Tag Archives: Rick Santorum

Things that are very different part 1487

Image of the battle against Obamacare, 2013

Yesterday, Nelson Mandela died. ┬áThis somehow prompted Rick Santorum, former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, to equate Mandela’s epic struggle against Apartheid with the GOP battle against Obamacare and fictional government enlargement:

“Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that. That’s the reason he’s mourned today, because of that struggle that he performed,” Santorum said. “But you’re right, I mean, what he was advocating for was not necessarily the right answer, but he was fighting against some great injustice, and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.”

Where do these people come from?

College boy

According to Rick Santorum, Obama is a snob (looking down on you, white man) for wanting people to go to college.  Talking Points Memo reports:

"Not all folks are gifted the same way. Some people have incredible gifts with their hands," Santorum began. "Some people have incredible gifts and want to work out there making things."

Then he went after the president's call for making college easier for Americans to attend.

President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob," Santorum said as the crowd howled with laughter and applause. "There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor."

Santorum said he knows the real reason Obama wants more Americans on college campuses.

"That's why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image," Santorum said to more applause. "I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his."

I doubt Obama's view is "everyone must go to college indocrination."  It's more like: "everyone should have access to college if they want it."

Nonetheless, this is a kind of brilliantly evil move on Santorum's part: expecting his view to make any sense is a form of snobbery.   

Man gave names to all the animals

I shouldn't feel like I'm nutpicking when I talk about the views of the Republican frontrunner of the week.  Nonetheless, I do.  That's because it's Rick Santorum.  Here's his take on environmentalism (via TPM):

When you have a worldview that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth; by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven, for example, the politicization of the whole global warming debate — this is all an attempt to, you know, to centralize power and to give more power to the government,” Santorum said.

The "no scientific proof stuff" is standard fare for the climate-change-denier wing of the Republican party.  But Santorum mixes this "I'm not convinced by the science" perspective with Biblical imperatives about who rules what (answer: man rules the earth).  Who rules what, however, is a political question.  So isn't Santorum politicizing the global warming debate by invoking the claims of a religious subgroup?

How would this affect me?

Rick Santorum, candidate for President, rushed home this weekend to be with his teenage daughter, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.  An opponent of the Affordable Care Act, Santorum's daughter will certainly benefit from the pre-existing condition clause of the ACA.  The timing of this particular ad hominem is an important matter, no doubt.  But I think this argument from Elon Green at the Washington Monthly is a nice example of the non-fallacious use of the subjunctive tu quoque (discovered here!):

And it’s equally okay to remind voters that Santorum, in an act of startling cynicism, continues to equate the ACA with socialism, even suggesting that it would lead to the death of his daughter. His claim that he’s “fighting for Bella and other children like her” — and, by extension, proponents of the ACA are not — is spurious.

By all accounts, Santorum’s daughter has beaten the odds. She’s gotten marvelous healthcare. I have yet to encounter a decent justification from either Santorum or his fellow candidates for denying the nation’s children the same opportunity.

The unstated conclusion is that Santorum, were matters different, would hold a different view.  This kind of makes him a hypocrite.  Or it at least he would be a hypocrite, if the security of his family's health insurance were ever in question (which, to a certain extent, it won't be, given ACA). 

At the very least, the subjunctive tu quoque here aims to uncover an opponent's lack of thoughtfulness about how a given issue might affect people's lives in important ways.  The lack of thoughtfulness is particularly egregious, so the scheme alleges, because one fails to realize how their own positions would affect them, were one someone else.

In other news, someone has suggested "tu quoque etiam" as a name for this move.  Anyone?