Sunday, January 08, 2012

Santorum double-blind

The core of Rick Santorum's domestic policy and governing philosophy is to boost the two-parent family. That's his anti-poverty program. Here he is in today's debate in New Hampshire:
And I believe that there’s one thing that is undermining this country, and it is the breakdown of the American family. It’s undermining our economy. You see the rates of poverty among single- parent families, which are -- moms are doing heroic things, but it’s harder. It’s five times higher in a single-parent family.

We -- we know there’s certain things that work in America. The Brookings Institute came out with a study just a few -- couple of years ago that said, if you graduate from high school, and if you work, and if you’re a man, if you marry, if you’re a woman, if you marry before you have children, you have a 2 percent chance of being in poverty in America. And to be above the median income, if you do those three things, 77 percent chance of being above the median income.

Why isn’t the president of the United States or why aren’t leaders in this country talking about that and trying to formulate, not necessarily federal government policy, but local policy and state policy and community policy, to help people do those things that we know work and we know are good for society? This president doesn’t.
What's the single greatest stimulus to marriage and the two-parent family in the U.S. today?  Gay marriage.  I have no stats to back this up, but here's my personal impression. Like the spectacle of southern racists beating and baiting peaceful civil rights protestors  in the early 1960s, today's news clips and Youtubes of gay couples sobbing with job as they tie the knot are changing the national consciousness -- not only by increasing empathy for gay people but by making marriage cool again.  And parenting, too.  We have among us a substantial population for whom the opportunity to marry and raise children is a passion and also something of a miracle, given the relative swiftness of social change on this front.  That's got to have a demonstration effect on all of us.  As Andrew Sullivan has been arguing for decades, gay marriage is a fundamentally conservative aim.

One more little Santorum irony from today's debate:
SANTORUM: They’re a -- they’re a theocracy. They’re a theocracy that has deeply embedded beliefs that -- that the afterlife is better than this life. President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said the principle virtue of the Islamic Republic of Iran is martyrdom.

So when your principle virtue is to die for your -- for Allah, then it’s not a deterrent to have a nuclear threat, if they would use a nuclear weapon. It is, in fact, an encouragement for them to use their nuclear weapon. And that’s why there’s a difference between the Soviet Union and China and others and Iran.
So...Santorum thinks theocracy is inherently dangerous -- so dangerous that he's stated his willingness to start a war now on the basis of what we already know about the progress of Iran's nuclear program.  Why then does he want to found U.S. law on a Catholic interpretation of Biblical law? Oh, and as for that claim that would-be religious martyrs in power render a state fundamentally dangerous: who was it who recently said he would die to stop gay marriage?

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