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I Know a Theocrat When I See One

I’m one of those conservatives who just can’t get past Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s warm embrace of former liberal Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004 over conservative then-Rep. Pat Toomey. Not only did the former Pennsylvania senator endorse Specter, but he actively and aggressively campaigned for him all over the state. And we all know what happened after that:

Snarlin’ Arlen proceeded to dump the GOP, join the Democrats…and was the deciding vote in the passage of ObamaCare.

I’m sorry, but in my book, that disqualifies Santorum from any shot at my vote for president, in addition to the fact that the man has almost as few accomplishments as Barack Obama had in 2008 for which to recommend him.

But it’s also because “Father” Santorum is perfectly happy using the government to advance his religious and moral beliefs, the latest example of which our friend Rich Galen wrote about this morning…

“This column may well generate about 40,000 ‘Unsubscribes’ this morning, but there you are.

“In the early 1960s a man named Nico Jacobellis was arrested after the showing of a French movie in his theater by the name of ‘The Lovers’ on the grounds that the film was obscene. This case would doubtless be relegated to punishing second year law school students were it not for the fact that (a) the case went to the U.S Supreme Court and (b) in a concurring opinion Justice Potter Stewart penned one of the most memorable phrases in Court history.

“In concurring with a reversal of Mr. Jacobellis’ conviction, Justice Stewart wrote about trying to define the phrase ‘hard-core pornography’: ‘I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.’

“Putting aside how Mr. Justice Stewart had come upon comparative material, this famous quote came to mind when I read that GOP Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum plans to boldly go where Supreme Court Justices have feared to tread. On his campaign web page a position paper on pornography contains this: ‘While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration.’

“I am opposed to children being exposed to, much less featured in, pornography.

“I am also opposed to children being exposed to, or involved in, under aged drinking, smoking, or driving dangerously. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009 nearly 3,000 teenagers died in automobile accidents – 35 percent of all teen deaths. Nearly 8 children a day – every day. How about spending some quality time trying to dramatically cut down on that problem?

“I don’t care if you like pornography. It’s none of my business. The bigger issue for Santorum is he does care whether you watch it. The dichotomy in Santorum’s position is that he wants to use the full might and reach of the Federal government to forbid the distribution of pornography ‘on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier.’ This from a candidate who has consistently argued for less Federal intervention in our lives.

“Wasn’t that the cornerstone of Santorum’s opposition to the contraception ruling; that the Federal government was stomping on the First Amendment rights of religious groups?

“No one is going to vote for or against Rick Santorum for his position on pornography. I get that. What is bothersome to me is how he has established a pattern of his positions. ‘If I agree with it, it is good and everyone should do it (whatever ‘it’ might be) and the government should not stand in our way. If I disagree with it, it is bad and no one should do it (whatever ‘it’ might be) and I will use that very same government to enforce my likes, dislikes, ethics, and tastes on every American.’

“Those are my words, not his, but that appears to fairly represent how he would govern.”

Exactly. We should want elected officials who govern morally, not govern morality.

And as I’ve said before, if Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul wins the GOP nomination, I’m voting for Gingrich or Paul in November. If it’s Mitt Romney, we’ll have to have a LONG talk. But if it’s Rick “Sanctimonious” Santorum, I’m going with Gary Johnson, the likely Libertarian Party candidate.

I just won’t be a part of replacing a socialist with a theocrat. Republicans, ye be warned.