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Old 04-21-2003, 04:58 PM   #1
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Sen. Santorum and "family values"

Family Values Drive Pa. Sen. Santorum


By LARA JAKES JORDAN
The Associated Press
Monday, April 21, 2003; 9:59 AM


WASHINGTON - Sen. Rick Santorum, a self-described compassionate conservative intent on climbing the Republican leadership ladder, filters all politics and policy through one guiding principle: what is best for the American family.

Two-parent families, says Santorum, are good. Requiring people to work is good. So is banning late-term abortions and giving religion a greater role in government. Traditional welfare, on the other hand, hurts the family. Homosexuality, feminism, liberalism all undermine the family. Even parts of the Constitution can harm the family.

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," the Pennsylvania lawmaker said in a recent interview, fuming over a landmark gay rights case before the high court that pits a Texas sodomy law against equality and privacy rights.

"All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family," Santorum said. "And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution."

It's this kind of strong ideology plus ambition that has propelled Santorum, 44, through the ranks of the Senate Republican leadership at what his GOP colleagues describe as a meteoric pace. After fewer than 10 years in the Senate, Santorum is No. 3 in the GOP leadership, serving as the party's conference chairman. Should Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., retire in 2006, Santorum will seek the post.

In the near term, Santorum is expected to play a leading role in trying to win Pennsylvania - the nation's fifth-largest electoral prize - for President Bush in 2004. Bush lost the state in 2000 by 200,000 votes.

Santorum arrived in the Senate in 1995 after four years in the House, and he immediately got a reputation as a brash, confrontational lawmaker who had little respect for seniority or Senate decorum. He has since smoothed the rough edges and often crosses the political aisle to work with Democratic colleagues. At the same time, the style of the Senate has become more sharp-elbowed, with more than half its members, like Santorum, products of the House.

"He tramped on a few toes in those early years - by the way, they were toes, I think, he should have tramped on," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who was elected to the Senate when Santorum was in his first year at Penn State University. "But he has gradually gotten to the point where he is respected by both sides for his energy, his effort, his intelligence and his decency."

Though he has toned down his impulsive bravado, Santorum remains "every bit as conservative as he ever was," said Rutgers University congressional scholar Ross Baker.

"I would say this is the most conservative Republican caucus in the history of the U.S. Senate, and they've kind of moved in his direction," Baker said. "He has retrofit his ideology with a smooth veneer. You see this sort of transformation taking place in people who have aspirations."

The Catholic son of an Italian immigrant, Santorum, a Pittsburgh lawyer and state legislative aide, defeated seven-term Democratic Rep. Doug Walgren to win election to the House in 1990. He served four years, taking a lead role on welfare reform in 1993, before challenging and defeating Democratic Sen. Harris Wofford in 1994, the year of the Republican revolution.

"In 1994, he fit the boilerplate of the angry young white man in the year of the angry young white man," said Democratic consultant Paul Begala, who worked on the Wofford campaign. "I think since then, he has tried to grow into the job."

In the Senate, Santorum has focused largely on social issues that are the core of Bush's "compassionate conservative" campaign platform. He successfully pushed legislation banning late-term abortions as well as a bill to give tax breaks for donations to religious-based charities. He has hired welfare recipients in his district offices, where he also staffs community affairs liaisons specifically tasked to help faith-based organizations get funding.

Santorum said welfare reform "was sort of my baptism by fire" in shouldering social issues. The law, which must be reauthorized this year, required welfare recipients to work to collect benefits.

"The more I got involved, it really did open my eyes to how the left had destroyed so much," Santorum said.

White House political director Ken Mehlman calls Santorum "one of the original compassionate conservatives."

"The people of Pennsylvania, no matter who they are or where they're from, understand how hard he's working for them, understand that he has a philosophy that is good for them, and that will help improve their state," Mehlman said. "There is nobody who works as hard as he does in getting his message out."

Santorum is every bit the family man at home that he is in the Senate.

He and his wife, Karen, have seven children - including, as Santorum puts it, "the one in Heaven." Their fourth baby, Gabriel Michael, died in 1996, two hours after an emergency delivery in Karen Santorum's 20th week of pregnancy. The couple took Gabriel's body home to let their three other young children see and hold the baby before burying him, according to Karen Santorum's book of the ordeal, "Letters to Gabriel."

---

On the Net:

Sen. Rick Santorum: http://santorum.senate.gov/

2003 The Associated Press
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Old 04-21-2003, 05:07 PM   #2
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That's lovely. The third most senior member of the Republican party thinks homosexuality is similar to incest. What an uneducated, not to mention unpleasant man. I sincerly hope that isn't the future of the Republican party.

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Old 04-21-2003, 05:09 PM   #3
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Wow, if that's compassion, I don't want any.

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Old 04-21-2003, 05:09 PM   #4
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I'm registered to vote now, so as soon as Santorum's up for reelection...
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Old 04-21-2003, 05:14 PM   #5
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In any case, isn't he just plain old wrong. I mean Americans do actually have the right to commit adultery if they so wish. How could you have it any other way? Make adultery a crime? Send people to prison for cheating on their spouse?
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Old 04-21-2003, 05:15 PM   #6
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In other news....

Hatch: 'I'm Not Here to Justify Polygamy'

The Associated Press

ST. GEORGE -- Sen. Orrin Hatch, attending a town meeting in southern Utah, found himself pressed by anti-polygamy activists to take a stand against the practice.
Bob Curran, director of the anti-polygamy group Help the Child Brides, asked the Utah Republican on Thursday, why, only an hour away, "thugs" can rape children and nothing is done to stop it.
"No one should be raping a child . . . we need to protect our children," Hatch said.
Curran said girls as young as 13 and 14 were forced into plural marriages with older men in the nearby twin polygamous communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz.
Another speaker, Sonya Blancke, said she was dismayed polygamists were able to break the laws.
Hatch said, "I wouldn't throw accusations around unless you know they're true.
"I'm not here to justify polygamy," he said. "All I can say is, I know people in Hildale who are polygamists who are very fine people. You come and show me evidence of children being abused there and I'll get involved. Bring the evidence to me."
Hatch said he could not take unsubstantiated claims and enforce law, and he would not "sit here and judge anybody just because they live differently than me. There will be laws on the books, but these are very complicated issues," Hatch said.
Polygamy is illegal in Utah and a law enacted by the 2003 Legislature created the new crime of child bigamy -- marrying a second wife who is under the age of 18 -- and made it punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The marrying of teenage girls is common in some of Utah's isolated polygamist communities, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, whose office drafted the legislation, has said.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints once sanctioned plural marriage but discarded the practice in 1890. However, there are believed to be tens of thousands of polygamists in Utah who continue the tradition and say they are following fundamental doctrine. The LDS church excommunicates them.
The issue is sensitive in Utah, where many residents, including Gov. Mike Leavitt, have polygamous ancestors.




Copyright 2003, The Salt Lake Tribune.
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Old 04-21-2003, 05:32 PM   #7
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So Senator Hatch doesn't oppose Polygamy? And that hasn't got him into trouble with some of his friends in the Republican party?
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Old 04-21-2003, 05:46 PM   #8
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Such wonderful logic. I wonder if he is of the school of thought that equal rights for women makes them lesbians and have abortions. That's about the same logic trail Santorum is using, and, sadly, my previous sentence has been used before.

As for Orrin Hatch...well, who ever said the Republican Party was consistent? Decrying homosexuality as incestuous and damaging to children, and then you have a practice where heterosexual men are taking minors as multiple wives.

To hell with the GOP. It ceased to be relevant years ago, and I'm still waiting for this country to snap out of its fantasy that the GOP is a "moral" party. This entire nation is a joke.

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Old 04-22-2003, 06:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
This entire nation is a joke.

No it isn't melon. A lot of us do give a shit and we're trying to change things. Don't ever give up; it's what those people want you to do. Then they can have their way unopposed. Don't give them that.

I know; I'm relentlessly opyimistic, but things have changed for the better, and we can keep it changing our way. Look back fifty years and see what people like us have done. It's not all bad!
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:28 PM   #10
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I blame it all on religion - you show me a conflict, problem, war, fight,or argument and I can find a way it is related to religion.

These old men are all sick.
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
and I'm still waiting for this country to snap out of its fantasy that the GOP is a "moral" party.
I agree, but I think you and I will be waiting a long time. People often see the GOP as the "moral" party because of their infusion of religion in their politics. I think as long as you have the right wing using their distorted version of faith you'll have people who follow this way of thinking. Unfortunately a large portion of the right twist the words of faith in their politics, and the rest often don't speak of faith in theirs. I strongly believe that faith isn't honestly portrayed in the politics of America, and I really don't know if it could. Like I said before I don't believe the true teachings of most religions would coincide with how to run a nation.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


No it isn't melon. A lot of us do give a shit and we're trying to change things. Don't ever give up; it's what those people want you to do. Then they can have their way unopposed. Don't give them that.

I know; I'm relentlessly opyimistic, but things have changed for the better, and we can keep it changing our way. Look back fifty years and see what people like us have done. It's not all bad!

I like that, Martha. I agree, don't give up hope, and don't stop raising hell. Write irate letters to Congress. Vote for the candidates you believe in. Demonstrate. Start your own pressure group. There are all sorts of things you can do to stop this
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy
I blame it all on religion - you show me a conflict, problem, war, fight,or argument and I can find a way it is related to religion.

These old men are all sick.
Well to an extent I think that's true. However, I think there's also something to be said for the theory that basically wherever there has been human civilisation there has been conflict. Yes, frequently it has been religious conflict, but had that religion not existed, there would have been some other reason for the conflict.

I think when people blame religion for everything that's bad in the world, they risk ignoring the tremendous good that faith or religion or spirituality or whatever else you would like to call it can bring.

Fizz
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


Well to an extent I think that's true. However, I think there's also something to be said for the theory that basically wherever there has been human civilisation there has been conflict. Yes, frequently it has been religious conflict, but had that religion not existed, there would have been some other reason for the conflict.

I think when people blame religion for everything that's bad in the world, they risk ignoring the tremendous good that faith or religion or spirituality or whatever else you would like to call it can bring.

Fizz
Fizz.
I agree to an extent but I believe religion conflict brings a darker dimension to conflicts. Maybe it is the certainty that "whomever" is on your side, or in the name of "whomever" that causes a brutal fanaticism.

I'd love to see Orin Hatch's statements make major media. He's be gone in a heartbeat. There was a large article about Santorum in my local paper today.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:31 PM   #15
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Fizz -- I agree. There are some of us here who are religious. What matters is what you do with that religion. The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister. The God I believe in loves all and knows all and welcomes all. Its just the politicians who mess that up.

As for Sen. Santorum, if he wants to be in my bedroom that's fine. But I get to be in his too. So senator, you have a mistress? You like your wife to talk dirty to you? Whips huh? Interesting. I would've taken you for a softer whipped cream, chocolate syrup kind of guy.
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