was considered a unique find and the writings were said to be at least 3000 years old! The piece of stone was carefully removed ... brought to a museum ... and archaeologists from around the world came to study the
ancient symbols.
After months of conferences to discuss the meaning of the markings, the head Archaeologist pointed to the first drawing and said:
"This is a woman. We can see these people held women in high esteem."
"You can also tell they were intelligent, as the next symbol is a donkey -- so they were smart enough to have animals help them till the soil."
"The next drawing is a shovel, which means they had tools to help them."
"Even further proof of their high intelligence is the fish -- which means that if a famine hit the Earth and food did not grow, they would seek food from the sea."
"The last symbol appears to be the Star of David -- which means they were evidently Hebrews." The audience applauded with great enthusiasm. Then a little old Jewish man stood up in the back of the room and said,
"Idiots!! Hebrew is read from right to left!!
It says:
'Holy Mackerel, Dig The Ass On That Chick".


Posted by Bh 01:14 pm 2-21

John Hayward

The True Unemployment Rate: 36%

Workforce participation is the metric that really matters.
by John Hayward


How would you define “unemployment?”  Statistics on unemployment are bandied around in the media all the time.  Changes in these statistics are hailed as good or bad news for the President, with varying degrees of emphasis from the news networks, depending on which party the President belongs to.  But what do these statistics truly measure?
Would you define “unemployment” as measuring “people who want a job, but can’t get one?”  This is, broadly speaking, the definition embraced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The trick to making those numbers dance lies in measuring “people who want a job.”  The widely reported U-3 unemployment metric, currently standing at 8.3 percent, is very aggressive in shaving off people who have not made recent efforts to find work.  It is further distorted by massive “seasonal adjustments,” which made over a million people vanish into thin air last month. 
This is why the official unemployment rate gets lower when the American workforce contracts.  Workforce contraction is a very bad thing.  People who simply cannot find work, and languish on unemployment insurance for years, are the last thing a prosperous country needs… but those people don’t count in the official unemployment rate.  For example, if everyone under the age of 25 abruptly stopped looking for work, it would be an economic disaster, but the official unemployment rate would go down, because the pool of people looking for work would get smaller. 
(That’s not quite as far-fetched an example as it might sound, incidentally.  Even the heavily-massaged U-3 unemployment rate currently sits at 23.2 percent for ages 16-19, and 13.3 percent for ages 20-24… and it’s about two percent higher for young men.  Policies that increase the cost of labor, such as minimum-wage increases and mandated benefits, have a particularly punishing effect on young entry-level workers, since their labor has less intrinsic value than experienced older employees.)
This is precisely what has been happening under Barack Obama.  The workforce is contracting with horrible speed, but it has the beneficial side effect of making the official unemployment rate go down a little, although 8.3 percent is still pathetic.  The Administration bounces happily before the cameras and announces its policies are “working,” and job creation is now “on the right track,” even as their best months post job creation only slightly in excess of population growth – and they’ve only had a few such months.  Pundits begin wondering if the old political rules that say re-election is impossible with unemployment over 6 or 7 percent might not apply to this President, if he can campaign on a slowly declining unemployment rate.
Another side effect of the way our unemployment statistics are prepared, and reported, comes when America's employment picture is compared to the figures from other nations.  Are the unemployment statistics reported from, say, Greece or Italy calculated in precisely the same manner as the American U-3 rate?  If not, then how can we make valid comparisons between them?
Since the concept of people who aren’t looking for work is so fluid, and some of those people have clearly been persuaded not to look for work because of job-destroying government policies, it might be more logical to measure unemployment using the standard incorrectly offered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U-3 rate: “total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force.”  That’s what the U-3 rate claims to measure, but it doesn’t, not by a long shot. 
What is the current percentage of working-age Americans, eligible to participate in the civilian labor force, but not currently working?  Answer: 36.3 percent.
That’s the worst labor participation rate in three decades, and it’s part of the worst employment picture we’ve seen since the Great Depression.  Labor force participation is the number we should really be looking at, even more than the unemployment figures cooked up on the monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Those figures have their uses as well, but it seems reasonable to measure the overall health of the economy by the number of people who simply are not participating in the labor force.
This would always be a much higher number than the BLS unemployment statistic, even when the economy was humming along at maximum power.  There are always going to be working-age people who drop out of the labor force, for reasons that have nothing to do with the nation’s overall economic health.  The labor force participation rate hasn’t exceeded 67 percent in the past decade, so we would be looking at a true “unemployment” number that bounces between roughly thirty and forty percent.  The difference between good and bad percentages is relatively small, which makes the true “unemployment” figure less sexy for news coverage, and therefore less useful to politicians… but it’s more logical to measure small changes in a large, accurate number than big changes in a small, largely fantastic number.
Writing at Red StateRep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chairs the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending, offers an eye-popping chart measuring the effect of President Obama’s “stimulus” policies on workforce participation:
Jordan writes in support of the Jobs Through Growth Act, a package of dramatic reforms that includes a flat tax with two low rates, reduced corporate taxes, regulatory relief, and increased domestic energy production.  Those are the sort of changes America needs to make, if we want to do more than fiddle with imaginary unemployment numbers, whose very definition is subject to “adjustment” on a massive scale.  Those who define “unemployment” as “the number of working-age Americans who aren’t working” should waste no time on small reforms.

John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently publishedDoctor Zero: Year One. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at jhayward@eaglepub.com.


Posted by BH 12:59 pm 2-21

BY Dave Hollenbeck

Total U. S. Population                                                                 313,232,044
Number of Federal Employees                                                             89,400,301
Number of People* Receiving Food Stamps                                     45,800,000
Number of People Living in Subsidized Housing                           305,000,221
Number of People on Federal Welfare                                                70,000,000
Democrats--Serving you class warfare, dependency and socialism since 1933. 
Yet many STILL wonder why we are broke, heavily in debt, and beholden to one of our enemies!
* I used the term People because many recipients are not citizens of the U. S. because "Peanut" Carter decreed that illegals were eligible for assistance. 
All the statistics came right off the internet using Google.  The number in subsidized housing looks high to me but that is what was reported.



POSTED BY BH 12;59 PM 2-21

The State of the World: A Framework
By George Friedman | February 21, 2012
Security Weekly

Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a new series on the national strategies of today's global power and other regional powers. This installment establishes a framework for understating the current state of the world.

The evolution of geopolitics is cyclical. Powers rise, fall and shift. Changes occur in every generation in an unending ballet. However, the period between 1989 and 1991 was unique in that a long cycle of human history spanning hundreds of years ended, and with it a shorter cycle also came to a close. The world is still reverberating from the events of that period.

On Dec. 25, 1991, an epoch ended. On that day the Soviet Union collapsed, and for the first time in almost 500 years no European power was a global power, meaning no European state integrated economic, military and political power on a global scale. What began in 1492 with Europe smashing its way into the world and creating a global imperial system had ended. For five centuries, one European power or another had dominated the world, whether Portugal, Spain, France, England or the Soviet Union. Even the lesser European powers at the time had some degree of global influence.

After 1991 the only global power left was the United States, which produced about 25 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) each year and dominated the oceans. Never before had the United States been the dominant global power. Prior to World War II, American power had been growing from its place at the margins of the international system, but it was emerging on a multipolar stage. After World War II, it found itself in a bipolar world, facing off with the Soviet Union in a struggle in which American victory was hardly a foregone conclusion.

The United States has been the unchallenged global power for 20 years, but its ascendancy has left it off-balance for most of this time, and imbalance has been the fundamental characteristic of the global system in the past generation. Unprepared institutionally or psychologically for its position, the United States has swung from an excessive optimism in the 1990s that held that significant conflict was at an end to the wars against militant Islam after 9/11, wars that the United States could not avoid but also could not integrate into a multilayered global strategy. When the only global power becomes obsessed with a single region, the entire world is unbalanced. Imbalance remains the defining characteristic of the global system today.

While the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the European epoch, it also was the end of the era that began in 1945, and it was accompanied by a cluster of events that tend to accompany generational shifts. The 1989-1991 period marked the end of the Japanese economic miracle, the first time the world had marveled at an Asian power's sustained growth rate as the same power's financial system crumbled. The end of the Japanese miracle and the economic problem of integrating East and West Germany both changed the way the global economy worked. The 1991 Maastricht Treaty set the stage for Europe's attempt at integration and was the framework for Europe in the post-Cold War world. Tiananmen Square set the course for China in the next 20 years and was the Chinese answer to a collapsing Soviet empire. It created a structure that allowed for economic development but assured the dominance of the Communist Party. Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait was designed to change the balance of power in the Persian Gulf after the Iraq-Iran war and tested the United States' willingness to go to war after the Cold War.

In 1989-1991 the world changed the way it worked, whether measured in centuries or generations. It was an extraordinary period whose significance is only now emerging. It locked into place a long-term changing of the guard, where North America replaced Europe as the center of the international system. But generations come and go, and we are now in the middle of the first generational shift since the collapse of the European powers, a shift that began in 2008 but is only now working itself out in detail.

What happened in 2008 was one of the financial panics that the global capitalist system periodically suffers. As is frequently the case, these panics first generate political crises within nations, followed by changes in the relations among nations. Of these changes, three in particular are of importance, two of which are directly linked to the 2008 crisis. The first is the European financial crisis and its transformation into a political crisis. The second is the Chinese export crisis and its consequences. The third, indirectly linked to 2008, is the shift in the balance of power in the Middle East in favor of Iran.

The European Crisis

The European crisis represents the single most significant event that followed from the financial collapse of 2008. The vision of the European Union was that an institution that would bind France and Germany together would make the wars that had raged in Europe since 1871 impossible. The vision also assumed that economic integration would both join France and Germany together and create the foundations of a prosperous Europe. Within the context of Maastricht as it evolved, the European vision assumed that the European Union would become a way to democratize and integrate the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe into a single framework.

However, embedded in the idea of the European Union was the idea that Europe could at some point transcend nationalism and emerge as a United States of Europe, a single political federation with a constitution and a unified foreign and domestic policy. It would move from a free trade zone to a unified economic system to a single currency and then to further political integration built around the European Parliament, allowing Europe to emerge as a single country.

Long before this happened, of course, people began to speak of Europe as if it were a single entity. Regardless of the modesty of formal proposals, there was a powerful vision of an integrated European polity. There were two foundations for it. One was the apparent economic and social benefits of a united Europe. The other was that this was the only way that Europe could make its influence felt in the international system. Individually, the European states were not global players, but collectively they had the ability to become just that. In the post-Cold War world, where the United States was the sole and unfettered global power, this was an attractive opportunity.

The European vision was smashed in the aftermath of 2008, when the fundamental instability of the European experiment revealed itself. That vision was built around Germany, the world's second-largest exporter, but Europe's periphery remained too weak to weather the crisis. It was not so much this particular crisis; Europe was not built to withstand any financial crisis. Sooner or later one would come and the unity of Europe would be severely strained as each nation, driven by different economic and social realities, maneuvered in its own interest rather than in the interest of Europe.

There is no question that the Europe of 2012 operates in a very different way than it did in 2007. There is an expectation in some parts that Europe will, in due course, return to its old post-Cold War state, but that is unlikely. The underlying contradictions of the European enterprise are now revealed, and while some European entity will likely survive, it probably will not resemble the Europe envisioned by Maastricht, let alone the grander visions of a United States of Europe. Thus, the only potential counterweight to the United States will not emerge in this generation.

China and the Asian Model

China was similarly struck by the 2008 crisis. Apart from the inevitably cyclical nature of all economies, the Asian model, as seen in Japan and then in 1997 in East and Southeast Asia, provides for prolonged growth followed by profound financial dislocation. Indeed, growth rates do not indicate economic health. Just as it was for Europe, the 2008 financial crisis was the trigger for China.

China's core problem is that more than a billion people live in households earning less than $6 a day, and the majority of those earn less than $3 a day. Social tensions aside, the economic consequence is that China's large industrial plant outstrips Chinese consumer demand. As a result, China must export. However, the recessions after 2008 cut heavily into China's exports, severely affecting GDP growth and threatening the stability of the political system. China confronted the problem with a massive surge in bank lending, driving new investment and supporting GDP growth but also fueling rampant inflation. Inflation created upward pressure on labor costs until China began to lose its main competitive advantage over other countries.

For a generation, Chinese growth has been the engine of the global economic system, just as Japan was in the previous generation. China is not collapsing any more than Japan did. However, it is changing its behavior, and with it the behavior of the international system.

Looking Ahead

If we look at the international system as having three major economic engines, two of them -- Europe and China -- are changing their behavior to be less assertive and less influential in the international system. The events of 2008 did not create these changes; they merely triggered processes that revealed the underlying weaknesses of these two entities.

Somewhat outside the main processes of the international system, the Middle East is undergoing a fundamental shift in its balance of power. The driver in this is not the crisis of 2008 but the consequences of the U.S. was in the region and their termination. With the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Iran has emerged as the major conventional power in the Persian Gulf and the major influence over Iraq. In addition, with the continued survival of the al Assad regime in Syria through the support of Iran, there is the potential for Iranian influence to stretch from western Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Sea. Even if the al Assad regime fell, Iran would still be well-positioned to assert its claims for primacy in the Persian Gulf.

Just as the processes unleashed in 1989-1991 defined the next 20 years, so, too, will the processes that are being generated now dominate the next generation. Still powerful but acutely off-balance in its domestic and foreign policies, the United States is confronting a changing world without yet having a clear understanding of how to deal with this world or, for that matter, how the shifts in the global system will affect it. For the United States strategically, the fragmentation of Europe, the transformation of global production in the wake of the Chinese economy's climax, and the dramatically increased power of Iran appear as abstract events not directly affecting the United States.

Each of these events will create dangers and opportunities for the United States that it is unprepared to manage. The fragmentation of Europe raises the question of the future of Germany and its relationship with Russia. The movement of production to low-wage countries will create booms in countries hitherto regarded as beyond help (as China was in 1980) and potential zones of instability created by rapid and uneven growth. And, of course, the idea that the Iranian issue can be managed through sanctions is a form of denial rather than a strategy.

Three major areas of the world are in flux: Europe, China and the Persian Gulf. Every country in the world will have to devise a strategy to deal with the new reality, just as 1989-1991 required new strategies. The most important country, the United States, had no strategy after 1991 and has no strategy today. This is the single most important reality of the world. Like the Spaniards, who, in the generation after Columbus' voyage, lacked a clear sense of the reality they had created, Americans have no clear sense of the world they find themselves in. This fact continues to define how the world works.

Therefore, we next turn to American strategy in the next 20 years and consider how it will reshape itself.
Comments? Send them to feedback@stratfor.com

To unsubscribe from future emails, email feedback@stratfor.com and include UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701 US


Posted by BH 12:56 pm 2-21

headshot By Rich Lowry

Sen. Rick Santorum

The media has unleashed the hounds on Rick Santorum.
He was last seen a step ahead of the braying pack, trying to explain that he hadn’t accused President Obama of being a crypto-Muslim. The former Pennsylvania senator criticized the president’s environmentalism as representative of a “phony theology”; the press snipped the remark out of the context and played it as Santorum donning his finest Grand Inquisitor garb and reading the president of the United States out of the Christian faith.
This followed immediately upon an ill-considered joke by Santorum backer Foster Friess about aspirin as a contraceptive that drove a couple of days of coverage insinuating the comment told us something important about Santorum’s own

Santorum is a standing affront to the sensibilities and assumptions of the media and political elite. That elite is constantly writing the obituary for social conservatism, which is supposed to wither away and leave a polite, undisturbed consensus in favor of social liberalism. Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic, he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack.
If Santorum had the social views of a Barbara Boxer, he’d be hailed in all the glossy magazines as a political virtuoso. He has fought a front-runner with all the advantages to a jump ball in Michigan; his aides can’t provide advance texts of his speeches because he always extemporizes and speaks from a few notes. He is dogged, willing to lose on behalf of what he believes and committed to trying to convince others of his positions.
In the wake of his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses, news coverage focused on Santorum arguing about gay marriage with college kids at his New Hampshire events. It was taken as a sign of his monomania. Yet he genuinely — if naively — wanted to convince them. If the cauldron of a presidential campaign is not the best place for Socratic exchanges on hot-button issues, Santorum was trying to do more than repeat sound bites back at youthful questioners.

Although his critics will never credit him for it, Santorum’s social conservatism brings with it an unstinting devotion to human dignity, a touchstone for the former senator.
The latest position for which he’s taking incoming is his opposition to a government mandate for insurance coverage of prenatal testing often used to identify handicapped babies who are subsequently aborted. For his detractors, his respect for the disabled is trumped by his unforgivable opposition to abortion.
Santorum conceives of his social views as a badly needed support for economic aspiration. It’s no accident that the Republican candidate most committed to the traditional family and associated virtues is also the one who talks most about the struggles of the working class. He frequently cites research from the Brookings Institution showing that simply getting a high-school diploma, getting married before having children and getting a job — the so-called success sequence — are powerful tools against poverty.

As Jeffrey Bell, author of the new book “The Case for Polarized Politics,” notes in a Wall Street Journal interview, Santorum’s style of social conservatism is deeply American. No other Western country saw the rise of such a social-conservative movement after the social upheaval of the 1960s.
Bell traces American social conservatism back ultimately to the God-given natural rights enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. Sure enough, Santorum is given to quoting the Declaration.
That won’t stop Santorum-haters from portraying him as threateningly un-America. He can play into the negative image of him. In one interview last year, he said that as president he would warn people of the dangers of contraception, a task better suited to a youth minister or Catholic premarital counselor than the leader of the free world.
Santorum occasionally needs to curb his enthusiasms. But the implicit message of his candidacy is unassailable: Denounce and dismiss it as you please, American social conservatism is here to stay.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...